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What is a Kuti?

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A kuṭi is a small hut or lodging that a monk lives in and it is one of the basic four requisites: Robes, Food, Lodging, & Medicine. They come in various sizes and qualities and I have prepared a small showcase of pictures which can show more than just the words. We are supposed to reflect on the utilitarian purpose of the lodging, also called senāsana. Before we begin, here is a small sample of the morning chanting monks must chant everyday.

Paṭisaṅkhā yoniso senāsanaṁ paṭisevāmi,
With proper discernment I make use of a dwelling,

yāvad-eva sītassa paṭighātāya, uṇhassa paṭighātāya,
only to ward off the cold, to ward off the heat,

ḍaṁsamakasavātātapasarīṁsapasamphassānaṁ paṭighātāya,
to ward off contact with gadflies, mosquitoes, wind, the heat (of the sun), and serpents,

yāvad-eva utuparissayavinodanapaṭisallānārāmatthaṁ.
only to dispel the trouble of the (varying) seasons, and so as to delight in seclusion. 1

This chant is something we must reflect on every day. With this, it should not matter so much where we stay or even the quality, however sometimes we get spoiled. But wherever we stay, we should be happy. Many of the places shown here are places I have actually stayed at. Below is kuti #123 in Pa-Auk Forest Monastery in Mawlamyine. I lived in this kuti pretty much from 2001-2005. This picture was taken much later and another person is living there now. Kuti #123 and others are some of the original kutis of the monastery which has grown quite a lot. They call these kutis, black kutis, because they are painted with old engine oil to keep the bugs away. Does it work? Sort of, but the kuti smells like a car repair shop for a few days after they treat it. After the smell goes away, the bugs come back. The newer kutis have oil moats around the pillars.

kuti 123

Here are a few other kutis from Pa-Auk mawlamyine.

As I was looking through many pictures, I saw a few of my old kuti from 2014-2015. This was in the “Beverly Hills Section” where many senior monks are. Yes, that is a teak floor.

I have also included some of the kutis in Nauyana where I have lived from 2007-2012. The cement box was where I lived. I only spent one night in a kuti that looks very austere.

Here is another kuti I stayed at in Mudon for about 3 months. Mudon ranks high on my list of places to stay. This kuti was brand new in 2015. It was modestly sized, but still very very nice.

Here are the kutis of Pa-Auk Pyin Oo Lwin which also includes my current kuti first. I really want to change kutis, and I have tried a few others, but they just don’t feel right so I have continued to stay in the kuti I was given since this past November, 2019. As you can see, it is quite nice. All the kutis are pretty much the same except for the teacher’s kutis. You can guess which ones those are.

While the kutis look quite nice. I can stay in many different places. When I was in Kaua’i, Hawai’i, I pretty much lived in a tent for 1 year.

  1. from https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Texts-and-Translations/Chanting-for-Meditators/00-Daily-1-Morning-Chants.htm

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