Ajahn Brahm for sale?

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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:04 pm

Mr Man wrote:
marc108 wrote: seems clear that no Vinaya rule has really been broken here

Is this the only criteria you use to determine what is appropriate?
Why do you care? Why is this question important enough for you to ask?

And, seriously, this question is the only response you had to Marc's msg and the video that goes along with it?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:09 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Hi Marc
I am afraid the act stands by itself, motivation is not a mitigating factor. but you should read what I put instead of plucking one word out of context, or taking that as the whole of an argument against.

The Bhikkhunis have a roof over their head and greater comfort then they should expect in the life they have chosen, would extra space for lodgings now really be a multimillion dollar project? or is the project bigger than needed now? two new residences, new monastery, new carpark....
They already have land and a roof over their heads. new everything is not necessarily the best option.
You certainly do not have to like or approve of what he does, and your repeated stated objections are certainly noted. I think I'll trust the consideably more experienced and far more knowledgable bhikkhu on this.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:28 pm

tiltbillings wrote:]You certainly do not have to like or approve of what he does, and your repeated stated objections are certainly noted. I think I'll trust the consideably more experienced and far more knowledgable bhikkhu on this.

where was I talking to you? and what is your point?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby marc108 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:37 pm

Hey Citta,

I'm sorry if you felt singled out. I intentionally didnt quote you to avoid that... I cherry picked what you said because I felt it best represented the overall sentiment. I did read what you said, and I understand your point of view.

I think you should watch that video. Ajahn Brahm states clearly that there aren't enough buildings for all the women who wish to become Bhikkhunis. I think when you say things like 'greater comfort than they should expect', again this is just reflecting your opinions and not necessarily what is best for Bhikkhu/ni's. Ajahn Brahms monastery is quite simple from my understanding, I seriously doubt he is trying to make a lavish multi-million dollar place. He's managed to create probably the largest and most thriving dual monastic-lay Sangha in the western world as well as train countless monks... I dont think we should all be so presumptuous as to assume we know more about what is conducive to the holy life than Ajahn Brahm.

I think Ajahn Brahms intent is to FULLY reestablish the Bhikkhuni order and this MUST include a thriving monastery with close western lay connection and a somewhat modern facility. A bunch of huts in the woods doesn't really cut it and isn't going to keep them fed and supported for the next thousand years...
Last edited by marc108 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Mr Man » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:44 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
marc108 wrote: seems clear that no Vinaya rule has really been broken here

Is this the only criteria you use to determine what is appropriate?
Why do you care? Why is this question important enough for you to ask?

And, seriously, this question is the only response you had to Marc's msg and the video that goes along with it?

Hi tiltbillings
I thought it was important enough to ask because I thought that the discussion was missing the point that the monastic code isn’t the only criteria to determine what is appropriate or inappropriate.

I had seen the video in the original link in the OP. I had also said in an earlier post
Mr Man wrote: If I were to put a positive spin on it I would say that it meant more as a wake up call and to make it clear that more support is needed and this is how far the Ven. Ajahn will go ”
, which touches on the other points raised by marc108.

Why do you have a problem with people thinking it is inappropriate? Should I not find it inappropriate?
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:13 pm

Mr Man wrote:I thought it was important enough to ask because I thought that the discussion was missing the point that the monastic code isn’t the only criteria to determine what is appropriate or inappropriate.
Then it becomes a matter of "taste."

Why do you have a problem with people thinking it is inappropriate? Should I not find it inappropriate?
My complaint is with those who are pretty much maligning Ven B because they think that a fairly innocuous attempt at fund raising is a thing of figner wagging opprobrium. Ven Brahm deserves better than that.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:17 am

marc108 wrote:Hey Citta,

I'm sorry if you felt singled out. I intentionally didnt quote you to avoid that... I cherry picked what you said because I felt it best represented the overall sentiment. I did read what you said, and I understand your point of view.

singled out? no, but I did think you were replying to my post there.
anyway.

