A Manual of the Dhamma

    On July 1901 seven laymen from Okkan village put thirteen questions, to which I will give answers. They are devoted laymen, namely, Taka Circle Headman Maung Po O, Rest House Donor Maung Shwe La, Pagoda Builder U Baw, Monastery Donor Saya Saing, Monastery Donor Maung Htut, Pagoda Spire Donor Maung Shwe Ye, and Supporter Maung Nge. They, and some villagers, asked these thirteen questions regarding the problems of monkhood and its relationship with the laity. I will now give a concise answer to each question.

The Thirteen Questions

  1. Nowadays in the Buddha’s dispensation there are three different types of monks, namely: lajjī (one with a moral conscience, a scrupulous monk), alajjī (one with no moral conscience, a shameless monk), and dussīlo (without ethical conduct, a bad, fallen, immoral monk). So we wish to know the factors or characteristics embracing each type as mentioned in the Pāli texts, commentaries and subcommentaries. Kindly give the factors to classify each type.
  2. Should those who know the truth about shameless and immoral monks refrain from associating with and paying respect to them? Does this agree with the verse in the Mangala Sutta that advises one to avoid the foolish (asevanā ca bālānam)? Is a lay person who shows disregard by shunning bad monks following the injunction of the Mangala Dhamma? We would like to know of scriptural evidence and examples regarding the good or bad results from this action.
  3. Should those who know the truth about shameless and immoral monks continue to pay respect and offer requisites? Are they following the Mangala Dhamma that advises us to associate with the wise (panditanāñca sevanā)? Is this behaviour following the advice given in the Mangala Sutta or not? Kindly give evidence and case histories regarding good or bad results from this act.
  4. If a person offers the four requisites such as almsfood, knowing a monk to be shameless or immoral, does this amount to the Mangala Dhamma that says one should honour the worthy (pūja ca pūjaneyyānam), or is this contrary to that advice? Kindly let us know the good or bad results with appropriate case histories and evidence.
  5. If a person pays respect and shows deference by greeting, bowing, etc., knowing a monk to be shameless or immoral, does he fulfil the Mangala Dhamma that says that one should pay respect to the worthy or honourable ones (gāravo)? Does his behaviour agree with the text that says one should pay respect only to those who possess good conduct? The text referred to is in the Kosala Samyutta. By worshipping bad monks does one accomplish a reliable refuge? Kindly give evidence or examples to show the right way in this matter of honouring bad monks.
  6. If one speaks ill of a monk or condemns him, either directly or indirectly, knowing him to be shameless or immoral, does one attract ten evil punishments or not? Is one free from evil with this act?
  7. If a shameless monk becomes afraid of suffering in samsāra, or if he acquires moral dread, how can he become a scrupulous monk? Is it possible for him to become a scrupulous monk?
  8. Should lay persons learn the Vinaya? Does this kind of learning agree with the Mangala Dhamma that advises one to be well-trained in discipline (vinayo ca susikkhito)? What are the good or bad results of this act? Kindly give evidence or examples to prove a definite point.
  9. Should a monk teach the monastic discipline to a lay person? What are the good or bad results of this? Please give some evidence.
  10. Kindly give the detailed factors or characteristics of each of the four purifying moralities (pārisuddhi sīla). You may give each its characteristic, function, manifestation, and proximate cause.
  11. Among the four purifying moralities, what are the bad effects if a monk transgresses basic monastic restraint (Pātimokkha samvara sīla). What are the good effects if a monk observes it? Kindly explain the remaining three types of purifying morality, which may have good or bad effects according to observance or non-observance.
  12. What are the factors of offerings made to the whole Sangha (sanghikadāna)? How can we perform this type of donation?
  13. Of the two types of donation, offerings to the Sangha and offerings to the Enlightened One, which has greater merit?

© You may print any of these books for your own  use. However, all rights are reserved. You may not use any of the site content on your own website, nor for commercial distribution. To publish the books, permission must be sought from the appropriate copyright owners. If you post an extract on a forum, post a link to the appropriate page. Please do not link directly to PDF, MP3, or ZIP files.


• HOME •
The Buddha
What's New?


Mahasi Sayadaw
Ledi Sayadaw
Other Authors
Bhikkhu Pesala

• HELP •
Opera Tips
Opera Buttons
Pali Words
Map of India
Related Links
Contact Us

Unicode Fonts
Photo Gallery