Are the Monks Working?

pohtiongho By pohtiongho, 4th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Religion>Buddhism

This article will change your attitude towards the monks. They also contribute to our society.

Are the Monks Working?

Once Buddha went to the house of a rich Brahmin with bowl in hand. The Brahmin became very agitated and said, "O Bhikshu, why do you lead an idle life of wandering and begging? Is this not disgraceful? You have a well-built body. You can work. I plough and sow. I work in the fields and I earn my bread at the sweat of my brow. I lead a laborious life. It would be better if you also plough and sow and then you will have plenty of food to eat".

Buddha replied, "O Brahmin! I also plough and sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat". The Brahmin said, "You say you are an agriculturist. I do not see any sign of it. Where are your plough, bullocks and seeds?" Then Buddha replied, "O Brahmin! Just hear my words with attention. I sow the seed of faith. The good actions that I perform are the rain that waters the seeds. Seclusion and non-attachment are parts of my plough. Righteousness is the handle. Meditation is the goad. Sama and Dama - tranquillity of the mind and restraint of the Indriyas (senses) - are the bullocks. Thus I plough the soil of the mind and remove the weeds of doubt, delusion, fear, birth and death. The harvest that comes in is the immortal fruit of Nibbana.. All sorrows terminate by this sort of ploughing and harvesting".

The arrogant Brahmin came to his senses and prostrated at the feet of Buddha and became his lay adherent.
According to the Vinaya rules, when a monk is sick, he can ask people to offer him medicines. Other than that, monks don’t ask for anything from the public. They receive whatever the public wish to offer to them.
The monks don ’t carry medicines because they are less concerned about their sickness regardless of whether the sickness can be cured or not. They are more concerned with the practice to attain Nibbana.
Whe a monk or nun is sick, he or she should take medicine accordingly as advised by a doctor but with regard to the vinaya rules, like accepting only medicines which are made from a blameless source. Medicines must only be used to counteract the painful feeling caused by sickness or disorders of the body.
We should not disapprove the existence of the Sangha. Are we so short of tax payers and soldiers that we cannot afford to see a few guys leading secluded lives? Then why did the Buddha approve this tradition? If you still think the forest monks are selfish and unproductive, you should do more research before making up this assumption. Should these monks go to work on your construction sites, for twelve hours per day, six days per week and you pay them only one meal per day? Won’t it be very nice? For those who are new to Buddhism, one of the Buddhist tenets for monks says : monks must not carry cash (gold).


Brahmin, Buddha, Harvest, Ploughing, Weeds Of Doubt

Meet the author

author avatar pohtiongho
I have been writing short stories, poems and articles during the past 20 years.
My other talents:
Pipeline fabrications and training of 6 G welders
Oil and gas, Maintenance Services

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
4th Jun 2013 (#)

We need variety every way. Even in other religions the priests do not do physical work and we also have manufacturing, service industry etc. We need few to nourish our minds too - siva

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author avatar philpalm
6th Jun 2013 (#)

Whenever seeds are tossed, they are not technically lost if a bird snatches it and eats it before it grows. The bird will now have energy to fly and later on the bird will drop his "blessings" upon the earth and fertilize the soil.

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author avatar Dean moriarty
26th Feb 2014 (#)

A monk came up to me in Thailand while I was living there and said: give me some money.. so I gave him what he asked for...

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author avatar pohtiongho
30th Jul 2014 (#)

If you wish to view some Buddhist Website photos, please hit :

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