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The Mutual Responsibilities of the Lay Devotees and the Monks

The Mutual Responsibilities of the Lay Devotees and the Monks

The Buddha Sasana is a great common organization that belongs to both the clergy and the laypeople who live in society. This Buddhist organization is constituted upon the four strong groups such as monks (bhikkhu), nuns (bhikkhuni), male devotees (upasaka), and female devotees (upasika).

The monks and nuns are protected by the Buddhist laypeople (upasaka and upasika) as caretakers from the time of the Buddha. Today, they are offered the four requisites by the laypeople, namely robes (civara), alms food (pindapata), accommodations (senasana), and medications (gilanpasa). The Buddhists believe that it is a duty of their lives to look after the monks and nuns due to religious clergies in this society as well as the Dhamma followers of the great teacher, the Buddha. On the other hand, the clergies guide and direct the lay people to practice the Dhamma according to the Buddhist teachings in day-to-day life. Also, they preach the invaluable Dhamma to the devotees showing the reality of life and how to eradicate all the sufferings and defilements to attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana.

As the Buddha has mentioned in the Sigalovada Sutta of the DighaNikaya, there are five responsibilities of the laypeople towards the clergies. Accordingly,

Acting with affection and compassion

Talking affectionately and compassionately with due respect/honour

Acting and talking with good thoughts

Often keeping the doors open daily to the monks with due respect

Providing/offering the four requisites to the clergies whenever necessary

According to these five morality deeds, the Buddhists can build up a good relationship with the clergies in performing good deeds and helping the monks and nuns. Thus this relationship develops between the clergies and devotees due to their mutual understanding, trustworthiness, affection, and compassion. The lay Buddhists should always respect and honour the monks and nuns as well as they should help the clergies to build and maintain the holy places and to keep them clean and tidy. On the other hand, the priests should also respect the laypeople by talking with them pleasantly, peacefully, and compassionately.

As mentioned in the Sigalovada Sutta, clergies have also been assigned the six responsibilities towards the lay devotees as follows.

Restrain the lay people from evil deeds.

Encourage and engage them to do wholesome deeds.

Show benevolence and compassion towards them.

Encourage and motivate them to listen to the Dhamma.

Clarify the doubts and unclear concepts in the Dhamma that they heard.

Direct and show them the path to eradicating all the sufferings leading to Nibbana.

Clergies are the most important and well exemplary group in this society. Therefore, monks and nuns should understand their major responsibilities well to guide the people through the above-mentioned social responsibilities. As well as the monks and nuns would help each and every person in this society regardless of their ages or professional grading in guiding them to become righteous persons in this birth.

However, eventually, both parties will be able to fulfill their spiritual aims by following the Dhamma path to eradicating all the mundane sufferings via these mutual responsibilities.

වප් අමාවක පෝය

නොවැම්බර් 04 බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා පූර්ව භාග 06.03 අමාවක ලබා 05 සිකුරාදා පූර්ව භාග 02.44 ගෙවේ.
බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා සිල්

පොහෝ දින දර්ශනය

Full Moonඅමාවක

නොවැම්බර් 04

First Quarterපුර අටවක

නොවැම්බර් 11

Full Moonපසළොස්වක

නොවැම්බර් 18

Second Quarterඅව අටවක

නොවැම්බර් 27   




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