What do parents gain by allowing their child to go forth?

What’s the merit for parents for allowing their child to go forth ?

For example I want to go forth bro could I tell them “you will gain this and that if you allow me to go forth” is this possible bro ?

Could you provide the relevant suttas and commentaries ?

Thanks :pray:

Gratitude of the kid,

Not blocking people’s path to enlightenment, maybe they would benefit from it too.

More motivation to attend Dhamma talks given by their kid, some years later, helping them to get into the practise more and more.


Yes I think the question can be rephrased to “what kind of demerits parents gain for not allowing their child to go forth ?”

I’m not aware of this, meaning karmic consequences, discussed anywhere in the suttas. In fact, other than Arahant Ratthapala and Bhikkhu Sudinna, we don’t get much mention of parents giving or not giving permission.

Are you looking for Sutta information or just opinions?


Can you quote the sudinna case ?

I don’t mind the commentaries too

Story includes mention of sexual intercourse. It’s identical with Arahant Ratthapala up to a point.


I think the 2 suttas are very identical Venerable
Obviously these suttas refers to the same person

If the answer to my question is no then selfish parents would obviously would not let their child to go forth because their is no benefits to them in allowing it

If I follow the sutta I must starve to death in order to force my parent to let me go forth

I mean isn’t really a way to say to our parent , “ma you will gain this after you let me to go forth, this is for your own welfare not only mine”

What do you think they can gain by letting their child to go forth ?

Huh? They are definitely two different people.

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I mean the stories are nearly identical so it’s possible

But we should be on topic

I think the only way a parent can gain from allowing their child to go forth are

  1. if their child is unemployed so by allowing their child to go forth they release a burden of giving food and facilities to their child
    2.there would be less fight over inheritance as less child who can claim it

But I am afraid I have wrong view here, do you think a parent can gain something for allowing his child to go forth ?

Thanks bhante

Are you asking for your personal case? So you want to get the list of gains, go and convince your parents to let you renounce?

The sutta is obviously an extreme case, which many of the people nowadays tend not to wish to go to such extreme lengths, especially in light of filial piety and it’s very hard to starve oneself to death. There’s plenty of other less extreme ways to show determination to parents.

Your consideration of parent’s gain is too materialistic, as if parents don’t have love and attachments to their kids, more love and attachments to wealth. I highly doubt if you ask parents of monks, what they gain by letting their kids go forth, they will answer you like that, at least not as the first few answers.

Indeed, it’s a good idea to find parents of monks and interview them about this question then.

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Hi, personally how do you convince your parents to go forth ?

It’s very hard to give general advice about this. People’s situations are so very different around the world.

In general it depends on whether the parents are Buddhists. It also depends on the family dynamic, meaning are there other children who can take care of the parents in old age.

We’d have to know the explicit opposition the parents are having. I know of one mother who died angry wishing her son had become a lawyer/doctor instead of the world famous and highly respected monk he had become. (not sure how permission was ever negotiated there)

I’ve also known lots of people from traditional Buddhist families who were simply unwilling to give up the child that they hoped would look after them in old age.

Now, to return the to the original topic/title of this post, if a parent has some, but limited, faith in the Buddha they will be thinking about their welfare in this present life. That’s normal and not really blameworthy, per se. However, if they have great faith in the Buddha and his Dhamma, then they know that having a close family member who is part of the Sangha is bound to help them in this life (and because it is Dhamma help as well) and in future lives.

Otherwise, since the texts are mostly silent on this specific point, we are left to just extrapolate benefits. Becoming a samana is clearly good karma. And helping someone, even in a small way to do good karma is also good karma. So it’s not a stretch to think that supporting someone in ordaining would bring some sort of good results.

But if you are trying to find ways to convince parents, that line of reasoning won’t work for everyone. Obviously if the parents are some varieties of Christian[EDIT: i.e. fundamentalists], they may believe allowing someone to ordain will lead that person (and maybe even themselves) into hell.

When I think about monastics I know, a major factor I have seen for having supportive families is when the families trust the organization the person will ordain in.


Thanks for the pointer :pray:

I propose this as the solution if you think there is a better answer please tell

“Mendicants, these three people are very helpful to another. What three?

The person who has enabled you to go for refuge to the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha. This person is very helpful to another.

Furthermore, the person who has enabled you to truly understand: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. This person is very helpful to another.

Furthermore, the person who has enabled you to realize the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life, and live having realized it with your own insight due to the ending of defilements. This person is very helpful to another.

These are the three people who are very helpful to another person.

And I say that there is no-one more helpful to another than these three people. And I also say that it’s not easy to repay these three people by bowing down to them, rising up for them, greeting them with joined palms, and observing proper etiquette for them; or by providing them with robes, alms-food, lodgings, and medicines and supplies for the sick.”

I use your inference here that helping child to gain arahantship would grant uncountable merits as gain for the parent