Here’s a 50-min recorded video Dhamma Talk (101MB .mp4).
- Meditation, mindfulness, sati, sampajanna, sampajanya, sampajañña, turn down the “dial of squirreliness”, my spiritual journey leading up to ordaining as a Buddhist monk, marginal gains, coping mechanisms, we can do better, synchronicity, habits, moving on, goals, retreats, vipassana, daily practice, debts, opportunities, doors opening
the Vinaya-Commentarial terms “theft of status” and “theft of affiliation”, as discussed in Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s “Buddhist Monastic Code Book 2 - The Khandhaka Rules Translated and Explained”, Chapter 14: “Ordination”:
(b) The Commentary contains a long discussion on the question of what it means to take affiliation by theft. It distinguishes three kinds of theft: theft of status (putting on robes without the authorization of the Community), theft of affiliation (claiming rights of novicehood or bhikkhuhood, such as seniority, participating in Community transactions, etc.), and theft of both. The above prohibition applies to all three but not to cases where a person dresses as a bhikkhu or novice to escape danger from kings, famine, wasteland travel, disease, or hostile enemies. This allowance applies as long as he doesn’t claim rights of affiliation with the bhikkhus and has pure intent (which the Sub-commentary defines as no intention of deceiving the bhikkhus). The case of an actor who wears robes while playing the part of a bhikkhu in a movie or play would probably come under this allowance as well, as would the case — mentioned elsewhere in the Commentary — of a candidate for the Going-forth who arrives at the Community meeting already wearing the robes he plans to wear after ordained (see below). The Commentary to Pācittiya 65 recommends that when a bhikkhu who assumes that he is properly ordained but later discovers that his ordination was invalid, he should reordain as quickly as possible. This shows that such a bhikkhu is also not guilty of theft of status or of affiliation.
However, a lay person who dresses as a bhikkhu to go for alms would come under the category of “theft of status”; the Commentary explicitly states that a novice who claims to be a bhikkhu so as to gain a bhikkhu’s privileges would come under “theft of affiliation.” When a lay person intends to attempt a theft of affiliation, the theft is committed when he assumes the status of a bhikkhu even if he has not yet deceived bhikkhus into allowing him to join in their Community.
Buddhaghosa maintains that this category does not apply to a bhikkhu who has committed a pārājika and still claims the status and rights of a bhikkhu. He quotes the Andhaka as holding the opposing opinion on this matter, but does not say why he disagrees. One possible reason for disagreement might be that the Canon often lists a bhikkhu who has committed a pārājika as a category separate from that of one who has committed theft of affiliation.
Past Dhamma Talk References:
“What does ‘authority’ mean in Buddhism?”, where I added clarifications on the following:
- context around the use of the title “Thero”
- the Vinaya-Commentarial terms “theft of status” and “theft of affiliation”
- Susan Pinker’s “The Village Effect” book
- RSS feed of these postings: https://bhikkhu.ca/feed.xml (Paste this link into your favorite Podcatcher)
Digital Signing and Checksum (of the .mp4 video file above):