Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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SarathW
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Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by SarathW » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:05 pm

Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?
For instance, what is the name in their passport?
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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:14 pm

SarathW wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:05 pm
Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?
Not usually. I don't know any monk in Thailand or in my country who has legally changed their name.

SarathW
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Re: Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by SarathW » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:24 pm

So Ahahn Braham is his nickname or the stage name?
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mikenz66
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Re: Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:33 pm

Brahmavamso is his ordination name, but it is often abbreviated, since Brahm is easier to say...

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:34 pm

SarathW wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:24 pm
So Ahahn Braham is his nickname or the stage name?
"Tan Chao Khun Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera" is legally called Peter Betts in his passport I believe.
Saying a monk's name is a "nickname" or "stage name" is a little insulting. It is the name they were given by their upachaya, when they entered the holy life.

cookiemonster
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Re: Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by cookiemonster » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:29 pm

SarathW wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:24 pm
So Ahahn Braham is his nickname or the stage name?
An ordination name is the name given and recognized by and within a monastic/ordaining government.
A legal name is the name given and recognized by and within a civil government.

Both are "real" names, in their own spheres.

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pitakele
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Re: Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by pitakele » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:19 am

Formerly, I was in robes for 17 years. In 1980, I made a new passport in Sri Lanka with my ordained name, ______ Bhikkhu. To do this, I submitted a letter to my country's embassy from the Thai Embassy in Colombo stating that my ordained name was the name in usage. I ordained in Thailand and had monk ID cards for both Thailand & Sri Lanka. Today, I don't think this could be done without first changing one's lay name via deed poll.

I notice that smart ID cards for monks were introduced in Thailand in October 2017 http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Smart-ID ... 41298.html
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LG2V
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Re: Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by LG2V » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:18 pm

Do fellow monks and friends who are lay followers still colloquially refer to the monk by his legal name (e.g. "Hey Steve, what's up.")?
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pitakele
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Re: Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by pitakele » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:23 pm

LG2V wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:18 pm
Do fellow monks and friends who are lay followers still colloquially refer to the monk by his legal name (e.g. "Hey Steve, what's up.")?
It depends. In Thailand, Sangha members are usually addressed by their lay names, but not always. In Sri Lanka (and Myanmar?) Sangha are, I think, always addressed by their Pali names, even by their immediate family. For Western Sangha, I think it depends, to some extent, how they prefer friends & family to address them. Pali names given at ordination often have an aspirational theme for practice, so over time, become much more meaningful and relevant han former lay names.
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dharmacorps
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Re: Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:17 pm

At some point I heard Ajahn Amaro state he changed his name legally to "Ajahn Amaro". I didn't get the impression this is common or anything but his reasoning was that's what people call him anyway so why not.

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LG2V
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Re: Do monks change their legal name when they ordained?

Post by LG2V » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:22 am

pitakele wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:23 pm
LG2V wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:18 pm
Do fellow monks and friends who are lay followers still colloquially refer to the monk by his legal name (e.g. "Hey Steve, what's up.")?
It depends. In Thailand, Sangha members are usually addressed by their lay names, but not always. In Sri Lanka (and Myanmar?) Sangha are, I think, always addressed by their Pali names, even by their immediate family. For Western Sangha, I think it depends, to some extent, how they prefer friends & family to address them. Pali names given at ordination often have an aspirational theme for practice, so over time, become much more meaningful and relevant han former lay names.
Thanks for the explanation
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