Disrobing defeat or progress?

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bhante dhamma
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Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by bhante dhamma » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:43 am

From the time of the Buddha until the present day there have been monastics disrobing as a result of a myriad of different reasons maybe.
I remember as a junior monk one senior monk always used to say to us ‘its better to be a bad monk than a good layman.’ Meaning no matter what just make sure you don’t disrobe! But now having seen the different conditionality of people, is that really tenable or even a wise reflection? Its sometimes the case that an individual may be really attached to ‘the idea’ of being a monk, sometimes really ungrateful, or stubborn, opinionated, etc in which case I have often thought, disrobing would actually be good thing for them, do you agree?
As a monk or nun who has gone through such a thing or as a layman/woman who has seen it directly happen also maybr, what were/are your thoughts and feelings regarding this phenomenon.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:55 am

bhante dhamma wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:43 am
From the time of the Buddha until the present day there have been monastics disrobing as a result of a myriad of different reasons maybe.
I remember as a junior monk one senior monk always used to say to us ‘its better to be a bad monk than a good layman.’ Meaning no matter what just make sure you don’t disrobe! But now having seen the different conditionality of people, is that really tenable or even a wise reflection? Its sometimes the case that an individual may be really attached to ‘the idea’ of being a monk, sometimes really ungrateful, or stubborn, opinionated, etc in which case I have often thought, disrobing would actually be good thing for them, do you agree?
As a monk or nun who has gone through such a thing or as a layman/woman who has seen it directly happen also maybr, what were/are your thoughts and feelings regarding this phenomenon.
I think one absolutely should remove oneself from toxic environments and unfortunate conditions even if it means disrobing. I also think it is better to be a good layman than a bad monk. A lay person may even be an Anagami whereas a bad monk may be headed to Niraya hell, i think it is obvious which is better.

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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by salayatananirodha » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:11 am

16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:03 am

bhante dhamma wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:43 am
As a monk or nun who has gone through such a thing or as a layman/woman who has seen it directly happen also maybr, what were/are your thoughts and feelings regarding this phenomenon.
I thought about it for some time, and I just do not know. I have some experience of this because I've been a monk and disrobed. (but I wasn't a bad monk I think.)


And...
I don't know any bad monks.
I know some lazy monks, and some monks with severe mental illnesses, and one really horrible narcissist monk who is disliked by everyone around him.
I know monks who handle money, and monks who break almost every precept up to but not including the sanghadisesas.
But I don't know any bad monks.

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DooDoot
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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by DooDoot » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:12 am

This discourse resulted in sixty monks disrobing.
Thus spoke the Blessed One. And while this explanation was being delivered, hot blood rose out of the mouths of sixty monks; another sixty monks abandoned the training and returned to the lower life, saying, "It is too difficult to do, Blessed One, it is too difficult to do"; while the minds of another sixty monks abandoned clinging and were liberated from the aasava-s.
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SarathW
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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by SarathW » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:00 am

I know monks who handle money, and monks who break almost every precept up to but not including the sanghadisesas.
But I don't know any bad monks.
This is very sad to hear from a person who used to be a western monk even though I am fully aware of misbehaving monks.
In my opinion, if a monk can't observe the five precepts he should be disrobed even though it does not contravene the Vinaya.
They are doing a great damage to the order.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by santa100 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:11 am

bhante dhamma wrote:I remember as a junior monk one senior monk always used to say to us ‘its better to be a bad monk than a good layman.’
Even in a worldly environment like financial corporations, there're very specific rules, policies, and metrics when it comes to employees' performance. If an employee doesn't pull his weight, he will face disciplinary actions and possibly even get kicked out. One would expect a noble environment like the Buddhist Sangha to have even tighter standards than those worldly environments. If it's just sub-standard, then it's certainly not noble, it'd even be sub-worldly compared to the corporate world.

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robertk
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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by robertk » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:29 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:03 am
.)


And...
I don't know any bad monks.

I know monks who handle money, and monks who break almost every precept up to but not including the sanghadisesas.
But I don't know any bad monks.
the usual pali word applying to such monks is alajji - unconscientious or shameless. in a sense they are like the bad apple who can ruin the rest. Best to stay far away.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:52 am

SarathW wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:00 am
I know monks who handle money, and monks who break almost every precept up to but not including the sanghadisesas.
But I don't know any bad monks.
This is very sad to hear from a person who used to be a western monk even though I am fully aware of misbehaving monks.
In my opinion, if a monk can't observe the five precepts he should be disrobed even though it does not contravene the Vinaya.
They are doing a great damage to the order.
I just wanted to reassure you Sarath, that these monks quoted above who handled money and broke many precepts, were not at my monastery. They would have been expelled from the monastery if they did these things. Vinaya is very strict there.
The monks I mentioned were Thai and Cambodian, I met them at other monasteries.

budo
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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by budo » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:00 pm

Depends on the monastery. Some monasteries I wouldn't even call monasteries, putting on robes just so that you can call yourself a monk doesn't make you a monk.

At the end of the day it's what happens in the mind that matters, and at some point in progress the person will leave the lay life, it's better that they end up in a real monastery, a real refuge, than sleep in some cave where they could be eaten by a wild animal.

People disrobe because they pulled the cart before the horse.

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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by Baranek13 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:58 pm

I heard stories in EBT about Buddha teaching monks who want to disrobe. Is there any teaching where he advice disrobing as a progress on the path?
“You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important.”
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cappuccino
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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:32 pm

bhante dhamma wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:43 am
"it's better to be a bad monk than a good layman."
he means being a monk is a privilege

however, being a lay Buddhist is a privilege

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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:27 pm

Baranek13 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:58 pm
I heard stories in EBT about Buddha teaching monks who want to disrobe. Is there any teaching where he advice disrobing as a progress on the path?
I don't think it is ever described positively. Every Sutta I can think of on the subject seems to describe it as "returning to the lower life", meaning they stopped practicing.

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:16 pm

Then Ratthapala, not long after the brahmans & householders of Thullakotthita had left, approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, said to him, "As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it's not easy, living at home, to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, a polished shell. Lord, I want — having shaved off my hair & beard and putting on the ochre robe — to go forth from the household life into homelessness. May I receive the going-forth in the Blessed One's presence? May I receive admission?"

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Baranek13
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Re: Disrobing defeat or progress?

Post by Baranek13 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:15 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:27 pm
I don't think it is ever described positively. Every Sutta I can think of on the subject seems to describe it as "returning to the lower life", meaning they stopped practicing.
I don't think lower life means stopping practicing. It is (hopefully) still practicing but in lower, lay realm.
“You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important.”
― Ajahn Chah

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