Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Knut
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Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by Knut » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:11 am

Happy to tell that my ordination as a Buddhist monk took place April 8 at the Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery in Polgahawela in Sri Lanka. My new name is now Bhante Sudewa Thero.

For more information on Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka and other places in the world, please visit http://mahamevnawa.lk/. It is a great place for ordination if you are considering such a thing.

Namo Buddhaya.

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CedarTree
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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by CedarTree » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:37 pm

Congrats Venerable,

Although now I would probably align myself with the type of Zazen practiced at Antaiji or Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery I practiced before in a Theravada monastery and I can say that great monasteries and great bbhikkhus are invaluable :)

I wish you all the progress possible and that you may one day be a great shining example of practice, virtue, and the dhamma :)


Practice, Practice, Practice


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Maitri
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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by Maitri » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:09 pm

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! Congratulations on your ordination! May you find success on the path :buddha1:
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Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom." Dhammapada: Pupphavagga

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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by DNS » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:41 pm

Sadhu! Congratulations!

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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by SarathW » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:43 pm

Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu!!
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by Trindolex2 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:58 pm

Are you able to tell us more details in what the monastery is like?

Can you get a kuti in order to practice meditation in solitude? How many foreigners are in the tradition? Do you have a teacher or are left to your own devices? I'm interested in this tradition and might pay them a visit so it would be good to get some preliminary information.

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pilgrim
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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by pilgrim » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:52 am

Knut wrote:Happy to tell that my ordination as a Buddhist monk took place April 8 at the Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery in Polgahawela in Sri Lanka. My new name is now Bhante Sudewa Thero.

For more information on Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka and other places in the world, please visit http://mahamevnawa.lk/. It is a great place for ordination if you are considering such a thing.

Namo Buddhaya.
Hello Bhante Sudewa. Just wondering how you could be a Thero as that is a title for monks with a minimum of 10 vassas. :anjali:

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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by BKh » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:59 am

pilgrim wrote: Just wondering how you could be a Thero as that is a title for monks with a minimum of 10 vassas.
In Sri Lanka it is an honorific for all monks. In fact, it is legally a part of all monks names on their passports.

The ten year thera designation was popularized, I believe, by the western Ajahn Cha tradition as a way to indicate elder monks.
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pilgrim
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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by pilgrim » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:55 am

BKh wrote:
The ten year thera designation was popularized, I believe, by the western Ajahn Cha tradition as a way to indicate elder monks.
I think you may be referring to the practice of the western Ajahn Cha tradition monks calling ten vassa monks with the prefix Ajahn.

Thero (Pali; also appearing in stem-form as thera, feminine therī) is an honorific term for bhikkhus and bhikkhunis (Buddhist monks and nuns) in the Buddhist monastic order. The Pāli term means "elder". These terms, which are used at the end of a monastic's monastic name, are useful to distinguish those who have at least 10 years since their upasampada (higher ordination).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thero


Canonical Tradition of Ranks according to the Vinaya (all lists in descending order)
samanera (Thai, nen or samanen) — a novice monk who has yet to receive higher ordination
navaka — a newly ordained monk
nissaya-muttaka — a monk who has spent five years in the monkhood
majjhima — a monk who has spent between five to ten years in the Order (middle rank)
thera — a monk who has spent ten years or more in the monkhood and is eligible to be a preceptor (upajjhaya, one who ordains other monks)
maha-thera — often used to refer to a monk who has spent twenty years or more in the Order
http://www.thaibuddhism.net/ranks.htm

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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by BKh » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:58 pm

pilgrim wrote:
BKh wrote:
The ten year thera designation was popularized, I believe, by the western Ajahn Cha tradition as a way to indicate elder monks.
I think you may be referring to the practice of the western Ajahn Cha tradition monks calling ten vassa monks with the prefix Ajahn.
Actually, I wasn't. The ajahn designation for ten years is more specifically(and exclusively?) a western Ajahn Cha thing. I believe Thais refer to any monk as ajahn. I also don't think that the term majjhima is in much use outside of the Ajahn Cha tradition.
That page doesn't have any sources. If someone has the Vinaya citation that would be swell.

