The Three Jewels
The Buddha
The Dharma (teachings)
The Sangha (community)
Three Vehicles
The Four Noble Truths
Death & Rebirth
The Mind
Four Immeasurables
Compassion & Bodhicitta
Wisdom of Emptiness
Spiritual Teacher
Going for Refuge
FAQ- sheet
Practice & Meditation
Everyday Behaviour
What is Meditation
How to Meditate
58 Meditations
Tantric Preliminaries
Tantric Practice
Problematic Emotions
Lack of Self-Confidence
Other Delusions
In General Buddhism
In Tantra
5 Dhyani Buddhas
In Tibetan Buddhism
In the Kalachakra Tantra
Stories, Quotes & Fun
Stories from the Heart
Buddhist Stories
New Buddhist Quotes
Quotes of Wisdom
Funny Pages...
My Main Teachers
The Dalai Lama
Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Sutras & Practices

Vows & Prayers...

Teksty w jezyku polskim
History of Buddhism...
Recommended Books

New Controversy
A to Z Glossary
Number Glossary
Contact & about me
Tibetan Buddhism
Buddhism in Tibet
Tibetan Calendar
Tibetan Astrology
Tibetan Symbolism
A Taste of Zen
Buddhism in Japan
Zen FAQ-sheet
Zen Poems and Haiku
Zen Stories
Zen Computer Fun
Web Links
Search this Site



    Modern version of the Eternal Knot by Charles Huttner
A View on Buddhism
Teksty w jezyku polskim     Deutsche Seiten

Quotations on:
Sangha, the Buddhist community, monks & nuns

Return to the Quotations Index

I had helped a Thai man with a personal problem. Out of gratitude, he said to me: "Sir, I would like to give you something for your personal use. What can I get you for the amount of five hundred baht?" It was usual to quote the amount when making such an offering, to avoid any misunderstanding. Since I wouldn't think what I wanted straight away and he was in a hurry, we agreed that I could tell him the next day when he returned.
Before this occured, I was a happy little monk. Now I started to contemplate what I wanted. I made a list. The list grew. Soon, five hundred baht wasn't enough. But it was so difficult to take anything off the list. Wants had appeared out of nowhere and solidified into absolute necessities. And the list kept growing. Now, five thousand baht wasn't sufficient!
Seeing what was happening, I threw my wish list away. The next day, I told my benefactor to give five hundred baht to the monastery building fund or to some other good cause. I didn't want it. What I wanted most of all was to regain the rare contenment I had had the day before. When I had no money, nor the means to get anything, that was the time when all my wishes were fulfilled. Wanting has no end to it. Even one billion baht isn't enough, nor a billion dollars. But freedom from wanting has an end. It is when you want nothing. Contentment is the only time you have enough.
Ajahn Brahm, from Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? : Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life's Difficulties

The Buddha

The man who wears the yellow-dyed robe but is not free from stains himself, without self-restraint and integrity, is unworthy of the robe.

"Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, 'This is half of the holy life, Lord - admirable friendship.' The Buddha replied, 'Don't say that... Admirable friendship is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk [or anyone else] has admirable people as friends... he can be expected to develop and pursue the Noble Eightfold Path.  …
And through this line of reasoning one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life: It is in dependence on me as an admirable friend that beings subject to birth have gained release from birth, that beings subject to aging have gained release from aging, that beings subject to death have gained release from death, that beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair have gained release from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. It is through this line of reasoning that one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life."

While it's true that one can practice in a relationship, it's more difficult to counteract attachment when one lives in an environment permeated by it. If lay life were the most effective way to practice, the Buddha himself would not have been a monastic.
Ven. Thubten Chodron

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Since we have obtained this precious human life, now is the time to stop the suffering of samsara. When you remain a layperson or householder, there are many interruptions to your Dharma practice. On the other hand, if you ordain, in contrast to the life of a householder, you have greater opportunities to engage in Dharma practice. Therefore you should appreciate the life of ordained beings and the qualities of ordained beings.

Ordination is not something to be taken lightly. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, it is intended to be a lifelong commitment. The Buddhist tradition itself will not be strengthened merely by increasing the numbers of people who become ordained. That will depend rather on the quality of our monks and nuns. Therefore, those who sincerely seek ordination deserve proper guidance, encouragement and support.

... the task of an ordained member is to engage in all the activities such as teaching, studying, writing, composition, and so on, so that you uphold the precious Dharma.

For me it would be arrogant to think that I don't need to be a nun in order to practice Dharma, in order to get realizations, in order to live a beneficial life, when our teachers such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and so on are all ordained. It's like saying I'm better than they are because I don't have to be ordained even though they are showing this aspect.
Ven. Sangye Khadro

Because the ordained life focuses on controlling the physical and verbal actions. As a result of that, one creates the conditions to withdraw the mind inside. When the mind is withdrawn, it can see, notice, be aware, hold its object, and does not forget what it is experiencing. There's no distraction.
Ven. Antonio Satta

The Sangha is constituted by those people who understand the Dharma and are practicing it seriously. They are the companions of all those who seek to follow the Buddha's path. By virtue of their own practice, they are able to support the practice of others and help those who encounter problems.
They are like nurses who are able to help in the healing process because they understand the remedy that the doctor has prescribed. Because they are taking the medicine themselves, they are able to show others exactly how to follow instructions of the perfect doctor, the Buddha. Because they are on the right path, if we follow them and emulate them, we will be led towards emancipation. This is why the Sangha, the community of spiritual friends, is a proper refuge."
Geshe Lhundub Sopa in Steps On The Path To Enlightenment Vol 2

When Buddhism went from India to Tibet, the monks' robes changed completely; there’s nothing Indian left. The same thing happened when Buddhism went to China and Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Of course, there are some similarities, but basically they are different. Why are they different? You cannot say their Dharma is bad Dharma. You cannot say that Tibetan Dharma is better, that it is better to wear Tibetan robes. That would just be an ego trip. Because climates and cultures vary, people compromise and come up with something that suits their environment.
Lama Yeshe

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Dharma centers like to have Sangha members living and teaching there. This is actually very beneficial for the environment since due to the presence of Sangha, the lineage of the Buddha's teachings is present in that country. The presence of Sangha preserves the lineage of the Buddha's teaching and establishes the cause for others to have a precious human rebirth in the future. This is a great responsibility for the Sangha, because it can actually establish the cause for a precious human rebirth not only for humans, but for nagas, pretas, and other beings.

It says in the texts: 'The merit that a lay person can collect in one hundred years, an ordained person can collect in one day.' These are the benefits of living in ordination.

Every day is like that. People who say that ordination is no longer relevant in the modern world misunderstand its purpose. This method was taught by both Buddha and Jesus to protect us from delusions, to prevent us from harming ourselves or others. As a result of the karma of not harming others, we receive the immediate benefit of not being harmed by them, and experience great happiness and peace.

Living the life of ordination and renunciation has so much freedom and happiness and future lives have greater peace and happiness. So we are going from happiness to happiness to enlightenment. This gives the greatest opportunity.

The presence of Sangha preserves the lineage of the Buddha's teaching and establishes the cause for others to have a precious human rebirth in the future. This is a great responsibility for the Sangha.

By living in the vow you not only take responsibility for your ultimate happiness, liberation, enlightenment. By living in the vow you also gain so much day-to-day happiness and inner peace of mind.

The foundation of our practice is not to harm others or ourselves and to help benefit others as much as we can. For that purpose I shave my head and wear robes, which is the easy way to practice Buddhism.

Previous Page | ^Top of Page   Quotations Index

Last updated: January 12, 2011