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Thread: Anagarika

  1. #1
    Moderator/Upāsaka Senior Member James Taeza's Avatar
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    Anagarika

    Dear Venerable Ajahn Brahmali,

    Aloha, Ven. Sir! Something has been on my mind lately and if I would be allowed to inquire about Anagarikas:

    1. What are the requirements to be an anagarika (age limit and such)?

    2. What are the duties and responsibilities of an anagarika?

    3. How long can one be an anagarika?

    4. How does one support himself during the time period as an anagarika as far as requisites?

    Thank you very much for your time and continued guidance.

    Anjali and metta.

    With great respect and aloha.

    Your lay disciple,
    Russell
    "Idaṃ kho pana bhikkhave, dukkhanirodho ariyasaccaṃ: yo tassāyeva taṇhāya asesavirāganirodho cāgo paṭinissaggo mutti anālayo."
    "Pare vihiṃsakā bhavissanti, mayamettha avihiṃsakā bhavissāmāíti sallekho karaṇīyo."
    "Cittalamkaram cittaparikkharattham danam deti."
    "Sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati."
    "Khantī paramaṃ tapo titikkhā, Nibbāṇaṃ paramaṃ vadanti Buddhā."
    "Dhammo have rakkhati Dhammacāriṁ."
    "Laugh, Love, Live!!"

  2. #2
    Dear Russell,

    1. You come to the monastery and stay for a few weeks. If you like it and there is room, you can ask to become an anagarika. It's very rare that people are refused.
    2. Anagarikas are responsible for breakfast and the morning meal. They are also the drivers. Otherwise they take part in maintenance and cleaning duties. The total amount of work is perhaps 15 hours per week.
    3. As long as you like!
    4. The monastery supports you as far as accommodation and food is concerned. Usually the monastery also has plenty of all the other requisites required for monastic life. Anagarikas need to support themselves in regard to anything that is not directly connected to monastic life.

    With metta.

  3. #3
    Moderator/Upāsaka Senior Member James Taeza's Avatar
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    Dear Venerable Ajahn Brahmali,

    Aloha, Ven. Sir! Thank you so much for answering my questions! I am thinking when my son has grown and on his own, with good kamma, perhaps I can be an anagarika and live the rest of this life serving the sangha

    Anjali and metta.

    With aloha and great respect.

    Your lay discple,
    Russell
    "Idaṃ kho pana bhikkhave, dukkhanirodho ariyasaccaṃ: yo tassāyeva taṇhāya asesavirāganirodho cāgo paṭinissaggo mutti anālayo."
    "Pare vihiṃsakā bhavissanti, mayamettha avihiṃsakā bhavissāmāíti sallekho karaṇīyo."
    "Cittalamkaram cittaparikkharattham danam deti."
    "Sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati."
    "Khantī paramaṃ tapo titikkhā, Nibbāṇaṃ paramaṃ vadanti Buddhā."
    "Dhammo have rakkhati Dhammacāriṁ."
    "Laugh, Love, Live!!"

  4. #4
    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    Dear Ven. Ajahn Brahmali,

    How does the title anagarika differentiate one from an ārāmika?

    Thank you for your time.


  5. #5
    Dear Jerrod,

    The term ārāmika was used at the time of the Buddha, but has since gone out of fashion. These days non-ordained people who live in monasteries are either called anagarikas or just long-term lay residents. The term anagarika is often reserved for people who intend to ordain, but practice varies.

    With metta.

  6. #6
    5 Precepts Keeper Senior Member Daniel Ionita's Avatar
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    It sounds like a very honorable and interesting position. I think I would like to try this as well before trying to become ordained. But I've also found some questions. ^^

    1. Is an anagarika allowed to participate in most sangha activities, meditations, teachings, retreats, charity work, rain retreat etc. ?
    2. Do anagarikas take care of ill monks?
    3. Does the sangha also care for the anagarika, if he/she falls ill for example?
    4. Is it allowed for a monk to disrobe and become an anagarika?
    5. Would you consider the amount of anagarikas plentiful or scarce?

    Last but not least where could I read more about anagarikas and what the Buddha considered of them.

    Metta,
    Daniel.

  7. #7
    Dear Daniel,

    1. An anagarika takes full part in the monastic life. However, because they do some kitchen work, they do have a bit more contact with lay people than the monks do.
    2. Usually not, but there are no fixed rules regarding this.
    3. Sure. We all care for each other. But it is very rare that anyone gets seriously ill at our monastery.
    4. Yes.
    5. Right now we have too many applicants at Bodhinyana. But the number of applicants varies considerably from year to year.

    Anagarikas are really just lay people keeping the eight precepts. So whatever the Buddha said about lay people is also applicable to them. There are some pretty impressive lay people described in the suttas!

    Two modern examples of well-known anagarikas are Anagarika Dhammapala of Sri Lanka and Lama Anagarika Govinda of Germany. You should be able to find lots of information on both of these on the internet.

    With metta.

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