If I want to become a monk?

First question:
If I became a monk can I choose not to bow down (prostrate) to a younger monk than me?
Are there any other rules I have to follow with monks younger than me?
The second question:
Can I become a monk but I do not want to accept the tenth precept.
ie: handling money.
Third question:
I have a debt.
Forth question:
I have a medical condition which require constant medical attention.
Fifthe question:
Say I am 70 years old.

Bhante @sujato answers some of the questions in another post.

Answer to question one:

If a junior monk decided not to bow to a senior, there would likely be an awkward moment and then they’d move on. Just like if someone reached out to shake your hand and you didn’t take it. There’s really nothing more to it than that.
Just some minor details; the Vinaya says very little about seniority. There is an expectation that a senior should able to speak first in a formal meeting of the Sangha, and that they should not be denied a place to stay. I haven’t looked into it in detail, but there’s really not much more to it than that. In maybe 99% of the Vinaya seniority has no relevance, and it’s never more than a matter of etiquette. There is no authority or explicit power conferred by seniority.

Answer to the second question:
That describes about 95% of monks today. Is it a good thing? I don’t think so. But it doesn’t invalidate your ordination.

Above is from the following link

Bhante @sujato
Don’t you think that when Bhikkhunis are not following a 2500 year old tradition is awkward moment.

Once I ask this from another monk and he replied that I will not be ordained if I do not accept the tenth precept. This is obvious. This is what eight preceptor differentiate from the ten preceptor.

He is wrong, I’m afraid. The bhikkhu ordination procedure says nothing about the tenth precept.


Is renunciation of possessions including property and money not a requirement ?

Bhante @Brahmali could be the best person to answer this unless someone else can help.
My understanding is, it depends on the monastery.

I wish to know from Bhante @sujato what are the mandatory requirements to become a monk.

Why would you become a monk if you still want all the worldly things? Why not stay a lay person? The monastic way is going against worldly things.

Some monastic aspirants will put some money aside in a trust fund in case they disrobe. This is different from handling money or engaging in commerce as a monastic, which are the vinaya rules.


This is considered handling money.

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Hi again, finally I understand, I see the full post now! To address the questions I missed before:

Generally speaking you should settle all debts before ordaining.

It would be best to discuss this with the upajjhaya beforehand and follow their advice. Medical conditions are so variable it’s hard to generalize.

Age is not a limit according to Vinaya. However specific communities may have age limits for ordination.


Is this as per Vinaya?
Isn’t this discrimination based on someone’s financial status?

Isn’t this age discrimination.

Yes, this is in the Vinaya. The point is that it could easily be abused: join the Sangha and wipe out your debts.

If someone has debt problems and wishes to ordain, again I would recommend discussing it with the upajjhaya.

I tend to agree, yes, although on the other hand some monasteries may not have the practical capacity to care for the elderly.


It is not laid down in the Vinaya as a requirement, but it is part of the gradual training, e.g. at DN 2, which begins with the person intending to ordain doing the following:

After some time he abandons his accumulation of wealth, be it large or small; he abandons his circle of relatives, be it large or small; he shaves off his hair and beard, puts on saffron robes, and goes forth from home to homelessness.

So if one is serious about practising the Dhamma, one should at some stage give up all one’s possessions. But because there is a bit of flexibility involved, we often recommend people to put their assets aside for a few years until they feel stable as monastics. Once you feel ready for it, you can then give it all up. Alternatively, you give it to a family member so that you have something to fall back upon should you ever wish to disrobe. This is what I did when I was ordained. In either case, those assets are considered frozen and not to be used by the monastic.


This I find somewhat ambiguously rendered by the vinaya. Actually it says that if a bhikkhu has left the order after he has been suspended by it for not accepting an offence and later requests re-ordination he needs to be asked if he will see this offence, if he answers in the negative he may not ordain again. For me personally this raises the question if it would be advisable to ordain. Here the relevant passage:

“Now at that time a certain monk, suspended for not seeing an offence, left the Order, (but) having come back again, he asked the monks for ordination. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: 'This is a case, monks, where a monk, suspended for not seeing an offence, leaves the Order, (but) having come back again, asks the monks for ordination. They should speak thus to him: ‘Will you see this offence?’ If he says: ‘I will see it’, he may be let go forth. If he says: ‘I will not see it’, he should not be let go forth.”

It is also not allowed to give guidance (nissaya) to an unconscientious bhikkhu. I remember an explanation by the ven. Ledi Sayadaw that a bhikkhu is classified as such (unconscientious) if he knows about a rule but refuses to live by it. I am not sure when one is technically conferred status of a bhikkhu, regarding the times during or after ordination ceremony – so maybe technically it might be possible … But again I doubt if this would be advisable, just alone because a conscientious bhikkhi could not give guidance to him or live within it after he is technically a bhikkhu.

Not possible:

“Monks, a debtor should not be let go forth. Whoever should let (one such) go forth, there is an offence of wrong-doing.”

If you happen to have one of five kinds of diseases you may not ordain, i.e (as it was translated): “leprosy, boils, eczema, consumption, epilepsy.”

“Monks, one afflicted with (any one of) the five diseases should not be let go forth. Whoever should let (one such) go forth, there is an offence of wrong-doing.”

Or else here are some medical conditions listed, which would also render an ordination impossible for the individual inflicted:

"Now at that time monks (each) let go forth one who had his hands cut off … his feet cut off … his hands and feet cut off … his ears cut off … his nose … his ears and nose … his fingers … his nails cut off … who had the tendons (of his feet) cut … one who had webbed fingers … a hunchback … a dwarf … one who had a goitre … one who had been branded… one who had been scourged … one who had been written about4 … one who had elephantiasis … one who was badly ill … one who disgraced an assembly (by some deformity) … one who was purblind … one with a crooked limb … one who was lame … one paralysed down one side … a cripple … one weak from old age … one who was blind7… one who was dumb … one who was deaf… one who was blind and dumb … one who was deaf and dumb … one who was blind and deaf and dumb. They told this matter to the Lord.

He said: ‘Monks, one who has had his hands cut off should not be let go forth; one who has had his feet cut off … one who is blind and deaf and dumb should not be let go forth. Whoever should let (one such) go forth, there is an offence of wrong-doing.’"

Not sure – sorry!



This brought to mind SN 21.6, about Bhaddiya the dwarf, which seems to contradict at least some of the restrictions cited:

At Savatthi. Then the Venerable Lakuṇṭaka Bhaddiya approached the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw him coming in the distance and addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, do you see that bhikkhu coming, ugly, unsightly, deformed, despised among the bhikkhus?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“That bhikkhu is of great spiritual power and might. It is not easy to find an attainment which that bhikkhu has not already attained. And he is one who, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life enters and dwells in that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness.”

This is what the Blessed One said … who further said this:

“Geese, herons, and peacocks,
Elephants, and spotted deer,
All are frightened of the lion
Regardless of their bodies’ size.

“In the same way among human beings
The small one endowed with wisdom—
He is the one that is truly great,
Not the fool with a well-built body.”


Yes, might contradict really. But possibly this rule was instigated after ven. Bhaddiya ordained. Also we had to check the Paali and advisably the commentaries for clarification since often other nuances are just caught in that way and differences worked out – what is a dwarf precisely in both instances is the question.


Would that entail disrobing, if that is what took place?

I am not exactly sure but often (if not even always) the non-offence clause for the regular rules states that the first wrong-doer is exempted from any penalty … This might have some more remote bearings also on this case. The nature of the issue raised by you is to me also kind of similar to the different ordination procedures which came to evolve over time.

At the beginning the Buddha would just say "ehi bhikkhu … , well proclaimed is the dhamma for the utter ending of ill … " (or something similar). Later it was by the three refuges than more and more complex as more and more complex grew the individual candidates. The ones ordained by the first mentioned were not nullified just because of later issues is the point I wanted to stress …


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What about the people who got tattoos and ear pierced?

Being dwarfism is not a disease is not a medical condition.