One passage in a sutta that’s been nagging me for a while is this part of MN 77:
They become monastery [Pali: ārāmika] workers or lay followers, and they proceed having undertaken the five precepts.
What’s weird about this is that, when I think of “monastery workers” in modern Theravada contexts, I think of 8-precept holders. You know, like Anagarikas. Yet here they are on 5 precepts.
When/why did the 8-precept monastery worker model take root in the Theravada world? Does it have something to do with the rise of “unofficial” nuns (like Mae Chi, Thilashin, Dasa sil mata) as a substitute for Bhikkhunis?