Monks' & Nuns' names

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Monks' & Nuns' names

Postby being5 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:49 am

Are monks & nuns given their names at ordination?
How are the names chosen and by whom?
Might there be two (or more) monastics contemporary with each other both having the same name?
If names are given at ordination what happens with 'novices' - are they called by their ordinary lay names?

thanks
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Re: Monks' & Nuns' names

Postby gavesako » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:55 am

being5 wrote:Are monks & nuns given their names at ordination?
How are the names chosen and by whom?
Might there be two (or more) monastics contemporary with each other both having the same name?
If names are given at ordination what happens with 'novices' - are they called by their ordinary lay names?

thanks
being5


Yes, monks are given Pali names at ordination, and there is a limited supply of these names which means there will be many "Gavesakos" etc. So often monks will also be called by their given lay names. Novices sometimes don't get a Pali name.

(Note: I am signing off for 3 months because I will be going to Thailand for some retreat time. See you all later.)

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Re: Monks' & Nuns' names

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:04 am

gavesako wrote:(Note: I am signing off for 3 months because I will be going to Thailand for some retreat time. See you all later.)

I hope you find what you are searching for :)

In Burma, the tradition is to give a name depending on the day of the week on which you were born. Someone born on a Thursday, would be given a name beginning with Pa, Pha, Ba, Bha, or Ma. The name is usually chosen by the Preceptor or one of the other monks taking part in the ordination.
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Re: Monks' & Nuns' names

Postby Dugu » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:24 am

What if you didn't like the name they give you, can you make a request for another? just wondering... :mrgreen:
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Re: Monks' & Nuns' names

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:24 pm

Hi Dugu,
Dugu wrote:What if you didn't like the name they give you, can you make a request for another? just wondering... :mrgreen:

I guess the first point is that if one didn't like the name, it would be a good exercise in equanimity...

I've heard one of Ajahn Chah's students (Ajahn Amaro I think) discuss this in one of his Dhamma Talks. As I recall, he got a name he didn't really like (all the impressive names, like Brahamavamso, were used up...) and got a chance to change it later (perhaps after his initial five years). I believe he also said that some monks changed their name every few years (as a sort of identity-reduction exercise).

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Re: Monks' & Nuns' names

Postby Dugu » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:56 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Dugu,
Dugu wrote:What if you didn't like the name they give you, can you make a request for another? just wondering... :mrgreen:

I guess the first point is that if one didn't like the name, it would be a good exercise in equanimity...

I've heard one of Ajahn Chah's students (Ajahn Amaro I think) discuss this in one of his Dhamma Talks. As I recall, he got a name he didn't really like (all the impressive names, like Brahamavamso, were used up...) and got a chance to change it later (perhaps after his initial five years). I believe he also said that some monks changed their name every few years (as a sort of identity-reduction exercise).

Metta
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Cool. :smile:
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Re: Monks' & Nuns' names

Postby BudSas » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:14 pm

gavesako wrote:
Yes, monks are given Pali names at ordination, and there is a limited supply of these names which means there will be many "Gavesakos" etc. So often monks will also be called by their given lay names. Novices sometimes don't get a Pali name.


In Thailand, often the officially ordained Pali names are too long to remember, people usually address the monks by their lay names or nick names which are shorter and easier to remember, eg Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Mun, Ajahn Liam, etc.

This practice of calling shorter names is also popular in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam.

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Re: Monks' & Nuns' names

Postby James N. Dawson » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:30 pm

I was thinking of this just the other day. What would really embarrass and conflict me is if I were given the same name as a very prominent monk. It would make me feel very awkward, and worry that the prominent monk would feel the same way, or even resentful (even if he tried not to be), thinking I might have tried to inluence the teacher in his choice. And if I objected, even politely, I might be seen as ungrateful or troublesome. This is all pretty much academic, since I don't plan to ordain any time soon, but it's just a disturbing possibility I thought of.
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Re: Monks' & Nuns' names

Postby Laurens » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:47 pm

Dugu wrote:What if you didn't like the name they give you, can you make a request for another? just wondering... :mrgreen:


That reminds me of that scene in Reservoir Dogs when they are all being given their code names and they start arguing about them :lol:
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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