A lay person named Chathuranga came to the International Institute of Theravāda looking to ordain in November, 2022. He is now a sāmaṇera (novice monk) and not yet a fully ordained bhikkhu. I thought that it would be interesting to show his path to monkhood to you.
Stage 1: Regular Person
First he was a regular lay person working as a construction assistant engineer in the Maldives and then made the transition to a devoted layperson. Here you can see he is more serious about Buddhism and cleaning an ancient Buddhist shrine.
Abhayagiri Stupa, Anuraddhapura, Sri Lanka
Stage 2: Upāsako
After getting more into Buddhism and wanting to make the transition to a full time yogi, he came to the monastery and started wearing white clothes. He is called an upāsako. Such factors of an upāsako are listed below.
▪ definitions for upāsaka,
• Upāsaka→takes refuge in Buddha Dhamma Saṅgha is enough to call him an upāsaka.
• He is associated with the Triple Gem.
• 8 qualities given in sutta p49
◦ does the upāsaka have faith in sāsana and also establishes other s in the benefit of faith
▪ take care of self and also others
◦ He has sīla and establishes other in sīla
◦ He is generous
◦ He is pleased to see bhikkhus
◦ He is pleased to hear dhamma
◦ He is absorbed the dhamma and help others
◦ He practices dhamma
▪ Who is upāsaka (ko upāsako)
• if someone go for refuge in Buddha Dhamma sangha, he is called "bho upāsaka"
◦ He should have 5 precepts
▪ sometimes 8 9 10 precepts
◦ has right livelihood
Here you can see him dressed in white clothes as an Upāsako
on the left in white
getting pandupalasa clothes
Stage 3: Paṇḍupalāsa (old leaf ready to fall)
Chathuranga came to the monastery on November 10th, 2022 and he went to the 2nd stage called paṇḍupalāsa on near the first of June, 2023. He spent 2 weeks wearing red clothes which were given to him by the chief monk. This is to represent a leaf that gets old and falls from a tree. In the next stage you can see him in red clothes, but not yet a monk. However, he has 10 precepts similar to a novice monk.
Stage 4: Taking Sāmaṇera Robes
Lastly, after two weeks in red, he can finally enter the novice monk stage. His name is Reverend Paññāsekara.
nearly fully shaven
Here he is sāmaṇera Paññāsekara
On June 18th, 2023, Chathuranga became a sāmaṇera. Next year, again on June 18th, 2024, he will become a fully ordained bhikkhu. All monks from this tradition take the full bhikkhu ordination during the 3 day ordination period starting on June 18th annually. I’ll probably update this post and send this post again to the subscribers. However, he will look pretty much the same. He follows the ten precepts. I have an article which explains the 5, 8 and 10 precepts. I hope you can read it below as well. Be sure to subscribe to get the latest post notifications delivered to your email. I hope you enjoyed this and may you one day become a monk as well.
5, 8 and 10 Precepts
Here is a comparison of 5, 8 and 10 precepts. The Buddhist who follows five precepts is known as a regular lay Buddhist. The person who follows 8 precepts is known as a serious Buddhist yogi. The person who follows the 10 precepts is known as a novice monk. A bhikkhu follows 227 rules. …
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