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Topic Summary

Posted by: Johann
« on: July 31, 2019, 03:08:39 PM »

[Q&A] Proper and reasonable that monks teach lay people?

Once, on another occasion, a householder asked whether it makes sense if a monk would teach on issues related to daily lay life, maybe thinking that one is monk by birth and does not know much about the problems, desires... of a lay persons life and that a monk, by nature, would not know lay life.

 _/\_  _/\_  _/\_ Ven. Theras, Ven. Fellows,

Upasaka, Upasika, interested,

Householder told "Buddhist monks give advice for lay life with many assumptions on total strange foundation."

  • 1. The Buddha and his Monks taught, teach and will teach lay people for a life toward long term benefit here, hereafter and beyond. Even that householders would be able to fully join the religion.
  • 2. Monks are not born as monks and you can be sure that many of them actually leaded "perfect" lay-life, successful and not missing anything of which this mod of live can provide.
  • 3. Even if a particularly Monk would have no experiences, had no success in lay life, as long as he teaches of what the Buddha taught for a happy lay-life and after, he act for great benefit for many lay people.
  • 4. If one seeks refuge under householders (holding and maintaining a stand), one has not taken refuge into the Tripple Gems yet. Such a person will hardly ever come next to the good teachings of the Buddha in a manner so that it may beard long time fruits for one.
  • 5. Don't forget that most in modern world live in areas not suitable to prosper in Dhamma, live under people and associate with holders of wrong view. But it would be hard to see and understand before the time one actually has gone for refuge.
  • 6. Something further to consider is, that a monks, at least outwardly, has mastered to leave the world behind, gained in that far already certain freedom, something that one seeking for overcome desires would surely be interested into how such can be mastered.


As for paying homage to them because they delivered just wished, desired teaching/dhamma: It would be wrongly grasped that a monk is worthy for veneration because he teaches (is such cases often because he teaches what one like to hear). Monks are not allowed to accept a gift as reward for teachings (something many should consider). What ever gift and offering is good placed, if giving it toward something that heads toward Nibbana, does not harm others by the use of the receiver, would not increase or nourish suffering in the world. Teaching lay people, even those not having gone for refuge, is a pure matter of compassion, if done like the moon .

And who knows, lot would even strong desire, whether one will not live the life as a homeless, one who has left home. Would you then just leave those left "die off" if having a change to lead them upwardly and to a better?

It might be different when asking whether a lay person could easy advice a monk since for the most never went without shoes or having returned not finally satisfied. Yet that being the case is not a reason why not questing things one does not understand (yet) but always good to seek for clearance and release from doubt.

Anumodana