Anagarika Ordination Questions

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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coreycook950
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Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by coreycook950 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:41 pm

I have a few questions about Akagarikas:

-What are they?
-What do they do?

-Can one be an Anagarika on a permanent basis?
-Can they handle money?
-Can they have bank accounts?

I'm considering becoming one in Bangkok.
Use this thread to share info/experiences.

Thanks

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Dhammanando
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:03 pm

coreycook950 wrote: -What are they?
Buddhist brahmacaris who keep the eight or (less often) ten precepts, but without having been given the going forth (pabbajjā) by the bhikkhusangha.
-What do they do?
It depends what type they are. I've come across three types, though there may be more:

1. Those connected with the Thai forest tradition. These are mainly male postulants intent on bhikkhu ordination. They are required to spend a certain period wearing white, keeping the eight precepts, and acting as servants for the bhikkhusangha. If they perform satisfactorily they will then be given sāmaṇera ordination.

2. Those connected with Sangharakshita's Triratna Buddhist Community (TBC), formerly known as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO). Ordinary members of the TBC (called dharmacaris and dharmacarinis) are not required to take vows of celibacy, but a minority of them elect to do so and are called anagārikas. What they "do" is pretty much as varied as what non-celibate order members do.

3. Independent operators. Anagārika Dharmapāla, for example.
-Can one be an Anagarika on a permanent basis?
Yes.
-Can they handle money?
They may do so if they've undertaken only the eight precepts.
-Can they have bank accounts?
Ditto.

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mikenz66
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:28 pm

Thanks Bhante,

As you say some modern organisations have established a formalized role (1&2).

Apart from those, I would have thought that your (3) could be expanded (or a 4th category added), to include a large number of lay people that live in monasteries, usually taking 8 precepts, in some sort of support role, short or long term. In that sense they are similar to your (1), but without the formal aim of Bhikkhu ordination.

:anjali:
Mike

coreycook950
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by coreycook950 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:45 pm

Must Anagarikas live in the monastery, or can they live outside the monastery?

What I want to do:

I'm not able to fully ordain due to medical conditions, but I want to be a servant of the monastics in Bangkok.
So I thought becoming an Anagarika would be a good option.
Any other ideas?

Thanks.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:10 pm

coreycook950 wrote:Must Anagarikas live in the monastery, or can they live outside the monastery?
If a man becomes an anagārika as part of some postulancy program (as in the forest tradition) he'll be required to live in a monastery. If he wants to be an independent non-affiliated anagārika, then he can just go to any monastery, take the eight precepts and then live wherever he pleases.
coreycook950 wrote:What I want to do:

I'm not able to fully ordain due to medical conditions, but I want to be a servant of the monastics in Bangkok. So I thought becoming an Anagarika would be a good option.
It might be a little difficult getting accepted in a Bangkok wat. In most Bangkok wats the monks are already adequately served by temple-boys (dek wat). These are mostly orphans or boys from poor rural families who've been adopted by the monks. The monks provide them with accommodation, share their almsfood with them, and sponsor their education. In return the boys keep the monks' quarters clean and run errands for them. There's already quite a bit of competition among poor rural parents to get their sons accepted as a Bangkok dek wat, so there's no great call for westerners to come and perform this role.

Outside of Bangkok your options are virtually unlimited, with no end of meditation centres, forest wats and study wats where you'd be welcome to stay as long as you please. The difficulty here is with visas. Although an 8-precept white-robed nun (mae chii) can stay as long as she wants in Thailand, there is no corresponding allowance for an 8-precept male anagārika. The Thai legislators' assumption seems to be that if you're male then you'll want to ordain as a sāmaṇera or bhikkhu, and so it is only these who are granted long-term visas. So, unless you are over fifty and can get a retirement visa, living as an anagārika will mean having to leave Thailand every few months to renew your visa — an undertaking that will be both costly and tiresome.
Any other ideas?
Would your medical condition prevent you from ordaining as a 10-precept sāmaṇera?

SarathW
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by SarathW » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:19 pm

Are there 8 precepts Samaneras?
What is the difference between a Samanera and fully ordained Bikkhu?
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dhammanando
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:42 am

SarathW wrote:Are there 8 precepts Samaneras?
No, all sāmaṇeras take the ten precepts at their ordination. In practice, however, it's only in the stricter monasteries that the tenth precept, against accepting gold and silver, is observed, so in effect most sāmaṇeras are really only observing nine.
SarathW wrote:What is the difference between a Samanera and fully ordained Bikkhu?
A sāmaṇera is classed as "not fully accepted" (anupasampanna), which in practice means that he does not participate in any of the formal transactions of the sangha (ordinations, pāṭimokkha recitals, confession, kaṭhina, etc.) and is not someone to whom bhikkhus or bhikkhunīs can declare any jhānic or ariyan attainments that they may have. As far as training rules go, a sāmaṇera is required to observe the ten precepts that he takes at his ordination, together with the Pāṭimokkha's seventy-five sekhiya rules. A bhikkhu is required to observe the full 227-rule Pāṭimokkha, together with all the supporting rules from the Khandhakas.

coreycook950
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by coreycook950 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:38 pm

How long does it typically take to ordain in Bangkok?

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Dhammanando
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:24 pm

coreycook950 wrote:How long does it typically take to ordain in Bangkok?
If you have a friend in Bangkok who'll introduce you to the abbot and vouch for your character, then you could be ordained as a sāmaṇera within a week or two, or however long it takes you to memorize the Pali formulas. If you don't know anyone in Bangkok, then the best course would be to get to know the monks in your local Thai wat, let them know your intentions, and after a few visits ask the friendliest one if he'll furnish you with a letter of introduction.

coreycook950
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by coreycook950 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:29 pm

Please tell me more about the Pali formulas I will have to recite.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:46 pm


coreycook950
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Re: Anagarika Ordination Questions

Post by coreycook950 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:26 pm

Thanks!

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