Dharmaguptaka Vinaya and ordination of gay people

I feel the relation of ayurveda to the buddhadharma is such an open and mysterious question, and one so rarely asked here with respect to the historical ascetic Gautama, that it could well be worth a thread of enquiry all its own. I think I might make such a thread with your blessing, as I myself have nothing other than suspicions and no super solid facts as to when ayurveda “began”, if you will.

Sorry, I had other things to concentrate on, so I didn’t see the suttacentral in the previous days.

Yes, I think that’s basically my position.

I don’t believe the five pandakas as describing homosexual. They may have sex (or sexual contact, like embrace) with men, may with women.

I speculate the description for some pandaka having sex with men is because they have no male genitals or have impotence problem. They can’t satisfy sex with women. So they have to find men to have sex or enjoy sex.

That’s why though they may have sex with men, they may still want sex with women (If their impotence problem can be solved). This is where the relation between pandaka and the Ayurveda medicine. To cure the impotence (or infertility).

Still, some pandakas can not be cured by the Ayurveda medicine, like napumsakapandaka or opakkamikapandaka.

And I think pandaka mainly be pointed toward napumsakapandaka or opakkamikapandaka. The reason is based on the Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra (瑜伽師地論) calling the napumsaka-pandaka as complete-pandaka (全分半擇迦), the opakkamika-pandaka as damaged-pandaka (損害半擇迦), and the other three as somewhat-pandaka (一分半擇迦).

So the napumsaka-pandaka is complete-pandaka (no male genitals) from born. Opakkamika-pandaka is complete-pandaka from becoming eunuch or accidents. And these two can’t be cured through the Ayurveda medicine to recover male genitals’ function.

The other three are somewhat-pandaka, and seem to have some temporary treatments, or knowing how to inform the impotent patients what to do (from the Ayurvedic view).

In addition, the Pali Vinaya’s Commentary said only napumsaka, opakkamika, and pakkha are barred from ordination, with a caveat that the last can still be ordained during the “bright fortnight”. (This information comes from Semen, Viagra and Pandaka: Ancient Endocrinology and Modern Day Discrimination* | Likhitpreechakul | Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies )

So the napumsaka and opakkamika seem to be the main pandaka. Well, that’s what I think.

I am sorry to rejuvenate this post but I don’t want to create a new post just for this topic

Can anyone enlighten me on differences between a paṇḍaka and a hermaphrodite ?

Hi, this is what I found by searching for the term within this forum :



Hi @Gabriel_L . Please disregard that first article. Many of the things I said there I have revised in the essay of the second one. So please only use ‘Through the Yellow Gate’. There the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya is also mentioned and discussed in more detail.


Thanks for the pdf :heart::heart:

I have read it I am interested in your “anatta makes all social background a moot point” argument

But What’s the relationship between homosexuality/heterosexuality/transgender and anatta and do you think people must be asexual in order to fulfill anatta and become enlightened ?

Good work! I just wanted to say, there’s another big reason why some people might be against ordaining gay people, and that is for the same reason that monks and nuns aren’t allowed to live under the same roof. The gender separation is really based around separating people who are sexually attracted to each other. That’s simple enough for straight people, but not so for homosexual or bisexual people.

Of course a significant amount of gay sex does go on in Buddhist monasteries (so far as I can gather from the many accounts reported to me by monastics and ex-monastics in various Asian countries at least), as it does in most or all single sex institutions around the world. And some of that is connected to homosexuality. Though a lot of it is just straight males having sex with other straight males since they have less chance of getting caught and also see it as a lesser ethical breach than if they were to have sex with a woman. I guess letting in people who are openly gay would make things potentially significantly more difficult. Although in theory, in a situation like the Thai Forest Tradition, with practitioners in individual huts, that might be less of an issue!

[Edit: Some people have misunderstood my words above, so for clarification, here is some additional explanation. When I say ‘that’ is simple enough for straight people, I am referring to the fact that it is very easy to separate a straight monk or nun from the whole group of people they are inherently attracted to sexually, via sex segregation, as has been done for the last two and a half millennia. The reason it is not simple in that way for homosexual or bisexual people is that sex segregation does not distance them from the inherent object of their sexual attraction. In this way, the primary mechanism of external monastic control over this matter, segregation, is made ineffective.]

Question : isnt that in ordination , one would have to answer if they are a man or woman when being asked ?
How would a gay answer then ?

A man would answer that they are a man, a woman that they are a woman. Isn’t that quite simple?

Sure but how would you explain gay according to buddhism or its vinaya ? Or how do you define gay in according to buddhism ? :thinking:

Gay just means you’re attracted to people of the same sex, not the opposite sex. I think something like 3~10% of people are gay, it is common to all cultures and all times. It’s very usual! I don’t think there’s any problem in explaining it to anyone of any religion. But it can be a bit of an issue in sexually segregated communities, since the usual motivation for separating people into male and female, is to prevent people being near people to whom they may be attracted.

But like I said, even among heterosexual people, if you separate them by sex, often some of them will have homosexual sex anyway. This is common in prisons, for example. And I have heard many reports of this in monasteries, and boarding schools also. So, this issue is not limited to gay people. But, it’s understandable that some monasteries would have some concerns when it comes to gay people. It would be similar to letting monks and nuns live in the same building. But it is not impossible to overcome. And historically there have anyway been plenty of gay monks and nuns, and I’m sure many or perhaps most of them have kept their vows just fine.

I know this but i dont understand how if this is to fit into the monastic structure in according to vinaya ? That it isnt defined in buddhism vinaya .

Ah I see. Sorry I cannot help with that. I have been interested in the Vinaya for a long time, well not so much but often curious, however I could never access it. But now that it has finally been translated, that is a great resource for us! Hopefully we can all gradually study it and understand more.

Hi everyone, when replying recently I neglected to notice that I had myself created this topic, 4 years ago! I am too busy these days but if anyone wants to take any of the evidence uncovered in this topic and use it in presenting arguments to monasteries that are against gay ordination, please do so, and please share it with anyone who might find it useful in such endeavours. I think using critical examination of Vinaya issues via the texts is a good way of addressing such ethical issues, and seems to me in keeping with the age old tradition of resolving doctrinal disagreements within Buddhism. :pray: