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What Costs Are Involved In Becoming A Monk

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Hey, I feel a bit cheap and lame for asking this. But a really good Thai mate is going to become a monk, maybe for 3 months, but more likely for ever. His family are broke farmers and have dropped hints that he needs a bit of money to pursue what I thought is a very cheap vocation.

Apart from robes, maybe sandals, one of those care packages from macro and the bus fare back home what other expenses is he going to encounter?

I'm just concerned I'll give too little and be asked for more, with the loss of face for all, or too much and the family will just have a massive piss up in his "honor"

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Hey, I feel a bit cheap and lame for asking this. But a really good Thai mate is going to become a monk, maybe for 3 months, but more likely for ever. His family are broke farmers and have dropped hints that he needs a bit of money to pursue what I thought is a very cheap vocation.

Apart from robes, maybe sandals, one of those care packages from macro and the bus fare back home what other expenses is he going to encounter?

I'm just concerned I'll give too little and be asked for more, with the loss of face for all, or too much and the family will just have a massive piss up in his "honor"

you know the drill already by the sound of it,

pissup, head shaved, and into the wat, money happens at the house in an envelope in my experience.

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I recently became a monk, and was shocked at what it ended up costing me when I added it all up.

Firstly, you will need some white clothes, a shirt and a sarong. You will then need all the requisits of a monk such as robes, bowls etc. Ohter optional things include pillows, towels, umbrella etc.

Thai often have large 'parties' (not sure what to call it) before ordaining, so sometimes a band is hired, large umbrella for the ordinand, Tent and chairs may need to be hired, and maybe a microphone if the Wat doesn't have one. Maybe even a professional photographer.

Then there is the gifts to the monks participating in the ceremony. There are generally around 11 monks and generally a monetary gift is given of around 200B to each monk with the Preceptor (upatcha) usually receiving around 2000B, the other 2 senior monks around 1000B.

Often small trays of gifts are given to all these monks as well (probably around 200B) with the important monks getting more expensive gifts here too.

After the ceremony, often drinks are presented to the monks while they are still in the bot.

From there, the family usually gifts lunch to the monks. In my case, all the monks in the Wat, about 20 monks. Often there is another gift given to the monks at lunch, including the monks that already had received a gift. This includes money and/or small packages (of toothpaste, soap, etc).

While I was a monk, I participated in one ordination ceremony of a rich man (the Mayor's son). They really spent lots of money, had a traditional band, expensive luch and lavish gifts (I received 400B that day). My own ceremony was a lot smaller, but it ended up costing me around 40,000B all up. This included a donation to the Wat as well.

However, there is no requirement to spend money at all. The temples are all full of old bowls and robes-left overs from short term monks. I tried to keep the donations to the monks to a minimum, but my Thai friends/family were a bit concerned (maybe of their image??) and the minimum I could get away with was a donation of 1500B to the Upatcha.

Being a farang, all the monks were expecting a lot more from me in gifts etc.

One more thing, there are more gifts, flowers etc needed when the disrobing happens. I think 5 monks are present and each is usually given a monetary gift of around 200B.

Hope this helps.

Bankei.

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You said somewhere you got a copy of the ordination ceremony chants/instructions in English - where did you get it?

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Hi

I had previously purchased a little book called "Ordination Proceedure" which is put out by the Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya Press, and available in the bookshop opposite Wat Boworn in Bangkok.

However, there are differences in the wording used by the two nikaya (schools) in Thailand. The Mahamakut are the smaller Dhammayutika Nikaya, while the larger Nikaya is the Mahanikaya.

I ended up ordaining in a Mahanikaya Wat, so before I left I asked a monk for a copy of the proceedure for this school. I can probably email acopy to anyone in need.

Still, I found there were slight differences in wording to what I had. I also had to learn how to pronounce the Pali in the way the Thai's pronounced it. eg. 'v' becomes 'w', 'Dh' becomes 'Th'. eg Sadhu is pronounced 'Sathu'.

Regards

Bankei

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Still, I found there were slight differences in wording to what I had. I also had to learn how to pronounce the Pali in the way the Thai's pronounced it. eg. 'v' becomes 'w', 'Dh' becomes 'Th'. eg Sadhu is pronounced 'Sathu'.

Regards

Bankei

For those not familiar with the Thai language...the 'Th' sound in Thai is pronounced like the 'Th' in 'Thai'......not like the 'Th' in the English words 'this, that, these, those...' Thais don't always differentiate well between 'Dh' and 'Th' in pronunciation...at least not to a western ear.

Edited by chownah

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On 7/3/2006 at 2:04 AM, bankei said:

I recently became a monk, and was shocked at what it ended up costing me when I added it all up.

