Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
lostitude wrote:How is the no-money/reliance-on-society-for-food system better for a monk's spiritual development than working the earth and living off your own produce, and not asking laypeople for anything?
With a few exceptions, like drinking-water, monks are not allowed to ask lay people for anything, until invited to ask.
Thank you for your answer. I have never seen an alms round but, in practice, don't laypeople feel they have an obligation to feed the monks? And from a moral point of view, how to justify such donations when nothing seems to be given in return (unless I have missed something)?
Thanks again. So my question is not exactly new then
but still, sorry for being so prosaic, but whatever the Buddha says he sows and plows, does not feed his body. What I don't understand is why it's either cultivating your land or cultivating your mind and why it cannot be both.
If my understanding is correct, laypeople sacrifice part of the fruit of their work for the benefit of monks.
Is it because monks, in turn, see themselves as working for the benefit of laypeople? If the purpose is to become a boddhisatva and save others afterwards I would understand, but since no such thing seems to exist in theravada and you only work towards your own liberation, I don't see how to justify this one-way street of being offered food without anything in return. Please do not see any judgement in my question as I am only trying to make sense of it.