Anagarika Almsround

Does an Anagarika go on almsround?
(of course I asked google but got no answer)


Depends on the monastery.

In general, almsround alone, no. Anagarikas are not monks, it doesn’t make sense to expect lay people to donate to white shirt people.

If the monastery has monks going on almsround, the anagarika maybe accompanying to help carry extra food, depends on the monastery.

If the monastery is people bring food to the monastery, then since even the monks don’t go on alms round, no need to talk about anagarika.


When I was anagarika I went on alms round with Bhikkhūnīs and Bhikkhus through my city. I wouldn’t have gone on my own as I had money, but I was there to support the nun I lived with.
At the monastery I stay at now, we do a symbolic alms round before collecting our lunch dāna. Anagarikas don’t join but can offer rice to the monastics.


I went on almsround and received food with Ayya @vimalanyani when I was wearing white and observing ten precepts permanently. It was extremely beneficial for me and I can’t see anything wrong with it at all. But it’s not like I had a side business bartering pots to support my blind parents…I was already quite free by that point.

I’d say that it’s a very situational sort of thing. Most nuns in Thailand and Burma don’t have an official pabbajja ordination, like an anagarika, & there have been attempts to stop them going on almsround, but I still think 100% that they should go.

Personally, if I saw someone wearing white or uncut brown etc and going on pindapata, not collecting money, I would be extremely happy as long as they are sincere in practising renunciation & meditation…just like every mae chee, sayalay, donchee etc.


Anagarikas go on alms round with the monks at Wat Pah Nanachat. That was always my favorite duty as a layman when I stayed at Wat Pah Nanachat. The anagarikas, or layman, follow the monks and take excess food. The food isn’t offered directly to the anagarikas.


Did you mean 8 precepts? Or did they not give you brown robes for your novice ordination?

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“At home” ten precepts is a Thing, not a very common thing but still a Thing, I wasn’t talking about my samaneri pabbajja, which was sometime after that.

I wasn’t using much money anyway and one day someone gave me a small monastery donation to administer, but internally, I couldn’t bring myself to do it, so I just gave up money completely. It’s not the same as pabbajja.


Oh that’s cool! Never heard of it :slight_smile:


This sentence seems a little ambiguous. Do you mean:

Most nuns in Thailand and Burma don’t have an official pabbajja ordination, in contrast with anagarikas [who do have one].


Most nuns in Thailand and Burma don’t have an official pabbajja ordination, in common with anagarikas [who likewise don’t have it].


I’m guessing it’s probably the latter, but if it’s the former I would note that at every ordination that I’ve witnessed of Thai mae chee and Cambodian don chee, the women did in fact request pabbajjā, using formulas similar to that used in sāmaṇera ordinations. This wouldn’t of course make their pabbajjās “official” in the sense of having any standing in the Vinaya, but I’m not sure if this is the sort of “official” you have in mind.


Hi Bhante @Dhammanando
(Am I allowed to admit that you are one of my all-time heroes of the Buddhist internet?)

To clarify: at the risk of being tautological, what I meant was that samaneri or sikkhamana pabbajja is not given to dasa sil matas, sayalays, mae chees or donchees as part of their data sil mata/sayalay/mae chee etc ordination. Which is similar to anagarikas, who are likewise not given samanera/samaneri/sikkhamana pabbajja. So yes, the latter, although the comparison to anagarikas on almsround can only be made to stretch so far.

Personally, I do not believe that calling an eight precept ordination a pabbajja is scripturally orthodox, but sure, doubtless it’s evolved that way, as mae chee pabbajja. However, at the same time, the Thai Mae Chee association has consistently backed etiquette guidelines that put mae chees back closer to the “lay” box, like the no pindapata & white clothing preferred guidelines. Not ambiguous or problematic at all, right?

My observation is also that there is at least one prominent dasa sil mata aramaya belonging to a major group in SL which is referred to as Upasikarama. My sila mata friends vary in the degree to which they go to great, painstaking lengths to tell people that they are NOT sangha. It’s always the kind of yes-but-no thing: yes to brown (in some places), but no to cut cloth. Yes to donations, but no to almsround. Yes to attending a dana, but no to formally receiving food. Yes to learning the chanting, but no to doing a chanting service for laity. Etc etc etc.

There is a lot of ambiguity and inconsistency about the status of nuns with culturally based ordination forms. Which is why I took bhikkhuni ordination TBH. Not out of any lack of love for the people who hold those ordination forms. Just out of a complete unwillingness to have a whole life of “yes, BUT, wait, sorry, actually no”. So yes Bhante, I know what you are saying, but it’s complicated?


Plus, it occurs to me that in Asia many (most?) Samaṇeras handle money, so that does make the distinction between 8- and 10-precept forms of practice even more ambiguous.


I go on almsround in a location where there are typically 3-10 bhikkhus and bhikkhunis in the area on pindapata every morning, all of whom accept money except for me. There are also many monastics with houses in the sangha.

The concept of a who is a field of merit gets a little blurry in that kind of situation. I would find it very difficult to argue that the ordained sangha have a monopoly on “doing almsround right”, at least in my own locale…


It’s hilarious to me that the “conservative” traditions keep finding themselves having to invent entirely new forms of practice just to accommodate their continued refusal to confer any status on women. :roll_eyes:

Instead of like… you know… just honoring the forms that the Buddha laid down? :man_shrugging:


Thanks everyone for your posts.