I think you should watch that video. Ajahn Brahm states clearly that there aren't enough buildings for all the women who wish to become Bhikkhunis. I think when you say things like 'greater comfort than they should expect', again this is just reflecting your opinions and not necessarily what is best for Bhikkhu/ni's. Ajahn Brahms monastery is quite simple from my understanding, I seriously doubt he is trying to make a lavish multi-million dollar place. He's managed to create probably the largest and most thriving dual monastic-lay Sangha in the western world as well as train countless monks... I dont think we should all be so presumptuous as to assume we know more about what is conducive to the holy life than Ajahn Brahm.

when I say greater comfort than they should expect I am refering to the minimum standard they are instructed to expect and their current situation. the cost of multi-million dollar that is from their own site and not all of it is for residence and the vast majority of development isn't residence, so sorry but I think you should look at the site http://www.dhammasara.org.au/sala-appeal.html
I wonder if the Buddha, Ajahn Mun, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Maha-boowa or Pa Auk Sayadaw would agree that this plan is neccessary and a few huts don't cut it? how did they arrange their dwelling places in the forest?

I think Ajahn Brahms intent is to FULLY reestablish the Bhikkhuni order and this MUST include a thriving monastery with close western lay connection and a somewhat modern facility. A bunch of huts in the woods doesn't really cut it and isn't going to keep them fed and supported for the next thousand years...

The Bhikkhuni order has been re-established and had been before Ajahn Brahm. but nice requisites does not make it established or last longer.
But the motivation (reason why) is not a mitigating factor for the intent to sell himself and the rules and teachings relevant (some of which I have quoted previously) are still relevant to him as a monk.
whether or not the facitities are needed, funds should be obtained properly without turning away from the life they chose to live. you can say this is my opinion, but this opinion is based on the texts (including in part the vinaya) as I understand them. and have shared some of the relevant passages so you and others can decide for yourself and correct it based on what I am basing it on, so any failure to demonstrate is not mine. But where is your liking of this based? i see only a liking for laughter (hence the derogitory name calling of dour) or of wanting to support the nuns. but that doesn't make Ajahn Brahms selling of himself appropriate.
If the support here is representative of the wider community of lay followers I wonder why they need such intervention.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Hickersonia » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:47 am

I don't really care to put much into the argument (there is enough fuel here already) but, taken for whatever it is, I find it rather amusing even if it does possibly break some Vinaya rule or cause some other manner of ethical hiccup.

Honestly, I won't try to say for sure whether the Buddha would admonish Ajahn Brahm for this "stunt" or not, or even if I care honestly because the Buddha admonished other well-known disciples who were (or later became) arahants. The only thing I will say conclusively is that I LOL'd at work.

Thank you for teaching me once again that I really need to be careful about what I am looking at online while I'm on the clock.

:rofl:
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby marc108 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:05 am

Cittasanto wrote:when I say greater comfort than they should expect I am refering to the minimum standard they are instructed to expect and their current situation. the cost of multi-million dollar that is from their own site and not all of it is for residence and the vast majority of development isn't residence, so sorry but I think you should look at the site http://www.dhammasara.org.au/sala-appeal.html


I checked it out... interesting, but I still dont find issue with that. I dont find that extravagant at all & I think this likely will be the center of the rebirth of the Bhikkhuni order for hundreds of years. I think the desire to integrate things like parking lots, a big sala, guest quarters is wise and actually quite vital to the survival of western monasteries. I trust Ajahn Brahms wisdom in this matter.

I wonder if the Buddha, Ajahn Mun, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Maha-boowa or Pa Auk Sayadaw would agree that this plan is neccessary and a few huts don't cut it? how did they arrange their dwelling places in the forest?


this was in pre-industriliazed Thailand & ancient India where taking care of mendicants is built into the culture, it's not an accurate representation of what its like today to establish a western monastery nor a accurate comparison of how the pre-industrialized Sangha lived vs the laity or the societal norm. To say modern monastics should live the same as monastics in the 1800's doesnt make sense. I dont suppose, nor should any of us, to know what the Buddha or any of the great masters would think about the situation.

I respect your opinion and your [much more advanced than mine] understanding of the Vinaya but I still dont find problem with what Ajahn Brahm is doing. I view it as quite noble & selfless, and I believe history will side with this view and not view him as prostituting himself. Either way these are all just our opinions :)

also I did not call anyone names, you must be confusing me for someone else.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby pilgrim » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:37 am

So generally, most people on this thread are agreeable that he has not transgressed any rule. So it is just a view by some that what he does is inappropriate. Even if this is your view it can't be denied that it has the intention and results to bring about lots of good.