Sorry if this is a derail, but I wanted to make sure that people understood that the venerable was doing nothing unseemly by including Thero at the end of his name.
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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:15 pm

BKh wrote:That page doesn't have any sources. If someone has the Vinaya citation that would be swell.
The distinction between thera, majjhima and nava bhikkhus is mentioned in several places in the Vinaya Piṭaka. The defining of these on the basis of the number of completed rains residences is from the commentaries, (though I believe it is implicit in the Vinaya rules relating to the obligation of dependence and the number of rains needed to be conditionally freed from it versus the number needed to be unconditionally freed).
“The Lord in many a figure talked a talk on discipline … he spoke in praise of the venerable Upāli, referring (to him) again and again. Come, your reverences, let us master discipline under the venerable Upāli,” and they, many monks—theras and navas and majjhimas—mastered discipline under the venerable Upāli. The venerable Upāli, out of respect for the monks who were theras, recited standing, and also the monks who were theras, out of respect for the Dhamma, had it recited standing, so that the monks who were theras were tired as well as the venerable Upāli. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, when a nava monk is reciting to sit down on a seat that is the same (height) or on a higher one out of respect for the Dhamma; when a monk who is a thera is having it recited to sit down on a seat that is the same (height) or on a lower one out of respect for the Dhamma.”

Now at that time many monks standing near the venerable Upāli grew tired waiting for the recitation. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, to sit down with those entitled to seats of an equal (height).” Then it occurred to monks: “Now, in respect of what is one entitled to seats of an equal (height)?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, to sit down together with those who are within three years (of your own) standing.”
(VIn. ii. 168-9)
Commentary:
Navo ti upasampadāya pañcavassakālato heṭṭhā jātiyā saṭṭhivassopi navoyeva.
A “new one” means one with fewer than five rains from the time of his ordination, even if he is sixty years old.

Majjhimo ti pañcavassakālato paṭṭhāya yāva navavassakālā majjhimo nāma.
One of “middle standing”: [a bhikkhu] from five to nine rains is called “of middle standing.”

Thero ti dasavassakālato paṭṭhāya thero nāma.
“Elder”: [a bhikkhu] from ten rains onwards is called an “elder”.
(Pugg-a. 216)

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gavesako
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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by gavesako » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:20 pm

BKh wrote:
pilgrim wrote:
BKh wrote:
The ten year thera designation was popularized, I believe, by the western Ajahn Cha tradition as a way to indicate elder monks.
I think you may be referring to the practice of the western Ajahn Cha tradition monks calling ten vassa monks with the prefix Ajahn.
Actually, I wasn't. The ajahn designation for ten years is more specifically(and exclusively?) a western Ajahn Cha thing. I believe Thais refer to any monk as ajahn. I also don't think that the term majjhima is in much use outside of the Ajahn Cha tradition.
That page doesn't have any sources. If someone has the Vinaya citation that would be swell.

Sorry if this is a derail, but I wanted to make sure that people understood that the venerable was doing nothing unseemly by including Thero at the end of his name.
Actually Ven. K. Gnanananda, the head of the Mahamevnawa group, once handed us a copy of his book in English and -- a little embarrassed -- he crossed out the word "Thero" behind his name. The reason is that he is a Pali scholar and his aim is to return to the original Buddha's teachings as preserved in the Suttas and Vinaya, so he knew that this usage was technically incorrect, although it has become the norm in Sri Lanka today.

Thais don't refer to all monks as "Ajahn" in general, but they might do so if they are unsure about the monk's seniority and want to be very polite.

In Thailand it is common to refer to all monks over 10 years as "Phra Thera".
Bhikkhu Gavesako
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tuuthne
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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by tuuthne » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:00 pm

Just wanted to congratulate Bhante Sudewa Thero on the occasion of ordination, can't add much to the ongoing debate about the Thero term. The Mahamevnawa is a very likeable and welcome tradition as far as I read about them, I'm glad they are doing well.

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Re: Ordination in the Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka

Post by binocular » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:42 pm

Make us proud!

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