Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Alex123
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Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by Alex123 »

As I understand it, monastics aren't supposed to have money.

What about having a bank card with emergency money (never for luxuries!) in case of needing expensive medical procedure, visa, and/or just in case one is forced to disrobe (not due to one's fault) and needs clothing, place to live until finding a job?

Is that allowed?


Thanks.
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robertk
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by robertk »

Alex123 wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 12:58 pm As I understand it, monastics aren't supposed to have money.

What about having a bank card with emergency money (never for luxuries!) in case of needing expensive medical procedure, visa, and/or just in case one is forced to disrobe (not due to one's fault) and needs clothing, place to live until finding a job?

Is that allowed?


Thanks.
Not allowed.
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Alex123
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by Alex123 »

robertk wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 1:06 pm Not allowed.
If one needs visa renewal, then I guess someone in the monastery will pay for that bhikkhu?
Right?

Also,
If one is forced to disrobe, then without money, how does one manage to go back to lay life?
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robertk
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by robertk »

Alex123 wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 1:23 pm
robertk wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 1:06 pm Not allowed.
If one needs visa renewal, then I guess someone in the monastery will pay for that bhikkhu?
Right?

Also,
If one is forced to disrobe, then without money, how does one manage to go back to lay life?
Yes, someone will cover that.


After disrobing the ex-bhikkhu can see if his family will reinstate what he left behind. Of course they might not.
Then he would need to find a job.

There is a story in the Commentary of an group of bhikkhu who laughed on seeing a poor man covered in black dust from his job as a charcoal maker.
He told then he was once a monk who had skill in jhana but had fallen so far - and it might happen to them.
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by Alino »

What if one have an bank account on his name, or have some propriety in some country but have no physical access to it, he can't ordain ?
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santa100
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by santa100 »

Alino wrote:What if one have an bank account on his name, or have some propriety in some country but have no physical access to it, he can't ordain ?
One can easily transfer ownership, or at the very least adding co-ownership of his bank account, properties, etc. to family members. Remember the Vinayas are there not to stiffle one's path toward liberation. It's there to help, and the more burdens one is able to put down and let go, the less obstacles on the path one'll have to face while walking on it. It's a matter of perspective afterall, to a puthujjhana, gigantic bank accounts or luxury properties are one man's biggest dream, but to an ascetic sincerely pursuing Ultimate Liberation, they're tremendous hindrances, like heavy baggages a camel has to carry on its back while crossing the desert.
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Alex123
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by Alex123 »

robertk wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 1:54 pm There is a story in the Commentary of an group of bhikkhu who laughed on seeing a poor man covered in black dust from his job as a charcoal maker.
He told then he was once a monk who had skill in jhana but had fallen so far - and it might happen to them.
That is such a sad story! :(

It is another reason why I think that having bank card (but not using it of course) is a good idea as not everyone has a family/friends to go to in case something happens.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

A lay person can hold donations in trust for a monk. This treasurer is called a Kappiya = one who makes allowable.

The donations given to the treasurer (or to a Trust) do not belong to a monk or a monastic community, nor do they belong to the treasurer; they still belong to the donors. If the treasurer fails to provide what the monk(s) need, the donors should be informed so that they can recover their donations if they wish.

Donations of cash, credit transfers, etc., are allowable for lay supporters of a monk; but not for monks. Robes, dwelling-places, food, and medicine are allowable for monks. If a monk needs anything that is allowable, he can inform the kappiya of his needs, informing the treasurer about bills that need to be paid, tickets that he needs, etc.

Some say that bank cards and cheques are allowable because they are not gold, silver, or coins (jātarūparajataṃ), but they perform the functions of money, so they are not allowable.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

The rule regarding funds given to a treasurer for a monk's requisites is Nissaggiyā Pācittayā 10, Rājasikkhāpadaṃ.
Buddhist Monastic Code wrote:10. In case a king, a royal official, a brahmin or a householder sends a robe fund for the sake of a bhikkhu via a messenger (saying), “Having purchased a robe with this robe fund, supply the bhikkhu named so‑and‑so with a robe”: If the messenger, approaching the bhikkhu, should say, “This is a robe fund being delivered for the sake of the venerable one. May the venerable one accept this robe fund,” then the bhikkhu is to tell the messenger: “We do not accept robe funds, my friend. We accept robes (robe‑cloth) as are proper according to season.”
If the messenger should say to the bhikkhu, “Does the venerable one have a steward?” then, bhikkhus, if the bhikkhu desires a robe, he may indicate a steward — either a monastery attendant or a lay follower — (saying), “That, my friend, is the bhikkhus’ steward.”
If the messenger, having instructed the steward and going to the bhikkhu, should say, “I have instructed the steward the venerable one indicated. May the venerable one go (to him) and he will supply you with a robe in season,” then the bhikkhu, desiring a robe and approaching the steward, may prompt and remind him two or three times, “I have need of a robe.” Should (the steward) produce the robe after being prompted and reminded two or three times, that is good.
If he does not produce the robe, (the bhikkhu) should stand in silence four times, five times, six times at most for that purpose. Should (the steward) produce the robe after (the bhikkhu) has stood in silence for the purpose four, five, six times at most, that is good.
If he should not produce the robe (at that point), should he then produce the robe after (the bhikkhu) has endeavoured further than that, it is to be forfeited and confessed.
If he should not produce (the robe), then the bhikkhu himself should go to the place from which the robe fund was brought, or a messenger should be sent (to say), “The robe fund that you, venerable sirs, sent for the sake of the bhikkhu has given no benefit to the bhikkhu at all. May the you be united with what is yours. May what is yours not be lost.” This is the proper course here.
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by Alino »

