Vinaya : ‘Monks and Money’
by Ajahn Brahmavamso
‘Monks, there are these four stains because of which the sun and moon glow not, shine not, blaze not. What are these four? Rain clouds… snow clouds… smoke and dust… and an eclipse. Even so, monks, there are these four stains because of which monks and priests glow not, shine not, blaze not. What are these four? Drinking alcohol… indulging in sexual intercourse… accepting gold or money… obtaining one’s requisites through a wrong mode of livelihood. These are the four stains, monks, because of which monks and priests glow not, shine not, blaze not.’
– Anguttara Nikaya volume 2 page 53
Buddhist monks (bhikkhus) and nuns (bhikkhunis) are not allowed to accept money for themselves. Nor are they allowed to tell a trustworthy layperson to receive it on their behalf and keep it for them (e.g. keeping a personal bank account). Such practices are explicitly prohibited in the 18th rule of the section of Vinaya called Nissaggiya Pacittiya.
Nor may monks or nuns buy and sell things for themselves using money. This is prohibited by the 19th rule in the Nissaggiya Pacittiya.
Some people argue that these two rules refer only to gold and silver but such a view is indefensible. The Vinaya specifically states that these rules cover “whatever is used in business” , i.e. any medium of exchange.
Other people try to get around this rule by saying that it is only a minor rule, inapplicable to monastic life today. Indeed, the Buddha once did say that the Sangha may abolish the “lesser and minor” rules. …
– Read the full article here …
by Ajahn Brahmavamso
(Buddhist Society of Western Australia, Newsletter, January-March 1996)
– Published on TBCM’s Facebook here … www.facebook.com/tbcm.org.my/photos/pb.348962045182458.-2207520000.1428306792./759914830753842/?type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent-sin.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-xfp1%2Fv%2Ft1.0-9%2F10403258_759914830753842_3968253636428812828_n.jpg%3Foh%3Dcf4f3cb006687f60cd057c483f5acae5%26oe%3D559A1F9A&size=300%2C168&fbid=759914830753842
– Posted by CFFong