I wonder if Mahayanabhikkhus can perform a Theravadin ordination and have the ordination be recognized as valid by the Theravadin bhikkhusangha without doing dalhikamma?

What if the theravadins do a dalhikamma for a monk who took theravadin ordination performed by mahayana monks? Can he get full acceptance in the Theravada then?

If not, can a dalhikamma be performed for the Mahayana monks as to make them eligible to perform Theravadin ordinations or must they re-ordain as Theravadins?

Finally, can a monk be considered to have full ordination in both mahayana and theravada?

1 Answer 1


Answer to first question: no. His ordination will be deemed invalid by the vast majority of Theravada monks.

Second question: if the "dalhikamma" constitutes a valid ordination procedure by Pali Vinaya standards then he'll be accepted as a newly ordained monk. Thus it wouldn't really count as a "dalhikamma" as normally understood. These are usually carried out in cases where the validity of the monk's ordination is merely in doubt - i.e. a Theravada ordination that is suspected - but not known - to have had a crucial factor missing. Mahāyāna ordinations are not considered doubtful from Pali Vinaya standards- they're a clear-cut case of invalid ordination.

Third question should be answered above. They need to reordain.

Fourth: from strict Theravāda perspective - since MY ordination is inherently invalid they wouldn't count as "ordained" as a Buddhist monk simply by their MY ordination. Only their TV ordination would count. At most MY ordination would count as ordination in another religion. If they gained MY ordination after TV ordination they would potentially be viewed as having gone over to another religion while still ordained as a Buddhist monk, and thus be banned from the Theravada Sangha for life (see Mahāvagga of Vinaya). From Buddhist Monastic Code by Ven. Ṭhānissaro:

"A bhikkhu going over to another religion is one who—while still a bhikkhu—takes on that religion’s mode of dress or, in the case of naked ascetics, goes naked and adopts with approval any of their modes of practice. At present, it could be argued that the Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna, with their separate canons and modes of practice at odds with the Pali Canon, are different enough from the Theravāda to count as separate religions under this prohibition, but this is a controversial point."

"And which is the individual who has not been granted admittance who, if the Community admits him, is wrongly admitted? A paṇḍaka… one living in affiliation by theft… one who has gone over (while a bhikkhu) to another religion…an animal… a matricide… a patricide… a murderer of an arahant… a molester of a bhikkhunī… a schismatic… one who has shed (a Tathāgata’s) blood… a hermaphrodite not yet granted admittance, if the Community admits him, is wrongly admitted [C: No matter how many times that person may be granted Acceptance, he/she does not count as a bhikkhu].”—Mv.IX.4.10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .