Monks handling money?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
Post Reply
SarathW
Posts: 9039
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Monks handling money?

Post by SarathW » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:39 pm

I was looking for an explanation how monks mange to break the tenth precept but still live like a monk.
Perhaps the following Sutta give some answers to this burning question.
The question I have is:
Can I include handling money as the same five categories mention in the following Sutta.

=============

Venerable sir, I see five qualities in the Blessed One because of which his disciples honour, respect, revere, and venerate him, and live in dependence on him, honouring and respecting him. What are the five? First, venerable sir, the Blessed One eats little and commends eating little; this I see as the first quality of the Blessed One because of which his disciples honour, respect, revere, and venerate him, and live in dependence on him, honouring and respecting him. Again, venerable sir, the Blessed One is content with any kind of robe and commends contentment with any kind of robe; this I see as the second quality of the Blessed One…Again, venerable sir, the Blessed One is content with any kind of almsfood and commends contentment with any kind of almsfood; this I see as the third quality of the Blessed One…Again, venerable sir, the Blessed One is content with any kind of resting place and commends contentment with any kind of resting place; this I see as the fourth quality of the Blessed One…Again, venerable sir, the Blessed One is secluded and commends seclusion; this I see as the fifth quality of the Blessed One…Venerable sir, these are the five qualities I see in the Blessed One because of which his disciples honour, respect, revere, and venerate him, and live in dependence on him, honouring and respecting him.”

https://suttacentral.net/en/mn77
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11461
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by DNS » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:54 am

SarathW wrote:I was looking for an explanation how monks mange to break the tenth precept but still live like a monk.
One answer could be that they shouldn't be handling money as a monk. Some explanations (rationales for using money) I have heard include:

1. The precept is against handling gold and silver, so money that is not gold or silver is okay.
(Jatarupa-rajata-patiggahana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami)

2. The modern world has many things which didn't exist in 6th century BCE which would make life too difficult for modern-day monks, including bus fares, subways, airline tickets, etc which also makes it more difficult to teach if money was not handled.

3. Having bank accounts is one way of utilizing a form of lay stewards (the bank) and the monks are using debit cards and checks for the transactions, not the cash.

And one of the more silly rationales include:

4. It is okay to handle money by using tweezers or having it placed in envelopes and then used later by taking it out from the envelope with tweezers.

I am not saying I agree with any of the above rationales, just that the above are some things I have heard.

SarathW
Posts: 9039
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by SarathW » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:59 am

Thank you David
If you read the Sutta I quoted, what Buddha saying is most important factors are Sila, Samadhi and Panna.
So handling money seems just trivial.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Caodemarte
Posts: 831
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by Caodemarte » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:42 pm

Rules of discipline for monks can also be adjusted to meet different circumstances as the Buddha did. The intent and spirit of the rules is what matters.

SarathW
Posts: 9039
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by SarathW » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:14 pm

Well all the five things are in the OP are not in the Vinaya.
eg: eat a little etc.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6590
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:11 am

SarathW wrote:I was looking for an explanation how monks mange to break the tenth precept but still live like a monk.
it is only a minor offence. it is not a parajika. So they either have a reason that is allowable in accord with the vinaya or they just ignore the rule.
Perhaps the following Sutta give some answers to this burning question.
The question I have is:
Can I include handling money as the same five categories mention in the following Sutta.
The rules on money are not sugestions for developing contentment, but rather to stop inappropriate livelihood. If you are able (as a mendicant) to buy what you need then sell those things then you are not reliant on the community for your basic standard of living and would not be content with any old robe, food, eating a little, a secluded place... because you can buy any robe...
A better way to incorporate this rule into lay life would be to not incorporate it at all and to live a more frugal life. And the Buddha does give some advice in this regard in the sigalovada sutta.

In Truth
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

SarathW
Posts: 9039
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by SarathW » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:55 am

it is only a minor offence.
A dispute about livelihood or about the Pātimokkha would be trifling, Ānanda. But should a dispute arise in the Sangha about the path or the way, such a dispute would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans.


https://suttacentral.net/en/mn104
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3724
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:48 am

Cittasanto wrote:It is only a minor offence. it is not a parajika. So they either have a reason that is allowable in accord with the vinaya or they just ignore the rule.
It's all relative, of course, but even the elders at the First Council could not agree on which rules were to be included in the Lesser and Minor Training Rules.
Vinaya Cūḷavagga, Khuddānukhuddakasikkhāpadakathā wrote:Some Arahants said, “Apart from the four offences of defeat, the remainder are lesser and minor.” Others said, “Apart from the four offences of defeat and the thirteen offences requiring formal meeting, the rest are lesser and minor.” Others said, “… and the two indeterminate offences, the rest are lesser and minor.” Others said, “… and the thirty offences requiring expiation with forfeiture, the rest are lesser and minor offences.” Others said, “… and the ­ninety-two offences requiring expiation, the rest are lesser and minor.” Others said, “… and four offences requiring confession, the rest are lesser and minor.”
In the book of fours, money is one of four things that prevent a recluse from shining:
  1. Drinking alcohol
  2. Engaging in sexual relations
  3. Using money
  4. Wrong livelihood (see the Appendix to the Maggaṅga Dīpanī
AIM ForumsPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

SarathW
Posts: 9039
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by SarathW » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:12 am

Thank you Bhante.
Even in the Bible it says “Money is the root of all evil.”

https://gotquestions.org/love-money-root-evil.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6590
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by Cittasanto » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:16 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:It is only a minor offence. it is not a parajika. So they either have a reason that is allowable in accord with the vinaya or they just ignore the rule.
It's all relative, of course, but even the elders at the First Council could not agree on which rules were to be included in the Lesser and Minor Training Rules.
Vinaya Cūḷavagga, Khuddānukhuddakasikkhāpadakathā wrote:Some Arahants said, “Apart from the four offences of defeat, the remainder are lesser and minor.” Others said, “Apart from the four offences of defeat and the thirteen offences requiring formal meeting, the rest are lesser and minor.” Others said, “… and the two indeterminate offences, the rest are lesser and minor.” Others said, “… and the thirty offences requiring expiation with forfeiture, the rest are lesser and minor offences.” Others said, “… and the ­ninety-two offences requiring expiation, the rest are lesser and minor.” Others said, “… and four offences requiring confession, the rest are lesser and minor.”
In the book of fours, money is one of four things that prevent a recluse from shining:
  1. Drinking alcohol
  2. Engaging in sexual relations
  3. Using money
  4. Wrong livelihood (see the Appendix to the Maggaṅga Dīpanī
Hi bhante
I was meaning in the sense of consequenses rather than indicating a hiararchy of rules outside of that.
Should of chosen my words better.
Thankyou
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

User avatar
Zom
Posts: 1961
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Contact:

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by Zom » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:36 pm

I was looking for an explanation how monks mange to break the tenth precept but still live like a monk.
Just try to see the sense behind this rule, and you'll understand how. Rules in Buddhism are not vows. They are useful trainings. Those who see them as vows just strengthen their 2nd samsaric fetter of adherence to rules & observances .)

SarathW
Posts: 9039
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by SarathW » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:06 am

Another interesting Sutta.

Again bhikkhus, the unworthy one bears the Discipline, he reflects. I bear the Discipline these other bhikkhus do not bear the Discipline. On account of his bearing the Discipline he praises himself and disparages others. This is a feature of the unworthy one. The worthy one reflects on account of bearing the Discipline these greedy things, angry things and deluded things do not get destroyed. If someone not a bearer of the Discipline lives according to the Teaching, following the right conduct, he would become honourable and praiseworthy, on account of that. He honours the right conduct and does not praise himself or disparage others. Bhikkhus this is a feature of the worthy one.


http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... isa-e.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
Posts: 9039
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by SarathW » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:41 pm

Perhaps monks handling money come under the practice of clinging to practice and precepts.
So the following sutta may be applicable here.

========
Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Ananda, every precept & practice, every life, every holy life that is followed as of essential worth: is every one of them fruitful?"

"Lord, that is not [to be answered] with a categorical answer."

"In that case, Ananda, give an analytical answer."

"When — by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is followed as of essential worth — one's unskillful mental qualities increase while one's skillful mental qualities decline: that sort of precept & practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitless. But when — by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is followed as of essential worth — one's unskillful mental qualities decline while one's skillful mental qualities increase: that sort of precept & practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitful."

That is what Ven. Ananda said, and the Teacher approved. Then Ven. Ananda, [realizing,] "The Teacher approves of me," got up from his seat and, having bowed down to the Blessed One and circumambulating him, left.

Then not long after Ven. Ananda had left, the Blessed One said to the monks, "Monks, Ananda is still in training, but it would not be easy to find his equal in discernment."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6590
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Monks handling money?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:34 pm

SarathW wrote:Perhaps monks handling money come under the practice of clinging to practice and precepts.
Interesting take on this.I can not think of an objection, although I always frame it as removing oneself from independence, it is easily framed in this light.
:anjali: :anjali: :anjali:
In Truth
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests