Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Buddhism and Homosexuality

Expand Messages
  • Ong Yong Peng
    Dear friends, I hope I do not sound inappropriate, but I sincerely ask for your opinions on the Tipitaka s viewpoint on homosexuality. I recalled the Dalai
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 30 3:08 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear friends,

      I hope I do not sound inappropriate, but I sincerely ask for your
      opinions on the Tipitaka's viewpoint on homosexuality. I recalled the
      Dalai Lama saying that the Buddha did not mention homosexuality. I
      think that is not a good answer. Because homosexuality is a word
      coined in Germany fairly recently, so obviously it is not in the
      Tipitaka. Furthermore, homosexuality is not sexual perversion as
      certain Christian groups claim. Scientifically, it is a different
      sexual orientation.

      Many members here are experienced meditators and learned of the
      Tipitaka, I would gladly like to hear your views on what the Buddha
      said or would say to a gay person. I understand that most Buddhists
      are tolerant and open-minded enough to accept gays, but please tell
      me your views on a logical basis in the context of Buddhism. We know
      that everyone has sexual needs, and we can't ask all gays to be monks
      (that would certainly cause problems as we see in the Catholic
      church). So, how should a gay person live his life, whether he is
      Buddhist or not?

      Thank you.


      metta,
      Yong Peng
    • Frank Kuan
      ... From the Buddha s standpoint, any kind of sex is a perversion (wrong view) and binds us to the wheel of suffering, so in this sense, whether one has hetero
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 30 10:03 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        --- Ong Yong Peng <ypong001@...> wrote:
        > Dear friends,
        >
        > I hope I do not sound inappropriate, but I sincerely
        > ask for your
        > opinions on the Tipitaka's viewpoint on
        > homosexuality. I recalled the
        > Dalai Lama saying that the Buddha did not mention
        > homosexuality. I
        > think that is not a good answer. Because
        > homosexuality is a word
        > coined in Germany fairly recently, so obviously it
        > is not in the
        > Tipitaka. Furthermore, homosexuality is not sexual
        > perversion as
        > certain Christian groups claim.

        From the Buddha's standpoint, any kind of sex is a
        perversion (wrong view) and binds us to the wheel of
        suffering, so in this sense, whether one has hetero
        sex, masturbates, has sex with a corpse, animal,
        homosexual sex, or even allow a single thought of lust
        to arise, these are against the Buddha's teaching (to
        the serious seeker of the further shore, be they monks
        or laypeople).
        For lay people who only aspire to cultivate virtue,
        the Buddha advised them to only have sex under
        conditions that conform to common sense and common
        law. Partner should be of legal age, consenting, not
        under the protection of parents, siblings. For
        example, a catholic priest molesting a 12 year old
        choir boy would violate this precept. Two consenting
        adults doing whatever permutation of pursuing 5 cords
        of sense pleasure behind closed doors is their
        business. I don't recall reading anywhere in the Pali
        Canon of the Buddha addressing homosexuality
        explicitly. The vinaya goes into great detail of all
        kinds of weird sex stunts that monks tried to pull
        off, but again, the prohibition against any kind of
        lustful thought, let alone sexual acitivity for a monk
        automatically precludes homosexual activity for the
        serious aspirant.

        > Many members here are experienced meditators and
        > learned of the
        > Tipitaka, I would gladly like to hear your views on
        > what the Buddha
        > said or would say to a gay person. I understand that
        > most Buddhists
        > are tolerant and open-minded enough to accept gays,
        > but please tell
        > me your views on a logical basis in the context of
        > Buddhism. We know
        > that everyone has sexual needs, and we can't ask all
        > gays to be monks
        > (that would certainly cause problems as we see in
        > the Catholic
        > church). So, how should a gay person live his life,
        > whether he is
        > Buddhist or not?

