Why monks don't say "I don't know"?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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SarathW
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Why monks don't say "I don't know"?

Post by SarathW »

Why monks don't say "I don't know"?
I have listened to many hundreds of monks and I can't recall any monk saying "I don't know, but this is what it says in the book or Sutta"
Why do monks repeat what is in Sutta as if they really know about it?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Sam Vara
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Re: Why monks don't say "I don't know"?

Post by Sam Vara »

SarathW wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:10 am Why monks don't say "I don't know"?
I have listened to many hundreds of monks and I can't recall any monk saying "I don't know, but this is what it says in the book or Sutta"
Why do monks repeat what is in Sutta as if they really know about it?
I've often heard monks in the Thai Forest Sangha say exactly that: they don't personally know, but can point to a sutta about the topic. I've also heard them say that they can't recall the sutta!
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Dhammanando
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Re: Why monks don't say "I don't know"?

Post by Dhammanando »

SarathW wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:10 am Why monks don't say "I don't know"?
But I've said it three times today.

As indeed a monk ought.
For a disciple who has faith in the Teacher's instruction and lives in unison with it, monks, it is a principle that: ‘The Teacher is the Lord, a disciple am I; the Lord knows, I do not know.’
(MN 70)

https://suttacentral.net/mn70/en/horner
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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Bhikkhu_Jayasara
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Re: Why monks don't say "I don't know"?

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara »

SarathW wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:10 am Why monks don't say "I don't know"?
I have listened to many hundreds of monks and I can't recall any monk saying "I don't know, but this is what it says in the book or Sutta"
Why do monks repeat what is in Sutta as if they really know about it?
This is an interesting issue, because in the Asian Buddhist monastic tradition, as far as I understand and experience, the idea is to not do anything that may make the monastic sangha look bad, so talking about your faults and saying things like " i dont know" might "cause doubt and lack of faith" in people. You have to sort of play a part in the play of "the grand sangha" and act and speak in a certain way that can be obtuse and obscure.

In the west its the opposite, a monastic like me who speaks to westerners and says stuff like " I dont know" or " im not sure" and speaks about speaks about their own struggles, is actually something that westerners really connect with.
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dharmacorps
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Re: Why monks don't say "I don't know"?

Post by dharmacorps »

I've certainly heard my teachers say "I don't know". Sometimes the instances they say that are pretty instructive in and of themselves. It often short circuits people asking bizarre or unanswerable questions. Refusing to give them more fuel to confuse themselves with.
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Re: Why monks don't say "I don't know"?

Post by DooDoot »

SarathW wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:10 am I have listened to many hundreds of monks
Really? I probably have listened to not more than 20.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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SarathW
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Re: Why monks don't say "I don't know"?

Post by SarathW »

In this question, I am mainly concern about the topics such as rebirth, conception, Kamma Vipaka, and Nibbana, etc.
Perhaps even the Jhana attainments.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
SarathW
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Re: Why monks don't say "I don't know"?

Post by SarathW »

Dhammanando wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:51 am
SarathW wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:10 am Why monks don't say "I don't know"?
But I've said it three times today.

As indeed a monk ought.
For a disciple who has faith in the Teacher's instruction and lives in unison with it, monks, it is a principle that: ‘The Teacher is the Lord, a disciple am I; the Lord knows, I do not know.’
(MN 70)

https://suttacentral.net/mn70/en/horner
Thank you Bhante.
I have read this Sutta but I did not notice that important word.
I think every monk should teach this to their followers.
This will eliminate the views among his followers also eliminate the disputes.
:anjali:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Re: Why monks don't say "I don't know"?

Post by Agnikan »

SarathW wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:10 am Why monks don't say "I don't know"?
I don’t know.
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