Firstly, you will need some white clothes, a shirt and a sarong. You will then need all the requisits of a monk such as robes, bowls etc. Ohter optional things include pillows, towels, umbrella etc.

Thai often have large 'parties' (not sure what to call it) before ordaining, so sometimes a band is hired, large umbrella for the ordinand, Tent and chairs may need to be hired, and maybe a microphone if the Wat doesn't have one. Maybe even a professional photographer.

Then there is the gifts to the monks participating in the ceremony. There are generally around 11 monks and generally a monetary gift is given of around 200B to each monk with the Preceptor (upatcha) usually receiving around 2000B, the other 2 senior monks around 1000B.

Often small trays of gifts are given to all these monks as well (probably around 200B) with the important monks getting more expensive gifts here too.

After the ceremony, often drinks are presented to the monks while they are still in the bot.

From there, the family usually gifts lunch to the monks. In my case, all the monks in the Wat, about 20 monks. Often there is another gift given to the monks at lunch, including the monks that already had received a gift. This includes money and/or small packages (of toothpaste, soap, etc).

While I was a monk, I participated in one ordination ceremony of a rich man (the Mayor's son). They really spent lots of money, had a traditional band, expensive luch and lavish gifts (I received 400B that day). My own ceremony was a lot smaller, but it ended up costing me around 40,000B all up. This included a donation to the Wat as well.

However, there is no requirement to spend money at all. The temples are all full of old bowls and robes-left overs from short term monks. I tried to keep the donations to the monks to a minimum, but my Thai friends/family were a bit concerned (maybe of their image??) and the minimum I could get away with was a donation of 1500B to the Upatcha.

Being a farang, all the monks were expecting a lot more from me in gifts etc.

One more thing, there are more gifts, flowers etc needed when the disrobing happens. I think 5 monks are present and each is usually given a monetary gift of around 200B.

Hope this helps.

Bankei.

my adopted son will become monk soon. i have been told i need to contribute 300,000 baht.  i don't understand this.

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On 12/23/2019 at 1:52 PM, mekong.star said:

my adopted son will become monk soon. i have been told i need to contribute 300,000 baht.  i don't understand this.

It's all about Thai "face".  When I ordained, I didn't do nothing.  A Thai person I knew donated the robes and the bowl.  Maybe a couple hundred baht in an envelope to the senior monks.  Other than that, zilch.  I stayed for 7 years.  Same temple in Lopburi province.  

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There are two "T" sounds in Thai: one is aspirated but not voiced (Thahan) and one voiced but not aspirated (Taw.)  The unaspirated "T" sound is formed by the tip of the tongue on the alveolar ridge just above the teeth.  There is a voiced "D" sound in Thai which is formed by the flattened tongue on the alveolar ridge (Dek.)  The Thai character for each is different.

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21 hours ago, DogNo1 said:

There are two "T" sounds in Thai: one is aspirated but not voiced (Thahan) and one voiced but not aspirated (Taw.)  The unaspirated "T" sound is formed by the tip of the tongue on the alveolar ridge just above the teeth.  There is a voiced "D" sound in Thai which is formed by the flattened tongue on the alveolar ridge (Dek.)  The Thai character for each is different.

WTH? 

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On 7/3/2006 at 11:24 PM, camerata said:

 

After you get over the initial hump (initial costs) what are the ongoing costs assuming you remain ordained for the long haul (aiming for awakening)?

 

I'm visualizing that there would no longer be any income, nor assets remaining with which to fund anything, having renunciated attachment to such things??

Edited by rockyysdt
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On 12/26/2019 at 2:31 AM, khaowong1 said:

It's all about Thai "face".  When I ordained, I didn't do nothing.  A Thai person I knew donated the robes and the bowl.  Maybe a couple hundred baht in an envelope to the senior monks.  Other than that, zilch.  I stayed for 7 years.  Same temple in Lopburi province.  

On 12/24/2019 at 7:52 AM, mekong.star said:

my adopted son will become monk soon. i have been told i need to contribute 300,000 baht.  i don't understand this.

My thoughts are suggesting that the greater the contribution one feels is needed, the further away one is from abandonment of self importance and from letting go of the need for praise, as described in Feb & Mar of the 2020 Buddhist calendar.

 

Quote:

 

On this Path there’s only abandoning. We practise to uproot all views stemming from self-importance.

 

Birth, old age, sickness, and death. When you see these clearly, you will be able to let go of praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and pain, honour and insignificance.

 

 

 

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On 12/26/2019 at 2:31 AM, khaowong1 said:

II didn't do nothing.  A Thai person I knew donated the robes and the bowl.  Maybe a couple hundred baht in an envelope to the senior monks.  Other than that, zilch.  I stayed for 7 years.  Same temple in Lopburi province.  

What were your operating costs after the initial ordination, over the 7 years?

 

 

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