Monday, 28 March 2011

“Ehi Bhikkhu PabbajjA” (O monk! Come and Take the Ordination) & “TisaraNa PabbajjA” (Ordination Taking Triple Gem)


It is well known that the Buddha preached His newly discovered doctrine to the contemporary clergy men before He preached the doctrine to lay people .The µahAggapali says that at the very beginning the Buddha was reluctant to preach the doctrine to the world for human beings thoroughly entangled with the defilements. He considered later that all are not alike and His future listeners could be classified as follows: 
·    åpparajakka = One with less stains.
·    µaharajakka = one with more stains.
·    µuDindriya = one with more stains.
·    Tikkhindriya = one with hard faculties.
·    åppasaddha =one with little faith.
·    µahAsaddha =one with more faith and so on
Therefore he selected three clergy men with high spiritual attainments to preach the dhamma first. It was successful in increasing the number of members in the order and for the lay people to stand the practice with pleasant in the order (sanghappasada)

With this intention the Buddha wanted to preach first to Uddakaramaputta and Alarakalama. But they ware dead and gone at that time and then he selected the five ascetics who were helping him in first stage of ascetic practice. When the Buddha preached them after attaining the stage of sotapanna ascetic KoNDaJJa requested for the ordination first, secondly the request was made by ascetics Bhaddiya and Vappa, thirdly MahAnAma and Assaji wanted to Ehi bhikkhu pabbajjA (O monk! Come and take the ordination).  According to this practice the Buddha called the       person of whom he is confident with to be a real monk with the word Ehi bhikkhu” (O monk! Come). With this acceptance that new member is given full authority as bhikkhu and disciple of the Buddha. (ßakyaputtiyA samaNo).

·    ßamanera
·    Bhikkhu, at the age of twenty (20)
·    Thera, at the vAsa of upasampadA of ten (10)
·    µahAthera, at the vAsa of upasampadA of twenty (20)

When there were few members the Buddha used the plural form of word.
      “Etha bhikkhavoti BhagavA avoca svAkkhato dhammo cara brAhmacariyaM sammA dukkhassa antakiriyAyAti sAva tesM AyasamantAnaM upasampadA ahosi.

     The SamantapAsadika gives the information of these forms of ordinations.

“TINi sataM sahassaJca cattAlIsaM punApare
eko ca thero sappaJJo sabbe tee hi passikA

= “1341 wise elders were there and they all were those who received ‘ehi bhikkhu ordination”
·    PaJcavaggiyas = 05
·    Yasa and his friends = 55
·    Bhaddavaggiyas = 30
·    JaTilas = 1000
·    AggasAvaka and his friends = 250
·    AGgulimAla = 01

All these are what recorded in the VinayapiTaka itself. The ßamantapAsadika records say there are other 27,300 monks who received the upasampadA in same way.

ßattavIsa sahassAni - tINiyeve satane ca
tehi sabbe saMkhAtA sabbe te ehipassikA

·    BrAhmin Sela with 300 brAhmins
·    King MahAkappina 1,000 people
·    Inhabitants of Kapilavatthu 10,000
·    Parayanika brAhmins  16,000

The commentary says that as soon as the Buddha called “ehi bhikkhu’’ hair and beard of that person disappeared. Then he gets automatically adorned with Eight Utensils (aTThaparikhAra)   and he appears in front of the Buddha as sixty (60) years trained monks taking the Buddha as the teacher and the preceptor.

With the origin of the order of monks, monks were instructed to walk on journey by propagating the dhamma among the people in various directions. With this those monks who went to different areas preached the dhamma as the message of the Buddha and those listeners expressed their will to be ordained and they were taken to the Buddha. Then the Buddha ordained them. This was a very tiresome procedure. So the Buddha gives the permission in the following way.

YannunAhaM bhikkhave anujAneyyaM tumhevadAni bhikkhave tAsu tAsu disAsu tesu tesu janadadesu pabbAjetha upasampadetha

= “It would be better if permit monks as O monks you now in those directions and colonies grant ordination and higher ordination”. 
Till this time granting ordination was under the authority of the Buddha .with this statement that power and authority was decentralized. The ßamantapAsadika defines tisaraNa pabbajjA as follows.
TIhi saraNAgamanehi upasampannoti Buddha saraNaM gacchAmIti AdinA nayena tikkhattuM vAcaM bhinditvA vuttehi tIhi samaNAgamanehi upasampanno

= “Ordained by taking tree refuges means the one who obtained upasampadA by uttering the refuges separately for three times in the way I take the Buddha as refuge etc”.

After that the following performances are done traditionally. A senior monk is directed by the teacher to shave hair and beard of the candidate. After cladding with yellow robes covering one shoulder he is taken in front of the assembly of the monks which comprise of more than four ordained monks. Then he is made to worship all the monks. Next sitting in ukkutika posture he takes the refuges. This was in practice for a long time until the Jatticatuttakamma upasampadA (higher ordination of declaring the order for four times) to BrAhmin RAdha

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