santa100 wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 8:56 pm
Alino wrote:What if one have an bank account on his name, or have some propriety in some country but have no physical access to it, he can't ordain ?
One can easily transfer ownership, or at the very least adding co-ownership of his bank account, properties, etc. to family members. Remember the Vinayas are there not to stiffle one's path toward liberation. It's there to help, and the more burdens one is able to put down and let go, the less obstacles on the path one'll have to face while walking on it. It's a matter of perspective afterall, to a puthujjhana, gigantic bank accounts or luxury properties are one man's biggest dream, but to an ascetic sincerely pursuing Ultimate Liberation, they're tremendous hindrances, like heavy baggages a camel has to carry on its back while crossing the desert.
Thank you! Indeed, in some cases you can not abandon things from administrative point of wiev and still have no any access to it neither...

If co-ownership with no access is ok, it's good.
We don't live Samsara, Samsara is living us...

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Alex123
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by Alex123 »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 10:43 pm Donations of cash, credit transfers, etc., are allowable for lay supporters of a monk; but not for monks. Robes, dwelling-places, food, and medicine are allowable for monks. If a monk needs anything that is allowable, he can inform the kappiya of his needs, informing the treasurer about bills that need to be paid, tickets that he needs, etc.
Bhante, thank you for your posts.

To clarify: Can a person (who is about to ordain) give his bank card to a steward (with one of the reasons being that if one disrobes, I can take it back)?

Thanks you,
:namaste:
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confusedlayman
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by confusedlayman »

How can someone be forced to disrobe.. ? Its impossible and bad karma of someone forcefully removing bhikku status of others..
Even devadatta didnt wear lay clothes after dismissed by breaking 4 rules
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Alex123
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by Alex123 »

confusedlayman wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 2:49 pm How can someone be forced to disrobe.. ? Its impossible and bad karma of someone forcefully removing bhikku status of others..
Some reasons:

1) Family emergency.

2) If one stays in a small western monastery and all monks leave/die and one has nowhere to go, and without cash...

3) Lay supporters unable to support the monastery. The economy is going downhill, there might be starvation next year... When you can't feed yourself, you might not be inclined to feed the monks.

4) Severe medical condition might force one to disrobe, if not worse... One bhikkhu has even committed suicide...

5) Some cataclysmic event (nuclear war, Covid-22 or Monkeypox-22 pandemic, government suddenly becoming anti-Buddhist, etc).
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

Alex123 wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 11:00 am To clarify: Can a person (who is about to ordain) give his bank card to a steward (with one of the reasons being that if one disrobes, I can take it back)?

Thanks you,
:namaste:
If your intention is to ordain temporarily, just leave your bank card with a trusted person and do not make use of it until you disrobe.

If your intention is to ordain for the rest of your life, donate all of your worldly property to a steward before you ordain, trusting that they will pay any bills if you ever decide to leave the monkhood. If you have a blood relative — brother, sister, mother, father, son, daughter — the Vinaya allows you to ask for support from them. A devout lay Buddhist may prove to be a more reliable steward than a relative.

“Health is the highest gain. Contentment is the greatest wealth.
The trustworthy are the best kinsmen. Nibbāna is the highest bliss.” (Dhammapada verse 204)

At your ordination, you will be reminded of the four basic supports for a bhikkhu: left-overs collected on almsround for food, rags for robes, the root of a tree for a dwelling-place, and cow’s urine for medicine.
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Re: Bank cards & vinaya rules for bhikkhus

Post by confusedlayman »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 5:33 pm
Alex123 wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 11:00 am To clarify: Can a person (who is about to ordain) give his bank card to a steward (with one of the reasons being that if one disrobes, I can take it back)?

Thanks you,
:namaste:
If your intention is to ordain temporarily, just leave your bank card with a trusted person and do not make use of it until you disrobe.

If your intention is to ordain for the rest of your life, donate all of your worldly property to a steward before you ordain, trusting that they will pay any bills if you ever decide to leave the monkhood. If you have a blood relative — brother, sister, mother, father, son, daughter — the Vinaya allows you to ask for support from them. A devout lay Buddhist may prove to be a more reliable steward than a relative.

“Health is the highest gain. Contentment is the greatest wealth.
The trustworthy are the best kinsmen. Nibbāna is the highest bliss.” (Dhammapada verse 204)

At your ordination, you will be reminded of the four basic supports for a bhikkhu: left-overs collected on almsround for food, rags for robes, the root of a tree for a dwelling-place, and cow’s urine for medicine.
Do they really take cow urine in todays world?
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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