are mosquito nets "cheating"?

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Re: are mosquito nets "cheating"?

Post by SarathW »

Thank you, Bhante.
Can a monk attain Nibbana with so many rules and regulation to follow?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Re: are mosquito nets "cheating"?

Post by Dhammanando »

SarathW wrote:Can a monk attain Nibbana with so many rules and regulation to follow?
I'm sure that the rules and regulations that you need to follow to be a law-abiding Sri Lankan citizen are far numerous and more complicated than the monastic Vinaya. Nevertheless, in the course of a typical day it's unlikely that you'll spend a lot of time thinking about all those rules (unless you happen to be a lawyer). There are some (e.g. traffic laws) that you'll obey out of sheer habit and there are others (e.g. not murdering people) that you'll obey because it never occurs to you to do otherwise. Then there are some laws that you might need to think about, but only every now and then, such as when you're filling in a tax declaration.

The Vinaya is much the same in this regard: some rules a monk follows out of habit because that's how he was trained in his formative years, and others because it doesn't occur to him to do the prohibited action. Then every now and then there'll be some event (e.g. the establishing of a monastery sīmā) that requires the monk to give a bit of thought to the matter and maybe hit the books if he's forgotten the details.
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Re: are mosquito nets "cheating"?

Post by paul »

Can the monk carry a mosquito net with him when he travels from place to place?

All Thai forest monks on dhutanga carry an umbrella with a mosquito net attached called a klot and have been so doing so since at least the start of the 20th century. What the middle way means is by practice of renunciation to bring the defilements to a point where you repeatedly challenge and deny them, but not to go to an extreme of asceticism. A mosquito net is in the spirit of this.
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Re: are mosquito nets "cheating"?

Post by chongman99 »

Dhammanando wrote: Sun May 28, 2017 6:18 am
R1111 wrote:Did the ancient monks use nets?
Yes, and fans too.
  • Now at that time bhikkhus were pestered by mosquitoes. They told this matter to the Blessed One. He said: “I allow, bhikkhus, a mosquito-net.”
    (Vin. ii. 119)

    Now at that time a mosquito-fan accrued to the saṅgha. They told this matter to the Blessed One. He said: “I allow, bhikkhus, a mosquito-fan.”
    (Vin. ii. 130)
Here is a link with an interesting distinction made about fans to drive away flies.
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Re: are mosquito nets "cheating"?

Post by Mr. Seek »

I wouldn't call it cheating, more like an appropriate alternative for the times. Back then they probably had some methods too, like burning dung, mushrooms, plants, etc., so as to repel instincts. Or they would smear their bodies with dirt, herbs, etc. You can't really do any of that nowadays, you'd get arrested or looked down upon, etc. Plus, people and mosquitoes, and ticks, and forests, and our immune systems, physical and spiritual dispositions, are different than they used to be 2500 years ago.

Buddhist monks aren't in the forests to mortify themselves and do tapas like some Indian ascetics out to get jivamukti. They go there to find peace and seclude themselves. If there are bears, mosquitoes, whatever, they have to take precautions, otherwise they'd just die dumb, unless they're some super advanced practicioners who have reached a certain stage where insects no longer bother them.
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Re: are mosquito nets "cheating"?

Post by Dharmasherab »

Nets are completely fine. It doesnt matter whether you are indoors or outdoors - the mosquitoes will get you anyway. I am from an Asian country where I dont have any memory of a night where I havnt either seen or got stung by a mosquito.
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