[Buddha-l] Another One Bites the Dust

Jo ugg-5 at spro.net
Tue Mar 5 08:22:22 MST 2013

However, Joy, you left out of this account the perpetrator who bribed her to
do it. So you can add to your 'take' on this story that she was obviously a
poor defenseless woman, else she'd not be bribable.
But along with the sexism of the day, she gets the punishment, not the man
who inveigled her into doing it.  
I prefer to view such stories as moralistic folklore.

Sure stories of rivalry, jealousy and sheer malignancy account for tons of
paper (or palm leaves) and ink. I would make a distinction for sexual
scandals, where things aren't that clear cut, and where, as the Buddha says,
/"Sister, only you and I know whether you are speaking the truth or not,"/.
There will always remain a doubt.And if the slightest doubt remains, will
the catharsis take place ? That is why in Cincamanavika's story Sakka and
the opening of the gates of Hell have to come to the rescue of the Buddha.In
the Vinaya, Buddhists have tried to avoid ambiguous situation as much as
possible, because Sakka has a very busy schedule.

But this story, invented by a clever lawyer, is probably based on real
facts. A woman or women could have been spotted, going to a monastery in the
evenings, and coming out of it in the mornings. Not necessarily to see the
Buddha, but he would have been addressed because he was the manager. This is
very likely to have happened, even in Buddhist monasteries. If they became
pregnant, the bravest ones could have turned to the manager of the monastery
for financial help. In order to dissuade women from doing so,this story
could have been invented. If women weren't capable of proving beyond doubt
that they had intercourse with a monk, then the truth would only be known by
the woman and the monk. 
Everyone else could only go by their sympathy for the woman's case or by
their faith in the monks' integrity. A women who didn't have enough proof
would be considered a liar. And not only that, she could only have lied
because she wanted to destroy the reputation of a monk and of the sangha,
and thereby of the Buddha.A very evil person indeed.This story is a warning
to any woman who would consider accusing a monk of having slept with
her.She'd better have excellent proof or witnesses, or else she'd better
shut up.

That's how I read the story.

/"Bhikkhu;, one who is not afraid to tell lies, and who does not care what
happens in the future existence, will not hesitate to do any evil."/

Le 04/03/2013 18:47, Richard Hayes a écrit :
> I believe the Buddha is a fictional character—or to put it more 
> accurately, I believe that most of the stories that have come down to 
> us are highly fictionalized accounts of someone who may have almost 
> existed—but I can easily make sense of stories of accusations being 
> made against a hero, who then rises above the attempts to smear his 
> reputation. Just as Gotama rose about the attempts of his wicked 
> cousin to assassinate him, he rose above the attempts of troubled 
> women to assassinate his character. That makes for excellent fiction.
> Even if nothing remotely like that ever happened in real life, a good 
> story teller would need to add a bit of tawdry narrative.

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