Bodhisattva vows and its relationship to Pātimokkha precepts

For your info if anyone interested to know of . That is the dual ordination by Dharmaguptaka bhikkhunīs and bhikkhus are not VALID . Because their bhikkhus technically are not really qualified as bhikkhus .

If you wish to make such a statement, you need to provide evidence. The only reason someone is “not really qualified as bhikkhus” is if their ordination is invalid. For any individual bhikkhu, you need to give the specific reasons why his ordination cannot stand. If there is no clear evidence, the ordination needs to be accepted.


I am really sorry to say unfortunately “Yes” that is the reason and thats why you are puzzling with my statement and I guess most peoples are and they dont know what bodhisattva precepts really are otherwise you wont be remained in the dark . But before that i want to stress that actually personally i supported any reinstating of bhikkhuni ordination even though i may have different view on reforming or abolishing any of the rules .
Remember earlier i was asking about bodhisattva ordination ? Anyone that familiar with bodhisattva precepts should be able to know that if one gone through bodhisattva ordination the earlier or prior bhikkhu/ni ordination done would become null rendered invalid regardless of one is aware of it or not . Why ? Simply because one of the bodhisattva precept is to “renounce” their bhikkhu precepts/status ! You can look up the bodhisattva precepts to confirm for yourself .
In either case , i really hope i am mistaken , that the bhikkhuni ordination cannot be restored due to this hurdle .

I used to practice Mahayana, and never once heard that. Taking a quick look at different sets of bodhisattva vows/precepts, none mention abandoning the patimokkha.

These are the bodhisattva precepts kept by American Zen folks:

These are the bodhisattva vows the Tibetans keep: The Tibetans have a lot more vows, and there is one specifically against telling someone to renounce the patimokkha. The patimokha, bodhisattva vows, and tantric vows are all meant to be held by Tibetan monastics. This has been true for hundreds of years in Tibet.

I don’t know where you heard that, but it’s incorrect.


Looks like this was a really worthwhile exercise :slightly_smiling_face: :pray:

1 Like

Sorry @Gene, but you’ve got this wrong. They don’t give up being bhikkhus, but sometimes they don’t practice the Pātimokkha rules. They only lose their status as monks if they breach a pārājika offence.

Then there are the Vinaya schools within Mahayāna where they keep their Pātimokkha precepts strictly. Mahayāna is a broad movement with great diversity.


Again, I’ve spent time in Chinese Mahayana monasteries in America, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, as well as in a Soen monastery in South Korea and never once heard this. The monks there are all keeping the patimokkha and bodhisattva precepts. This entry confirms what I’ve seen Bodhisattva Precepts - Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia, where it says:

In traditional Mahayana monastic communities in East Asia, a fully ordained monk or nun ordains under the traditional Prātimokṣa precepts first, as described in the Dharmaguptakavinaya . In Chinese ordination, this was referred to as the “Vinaya in Four Parts” ((Chinese: 四分律; pinyin: Shìfēnlǜ; Wade–Giles: Ssŭ-fen lü). Then as a supplement, the same disciple would undertake the Bodhisattva Precepts as well. A monk was not considered “ordained” through by the Bodhisattva Precepts, but rather by the ordaining under the Four Part Vinaya, while the Bodhisattva Precepts served to strengthen the Mahayana ideals.

Also, here’s translation of the Brahma Net Sutra, where the vows are listed: Buddhist Sutra - The Brahma Net Sutra. There’s nothing about abandoning the patimokkha.

You’re going to need to back up your claims with more than “ask any Mahayana monk.”

This isn’t a thread about anti-Theravada polemics in Mahayana, so please keep it on topic. If you want to talk about the bodhisattva precepts in general, please do so in another thread.

I feel the same way, and have only ever been addressing this claim that you made:

I haven’t yet seen any proof that claim is true. The reason I mentioned staying on topic is that this thread has already been seriously derailed, closed, then re-opened, and is in danger of being derailed again. Your argument seems to be shifting away from “monastics holding bodhisattva precepts abandon the patimokkha, and therefore are unable to perform a vinaya ordination” to a general statement against Mahayana. Out of respect to the women, and especially the bhikkunis, I think any further discussion of bodhisattva vows and how they may or may not affect keeping the patimokkha vows, should be moved into another thread. Would you agree @moderators ?

1 Like

It seems that you didnt pay attention to the contents of the sutra . You dont really understand the implication and this is not about against anything at all , you misunderstood me and no need to be so aversive . I am stating in goodwill to explain this , this is just for everyone sake whom want to understand how the ordination of bodhisattva vows would automatically cancel prior bhikkhu/ni ordination which invalidate it . Technically the monks /nuns performing dual ordination with their bodhisattva vows are without valid bhikkhu/ni status in actuality . If anyone find there is nothing wrong with the contents of the sutra then that is up to anyone i have nothing against anything or anyone at all . I wish everyone well in their practice .

Q 1 : what are the Mahayana moral codes ?!
Q 2 : And what are the Hinayana moral codes ?!
Do you understand that Mahayana Vows require to abandon the 2 vehicles which includes the Hinayana moral codes !
Would anyone able to acquire the precepts in the first place and still retain their bhikkhu/ni status thereafter ?
That you have to think fys .
I am done for this topic .

Below are few please read it fys
the Vows . :slight_smile:

  1. On Turning Away from the Mahayana

If a disciple of the Buddha disavows the eternal Mahayana sutras and moral codes, declaring that they were not actually taught by the Buddha, and instead follows and observes those of the Two Vehicles and deluded externalists, he commits a secondary offense.

Teaching Non-Mahayana Dharma

A disciple of the Buddha must teach one and all, from fellow disciples, relatives and spiritual friends, to externalists and evil beings, how to receive and observe the Mahayana sutras and moral codes. He should teach the Mahayana principles to them and help them develop the Bodhi Mind – as well as the Ten Dwellings, the Ten Practices and the Ten Dedications, explaining the order and function of each of these Thirty Minds (levels).

If instead, the disciple, with evil, hateful intentions, perversely teaches them the sutras and moral codes of the Two Vehicle tradition as well as the commentaries of deluded externalists, he thereby commits a secondary offense .

  1. Temporary Abandoning of the Bodhi Mind

A disciple of the Buddha should observe the Bodhisattva precepts every day, whether walking, standing, reclining, or seated – reading and reciting them day and night. He should be resolute in keeping the precepts, as strong as a diamond, as desperate as a shipwrecked person clinging to a small log while attempting to cross the ocean, or as principled as the “Bhiksu bound by reeds”. (86) Furthermore, he should always have a wholesome faith in the teachings of the Mahayana. Conscious that sentient beings are Buddhas-to-be while the Buddhas are realized Buddhas, he should develop the Bodhi Mind and maintain it in each and every thought, without retrogression. (87)

If a Bodhisattva has but a single thought in the direction of the Two Vehicles or externalist teachings, he commits a secondary offense.

Even if it were the case (which it seems not to be) that the Mahāyāna bodhisattva vows contained a clear and unambiguous pronouncement to the effect that one was disrobing (e.g., “As a bodhisattva I now give up the bhikṣu training and return to the lower life of a householder”) the mere utterance of such a statement will only amount to an act of disrobing if this is what the person intends to do. (There are also a bunch of other conditions that need to be fulfilled, btw, such as the would-be disrober being of sound mind, not sick, not angry, etc.)

That being so, your allegation seems to be nullified by the mere fact that when newly ordained Dharmaguptaka bhikṣus take the bodhisattva vows, they do so neither with the intention of disrobing nor with the understanding that taking the vows will be tantamount to disrobing.


I’ve read your Brahmajālasūtra quotes and don’t see even one that would actually support your contention. Of those which you’ve highlighted:

The first prohibits the bodhisattva following the Hīnayāna vinaya instead of the bodhisattva’s precepts. That doesn’t mean that the Hīnayāna vinaya is not to be followed at all; it means that by itself it’s deemed an insufficient moral code for a Mahāyāna Bodhisattva.

The second prohibits him from perversely teaching the Hīnayāna vinaya with evil hateful intentions. It doesn’t prohibit him from non-perversely teaching it with good and non-hateful intentions (as, for example, the late Master Hua and the Dalai Lama often did).

And the third has to do with Dharma, not Vinaya.


I dont understand this forum , something shares here being taken as offensive or against this forum .
Well , it is ok anyone dont understand the contents or they might see it differently . Btw , this is a weird forum , a good intention sharing being rejected angrily by many . Few ex Mahayana monks whom i know told me they discontinue as chinese bodhisattva vows monks with 20 over rains and re-take in the Theravada tradition the bhikkhu ordination because they said they lost their bhikkhu status (precepts) the moment they undertook the bodhisattva ordination . Therefore , i didnt invent anything out of thin air but sincerely sharing knowledge and worries that many would not get a Valid ordination in the first place through dual ordination .

And to moderators , please cancel my membership . I am really dissapointed with such unkind unreasonable peoples here .
Thank you again to everyone .

I dont understand why
ALL my posts get FLAGS !

Ps . :sweat_smile:

And several current monks have now told you that this was mistaken. Who is being “unreasonable” here?

:joy: I’m sure they will be happy to give you a full refund of your subscription price :joy:

1 Like

I can’t verify a hypothesis, since you withdrawn a lot of the flagged posts.

From the one post I could see, it might be because you use the terminology hinayana to equate to theravada.

Anyway, I don’t think it’s too bad a push back. Just relax. Meditate for a while. I think it’s a serious claim and people are just trying to investigate. So don’t take things personally.

1 Like

I really dont understand your saying .

No , i Cited the Mahayana sutra sentences . The Mahayana called the “theravada” hinayana . That is how the words presented according to the sutra not by myself opinion . There must be a serious misunderstanding here .

Dear @Gene

We are delighted to have you participate in this forum, but if you choose to do so please note that we will understand your participation as a commitment to adhere to the simple principles given in these guidelines. They are intended as an aid to help you safeguard this community and keep the forum a kind, supportive, and enriching place for Dhamma discourse underpinned by Right Speech.

These are the forum guidelines

Please do consider the following:

  • Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said
  • Please avoid posting in quick succession, give some thought to what you want to say based on close inspection of what others have already stated
  • Do not make personal attacks or assumptions about another user (their understanding, knowledge etc), criticize ideas, not people
  • Step away from discussions that have become combative
  • Please show the forum and your fellow practitioners the same respect shown in a temple.
  • Please keep to the main topic of the thread

Thank you


Moderator/s ,
You dont even provides any reasons for all the posts get flagged .
I really dont understand how this forum runs .
Please cancel my membership .
I have enough with all these i have nothing further to say .

I think this thread has pretty much run its course. So, in closing, I just wanted to add that based on my understanding of the Mahayana teachings, the defining feature of Mahayana as opposed to “Hinayana” is the motivation for practice and attaining enlightenment, not what monastic rules one keeps. What that means to Mahayana folks is practicing and striving for a kind of enlightenment that has as its goal being responsible for liberating all sentient beings, not the enlightenment of the arahant, where one just checks out of samsara for good. So the quotes from the Brahma Net Sutra refer to teaching the path of arahantship (so-called personal liberation) and not the bodhisattva path (where you vow to liberate all sentient beings). It has nothing to do with the patimokkha. Bodhicitta, the mind aspiring to the liberation of all sentient beings, is completely independent of what rules one follows as a monastic. However, the bodhisattva precepts do take precedence over the patimokkha. So it’s seen as better to break a patimokkha rule to keep a bodhisattva precept than the other way around.

I can’t speak to what a few people have said, other than to mention that it’s quite a small sample size, isn’t in accord with is shown in the sutras themselves, and doesn’t reflect the understanding of the greater Mahayana community as a whole. I don’t doubt that this was said, and the people who said it believed it, but that doesn’t necessarily make it true.