[Buddha-l] Buddhism and hermaphrodites/intersex people: query

Piya Tan dharmafarer at gmail.com
Mon Jun 2 23:32:04 MDT 2008

Here an mp3 talk by Ajahn Brahm on "Buddhism and Homosexuality".
Although he is a monk who does not indulge in sex, he has is
compassionate towards homosexuality:


There is also a hardcopy article of same, but you need to look this up
yourself on the BSWA website.

With metta,

Piya Tan

On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 1:08 PM, Vicente Gonzalez <vicen.bcn at gmail.com> wrote:
> Sharon wrote:
> SS> I have read Carl Olson's brief article on
> SS> the approach taken by Early Buddhism to hermaphroditism in the Buddhist
> SS> Studies Review which he regards as negative, and have come across a
> SS> section of a translated Pali canon text (Buddhism in Translations by Henry
> SS> Clarke Warren first published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi in 1986) in
> SS> which it is stated that intersex people cannot make the wish to become a
> SS> wheel-turning Buddha.  I have also seen a quotation from the book by
> SS> Serinity Young, "Courtesans and tantric consorts : sexualities in Buddhist
> SS> narrative, iconography and ritual" in which being reborn as intersex is
> SS> described on p.205 as "the lowest possible state amongst men."
> in Thai Theravada:
> http://www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/Archive/J/Jackson/homoBuddhaJackson.html
> http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/issue1-feb-mar-96/jackson/jackson.1.html
> about the Chinese stuff, there is a chapter "Homosexuality and other
> forms of queerness" inside "An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics:
> Foundations, Values and Issues", Peter Harvey.
> Here there is mention to some Chinese mahayana comments arising in 7th
> century around the pandakas consideration. They are an effort to
> distinguish the karmic wish to be treated like a woman of some
> irrecoverable and obsessive lust.
> about Theravada ordination:
> "(1) The prohibition for abnormal gender covers pandakas and
> hermaphrodites. According to the Commentary, there are five kinds of
> pandakas, two of whom do not come under this prohibition: voyeurs and
> those whose sexual fever is allayed by performing fellatio. The three
> who do come under this prohibition are: castrated men (eunuchs), those
> born neuter, and half-time pandakas (people who are sometimes neuter,
> sometimes male (?)). In the origin story for this prohibition, a
> pandaka who had received Acceptance unsuccessfully propositioned some
> bhikkhus and novices, then succeeded in propositioning some horse- and
> elephant-trainers, who spread it about, "These Sakyan contemplatives
> are pandakas. And those among them who are not pandakas commit
> indiscretions with pandakas."
> http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/bmc2/ch14.html
> The pandaka case in origin seems to be closer to an irrecoverable
> attachment to lust and to preserve the social prestige of the Sangha.
> Maybe the later Canon included the physical body appearance as
> something associated with that condition of the mind.
> I have never read in Suttas about the impossibility of awakening for
> pandakas, just about their ordination. Where do you find this? . It
> would be interesting.
> best regards,
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