Monks who have sex: Pārājika penance in indian buddhist monasticisms [Book Review]

Journal of Indian Philosophy 37 (1):1-43 (2009)
In the study of Buddhism it is commonly accepted that a monk or nun who commits a pārājika offence is permanently and irrevocably expelled from the Buddhist monastic order. This view is based primarily on readings of the Pāli Vinaya. With the exception of the Pāli Vinaya, however, all other extant Buddhist monastic law codes (Dharmaguptaka, Mahāsāṅghika, Mahīśāsaka, Sarvāstivāda and Mūlasarvāstivāda) contain detailed provisions for monks and nuns who commit pārājikas but nevertheless wish to remain within the saṅgha. These monastics are not expelled. Rather, they are granted a special status known as the śikṣādattaka. In this paper I explore the rules. concerning pārājika penance and the śikṣādattaka with specific regard to monastic celibacy. Given that five out of six extant law codes recognise this remarkable accommodation to the rule of celibacy, I argue that we must look to Vinayas other than the Pāli Vinaya if we are to arrive at a nuanced and representative view of Indian Buddhist monasticism. Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.Augustine of Hippo (354–430 C.E.)
Keywords Pārājika   Śikṣādattaka   Vinaya  Sex  Celibacy  Penance
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DOI 10.1007/s10781-008-9059-3
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