"Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

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Tex
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"Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby Tex » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:56 pm

Simple question, is there a reason why the title "Bhikkhu" is sometimes placed before the Dhamma name and sometimes after?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:24 pm

I have no Idea but a question myself why do some use Bhikkhu, and others don't?
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Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:33 pm

Good question Tex,

A follow-up is whether "Bhikkhu" qualifies as a honorific title when lay people are speaking. My understanding is that it is customary for lay people to add titles, e.g. Phra, Ajahn, etc, in a Thai context, Venerable in an English context, or Bhante anywhere.
So I would refer to "Venerable Bodhi" or "Bhante Bodhi", and I certainly wouldn't address him along the lines of: "Hi Bodhi, how's it going?" :hello:
Whereas another Bhikkhu could refer to or address him simply as "Bodhi".

If' I'm confused about this, I'd appreciate clarification...

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adeh
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Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby adeh » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:36 pm

Could it be the same as the usage of Sayadaw with Burmese bhikkhus? For example Mahasi Sayadaw wasn't his name [can't remember what it was], but he came from Mahasi [big drum] Temple so it literally means Sayadaw from Mahasi Temple. My teacher here in Mexico is Sayadaw U Nandisena or Dhamma Vihara Sayadaw. Could it be the same with putting Bhikkhu before or after? Just a thought. Adeh.

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Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby Individual » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:20 pm

Tex wrote:Simple question, is there a reason why the title "Bhikkhu" is sometimes placed before the Dhamma name and sometimes after?

Thanks in advance.

It seems likely to be because of the nature of Asian naming conventions. In some (if not most, maybe?) Asian languages, the family name comes first, the individual name comes second, and formal titles or honorifics come even after this. So... Shunryu Suzuki's name in Japanese is backwards: Suzuki Shunryu. And he's often referred to in both English and Japanese as "Suzuki Roshi" (Suzuki the Master). Also, in Japanese, there's the honorific "san" (Japanese equivalent of "Mr" or "Ms."). Instead of calling Suzuki, "Mr. Suzuki," you'd call him, "Suzuki-san."

I suspect that there's a similar case with the languages of Theravada Buddhists -- Burmese, Thai, etc.. Because of the different naming conventions, Bhikkhu Bodhi could also be called Bodhi Bhikkhu and Thanissaro Bhikkhu could also be called Bhikkhu Thanisarro. One naming convention (with the title first) reflects western culture, while the other naming convention (with the title after the dhamma name) reflects eastern culture.
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Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:43 pm

Hi Tex,

Tex wrote:Simple question, is there a reason why the title "Bhikkhu" is sometimes placed before the Dhamma name and sometimes after?


Just regional conventions. 'Bhikkhu' before the name is the norm in Sri Lanka and Burma; 'bhikkhu' after the name is the norm in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. That's assuming the word bhikkhu is used at all, which isn't always the case; in Asia one more often finds 'thera' or some regional title such as 'chao khun' or 'sayadaw' used instead.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby Individual » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:19 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Tex,

Tex wrote:Simple question, is there a reason why the title "Bhikkhu" is sometimes placed before the Dhamma name and sometimes after?


Just regional conventions. 'Bhikkhu' before the name is the norm in Sri Lanka and Burma; 'bhikkhu' after the name is the norm in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. That's assuming the word bhikkhu is used at all, which isn't always the case; in Asia one more often finds 'thera' or some regional title such as 'chao khun' or 'sayadaw' used instead.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

Thank you, Dhammanando Bhikkhu. :)
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