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  1. #1
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    What regulates the number of monks in a Thai community?

    In the Thai communities I've spent time in, there appears to always be a happy equilibrium of number of monks to number of residents.

    Do temples have limits for the number of monks based on available accommodation? Do monks transfer to other temples that have shortages?

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    I suppose it all depends on how many scams they've got going. Monks/temples need money the same as everyone else. So the more scams the bigger the workforce. IMO.

  3. #3
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    I've seen quite a few in supermarkets buying food and smartphone topups. I suppose they can buy these things if they are given money instead of food, but it looks strange.

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    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    In the town 28km away from me a monk drives around in a Merc. An old Merc but still a Merc.
    I went to a 2nd funeral party last weekend in Sa Kaeo Province. The monks that compared it were specialists/contracted. They turned up with their own pick-up, speaker systems and amplifiers. The money that was openly given to them, all from women, was obscene.

  5. #5
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    If someone gave him the merc, I assume it's OK. Who psys for the gas?

  6. #6
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    Many monks are just Thai citizens doing their Buddha thing and return to normal life once they are enlightened enough. Some may be monks the rest of their days and do serve a purpose to the Thai people.

    It would be good if everyone who badmouths monks first learn a little about their service, how money is obtined and how good Buddhist men and women will serve for short periods of time. I personally think the Buddhists have many other religions beat when it comes to practicality and believeability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    Many monks are just Thai citizens doing their Buddha thing and return to normal life once they are enlightened enough. Some may be monks the rest of their days and do serve a purpose to the Thai people.
    Correct, and they come from all walks of life - rich, poor and in between.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers
    Many monks are just Thai citizens doing their Buddha thing and return to normal life once they are enlightened enough. Some may be monks the rest of their days and do serve a purpose to the Thai people.
    And many monks are criminals. You only have to read the news on here to realise that. There's nothing to stop a man becoming a monk who has a criminal record as long as your arm.

  9. #9
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    ^
    True. Can't argue that point.

  10. #10
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    Don't think we have any monks left in my village, at the moment, the local Wat looks empty.
    Different times of the year the jungle Monks come down from the mountains, but don't think we have any permanent ones left.

    Times are tough, rubber prices are down and the illegal logging has died off, so no money around, Monks have moved to the bigger Wats.

    Plus you don't see as many joining up, or for that matter doing the Monk for a month thing.

    Poverty is the reason younger guys join up, free meal ticket, but there are fewer and fewer younger people left in the area, in jail or gone to work in the cities.

    Every village has a Wat, but if you want some form of blessings, then you have to truck the Monks in from the bigger Wats.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    The village I live in is fairly large but there are only two monks left at the local wat. Twenty years ago, there were several, but they have grown old and died off. The abbot, who died just last month, never took new monks in. I heard those two monks left can't even go out in the morning for alms. Don't know what will happen to the wat in the future.

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    My Thai friends did the monk thing for a couple of weeks. Enjoyed the time out off the office job that he hates. I live around Ari and the monks help out the local down and outs I am informed. That can only be a good thing given that there is no dole to speak of in Thailand. They serve a purpose. The forest monks I saw up in Chiang Rai seemed like a genuine and very devout bunch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister
    Times are tough, rubber prices are down and the illegal logging has died off, so no money around, Monks have moved to the bigger Wats.
    Are the villagers able to still give food to them? My adopted mother in law always has a meal available for her daily visitors, whether she eats or not.

    I've also seem what looks like a tally board at the temple and been told it's the money earned by each monk. If one drops to the bottom of the table is one asked to move on?
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  14. #14
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    The monks go out every morning in our village to collect food. I was told they only eat once a day. I seriously doubt a monk would be asked to leave if they were at the bottom of the earning board since someone is always at the bottom. Maybe they make that person clean the toilets.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers
    The monks go out every morning in our village to collect food. I was told they only eat once a day.
    Monks don't collect food on Buddha Day's. Food is taken to them at the temple. They eat twice a day, 8 am and just before 12 noon. Except for my BiL when he did his 3 months. He used to phone my missus at tea time to cook him some food and she'd have it ready for when he popped in.

  16. #16
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    ^
    Thanks for the clarification Prag. I guess like many times before, I have been given incorrect information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Henrie View Post
    I've seen quite a few in supermarkets buying food and smartphone topups. I suppose they can buy these things if they are given money instead of food, but it looks strange.
    The monks get their money from funerals, new monk rituals, weddings and such events that Thai people need chanting monks. The families pay the monks.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    Many monks are just Thai citizens doing their Buddha thing and return to normal life once they are enlightened enough. Some may be monks the rest of their days and do serve a purpose to the Thai people.

    It would be good if everyone who badmouths monks first learn a little about their service, how money is obtined and how good Buddhist men and women will serve for short periods of time. I personally think the Buddhists have many other religions beat when it comes to practicality and believeability.
    Adding, that it also plays a societal safety-catch role in a variety of ways.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henrie
    I've seen quite a few in supermarkets buying food
    those BASTARDS

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh
    Are the villagers able to still give food to them? My adopted mother in law always has a meal available for her daily visitors, whether she eats or not.
    No shortage of food, just less monks around,, guy that did my wedding blessing, car etc was the last long term village monk, he packed up and got a job in BKK.

    We get the wondering monks, going to or back from the jungle, but no one stays long, times have changed.
    When I first came here, no cars or TV, few off the main road had electricity, the Wat was the center of village life.

    The monks, like the water buffalo are a disappearing breed, 22 villages in my district, not seen any younger men taking up the calling, 2 weeks to a month to make merit is about it.

    Still get the 6 am alms collection, but they come from another village most of the time.

    Sad in a way, the simple life, of enough to eat, a place to live, has been replaced by twin cab pick up trucks, wide screen TVs and mobile phones.

    Welcome to the western consumer world, why would you want to be a Buddha monk.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    Don't think we have any monks left in my village, at the moment, the local Wat looks empty.
    Different times of the year the jungle Monks come down from the mountains, but don't think we have any permanent ones left.

    Times are tough, rubber prices are down and the illegal logging has died off, so no money around, Monks have moved to the bigger Wats.

    Plus you don't see as many joining up, or for that matter doing the Monk for a month thing.

    Poverty is the reason younger guys join up, free meal ticket, but there are fewer and fewer younger people left in the area, in jail or gone to work in the cities.

    Every village has a Wat, but if you want some form of blessings, then you have to truck the Monks in from the bigger Wats.
    As noted numerous times - in many instances, the practice has become an income deriving security, less a calling.

  22. #22
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    Two new Wats have opened up around here in the last six months or so, they are pretty small, humble affairs- pretty sure they are 'Forest tradition'. Just a few humble cabins and a central pavilion- but I imagine they will grow as they sponge more money from struggling villagers. That's to add to the four other Wats in the area, one of which is Forest, the others the typical, gaudy affairs.

    So no shortage of Monks around here!
    probes Aliens

  23. #23
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    ^ I've seen quite a few new ones being built. Everywhere seems to have enough already but they want more. Maybe it's a merit thing, someone makes a lot of cash in a year and decides to build a wat without any thought of if monk numbers are increasing in order to occupy it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Henrie
    I've seen quite a few in supermarkets buying food
    those BASTARDS
    Yeah quite. Where are the monk police when you need them lol.

    I always thought they can only have what they are given and can't choose material items themselves. If you give one a fuck off heavy melon at 6am he can't refuse it and has to carry it around on his collection rounds.

  25. #25
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    The land is usually donated to them by someone wanting to make merit (so much for the kids).

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