Has anyone seen the argument being made instead of observing the letter of Vinay that it is not wrong to accept Dana.
The argument made by all who posted is - renunciation goes out of the window if Dana is offered. I have never heard more mystifying logic.
So if a monk is offered a pair of Italian moccasins which costs $ 1000 he can wear it since it was Dana ? What about silk socks ?
It has to be in proportion. If I see a monk with a $ 300 HP computer I will not bat an eyelid. If I hear he got a data plan for free I will not bat an eyelid either. If I see he has a $ 1400 Alienware laptop then well something is wrong. Dana alone cannot explain it.
People sin and to feel better after their sin they will offer more and more to the priests. It is up to the priest to know where to draw the line.
By the very insistence to argue this post on grounds of Vinay by those who have argued it, instead of arguing the strangeness of seeing a monk in business class I know that those who have argued do not know where exactly they stand and if a line has been crossed as I had said in OP.
BuddhaSoup wrote:I feel that without knowing these monks' intention, it's difficult to judge this situation. Again, in Thailand from my experience, it's not unusual for monks to be given deference in certain matters. Giving monks a seat in the front of the plane may have been simply to avoid having them in close quarters with women for a long flight. It may have just been a way for the airline staff to make some merit, such as giving monks good almsfood, instead of the dregs. If the monks otherwise refused food after midday, and acted properly within Vinaya rules under the circumstances of being stuck in an airplane for hours, then it's hard to judge them.
On the other hand, if these monks were buying expensive tickets with dana from their temple, eating meals after midday, enjoying the pampering in business class, then it might be said they could leave their robes on the plane, and disembark as lay people.
It all goes to intention and Vinaya observance, IMO. In 2013, it can be difficult for Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis to be in the world without being seen as being a nonrenunciate. Should Bhikkhus wear handmade, ill fitting shoes? Should they refuse good medical care at a private hospital if it is offered? When traveling to New York for a meeting or retreat, should they sleep in the streets, or can they accept hotel accommodations? If a hotel is offered, must it be the 1 star with bedbugs, or is the 3 star Hilton OK? Again, it all goes to intention.
It is simple. When given a choice A, B, C they should choose the one which is least expensive because they are renunciates. It is strange to hear of bedbugs. Do people who meditate not get bitten by mosquitoes ? Buddha meditated in jungles of Bihar province and I think he got bitten by about 50,000 of them every night (which is why except he no one meditated in sea level in India at that time. Hindu ascetics meditate above 4,000 feet where there are no mosquitoes)
I have to wonder, friend, if you would be so insistent on your position if you were in the position to confront these Bhikkhus face-to-face? Most of us wouldn't be, even if we were truly offended, I think.
I should much rather bow at their feet than possibly offend a noble one.
I am a faithful Theravadin, but I do not have blind obedience to the priest class or a bhikkhu. That was for the time when normal people could not read and write. I will address a bhikkhu as Bhante and do a folded hand Namaskar / Namaste. But I will not think he is a superior person to me, unless I get to know him and then find out that he is well educated and understands the nuances of the scriptures.
I probably will have asked them if they should be in business class (I am not one to beat about the bush).