I agree that monastery facilities should not be lavish, but they should be comfortable and appropriate to the times and culture. The Buddha and his sangha had no qualms spending most of his vassas at the Jetavana monastery, which went beyond comfortable in his time. Certainly it was not a bunch of huts in the wood. There is no reason to have an aversion to 'multi-million dollar facilities" if these facilities are designed for utility, not for luxury.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:04 am

marc108 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:when I say greater comfort than they should expect I am refering to the minimum standard they are instructed to expect and their current situation. the cost of multi-million dollar that is from their own site and not all of it is for residence and the vast majority of development isn't residence, so sorry but I think you should look at the site http://www.dhammasara.org.au/sala-appeal.html


I checked it out... interesting, but I still dont find issue with that. I dont find that extravagant at all & I think this likely will be the center of the rebirth of the Bhikkhuni order for hundreds of years. I think the desire to integrate things like parking lots, a big sala, guest quarters is wise and actually quite vital to the survival of western monasteries. I trust Ajahn Brahms wisdom in this matter.

I wonder if the Buddha, Ajahn Mun, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Maha-boowa or Pa Auk Sayadaw would agree that this plan is neccessary and a few huts don't cut it? how did they arrange their dwelling places in the forest?


this was in pre-industriliazed Thailand & ancient India where taking care of mendicants is built into the culture, it's not an accurate representation of what its like today to establish a western monastery nor a accurate comparison of how the pre-industrialized Sangha lived vs the laity or the societal norm. To say modern monastics should live the same as monastics in the 1800's doesnt make sense. I dont suppose, nor should any of us, to know what the Buddha or any of the great masters would think about the situation.



Sadhu to that! And here's an even more ancient precedent about mega-projects, one that resulted in the Migāramātupāsāda (the palace of Migāra's mother) -

Tasmā visākhā sayameva tassa mūlaṃ datvā satasahassādhikā nava koṭiyo sakaṭe āropetvā vihāraṃ netvā satthāraṃ vanditvā, ‘‘bhante, mayhaṃ ayyena ānandattherena mama pasādhanaṃ hatthena āmaṭṭhaṃ, tena āmaṭṭhakālato paṭṭhāya na sakkā taṃ mayā pilandhituṃ. Taṃ pana vissajjetvā kappiyaṃ upanessāmīti vikkiṇāpentī aññaṃ taṃ gaṇhituṃ samatthaṃ adisvā ahameva tassa mūlaṃ gāhāpetvā āgatā, catūsu paccayesu katarapaccayena upanessāmi, bhante’’ti. Pācīnadvāre saṅghassa vasanaṭṭhānaṃ kātuṃ te yuttaṃ visākheti ‘‘yuttaṃ, bhante’’ti visākhā tuṭṭhamānasā navakoṭīhi bhūmimeva gaṇhi. Aparāhi navakoṭīhi vihāraṃ kātuṃ ārabhi.

Therefore Visakha herself alone gave the price for it, and causing
the nine crores of treasure and a hundred thousand additional to be
placed in a cart, she caused it to be conveyed to the monastery. Then
she saluted the Teacher and said, "Reverend Sir, this thought has
been in my mind: 'My noble master. Elder Ananda, touched with his
hand my golden-creeper-parure, and from the moment he touched
it I decided that I could no longer wear it. Therefore I decided to sell
it and to give you the purchase-money.' But when I tried to sell it,
I could find no one who was able to buy it, and therefore made up the
price for it myself and have brought it to you. Which of the four
requisites shall I present to you. Reverend Sir?"
The Teacher replied, [413] "Visakha, would it suit you to erect
a dwelling-place for the monks at the eastern gate of the monastery?"
"That would suit me exactly, Reverend Sir," replied Visakha, her
heart filled with delight. So for nine crores she bought the site, and
with nine crores more began to build a dwelling-place for the monks.