        This is what the Buddha said to the serious
        cultivator, regardless of sexual orientation:


        What is sensual pleasure? Five cords of sensual
        pleasure?
        [m66.18] "There are five cords of sensual pleasure�
        Forms cognizable by the eye that are wished for,
        desired, agreeable, and likeable, connected with
        sensual desire and provocative of lust. Sounds
        cognizable by the ear� Odours cognizable by the nose�
        Flavors cognizable by the tongue� Tangibles cognizable
        by the body that are wished for, desired, agreeable,
        and likeable, connected with sensual desire and
        provocative of lust. These are the five cords of
        sensual pleasure."


        What does Buddha think of sensual pleasure?
        [m66.19] Buddha: "� the pleasure and joy that arise
        dependent on these five cords of sensual pleasure are
        called sensual pleasure, a coarse pleasure, an ignoble
        pleasure. I say of this kind of pleasure that it
        should not be pursued, that it should not be
        developed, that it should not be cultivated, that it
        should be feared."

        State the obvious, and people still won't get it
        [s2.35] "one who seeks delight in the [sense
        pleasures] seeks delight in suffering. One who seeks
        delight in suffering, I say, is not freed from
        suffering.

        What is the danger of sensual pleasure?
        [m106.2] "sensual pleasures are impermanent, hollow,
        false, deceptive; they are illusory, the prattle of
        fools. Sensual pleasures here and now and sensual
        pleasures in lives to come, sensual perceptions here
        and now and sensual perceptions in lives to come -
        both alike are Mara's realm, Mara's domain, Mara's
        bait, Mara's hunting ground. On account of them, these
        evil unwholesome mental states such as covetousness,
        ill will, and presumption arise, and they constitute
        an obstruction to a noble disciple in training here."



        #1 pernicious wrong view: "Enjoy sense pleasures
        without attachment"
        Buddha's response to that ignorant view [m 22.9]:
        "Monks, that one can engage in sensual pleasures
        without sensual desires, without perceptions of
        sensual desire, without thoughts of sensual desire -
        that is impossible."


        What kind of pleasure should we seek?
        [m66.22] "quite secluded from sensual pleasures,
        secluded from unwholesome states, a monk enters upon
        and abides in the first jhana� With the stilling of
        applied and sustained thought, he enters upon and
        abides in the second jhana� With the fading away as
        well of rapture� he enters upon and abides in the
        third jhana� With the abandoning of pleasure and pain�
        he enters upon and abides in the fourth jhana�

        This is called the bliss of renunciation, the bliss of
        seclusion, the bliss of peace, the bliss of
        enlightenment. I say of this kind of pleasure that it
        should be pursued, that it should be developed, that
        it should be cultivated, that it should not be
        feared."



        __________________________________
        Do you Yahoo!?
        Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software
        http://sitebuilder.yahoo.com
      • Frank Kuan
        As a society we re so preoccupied with sex. This message helps me to it all into proper perspective. After reading this, concerns about eating, sex, music, ...
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 30 10:34 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          As a society we're so preoccupied with sex. This
          message helps me to it all into proper perspective.
          After reading this, concerns about eating, sex, music,
          etc., just don't seem very important:

          >From a Taoist sage:
          >A lifetime is just a dream, like an out breath which
          >does not guarantee the in breath after it, and today
          >does not insure the morrow. If life is passed
          >aimlessly with death ever coming unexpectedly, the
          >bones of the body will disperse, the four elements
          >will scatter and deluded consciousness will
          >transmigrate through another realm of existence
          >without knowing what form it will take in another
          >life. So birth and death will remain ignorant and
          will
          >delight in laziness without a chance to awaken to
          >Reality.
          >
          >Now that you have heard about the precious teaching
          do
          >not go away empty-handed. If you do not listen to it
          >you will not escape from illness and death when you
          >grow old and will thus waste a lifetime in the human
          >world.
          >
          >Therefore take a bold resolution and start to train
          >seriously. As from today you should dwell in
          >singleness of thought; your eyes and ears should
          >disengage from their objects; regulate your diet;
          >reduce your sleep; refrain from futile talk and
          jokes;
          >stop thinking and worrying; cast away soft comfort
          and
          >cease to discriminate between the handsome and the
          >ugly so that you can be like the cicada feeding on
          dew
          >to preserve its unsullied body and like the tortoise
          >absorbing vitality from sunlight to enjoy long life.

