Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: HT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

11. Monks and Nuns

06/05/201109:51(Xem: 2670)
11. Monks and Nuns

GOOD QUESTION, GOOD ANSWER

Bhikkhu Shravasti Dhammika

[11]

Monks and Nuns

-ooOoo-

The monastic institution is an important one in Buddhism. What is the purpose of monks and nuns and what are they supposed to do?

The Buddha's purpose in founding an order of monks and nuns was to provide an environment in which spiritual development would be easier. The lay community provide monks and nuns with their basic needs - food, clothing, shelter, and medicine - so they can devote their time to the study and practice of the Dhamma. The ordered and simple lifestyle of the monastery is conducive to inner peace and meditation. In return, monks and nuns are expected to share what they know with the community and act as an example of how the good Buddhist should live. In actual practice this basic mission has sometimes been extended far beyond what the Buddha originally intended and today monks and nuns sometimes act as school teachers, social workers, artists, doctors, even politicians. Some have argued that taking such roles is alright if it helps promote Buddhism. Others point out that by doing such things monks and nuns too easily get entangled in worldly problems and forget the purpose they went to the monastery in the first place.

What kind of person becomes a monk or a nun?

Most people have a variety of interests in their lives - family, career, hobbies, politics, religion etc. Of these interests one will be primary, usually family or career, while the others will be less important to them. When the study and practice of the Buddha's teachings becomes the most important thing in the person's life, when that takes precedence over all other things, then that person will probably be interested in becoming a monk or a nun.

Do you have to be a monk or a nun to become enlightened?

Of course not. Some of the Buddha's most accomplished disciples were lay men and women. Some were spiritually developed enough to instruct the monks. In Buddhism the level of one's understanding is the most important thing and that has nothing to do with whether one wears a yellow robe or blue jeans, or whether one lives in a monastery or a home. Some might find the monastery, with all its advantages and disadvantages to be the best environment in which to spiritually grow. Others may find the home, with all its joys and sorrows, to be the best. Everyone is different.

Why do Buddhist monks and nuns wear a yellow robe?

When the ancient Indians looked into the jungle they could always tell which leaves were about to drop from the tree, because they were either yellow, orange or brown. Consequently, in India, yellow became the colour of renunciation. Monks and nuns robes are yellow so they can act as a constant reminder of the importance of not clinging, of letting go, of giving up.

Becoming a monk is all very well but what would happen if everyone became a monk?

One could ask the same thing about any vocation. "Becoming a dentist is all very well but what would happen if everyone became a dentist? There'd be no teachers, no cooks, no taxi drivers." "Becoming a teacher is all very well but what would happen if everyone became a teacher? There'd be no dentists, etc. etc." The Buddha did not suggest that everyone should become a monk or nun and indeed that is never going to happen. However, there will always be people who are attracted to the life of simplicity and renunciation and who take delight in the Buddha's teaching above all else. And like dentists and teachers they have special skills and knowledge that can be helpful to the community in which they live.

That might be so with those who teach or write books. But what about the monks and nuns who do nothing but meditate. What good are they to the community?

You might compare the hermit monk to the research scientist. Society supports the research scientist as he sits in his laboratory conducting experiments because it hopes that he will eventually discover or invent something that will be for the general good. Likewise the Buddhist community supports the meditating monk (and his needs are very meagre) because it hopes that he will attain wisdom and insights that will be for the general good. But even before this happens or even if it doesn't, the meditating monk can still benefit others. In some modern societies it is 'The Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous', with its extravagance, its conspicuous consumption and its self-indulgence which is held up as the ideal to follow, or at least to envy. The example that the meditating monk sets reminds us that one doesn't have to be rich to be content. It shows us that the gentle and simple lifestyle has its advantages too.

I have heard that there are no more Buddhist nuns. Is this true?

The Buddha founded the order of nuns in his lifetime and for five or six hundred years nuns played an important role in the spread and development of Buddhism. But for reasons that are not clear nuns never commanded the same esteem and consequently got the same support, as monks and in India and South-east Asia the order died out. However in Taiwan, Korea and Japan the order of nuns has continued to flourish. Today in Sri Lanka and Thailand steps are being taken to reintroduce the order of nuns from Taiwan although some traditionalists are not very enthusiastic about this. However, in keeping with the Buddha's original intentions, it is only right that women as well as men have the opportunity to live the monastic life and benefit from it.

