plwk wrote:How do Theravadin Buddhists...
For any explanation you receive, keep in mind that I don't believe the Buddha himself gave instructions on such matters.
Therefore explanations may just as likely be reflective of local cultural practices, as they are "Theravadin" practices. (There is some overlap between the two)
Through corruption of the Dhamma comes corruption of the discipline, and from corruption of the discipline comes corruption of the Dhamma. This is the first future danger as yet unarisen that will arise in the future. You should recognize it and make an effort to prevent it. (AN 5.79)
Neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it. (DN 16)