Questions around monk seniority and teaching

Hello Virtual Dhamma friends/Sangha members,

  • I have heard that, junior monks(< 5 vassas) are not encouraged(/allowed) to teach Dhamma in retreat settings to lay followers, rather monk need to stay with preceptor all the time, is it true?
  • Can junior monk teach Dhamma(in retreat settings) in front of senior monk?

This is purely a convention practiced in some communities. There is nothing in the Vinaya about this.

In fact, if a monk sees his preceptor doing something wrong that might endanger his monk life, then the student has an obligation to preach Dhamma to his preceptor.

Moreover, “retreat setting” is a modern thing. So we don’t find that in the Vinaya.


Samutta Nikaya 41.7 is an example of a layperson teaching a monk.

Yes. Happens all the time

The convention is that before speaking, the junior monk would be introduced or invited by the senior monk or would at least say a few words at the beginning of their talk to acknowledge the senior monk(s). But this is just a matter of politeness.


Usually there will firstly be a peremptory asking permission from the Sangha to speak on the Dhamma by a younger monk.


Thanks for answering :pray: