Gold and silver is not money?

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The main practice, very practically, is that we are giving up control and choice, and learning to be content with what is offered.
I think this is what might seem so jarring about seeing a monastic alone at a resto, even if the gift card s/he has used to acquire that meal is technically legal or not.

The precepts are a training rather than ‘rules;’ and sometimes modern circumstances make that training pretty complicated. We do the best we can…and long-distance travel and airports are especially fraught.
So I find myself nodding in agreement with you, Bhante, when you say:

For those of us who travel without kappiya, this is only a blessing.
When someone gives me a gift card that I can use it in transit after an all night flight, I am always grateful for the intended sustenance. The donor could not join me but wises to make sure a meal is offered anyway.
It does feel weird - but to be honest it’s more because of the choice than the card itself.


If a gift card is given and used for a specific instance and not kept, to my mind, that is fairly reasonable.

Where it becomes more problematic, in my opinion, is when a monastic keeps cards and uses them freely to make purchases.



Being Canadian, I would far prefer a “Tim Card” (from the virtually ubiquitous Tim Horton’s, a franchise in Canada and the U.S.A., where the standard, fanciness-proof $2 coffee is far, far, less of a luxury item, and is even better tasting, what with the tasty secret ingredient of chicory root extract), but alas, Starbucks has wriggled its way into virtually all the airports there, and hardly ever Timmies!

So unfortunately hungry Bhikkhunis and Bhikkhus would do well to have a Starbucks card in U.S.A. and Canadian airports, as backup (if they get no dana or dayaka support otherwise). I have been fed in airports before, BTW, and gladly leave the Starbucks card unused! Sorry folks, you’re not convincing me to get rid of my widely-held-to-be-Vinaya-legal, very-occasionally-used Starbucks card. My Vinaya teachers formally taught me about the legality of this, BTW, this isn’t my own twisting of the Vinaya.

That yearly, giant, double-chocolate muffin the size of two fists and weighs about a pound, plus a plain black coffee, just isn’t worth arguing this much over, IMHO. :grin:


Simplicity sure can be complicated!


If I learned anything from this discussion, it’s that when I see a monk or a nun in an airport, I’m going to offer to buy him or her a meal!


I don’t like traveling very much, but if they put Tim Hortons in airports I think I’d feel differently! I grew up in the midwest when you had to go over the border into the Great White North to get Timmies. Now there are in a lot of midwestern states (and I am in California where there are none). Shoot!


Bhante this is why wrong information passes from teacher to the student. We should rely on original Vinaya code and make our own decisions.

I think unhealthy muffin damage a monk more than the $2.00 gift card.


Perhaps we should look after the monks this way so they do not have to break the Vinaya rules.


At the vihara we were given some gift cards with a short expiry date. They expired, before we realised :frowning: I think this is a prime example of how gift cards are different to money!


Dear Venerables and those more knowledgable re vinaya,
I was wondering about a fuel card. ie a card which is linked to a certain chain of service stations and linked to a stewardship organisation’s bank account.

The transaction could be seen to occur in two different ways. Either at the time the bill is paid to the fuel supplier (by the stewards) or at time the fuel is purchased.

Let’s leave out the fact that driving is involved for now and just address the rule re money

How would you see this working? Is it similar to an opal card being linked to a bank account?

With metta :pray:


It depends whether money is transferred at the time of purchase. If the card has already been paid for, the company already has the money, and nothing is transferred. The company merely notes that the pre-purchased item has been redeemed. However, if the purchase triggers a transfer, like a credit card, then this would be using money.


This is a poor argument.
Even the notes issued by the reserve bank may be cancelled. I think this happened in India recently.


Inspirational video.
Here Ven. Pamutto clearly explains why it is important for a monk to practice Pindapatha.


I had a nice talk with Venerable Pamutto when he was there for the Katthina.


why not upload to aAV?


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A key difference is that in the time of Buddha the vouchers given to ascetics and contemplatives could not be accumulated indefinitely by those.

Money nowadays, which is less and less about paper and more and more about figures in a bank account, is very easy to be accumulated and become object of one’s craving and obsession.

I am really glad that at least a portion of the Bhikkhu Sangha of nowadays takes the more careful approach and seek to have a little about with any money, be it a paper or in bank deposit forms.



Not well said. The monk offences Sanghadisesa 13 if he bought TV to watch for pleasure, not paccitiya 18. So what is the problem? Like in a sport, there are many rules, each rules will make sure the game flows.


Reaad my last posting above.


Funny. If your comment makes sense, then lay people cannot realize the stage of Sotapanna, Sakadagami and Anagami because acquire money.