Thai Theravadin monks and money

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A fool from HK
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Re: Thai Theravadin monks and money

Postby A fool from HK » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:41 am

SarathW wrote:My real concern here is the prosperity of the Sasana (Sangha organisation)
In Sri Lanka many people do not respect monks.
Even if they pretend to respect the monks, they talk behind their back.
The reason is we know that many of the monks are not virtues.
Many monks break the third and the fifth precept.
:cry:

3rd precept........where did the women come from for them to break the precept?
That is very sad, I thought Theravada countries are better.....

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appicchato
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Re: Thai Theravadin monks and money

Postby appicchato » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:40 am

...3rd precept........where did the women come from for them to break the precept?


People (often) call others who do bad things 'animals'...ha!...they (every last one of them) are saints compared to the madness we get up to...

ps...3rd precept?...a day's reading of world (and local) news will quickly put that (and monks using money) into perspective...

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Thai Theravadin monks and money

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:41 am

A fool from HK wrote:3rd precept........where did the women come from for them to break the precept?
That is very sad, I thought Theravada countries are better.....

Monks don't need a woman to break the 3rd precept.

They can also do it all by themselves.
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lostitude
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Re: Thai Theravadin monks and money

Postby lostitude » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:31 pm

Hello,

Sorry to bump up an old thread, but I've been wondering about this issue.
I don't really understand why monks have to place themselves in a situation where they become reliant on people's donations, to the point of becoming a burden to society.
Has the Christian model of monks working their lands and either eating or trading their farm produce to sustain themselves ever been considered? How is the no-money/reliance-on-society-for-food system better for a monk's spiritual development than working the earth and living off your own produce, and not asking laypeople for anything?

Thanks

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Thai Theravadin monks and money

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:48 pm

lostitude wrote:How is the no-money/reliance-on-society-for-food system better for a monk's spiritual development than working the earth and living off your own produce, and not asking laypeople for anything?


With a few exceptions, like drinking-water, monks are not allowed to ask lay people for anything, until invited to ask.

On farming, see the Kasibhāradvāja Sutta
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lostitude
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Re: Thai Theravadin monks and money

Postby lostitude » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:13 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
lostitude wrote:How is the no-money/reliance-on-society-for-food system better for a monk's spiritual development than working the earth and living off your own produce, and not asking laypeople for anything?


With a few exceptions, like drinking-water, monks are not allowed to ask lay people for anything, until invited to ask.
Thank you for your answer. I have never seen an alms round but, in practice, don't laypeople feel they have an obligation to feed the monks? And from a moral point of view, how to justify such donations when nothing seems to be given in return (unless I have missed something)?

On farming, see the Kasibhāradvāja Sutta
Thanks again. So my question is not exactly new then :) but still, sorry for being so prosaic, but whatever the Buddha says he sows and plows, does not feed his body. What I don't understand is why it's either cultivating your land or cultivating your mind and why it cannot be both.

If my understanding is correct, laypeople sacrifice part of the fruit of their work for the benefit of monks.
Is it because monks, in turn, see themselves as working for the benefit of laypeople? If the purpose is to become a boddhisatva and save others afterwards I would understand, but since no such thing seems to exist in theravada and you only work towards your own liberation, I don't see how to justify this one-way street of being offered food without anything in return. Please do not see any judgement in my question as I am only trying to make sense of it.

Thanks!

santa100
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Re: Thai Theravadin monks and money

Postby santa100 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:48 pm

lostitude wrote:And from a moral point of view, how to justify such donations when nothing seems to be given in return (unless I have missed something)?

The act of giving alone, regardless of whether the recipient is a monk or a regular person, already bring tremendous merits to the giver. At a minimum, s/he has practiced the letting go of unwholesome kammas like greed, clinging, stinginess, etc. At a broader level, it is 1 out of 3 grounds for gaining merits for the current life and the many lives to come. And ultimately, the interaction between lay people and the monks during the alms round provide precious opportunities for the propagation of a precious AND living Dhamma and sowing the wholesome seeds of enlightenment to everyone in the community:
Iti-60 wrote:This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these three grounds for meritorious activity. Which three? The ground for meritorious activity made of giving, the ground for meritorious activity made of virtue, and the ground for meritorious activity made of development [meditation]. These are the three grounds for meritorious activity."


Train in acts of merit
that bring long-lasting bliss —
develop giving,
a life in tune,
a mind of good-will.
Developing these
three things
that bring about bliss,
the wise reappear
in a world of bliss
unalloyed.

Caodemarte
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Re: Thai Theravadin monks and money

Postby Caodemarte » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:59 pm

From a lay perspective, my understanding is that SE Asian lay Theravada Buddhists do see monks as working towards the benefit of society as whole. They provide moral light and a moral example. They are absolutely essential to the functioning of society. Additionally, monks often provide guidance on a variety of issues to the public and are seen as its protector. Donation also generates a good bit of merit for society so providing the opportunity to give a donation is often seen as a gift from the sangha to the donors. Refusing a donation means the sangha is condemning the donor (see the refusal of Burmese monks to accept a donation from the former government; this was seen as a major blow). In most majority Theravadin countries, the state historically got a great deal of legitimacy from its role as protector of the sangha.

Traditionally, if a monk is really bad, people just refuse to donate or donate rotten food. In theory, the monk will then be forced to move on because he has no food source so this also way to control the sangha.

The really bad aspect of this identification of the sangha with society and the nation (and a nation is often seen as a specific ethnic group) is that it can turn into a vicious ethno-nationalism, as we have seen in Burma and Sri Lanka.
Last edited by Caodemarte on Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Thai Theravadin monks and money

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:00 pm

These questions are answered in this documentary made soon after Chithurst Buddhist Monastery was opened in West Sussex.

phpBB [video]


The comment at 8:12 is priceless. Money cannot buy stuff like this. :rofl:

I think the lady at 17;45 is now Ajahn Candasiri who has recently started a hermitage in Scotland.
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theY
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Re: Thai Theravadin monks and money

Postby theY » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:39 pm

fivebells wrote:I came across this interesting passage in Ajaan Lee's autobiography. It surprised me, because I understood that monks aren't supposed to handle money at all. Is it an aberration, or can monks carry small amounts of money when traveling alone in urban areas? (Seems like a practical exception, in some ways.)

I had no idea of how to find my way to Wat Sra Pathum, so I called a rickshaw driver and asked him, ‘How much will you charge to take me to Wat Sra Pathum?’
‘Fifty satang.’
‘Fifty satang? Why so much? Wat Sra Pathum is practically just around the corner!’ So in the end he took me for fifteen satang


I had have an ordination in no money monk group for 6 years. In that 6 years, I have never used any money on my traveling.

It have many way to go, but idiot and lazy monks/ubasakas don't care to find the way.
Tipitaka memorization is a rule of monks. It isn't just a choice. They must done it.
bahussuto nāma tividho hoti – nissayamuccanako, parisupaṭṭhāpako, bhikkhunovādakoti.
http://dhamma-comment.blogspot.com/2016/09/tipitaka-memorization-is-rule-of-monks.html


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