UPDATE to NKT ordination
April 18, 2011
In a former post I investigated the case of NKT ordination and I asked the question “Are NKT monks and nuns authentic?“. This time I wish to give a slightly different answer to this question.
Actual, one could also answer this question in another or more differentiated way than done in the previous post. E.g. one could say, yes, they are authentic rabjung ordainees but they are not actual monks or nuns who hold the vows of Buddhist monks or nuns, because the rabjung ordination does not confer actual vows. The rabjung ordainee makes promises that belong to the class of “non-revelatory form of virtuous and non-virtuous in-betweens”. Therefore, becoming a rabjung is a virtuous promise but it is not a vow. The advantage is that such a odrination generates habits that bring one closer to getting and holding an actual vow—like that of a novice monk or nun (tib. getsul, getsul ma) or a fully ordained monk (tib. gelong). These promises of a rabjung have neither positively nor negatively the impact of a full vow. (For details see Abhidharma-kośa [Tib. chos mngon pa mdzod] by Vasubandhu.)
Janggya Rolpay Dorje explains that not only Vaibashika but also Prasangika accepts non-revelatory form and that in both systems vows are non-revelatory form.
March 09, 2012
According to the commentary of Lharampa Geshe Tenzin Tenpel given during the Abhidharmakosha Class of the Master Program at the 27th of October 2011 in the context of the 4th chapter about the Pratimoksha vows: a Rabjung ordination is not an actual vow.