Commentary to Dhp v.53, transl Burlingame


Don't even get me started on the size of the resulting monastery, or the fact the several venerables went around with psychic powers collecting trees and stones for the works.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Mr Man » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:00 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:I thought it was important enough to ask because I thought that the discussion was missing the point that the monastic code isn’t the only criteria to determine what is appropriate or inappropriate.
Then it becomes a matter of "taste."
I had noticed that you had said it was in bad taste. Do monastics have a responsibility to the expectations of the lay community?
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:26 am

Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:I thought it was important enough to ask because I thought that the discussion was missing the point that the monastic code isn’t the only criteria to determine what is appropriate or inappropriate.
Then it becomes a matter of "taste."
I had noticed that you had said it was in bad taste. Do monastics have a responsibility to the expectations of the lay community?
Why do you care what I think? It is not necessarily a monastic function to be an arbiter of taste. Also, I said it was tacky; I do not believe I said bad taste, thoughI have no interest in going back over all of this.

Ven Brahm's students, I am sure, are less likely to be put off my his actions than what I have seen here, given that they know him and know what to expect from him and likely have a far better handle on his character. As I said, he is an highly experienced and knowledgeable monk, I would trust his judgment over what I seen in this thread in the highly judgemental opposition to his fund raising.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:27 am

This thread is tail chaser, covering the same ground, voicing the same opinions.

If Ven Brahm ever decides to discuss his reasons for his choice of fund raising methodology we certainly can revisit all of this.


The following was posted to me to share here, and I am happy to do so:

Students of Ajahn Brahm and the Dhammaloka community can be asked directly about this, too. In case one feels the need for further clarifications, asking there would certainly yield the benefit of understanding how the people at Dhammaloka and Ajahn Brahm himself see it. The Forum can be found here:
http://community.dhammaloka.org.au/forum.php
Hearing the other side of the story can be helpful for one's understanding.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:42 pm



There is a discussion of this at the Dhammaloka forum in the Papancha Lounge, but it is only viewable to members. I am a member and see that it is currently 34 posts long; so far no response from Ajahn Brahm or any other monastic in that thread.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby James the Giant » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:19 am

Ajahn Brahmali has replied to questions on the Dhammaloka forum, and has given permission to repost this.
He also said he simply does not have the time to enter into a discussion here.

Ajahn Brahmali is the second most senior bhikkhu at Bodhinyana, and has known and lived with Ajahn Brahm for almost 20 years.
Dear David, Stuart, Jerrod and All,

Just to make the obvious clear: it is of course perfectly fine to question whether what Ajahn Brahm is doing is appropriate or even in accordance with the vinaya. In fact, reasonable questioning or criticism should always be welcome.

Let me try to respond to some of the concerns, starting with the question of whether this auction might contravene the vinaya. I have had a look at the posts on Dhamma Wheel that David is referring to and, frankly, some of them are misleading. One poster quotes the following from the monastic vinaya:

... but by no means do I say that money may be consented to or sought for in any way at all.

18. Should any bhikkhu accept gold and silver, or have it accepted, or consent to its being deposited (near him), it is to be forfeited and confessed.

What the poster does not mention is that this concerns becoming the owner of money oneself. Clearly, this is not what Ajahn Brahm is doing.

The same poster then quotes the following, again from the vinaya:
19. Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of monetary exchange, it (the income) is to be forfeited and confessed.

20. Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of trade, it (the article obtained) is to be forfeited and confessed.


The first of these rules, number 19, again concerns becoming the owner of money. The second one, number 20, is defined in the vinaya as “one's own goods gone to the hand of another, the goods of another gone to one’s own hands; this is a nissaggiya offence”. For those who are interested, let me also quote the Pali:
attano bhaṇḍaṃ parahatthagataṃ parabhaṇḍaṃ attano hatthagataṃ, nissaggiyaṃ hoti.

What Ajahn Brahm is doing is giving up some of his time for anyone willing to support the nuns' monastery. He is not receiving anything in return himself and thus the conditions for "trade" are not fulfilled. There is no problem here from a vinaya point of view. From my perspective, Ajahn Brahm is simply doing charity work, and charity work is an important part of monastic life: any talk or teaching is essentially just that.

Whenever Ajahn Brahm travels somewhere, especially in Asia, he normally gets substantial donations. His main motivation in teaching is certainly not the donations, but when you have a large Buddhist organisation to run it obviously matters whether people support you financially or not. If you know that you are likely to get a significant donation in a particular location, then you will probably be more willing to accept an invitation from there, all other things being equal. It is the unfortunate reality that money matters, and this is true of all Buddhist monasteries.

