+3 votes
by (220 points)
by (220 points)
So monks are completely dependent upon other people. A monk's existence becomes rather fragile this way. If lay people stop giving him food, he will suffer and soon die. Apparently, he is indifferent to life and death.  

Thanks for your answer Sankha
by (12.8k points)
They are supposed to work on giving up the craving for existence and the craving for non-exitance.  Life is fragile whether you are a monk or not. A lay person can die in many ways that are rare for a monk.  But a monk's life is more peaceful and relatively less miserable.
by (220 points)
Thank you for your reply Sankha
by (12.8k points)
You're welcome!
by (1.8k points)
Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu
by (1.9k points)
We are all dependent on other people to some extent. Whether you receive money or food, we all depend on others for our livelihood.
by (12.8k points)
Agreed, Bhante. I would even go a step further and say that the more things we want in life, the more dependent we become in life.  So a lay person with many desires and wants can be more dependent on other people as compared to a monk who just needs food, robes and a place to park the body.

3 Answers

+4 votes
by (12.8k points)

Monkhood is a lifestyle different from the way of the householder. Monks are supposed to dedicate their lives for spiritual development.  To preserve that simple way of living which is conducive to progressing in the path, the Buddha introduced certain precepts that prevent monks from storing food, handling money, consuming what is not offered etc. 

Reasons for lay people offering alms to monks:

  1. as a way of showing gratitude and appreciation towards the monks.
  2. giving alms to virtuous beings is very good Karma. Read the Dakkhinavibhanga Sutta
  3. giving helps to weaken one's greed and cultivate good qualities like kindness(Metta)

     
     
by (220 points)
So monks are completely dependent upon other people. A monk's existence becomes rather fragile this way. If lay people stop giving him food, he will suffer and soon die. Apparently, he is indifferent to life and death.  

Thanks for your answer Sankha
by (12.8k points)
They are supposed to work on giving up the craving for existence and the craving for non-exitance.  Life is fragile whether you are a monk or not. A lay person can die in many ways that are rare for a monk.  But a monk's life is more peaceful and relatively less miserable.
by (220 points)
Thank you for your reply Sankha
by (12.8k points)
You're welcome!
by (1.8k points)
Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu
by (1.9k points)
We are all dependent on other people to some extent. Whether you receive money or food, we all depend on others for our livelihood.
by (12.8k points)
Agreed, Bhante. I would even go a step further and say that the more things we want in life, the more dependent we become in life.  So a lay person with many desires and wants can be more dependent on other people as compared to a monk who just needs food, robes and a place to park the body.
+2 votes
by (860 points)
Monks are the ones dedicating their life to learning and practicing the Dhamma. Both learning and practicing correctly takes special circumstances and many years of perfecting it.

The Buddha made it necessary for these special beings to interact with laypeople, so they can also learn from the monks, and even practice if they ask for instructions. If this would not have been a rule, monks would not interact with laypeople. They would just keep to themselves, secluded from the world. Giving alms to a pure monk gives enormous merit to the layperson with forbearing positive consequences to their rounds in Samsara. It is a great opportunity, which is given to laypeople. They may even inspire a few to go forth and practice themselves, becoming enlightened. So it is a gift to us from the Buddha.
0 votes
by (1.9k points)
I think monks can prepare their own food if they have the required ingredients. People give food to monks as a gesture of obeisance and purity of mind. It's all about mind states and purification of mind to elevate to the truth.
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