The Bhikkhus Rules

A Guide for Laypeople

by Bhikkhu Ariyesako | 1998 | 50,970 words

The Theravadin Buddhist Monk's Rules compiled and explained by: Bhikkhu Ariyesako Discipline is for the sake of restraint, restraint for the sake of freedom from remorse, freedom from remorse for the sake of joy, joy for the sake of rapture, rapture for the sake of tranquillity, tranquillity for the sake of pleasure, pleasure for the sake of conce...

While money is an important commodity in the world — greed and selfishness are the actual root of evil — bhikkhus should not be concerned with it. Therefore this again offers an essential role for lay people. The bhikkhu stores no food but receives help from lay people who do; the bhikkhu stores no money but receives support from lay people who do. In fact this relationship is shown in this next allowance from the Buddhas time when bhikkhus were journeying along a difficult way. Food was difficult to find and He therefore allowed them to seek provisions. He also made another allowance, saying:

"There are people of conviction and confidence, bhikkhus, who place gold and silver in the hand of stewards, saying, Give the master whatever is allowable. I allow you, bhikkhus to accept whatever is allowable coming from that. But in no way at all do I say that money is to be accepted or sought for."

(BMC p.198)

"People who have good faith in bhikkhus may entrust money (lit., silver and gold) into the hand of a [steward] and order him to purchase allowable things for bhikkhus. Bhikkhus may be glad at the allowable things bought by the steward with that money. This is not regarded as being glad at that money. This is called the [Me.n.daka Allowance.] Bhikkhus should not request suitable things from the steward in excess of the money deposited with him."

(EV,II,p.135)