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who's an ajahn? - Dhamma Wheel

who's an ajahn?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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dojhana
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who's an ajahn?

Postby dojhana » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:01 pm

I've got a few questions about being a teacher and teaching in the theravada tradition. My questions come up in connection with the posture of other traditions toward this matter but I would like to know how this is seen here without comparing.

when is a bhikkhu called ajahn? when does she/he begin to teach? does the bhikkhu/bhikkhuni decide when to do it or is there any other one who decides for him/herself?

What is the role of the teacher anyway in the Theravada tradition?

Is there anything like a lineage? (my first impression is no, but I've noticed how certain groups present themselves as "practicing in the line of Ajahn Chah or Ajahn Bram or Ajahn Sumedho...)

Anjali,

david
david

Snowmelt
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Re: who's an ajahn?

Postby Snowmelt » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:23 pm

Ajahn Brahm and Ajahn Sumedho are students of the late Ajahn Chah. All are members of the Thai Forest Tradition. I believe that "ajahn" means "teacher" and is a title given to a monk or nun after nine or ten years of study and practice in a monastery or nunnery. To me, they and others like them are lovely people who have the most peaceful hearts and minds on earth. :) Even more wonderful, they are willing to teach others how to be like them!

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Kare
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Re: who's an ajahn?

Postby Kare » Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:19 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre

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gavesako
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Re: who's an ajahn?

Postby gavesako » Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:30 pm

Ajahn, Acharn, Ajaan, Ajarn, Achaan... it is just a convention really and the Thais have several other terms for more senior (teaching) monks. But in the Western Ajahn Chah community, this term is used for monks and nuns who have 10+ Rains (vassa) or years behind them.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Kare
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Re: who's an ajahn?

Postby Kare » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:19 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre

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cooran
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Re: who's an ajahn?

Postby cooran » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:02 pm

Hello all,

Ajahn is a term of respect for a teacher ~ not necessarily an ordained member of the Sangha, and not necessarily one who is of the male gender.

This is my Abhidhamma Teacher in Bangkok .... Tahn Ajahn Sujin Boriharnwanaket, who, as you see is a female and a lay person. Ordained sangha come to hear her teachings.
http://www.wfb-hq.org/Aj_%20Sujin%202008.html

metta
Chris
Last edited by cooran on Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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gavesako
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Re: who's an ajahn?

Postby gavesako » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:51 am

Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
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dojhana
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Re: who's an ajahn?

Postby dojhana » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:06 am

david

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Cittasanto
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Re: who's an ajahn?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:28 am

Hi dojhana
I think it was Sumedho who was trusted to teach after 5years of being a monk but no mention of how many rains he had done.
there is another thread with a similar discussion on which may shed some light for you.
I know there is an ordination ceremony to become a Dhammachariya but that may just be within one monestery or sect, but I would imagine that a monk would be "given the title" when they were trusted enough to teach or started to teach as far as I can tell their is no actual formula in which the title is used.

With MEtta
Manapa


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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