          ---

          __________________________________
          Do you Yahoo!?
          Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software
          http://sitebuilder.yahoo.com
        • paulocuana
          Dear Yong Peng, I believe it was Mahathera H. Saddhatissa who was asked an equivalent question many years ago. He was asked what he thought about sexual
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 30 5:45 PM
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Yong Peng,

            I believe it was Mahathera H. Saddhatissa who was asked an equivalent
            question many years ago. He was asked what he thought about sexual
            activity outside the institution of marriage. He said that, as a
            Buddhist, the most important factor was not whether the participants
            were married but whether there was mutual respect and understanding
            between them.

            Peace,
            Paul
            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Ong Yong Peng" <ypong001@y...> wrote:
            > Dear friends,
            >
            > I hope I do not sound inappropriate, but I sincerely ask for your
            > opinions on the Tipitaka's viewpoint on homosexuality. I recalled
            the
            > Dalai Lama saying that the Buddha did not mention homosexuality. I
            > think that is not a good answer. Because homosexuality is a word
            > coined in Germany fairly recently, so obviously it is not in the
            > Tipitaka. Furthermore, homosexuality is not sexual perversion as
            > certain Christian groups claim. Scientifically, it is a different
            > sexual orientation.
            >
            > Many members here are experienced meditators and learned of the
            > Tipitaka, I would gladly like to hear your views on what the Buddha
            > said or would say to a gay person. I understand that most Buddhists
            > are tolerant and open-minded enough to accept gays, but please tell
            > me your views on a logical basis in the context of Buddhism. We
            know
            > that everyone has sexual needs, and we can't ask all gays to be
            monks
            > (that would certainly cause problems as we see in the Catholic
            > church). So, how should a gay person live his life, whether he is
            > Buddhist or not?
            >
            > Thank you.
            >
            >
            > metta,
            > Yong Peng
          • hjgrossi
            A.L de Silva s Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism is worth reading on this subject. Though brief, it manages to look at the question of homesexuality in
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 30 6:44 PM
            • 0 Attachment
              A.L de Silva's "Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism" is worth reading on this
              subject. Though brief, it manages to look at the question of homesexuality in the
              light of the third precept from the perspective of the canon and Buddhist ethics, as
              well as give a brief historical overview of the attitude toward homosexuals in
              Theravadan countries. Though out of print in paper, it is available online at,
              http://www.buddhanet.net/homosexu.htm

              Henry
            • Robert Didham
              Henry Thank you for this lnk. I think it would also be worth those interested in this issue not to rely only on the truncated Theravada vinaya but to explore
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 30 9:23 PM
              • 0 Attachment
                Henry

                Thank you for this lnk. I think it would also be worth those interested in
                this issue not to rely only on the truncated Theravada vinaya but to explore
                others, especially the Mulasarvastavada and Dharmagupta vinayas as well as
                they are much more expansive on some relevant topics. I cannot help but
                agree with Paul (I think I was) who mused on the modern preoccupation with
                sexual behaviour and sexuality when this is merely one aspect of human (and
                non-human for that matter) activity which has an impact on right and wrong
                views. It is not the particular form that partnering takes so much as the
                attitude one exhibits towards it.

                Cheers

                Robert


                >From: "hjgrossi" <hjgrossi@...>
                >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: [Pali] Re: Buddhism and Homosexuality
                >Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2003 01:44:03 -0000
                >
                >A.L de Silva's "Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism" is worth reading on
                >this
                >subject. Though brief, it manages to look at the question of homesexuality
                >in the
                >light of the third precept from the perspective of the canon and Buddhist
                >ethics, as
                >well as give a brief historical overview of the attitude toward homosexuals
                >in
                >Theravadan countries. Though out of print in paper, it is available online
                >at,
                >http://www.buddhanet.net/homosexu.htm
                >
                >Henry
                >

                _________________________________________________________________
                Add photos to your messages with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*.
                http://join.msn.com/?page=features/featuredemail
              • Ong Yong Peng
                Dear Robert, Henry, Paul, Frank and friends, thanks for writing on this topic on and off list. I appreciate that. I have read Dr Silva s article, and I am
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 31 3:01 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dear Robert, Henry, Paul, Frank and friends,

                  thanks for writing on this topic on and off list. I appreciate that.
                  I have read Dr Silva's article, and I am fuller aware of the Buddha's
                  advice on sexual desire. I agree with Dr Silva that

                  1. homosexuality was known in ancient India.