Gửi ý kiến của bạn
Tắt
Telex
VNI
Tên của bạn
Email của bạn
14/10/2023(Xem: 2224)
For the sake of many, Dr. Ven. Buddha Priya Mahathero (Abbot and Secretary of Siddharth United Social Welfare Mission, Chinar Park, Kolkata, India) and Dr. Ven. Bhikṣuṇī TN Gioi Huong (English Lecturer at the Vietnam Buddhist University in HCM City and Abbess of Hương Sen Buddhist Temple, California, USA) have co-organized an international seminar with the theme, “Contributions of Buddhism for World Peace & Social Harmony,” on July 2, 2023 at the Siddharth United Social Welfare Mission, Chinar Park, Kolkata, India. At this Kolkata Seminar, there were twenty-three renowned speakers-spiritual peace leaders, eminent writers, and researchers presented their meaningful papers, such as Dr Siddharth M. Jondhale (Former Chancellor of Trinity World University), Professor Kishore Bhattacharjee (Viswabharati University, Shantiniketan), Professor Mahuya Mukherjee (Rabindrabharati University, Kolkata), Professor Swarnali Barua (Presidency University), Dr. Surajit Barua (Seth Anandram Jaipur Co
14/10/2023(Xem: 2205)
Our immense pleasure is to present to you this remarkable conference book – Buddhism: A Historical and Practical Vision. Inside these pages lies a stunning tapestry of wisdom created by the joint dedication and hard work of young Vietnamese Buddhist monks and nuns scholars who have explored the legacy of Buddhism in depth. From exploring the compatibility and integration of Mahāyāna Buddhism’s teachings with realistic political theory on leadership and the introduction Buddhist philosophy and the establishment and significance of Buddhist universities in the United States, each paper stands as a testament to the vibrant diversity and enduring relevance of Buddhist thought. Among the thought-provoking papers, you will discover insightful investigations into the practical theory of impermanence as a means to enhance one’s own living experience. Additionally, a critical interpretation of Nibbāna from Dr. Ambedkar’s perspective in the Indian Engaged Buddhist Movement sheds light
25/07/2023(Xem: 2546)
Dealing with the chosen work, I observe that a puggala has been present in the world because of dependent origination (paṭiccasamuppāda) or continuity of change (santāna). The five masses of elements (pañcakkhandhā), which constitute the puggala and the world around him, are without any substance (anattā), impermanent (anicca) and they are really causes of grief (dukkha)...
20/07/2023(Xem: 1115)
During his recent visit to Melbourne, Australia to attend the Conference on Sociology, at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Professor Dr. Ryushun Kiyofuji visited Quang Duc Monastery, 30 minutes from downtown Melbourne. On this occasion, I had the chance to interview him about the current situation of Buddhism in Japan.
12/06/2023(Xem: 2614)
“One person, mendicants, arises in the world for the welfare and happiness of the people, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans. What one person? The Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha. This is the one person, mendicants, who arises in the world for the welfare and happiness of the people, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans.” *
30/03/2023(Xem: 2732)
War - we all know this word. There were too many battles in this world since we were the nomads, wandering over sea and land up to the time when the acquisition of material goods increased over time and possession became more powerful in their desire to master and dominate the world. In family and society, from the young to the dignitary, none of them want to give up possession but always to get more. The more assets, the greater desire. The more one tries to get, the stronger greed and selfishness fortifies.
10/12/2022(Xem: 1687)
There can be no success in getting happiness out of Lord Buddha’s Dharma until we understand and use ‘Sila’, which is a Pali-Sanskrit word meaning morality. The Five Precepts are often called ‘Pancasila’, which means ‘the Five Moralities’. As a rule, these five moralities are recited after the Three Refuges, and are usually considered as a necessary part of the ceremony of becoming a Buddhist. Everyone who understands these rules knows it is good and wise to follow them all, but many persons have weak characters and do not make a real attempt to be guided by these Five Rules that all Buddhists must follow. They are:
07/08/2021(Xem: 9696)
The Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth (Ājīvatthamaka Sīla) Dhamma Teachers Certificate EN074 -__ Feb2010 5 8 Precepts Diacritials Requirements and Ceremonies for the Five Precepts (Panca Sila), The Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth (Ajivatthamaka Sila), Dhamma Teachers Certificate, issued by the Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) and Ketumati Buddhist Vihara at Wesak 2006). Updated February 2010
07/08/2021(Xem: 7235)
Venerable Rewata Dhamma born in Myanmar [Burma], was head of the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara until his death in 2004. His book Maha Paritta: The Discourses of the Great Protection (With the Threefold Refuges, Precepts, Salutations to the Triple Gem, Dependent Origination and Metta Bhavana), gives the formula in Pali and English for requesting Ajivatthamaka Sila (The Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth). (pages 9-12) Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera Abhidhaja Maharatthaguru Agga Maha Pandita (1896-1998) Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya, born in Sri Lanka, attended the Sixth Buddhist Council held in Myanmar [Burma] (1954-56). In 1956, during the third session of the Council, he served as Chairman of the Convocation for a few weeks. The Council was convened by the Myanmar [Burmese] government to prepare an authorized re-edit and reprint of the entire Tipitaka (the Pali Canon) and its commentaries. Venerable Ananda Maitreya was appointed the Sri
facebook youtube google-plus linkedin twitter blog
Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường,
nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.

May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland,
Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below,
may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma,
the Land of Ultimate Bliss.

Quang Duc Buddhist Welfare Association of Victoria
Tu Viện Quảng Đức | Quang Duc Monastery
Senior Venerable Thich Tam Phuong | Senior Venerable Thich Nguyen Tang
Address: Quang Duc Monastery, 105 Lynch Road, Fawkner, Vic.3060 Australia
Tel: 61.03.9357 3544 ; Fax: 61.03.9357 3600
Website: http://www.quangduc.com ; http://www.tuvienquangduc.com.au (old)
Xin gửi Xin gửi bài mới và ý kiến đóng góp đến Ban Biên Tập qua địa chỉ:
quangduc@quangduc.com , tvquangduc@bigpond.com
VISITOR
110,220,567