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Monks Alms Rounds in Thailand

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Monks Alms Rounds in Thailand

This blog has been provided by Asia Backpackers BLOG for Inspire.

 

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Merit Making

‘Merit’ is not charity as perceived by western people and it is offensive to many Buddhist followers, to hear others imply that when monks leave their temples to gather alms, (known as “BIN THA BAT” – บิณฑบาตร), that this is in some way begging. Buddhist people believe the giving of alms is a way of connecting the giver to the monk or nun and to show humbleness and respect to what they represent.

 

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Bin Tha Bat – Monks Alms Rounds

Alms giving is a daily ritual in the Kingdom; Monks will leave their Wat (temple), each morning at around 5 -6 am, having risen at 4 am, meditated for one hour, followed by one hour of chanting. (Except during the 3 months’ Buddhist lent, when they are prohibited from leaving their temples)

 

During their alms rounds, they will carry their alms bowl (บาตร – Pali patta; Sanksrit patra) with both hands held close to the stomach, the bowl is seen as the monk’s emblem and according to Buddhist rules, it is the only dish that monks can possess. The bowl is usually stored and carried in a cloth or crocheted bag, both for protection and ease of carrying.

 

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Traditionally the monks walk bare footed in a straight line one by one. (But can be seen in boats in the many Khlong’s within the Kingdom). The oldest or the temple abbot leads the monks, while the others follow by seniority.

 

Full story: http://www.inspirepattaya.com/lifestyle/monks-alms-rounds-thailand/

 

 
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-- © Copyright Inspire Pattaya 2017-12-10

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Agree with above post,Thai buddism is a mix of Animism,hindu elements and buddism.  

   As for the merit making ,it is exactly what it say's you give to the monks ,you gain merit in the eyes of Buhdda,so it really for your own good.I also think it is hogwash.

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No different to any other religion. Look at the Church of England, assets valued in the Billions yet still take money from pensioners every Sunday. 

The Greek Orthodox Church has assets worth over 700 Billion Euros......Twice the Greek National debt.....

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The other offshoot of this practice is that the temple has plenty of food and they will feed anyone who comes... thus, there is no hunger as there is reported in many Western countries. This presents a great safety net and security for the general populace. And with all the homelessness and sifting through garbage pails in some major cities of the West - that is something. 

 

In the countryside and small cities, I see no beggars here - only in tourist areas. They must be doing something right. I know my family gives often and feels good when they do. 

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Certainly Ken, "Feels good to give" without fanfare and publicity, just everyday people doing everyday what feels good.

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4 minutes ago, 473geo said:

Certainly Ken, "Feels good to give" without fanfare and publicity, just everyday people doing everyday what feels good.

Yes - I think that is part of the purpose - my family gets to begin their day doing a good deed and they get a blessing as well... no harm in all that. 

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12 minutes ago, hdkane said:

A long time ago I quit supporting the temples in any fashion...besides all the reported sex and drug crimes, it's pretty common to see monks sitting in first/business class on international flights, scrolling though their iphones...I'm sure there are sincere and genuine practitioners of buddhism, but I think they are the exception now, and not the rule...

I think the majority of monks are sincere, especially amongst the lifelong practitioners... I would doubt that the majority are sitting in first class on airplanes - even if 1% were that would be enormous... I live out in the countryside, plenty of forest temples and other and I can rarely remember seeing any abusive behaviour. Of course, it exists as in any religion or occupation but I think not nearly to the % you mention. 

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Save for the alms, there is nothing "buddhist", as in "following the Buddha's teachings" in the religion practiced in Thailand and, more generally, in countries following the Theravada doctrine (I think Mahayana, Zen, is closer to the real thing).

 

Beside the vows, precepts and other rules, Buddhism is first and foremost about meditating, with the goal of reaching enlightment, and NOT of winning the lottery!

 

I have yet to see a monk meditating, even though those living in forest temples probably do so, but we can't see them...as for the general population it has never heard about meditation!

 

What the people expect from their prayers is the exact opposite of what the Buddha taught!

 

Siddharta Gautama was a rich man who became poor in order to find and get rid of the root of suffering, which is attachment, craving.

 

Now, poor people expect the Buddha, via his monks, to provide them with everything he fought against!

And they think that corrupting the monks will help!

 

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4 hours ago, AhFarangJa said:

No different to any other religion. Look at the Church of England, assets valued in the Billions yet still take money from pensioners every Sunday. 

The Greek Orthodox Church has assets worth over 700 Billion Euros......Twice the Greek National debt.....

Not to mention the catholics or the mormons.

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BANGKOK 22 January 2018 09:19
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