who's an ajahn?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

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
User avatar
dojhana
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:59 pm
Location: Denmark

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!
Snowmelt
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:56 pm

Re: who's an ajahn?

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

Snowmelt wrote: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" ...


That is correct. Ajahn (with slight variations of spelling) is the Thai pronounciation of the Pali word acariya (aacaariya), which means "teacher".
Mettāya,
Kåre
User avatar
Kare
 
Posts: 682
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:58 am
Location: Norway

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)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
User avatar
gavesako
 
Posts: 1400
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:16 pm
Location: England

Re: who's an ajahn?

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

gavesako wrote: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.


I've heard a similar explanation for the use of the title "Thera". What is correct? How is the correct usage of these titles, Ajahn and Thera?
Mettāya,
Kåre
User avatar
Kare
 
Posts: 682
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:58 am
Location: Norway

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.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7606
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: who's an ajahn?

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

Kare wrote:
gavesako wrote: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.


I've heard a similar explanation for the use of the title "Thera". What is correct? How is the correct usage of these titles, Ajahn and Thera?


Well, in Sri Lanka (as far as I know) pretty much every monk and novice is automatically called "Thero". In Thailand this word is reserved for really senior monks, but is rarely used in connection with their Pali name as such. According to Vinaya, a Thera is one with more than 10 vassas.

See also
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Theranama Sutta
[A Monk] by the Name of Elder
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
User avatar
gavesako
 
Posts: 1400
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:16 pm
Location: England

Re: who's an ajahn?

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

gavesako wrote: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.


Thank you for the replay. I actually know the meaning of Ajahn. I'm more satisfied with Ven. (Ajahn? ;) Gavesako's answer; I know from other sources that the title is given after five years or after no fixed time ???

But, again, who decides that you are a teacher?
david
User avatar
dojhana
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:59 pm
Location: Denmark

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
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests