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How to greet a Novice monk? - Dhamma Wheel

How to greet a Novice monk?

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
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AlaskanDhamma
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How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby AlaskanDhamma » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:22 am

Well I was walking in the local Sears today and came across two novice monks from the local Lao temple, I believe. While I simply said Sabai dee and wai'd I didn't know if there was any other way to greet a novice monk. Can you call them Ajahn? Or are they "not quite there yet"? Just wondering if someone could clear that up for me. Thanks.
"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." -Buddha

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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby Individual » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:09 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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jcsuperstar
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:35 am

you can call anyone ajahn, i was ajahn james in thailand :rolleye:

i think the lao temple only has one novice now though, the nefew of the abbot
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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gavesako
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby gavesako » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:13 am

The Lao people usually call only a monk with more than 10 Rains (vassa) an "Ajahn". You can greet a novice more informally, they are treated like boys wearing (temporarily) robes.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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jcsuperstar
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:13 am

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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gavesako
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby gavesako » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:59 pm

Ajahn comes from Pali "acariya" who is normally a senior monk (Thera) who can give formal instruction to junior monks. Often laypeople don't know how senior a monk is, so they always call him Ajahn just to make sure. But I noticed this usage with lao people in particular.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Cittasanto
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:49 pm

I believe the 10 year Rains is a standard to actually receive the title? I am sure I read that in a Ajahn Chah book or on the forest sangha site somewhere, in relation to Ajahn Sumedo I think?


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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AlaskanDhamma
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby AlaskanDhamma » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:36 pm

Thank you Bhante, and everyone else for the replies.

JC, as for the novices there we're two, the abbots nephew I recognized, and a new one. They were both wearing the bright oragne robes and seemed about the same age. They had a layman with them to handle money and such.

Thanks for the clarification from everyone though! :)
"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." -Buddha

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gavesako
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby gavesako » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:40 am

It is not a title, just a conventional designation of a monk or nun over 10 Rains.

Real titles are given by the King of Thailand, such "Chao Khun" etc. But these have nothing to do with the Vinaya.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:54 am

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:55 am

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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mikenz66
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:50 am


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jcsuperstar
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:08 am

you know i just dawned on me all the monks ive ever been friends with had been monks for a long long time, maybe thats why i just assumed all monks were ajahn....
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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appicchato
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby appicchato » Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:05 am

Not to belabor this (minor) point...with reference to Thailand...the Thai word for teacher is ajahn...(along with the word khru, although this word leans more toward instructor rather than teacher)...and having been to (most) every nook and cranny in the country, I can vouch that (many) Thais call all monks (not novices) ajahn, regardless of status...

Be well... :smile:

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:18 pm

Ajahn Chah even calls mosquitoes as “Ajahn Mosquito."
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Cittasanto
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:05 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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AlaskanDhamma
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby AlaskanDhamma » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:29 am

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." -Buddha

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retrofuturist
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:41 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:34 am

Right. Anyone can be our teacher if we have the right attitude, so we should not disregard the young novice or treat him like a child. I couldn't find the reference to check it, but if I recall correctly, the Buddha said that there are four things that should be treated with respect, in spite of their youth and small size:

1. A poisonous snake
2. A fire
3. A prince who is the son of a monarch
4. A novice monk.

Due to their youth, novices may like to play football or practice kung fu, but don't let such outward signs make you disregard them as childish. Some novices may have a good understanding of Dhamma. I remember one young novice at Wat Pah Nanachat who was short for his age, but he was wise way beyond his years. He probably had more insight than some of the senior bhikkhus.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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AlaskanDhamma
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Re: How to greet a Novice monk?

Postby AlaskanDhamma » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:12 pm

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." -Buddha


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