                  2. it is not explicitly mentioned in the Tipitaka, and probably the
                  Buddha meant to evaluate it in the same way that heterosexuality is.

                  3. in the case of the lay man and woman where there is mutual
                  consent, where adultery is not involved and where the sexual act is
                  an expression of love, respect, loyalty and warmth, it would not be
                  breaking the third Precept.

                  Frank, I am not sure if it is right to say that any kind of sexual
                  acts is a perversion (wrong view). As I understand, wrong view arises
                  from attachment and ignorance. In this case, it would mean attachment
                  to sensual objects, and ignorant that nothing is permanent.
                  Attachment and ignorance lead to suffering, because of that Buddha
                  says deeds, words and acts performed with attachment and ignorance
                  are unwholesome, and do not lead to end of suffering. So, the act
                  itself is not wrong view. However, I agree, as you quote later, that
                  the view to "enjoy sense pleasures without attachment" is wrong view.
                  As mature adults, we all know that when a person "enjoy sense
                  pleasures" there is always "attachment". It will be self-deceiving to
                  deny that.

                  I am actually looking at the mundane level at how gay people can live
                  a life of respect and dignity. For example, in Sigalovada Sutta, the
                  Buddha teaches Sigalovada about good relationships between husband
                  and wife in a family. I wonder if that can be extended to a gay
                  couple. What do you think?

                  metta,
                  Yong Peng
                • Frank Kuan
                  ... On a mundane level, yes, I do believe the Buddha s advice on wholesome relationships is general enough to be applied to many specific cases that less
                  Message 8 of 9 , Aug 1, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    --- Ong Yong Peng <ypong001@...> wrote:

                    > I am actually looking at the mundane level at how
                    > gay people can live
                    > a life of respect and dignity. For example, in
                    > Sigalovada Sutta, the
                    > Buddha teaches Sigalovada about good relationships
                    > between husband
                    > and wife in a family. I wonder if that can be
                    > extended to a gay
                    > couple. What do you think?
                    >

                    On a mundane level, yes, I do believe the Buddha's
                    advice on wholesome relationships is general enough to
                    be applied to many specific cases that less civilized
                    segments society is often intolerant of, such as
                    same-sex relationships, interracial marriage, etc. The
                    catholic church I read the other day is strategizing
                    on ways to fight the possible legislation of same sex
                    marriages in the U.S. They have publicly declared that
                    homosexuality is evil. As if they were qualified to
                    even recognize what good and evil are. This is the
                    buddha's more polite way of saying that:

                    [m 13] "[religious figures] should be questioned thus:
                    '�what is the gratification, what is the danger, and
                    what is the escape in the case of sensual pleasures? �
                    in the case of material form? � in the case of
                    feelings?' Being questioned thus, these religious
                    figures will fail to account for the matter, and what
                    is more, they will get into difficulties. Why is that?
                    Because it is not their province� I see no one in the
                    world with its gods, its Maras, and its Brahmas, in
                    this generation with its recluses and brahmins, with
                    its princes and its people, who could satisfy the mind
                    with a reply to these questions, except for the
                    Tathagata or his disciple or one who has learned it
                    from them."







                    __________________________________
                    Do you Yahoo!?
                    Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software
                    http://sitebuilder.yahoo.com
                  • Ong Yong Peng
                    Dear Frank and friends, thanks for that. metta, Yong Peng
                    Message 9 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Dear Frank and friends,

                      thanks for that.

                      metta,
                      Yong Peng
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.