"Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

"Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby Tex » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:56 pm

Simple question, is there a reason why the title "Bhikkhu" is sometimes placed before the Dhamma name and sometimes after?

Thanks in advance.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
User avatar
Tex
 
Posts: 623
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:46 pm
Location: Austin, TX, USA

Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:24 pm

I have no Idea but a question myself why do some use Bhikkhu, and others don't?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5876
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:33 pm

Good question Tex,

A follow-up is whether "Bhikkhu" qualifies as a honorific title when lay people are speaking. My understanding is that it is customary for lay people to add titles, e.g. Phra, Ajahn, etc, in a Thai context, Venerable in an English context, or Bhante anywhere.
So I would refer to "Venerable Bodhi" or "Bhante Bodhi", and I certainly wouldn't address him along the lines of: "Hi Bodhi, how's it going?" :hello:
Whereas another Bhikkhu could refer to or address him simply as "Bodhi".

If' I'm confused about this, I'd appreciate clarification...

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10775
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby adeh » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:36 pm

Could it be the same as the usage of Sayadaw with Burmese bhikkhus? For example Mahasi Sayadaw wasn't his name [can't remember what it was], but he came from Mahasi [big drum] Temple so it literally means Sayadaw from Mahasi Temple. My teacher here in Mexico is Sayadaw U Nandisena or Dhamma Vihara Sayadaw. Could it be the same with putting Bhikkhu before or after? Just a thought. Adeh.
User avatar
adeh
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Mexico City

Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby Individual » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:20 pm

Tex wrote:Simple question, is there a reason why the title "Bhikkhu" is sometimes placed before the Dhamma name and sometimes after?

Thanks in advance.

It seems likely to be because of the nature of Asian naming conventions. In some (if not most, maybe?) Asian languages, the family name comes first, the individual name comes second, and formal titles or honorifics come even after this. So... Shunryu Suzuki's name in Japanese is backwards: Suzuki Shunryu. And he's often referred to in both English and Japanese as "Suzuki Roshi" (Suzuki the Master). Also, in Japanese, there's the honorific "san" (Japanese equivalent of "Mr" or "Ms."). Instead of calling Suzuki, "Mr. Suzuki," you'd call him, "Suzuki-san."

I suspect that there's a similar case with the languages of Theravada Buddhists -- Burmese, Thai, etc.. Because of the different naming conventions, Bhikkhu Bodhi could also be called Bodhi Bhikkhu and Thanissaro Bhikkhu could also be called Bhikkhu Thanisarro. One naming convention (with the title first) reflects western culture, while the other naming convention (with the title after the dhamma name) reflects eastern culture.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:43 pm

Hi Tex,

Tex wrote:Simple question, is there a reason why the title "Bhikkhu" is sometimes placed before the Dhamma name and sometimes after?


Just regional conventions. 'Bhikkhu' before the name is the norm in Sri Lanka and Burma; 'bhikkhu' after the name is the norm in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. That's assuming the word bhikkhu is used at all, which isn't always the case; in Asia one more often finds 'thera' or some regional title such as 'chao khun' or 'sayadaw' used instead.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1424
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: "Bhikkhu", before or after Dhamma name?

Postby Individual » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:19 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Tex,

Tex wrote:Simple question, is there a reason why the title "Bhikkhu" is sometimes placed before the Dhamma name and sometimes after?


Just regional conventions. 'Bhikkhu' before the name is the norm in Sri Lanka and Burma; 'bhikkhu' after the name is the norm in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. That's assuming the word bhikkhu is used at all, which isn't always the case; in Asia one more often finds 'thera' or some regional title such as 'chao khun' or 'sayadaw' used instead.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

Thank you, Dhammanando Bhikkhu. :)
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Sam Vara and 12 guests