အခ်ိန္ရွိခိုက္၊ လု႔ံလစိုက္၊ မမိုက္သင့္ေပ၊ ဒို႔တစ္ေတြ။

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Survey of A Monk and Responsibility


A Survey of a Monk and Responsibility
Or
The question on aim and object of becoming a monk
          In ancient India religion of Brahmanism, a Brahman was called as Dvija, one who was born twice in this very life, i.e. he is first born his human parents and he secondly born from the mouth of a Brahma, a highest Celestial being who creates the world.
          In Theravada Buddhism a monk is might be called Tija, one who is born thrice in this very life. First he was born as a human being form his parents like others, second he became a novice and thirdly he became monk in the Ordination Hall, Sīmā, when he was at twenty.   
Unfortunately, I have been staying in Sri Lanka for a periods of time, I had never been happened a novitiation ceremony and to enter into the Buddhist Dispensation as a Novice even though I had involved with various kinds of grief and joy occasions or ceremonies. In Myanmar, novitation ceremony, Pabbajja or initiate a boy into the Buddhist Order, is so well known that can be seen in very parts of the country.
          It is widely believed in that if you are a real Myanmar, you have been to Bagan, the ancient city of Myanmar, and have been a novice or monk as well at least each once in life. Of them the latter is chiefly intended for men, yet generally women also become nuns. Otherwise, you are not a true Myanmar.
          First and foremost, when one enters into the novice-hood or monk-hood, he has to do essential preparing to be so such shaving hair as so forth. Then he should ask prior permission from his master or abbot-monk saying “Saṃsāra vaṭṭa dukkhato mocanatthāya etc. would kindly, Sir, make me a novice so that I may be free from all sufferings of Saṃsāra….” Generally it can be said that one who enters into the Buddhist Order aims at for the sake of liberation from all sufferings or to be realized Nirvana.
          As a member of Buddhist Order, monk, novice and nun (later on monk), however, there are two kinds of duties that he has to perform as far as he lives in Buddhist Dispensation, Sāsana. Ganthadhūra and Vipassanādhūra are the special tasks of a monk. To be easy, the former can be rendered as both learning and teaching and the latter is engaging in insight meditation. Both duties can be performed separately or at the same time. The famous venerable Sayadaws in Myanmar prefer to carry out them individually. According to them learning is first and practicing or taking meditation is the second.
          In the code of Discipline, once the Buddha admonished to the Sangha Order that you are not free from punishment what you had committed or broken a discipline whether or not you know it. If you didn’t know it, you have to ask from others or learn. Accordingly learning first is the most proper way and then comes to Insight meditation, in my opinion too. On the other hand, that kind of happening can be seen in general through out the Theravada Buddhist countries. After all two of them is crucial to monks.  
          Here it is noteworthy that the Buddha did not praised merely learned in Buddhism, for instance at that time of the Buddha there was a learned monk called Poṭṭhila who was seriously acquaintance and scholarly in Tri-Pitakas and he had many students. But he was an ordinary monk and he wasn’t an Arahant. As a result Buddha called him Moghapurisa, useless or person who brings about no benefits to the Dhamma, who is good for nothing. Therefore a monk should follow both learning and meditation either together or one after another.
          Of course, it is said that studying or Ganthadhūra is like a bank of dam in which water is like meditational tasks. If there is no bank, there will not be water in the dam. So also, if there is no Ganthadhūra, studying, there won’t be Vipassanādhūra, meditational tasks. They are inter-related to each other so that one can liberate from Saṃsāra, Round of Rebirth.     
          In Myanmar, there are many Buddhist learning institutes, Pariyatti Sar Thin Taik, in which the Saṅgha Orders have been learning and teaching especially to Buddhism or Dhamma and Vinaya. For the time being, some of the Buddhist Institutes act upon meditational task, too. Again there are meditation centres, in almost all parts of Myanmar, in which they take meditational subjects or tasks only. Both of learning and taking meditation can be presented by the lay-people also. There are those people who are doing in both tasks. In this case, there is no special spec or specification between monks and lay-men and it is one’s own option. He may do according to his wish. Truly what we have to understand is that all Buddhists including monks and lay-people aim at to be freed form Saṃsāra. There is no differentiation of final goal or ultimate destination to all Buddhists.
          Well, then, there is a problem. If so, why becomes monk? To be short and easy, monk-hood is can devote more than lay-men-hood on the cases of religious activities or engage in religious matters to be realized the Nirvana or to serve not only one’s own benefit but others’. It is one of the reasons and there are many reasons why becomes a monk. To be clear, there is a Sutta called Samannaphala of Dighanikaya in which the Buddha expounds thoroughly and details why becoming a monk and his full result.
          Once, King Ajātasatthu of Māgadha wondered what the consequences of fitting monk-hood are. It is said that he was afraid of going to Buddha first of all, for he killed his own father who is a closed disciple of Buddha. Accordingly, he inquired from one religious teacher after the others before he became a Buddhist. He did not satisfy what their answers. Later on, he came to the Buddha planned by Jīvaka a greatest physician and asked from Him what the sakes of benefit being a monk are. Whole night was spent to preach and explain the problems what the King wanted to know. Therefore one may read it so as to get well and proper knowledge on becoming a monk and his results.
          This is a hint article concerning with a monk and his duties, and why I’m writing it is that a certain guest asked from me or he might laugh at me that “Do you know the meaning of requesting of becoming monk-hood or Are you forgetting or pretending to forget what the meaning of   prior saying of before a novice, Saṃsāra vaṭṭa dukkhato etc.,? This question is asked in most of the shout-box of Blogspots created by monks. I’m sure he really understands the question what he rose by. Of course, most of us, I do not mean all; engage in one of our two main obligations of learning or teaching and practicing the Insight Meditation. Any way and at last, my sincere gratitude is to be a certain guest who asked this kind of question, and I honestly believe in him that he has good-will to us so that we can follow what the Buddha instructed.
May you all be strong mind and sound body!
With Mettā,
                 Reverence Uttamānanda
                  (A Research Student)
         University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article!

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