I have no doubt that the outcome of this auction will be entirely positive. It is a way of raising people's awareness and getting them to contribute to an important project. It may involve Ajahn Brahm having to teach the Dhamma in a place he otherwise wouldn't have visited, but more likely it will simply mean that he will go to a place that he would have visited anyway, and then the whole thing is hardly different from just giving a donation. In the end, to me this is just a clever and fun way of raising money. That it is clever is clear from the level of interest, even controversy, that the idea has already created.

Lastly, for those who think this may be a precedent for things to come, I am pretty sure this will be the one and only time he does such a thing.

With very best wishes and metta to everyone,
Ajahn Brahmali
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:34 am

James,
Please pass on our thanks to Ajahn.
with metta,

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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:29 am

There's a Burmese saying, “If you know the Vinaya well enough, you can kill a chicken.”

Its just the kind of answer I was expecting. Clearly, Ajahn Brahm has stepped over the line and no longer cares what others think of his behaviour.

He is the Spiritual Director of the Dhammasara Nun's Monastery — so he is a beneficiary of donations to it. He will no doubt give talks in the new meditation hall that was built with the help of his trading. It is not as if he is fund-raising for Tsunami victims or something like that, where he clearly has no vested interest.

Even where one has no vested interest, the way of raising funds must be with “No Strings Attached.” Let those who wish to give, donate. Whether they donate or not, I will give my time freely to any who wish to learn the Dhamma respectfully.

There is no point discussing this further. All beings are heirs to their own kamma, and any more discussion will only to lead to more unwholesome kamma from **** Buddhists accusing ****-***** Buddhists of having no sense of humour, etc.

Moderator note: Unnecessary adjectives removed.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:28 pm

As Ajahn Brahmali is using my post I am responding. If he does or does not see this, respond or not, both are good. But I would of replied to this post on their forum where this was made but as a donation seams to be required and I am not being forced to pay to see one thread and reply to one post. But if anyone does wish to share this there please do so in it entirety below the line.
I have tried to correct a quote error but it hasn't worked for some reason
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear David, Stuart, Jerrod and All,

Just to make the obvious clear: it is of course perfectly fine to question whether what Ajahn Brahm is doing is appropriate or even in accordance with the vinaya. In fact, reasonable questioning or criticism should always be welcome.

Let me try to respond to some of the concerns, starting with the question of whether this auction might contravene the vinaya. I have had a look at the posts on Dhamma Wheel that David is referring to and, frankly, some of them are misleading. One poster quotes the following from the monastic vinaya:
... but by no means do I say that money may be consented to or sought for in any way at all.

18. Should any bhikkhu accept gold and silver, or have it accepted, or consent to its being deposited (near him), it is to be forfeited and confessed.

What the poster does not mention is that this concerns becoming the owner of money oneself. Clearly, this is not what Ajahn Brahm is doing.

This is misleading as the quote here, is actually two separate quotes in the same post (one from the sutta and one from the vinaya), and have been cut up & merged. And what I did also quote was what I was responding too. Here I was showing the basis of where my objection is from.

Although I did believe each rule (quoted together) could be a possibility for different reasons, without looking properly at each rule I chose the likely candidates to demonstrate what I had in mind when my objection arose.
All I mentioned was “he is trading himself for money to build.” Whether he is the receiver or not was not relevant to my choice of rules (I will explain why I chose the three rules at the end of this post).

The first portion is snipped by Ajahn for some reason. But to quote the full quote previously made...
SN 42.10 Maniculaka Sutta: To Maniculaka wrote:"Now I do say that thatch may be sought for by one needing thatch, wood may be sought for by one needing wood, a cart may be sought for by one needing a cart, a workman may be sought for by one needing a workman, but by no means do I say that money may be consented to or sought for in any way at all."

This is not part of the Vinaya as can be clearly seen. Although this is within the Suttas it is about how a monastic goes about getting requisites for buildings, which is demonstrated in the origin story of the second pārājika.

The same poster then quotes the following, again from the vinaya:
19. Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of monetary exchange, it (the income) is to be forfeited and confessed.

20. Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of trade, it (the article obtained) is to be forfeited and confessed.

Numbers 18; 19; & 20 were all part of the same quote, and Ajahn has separated them in a way I had not for some reason so I only quoted once the vinaya. This was not part of a explanation of the rules. The quotes can be seen on page two (and six) of this thread, with the post I was replying too, which should of made it clear that it was not part of any .
I had also included other quotes & references later on on the same pages.

The first of these rules, number 19, again concerns becoming the owner of money. The second one, number 20, is defined in the vinaya as “one's own goods gone to the hand of another, the goods of another gone to one’s own hands; this is a nissaggiya offence”. For those who are interested, let me also quote the Pali:
attano bhaṇḍaṃ parahatthagataṃ parabhaṇḍaṃ attano hatthagataṃ, nissaggiyaṃ hoti.


What Ajahn Brahm is doing is giving up some of his time for anyone willing to support the nuns' monastery. He is not receiving anything in return himself and thus the conditions for "trade" are not fulfilled. There is no problem here from a vinaya point of view. From my perspective, Ajahn Brahm is simply doing charity work, and charity work is an important part of monastic life: any talk or teaching is essentially just that.

The rules do not have to be completely broken for an act to be against the spirit of them, hence we have the “great standard” and rules (first parajika as an example) which include dukata violations deferral to other rules (Saṅghādisesa), Thullaccaya or the full offence, and other rules have lesser offences also, and this is all within the vinaya itself. The rules are not always completely broken for an offence to happen in regard to that rule.

So bearing in mind the Vinaya itself allows for lesser offences within the rules, and the great standard being the way to judge this particularly when a rule is not specific for different contexts, and Ajahns own quote from the Vinaya, with the SN42.10 quote.
The conditions for trade is that there is an exchange. Ajahn Brahm is part of this exchange with his consent. This is a trade in human beings with financial gain. And even though it is for a temporary basis it is still wrong livelihood. DN2 points out that this is not just wrong livelihood for lay-people (previously referenced on page six where I re-post through a quote the post Ajahn has used).

Whenever Ajahn Brahm travels somewhere, especially in Asia, he normally gets substantial donations. His main motivation in teaching is certainly not the donations, but when you have a large Buddhist organisation to run it obviously matters whether people support you financially or not. If you know that you are likely to get a significant donation in a particular location, then you will probably be more willing to accept an invitation from there, all other things being equal. It is the unfortunate reality that money matters, and this is true of all Buddhist monasteries.

I have no doubt that the outcome of this auction will be entirely positive. It is a way of raising people's awareness and getting them to contribute to an important project. It may involve Ajahn Brahm having to teach the Dhamma in a place he otherwise wouldn't have visited, but more likely it will simply mean that he will go to a place that he would have visited anyway, and then the whole thing is hardly different from just giving a donation. In the end, to me this is just a clever and fun way of raising money. That it is clever is clear from the level of interest, even controversy, that the idea has already created.

Lastly, for those who think this may be a precedent for things to come, I am pretty sure this will be the one and only time he does such a thing.

With very best wishes and metta to everyone,
Ajahn Brahmali

As pointed out in this thread, there is a difference between freely offered donations & specifically seeking money. Thainissaro Bhikkhus essays provide one interpretation of this. And personally I see no issue with monastics encouraging a user friendly donation system or a system where the donations for a specific “job” is more obvious so that resourses are used where the donor intended first before any form of diversion happends, or, for that matter, talking about projects which require funding, but there is a difference between these and saying “bye me for a week” or "give money".


To explain my choice of these rules the great standard should be born in mind.
18. Should any bhikkhu accept gold and silver, or have it accepted, or consent to its being deposited (near him), it is to be forfeited and confessed.

Due to the clause “or have it accepted, or consent to it being deposited (near him)” I felt agreeing to being “sold” off in what I see as a bachelor auction style was close enough for this rule to be relevant, as there is a knowledge that money need deposited to participate in the auction and further money is involved in getting the 7 day prize.

19. Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of monetary exchange, it (the income) is to be forfeited and confessed.

As there is going to be a monetary exchange for the 7 days, and the Auction needs a $450 entry fee, and as (recently pointed out) the Spiritual Director of the BSWA which covers the Nunnery where the Building work will eventually take place this was also seen as close enough for relevance.

20. Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of trade, it (the article obtained) is to be forfeited and confessed.

A trade is happening, and I am sure Ajahn Brahm wont be going somewhere the bid winner did not make available for the 7 days.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:33 pm

My complaint is with those who are pretty much maligning Ven B because they think that a fairly innocuous attempt at fund raising is a thing of figner wagging opprobrium. Ven Brahm deserves better than that.


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"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

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