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Monastic Levels in Shaolin

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  • baiwanxi
    replied
    THanks a lot. I'll check it out...

    Leave a comment:


  • doc
    replied
    In the main part of the site, I have a web page devoted to Vows. In it, is a translation of my "monk book" , the Shaolin book that I got when I took the Taking Refuge vows at Shaolin. Look in the Fugue section, page listed as Vows. The SEARCH function for the main part of the site will lead you to it. The booklet is an older publication, based upon the type of grammar that was found within.

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  • baiwanxi
    replied
    From the impression that I got, not only from what you found, but also from what I read, there was no real devision between Wenseng and Wuseng in Shaolin. Only that one catered more to Buddhist studies and the later to Martial studies. I know, as we are talking about a Buddhist order, it would be common sense that the person who spends more time studing Buddhism would rank higher on the food chain, so to speak. But from what I read, I was left with an impression that Heshang was left out of the list in Shaolin, unless of course you have been ordained through the National Buddhist Association or the like, like Shi Yongxin.

    But what I'm really interested in now is a closer look at the "precepts" and "vows".
    I know it's more work for you LFJ, but any chance you could write them out for us ?
    The 10 a shami would take. What 5 out of those 10 the Wuseng/Wenseng might take, if you know or could guess at that. And maybe just an educated guess at the difference in the vows that a xueseng might take.

    What is the difference in taking "vows" as opposed to precepts anyway ? Are vows viewed at with more leniency if you break them ?

    And a xueseng, is he still considered a layman, as he has NOT taken the precepts yet ?

    After a few weeks reflection I'm finding the system more and more interesting and want a better look at it. At this point I'm really wishing I was fluent in Chinese so I could just talk with someone about it all. I have a friend here who is a practicing Buddhist and has a sister who is a Nun. But neither of them speak a bit of English and Chinese Buddhist terminology is another language of it's own.

    It suck's to be so close to my answers and still not able to comprehend. I would even like to begin studding Buddhism more seriously, and she is more than happy to be my teacher, but I don't understand her explanations. Errrrrrrrrr

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  • Uwe
    replied
    I absolutely agree.


    Uwe

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  • doc
    started a topic Monastic Levels in Shaolin

    Monastic Levels in Shaolin

    Originally posted by LFJ, a superb analysis of the monastic derivations in Shaolin (and elsewhere)

    i have a friend who was originally ordained at baimasi. then he was accepted at shaolinsi. and is now studying in fengxuesi. so he knows pretty much both sides of monasticism. shaolin and other. i sent him an email asking about levels in shaolin. this is the reply i got:

    This a compicated question. As far as I know:
    1. Layman disciple (chin.: sujiadizi 俗家弟子)
    2. Young Buddhist priest, acolyte (chin.: xiaoshami 小沙彌)
    3. Buddhist priest, acolyte (chin.: shami 沙彌)
    4. Monk student (chin.: xueseng 学僧)
    5. Buddhist monk (chin.: heshang 和尚- in Shaolinsi they used to call them Buddhist scholar (chin.: wenseng 文僧) a title which based on the Sanskrit (chin.: fanwen 梵文) orientation of Buddhism) or warrior monk (chin.: wuseng 武僧)
    5. Abbot (chin.: fangzhang 方丈)

    A Buddhist monk (chin.: heshang 和尚) can have:
    1. Layman disciple (chin.: sujiadizi 俗家弟子)
    2. Young Buddhist priest, acolyte (chin.: xiaoshami 小沙彌)
    3. Buddhist priest, acolyte (chin.: shami 沙彌)
    4. Monk student (chin.: xueseng 学僧)

    A warrior monk (chin.: wuseng 武僧) can have:
    1. Laymen disciples (chin.: sujiadizi 俗家弟子)
    2. Students (chin.: xuesheng 学生)
    3. Apprentices/disciples (chin.: tudi 徒弟)

    Amituofo
    some of these are new to me, such as the difference between shami and xiaoshami (the latter being the ones under 20). and the xueseng (monk student) is completely new to me. (notice xueseng is different than xuesheng, seng denotes a monastic- xuesheng is a plain no-vows-taken student)

    after receiving this reply, i asked the precepts at each level and interestingly enough, this was the response:

    A heshang is fully ordained with the pratimoksha precepts.
    A wuseng is ordained with 5 precepts and usually he is considered as a secular. (but there are also some exceptions with 10 precepts.)
    A shami and xiaoshami are ordained with 10 precepts.
    A xueseng is ordained with 48 vows.
    so the division may be heshang, wuseng, shami, xiaoshami, and xueseng as the five groups. by the reply it seems wenseng is just another name for the heshang, used to show the difference between heshang and wuseng. but i have asked and am awaiting reply.

    so, i hope that helps end some debate, argument, and insults out of ignorance to people who dont deserve it.

    amituofo! _/_LFJ
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