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Monks 2010/3/4 06:56
Is it okay for a foreigner to give alms to monks on the street who stand with their almsbowls?

Because, if one would agree with me taking a picture after asking, I would like to thank him in return in such a manner for example.

I hope you can give me an answer to this.
Thanks!
by Juzu (guest)  

sure 2010/3/4 16:25
Why should it not be okay? Of course you can give alms. You do need to keep in mind that these monks can be fake, though. But giving something in return for a photo is not at all a bad idea IMHO.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Thank you 2010/3/4 19:06
Well maybe I thought they would be offended by a female foreigner giving to them.
There are fake monks?? That's horrible.. how do you recognise them?

But thanks for your reply and oppinion!
by Juzu (guest) rate this post as useful

Fake monk 2010/3/5 13:45
You can't really tell unless you speak to the monk and observed if he follows the Buddhist way of practice.

If you suspect the monk is fake, don't do it. Otherwise. don't spoil the good intention just give alms when you happy to do so. It's still good karma (good motivation from you) for you regardless the monk is fake or not.

Also, when you give the alms, try not to have any physical contact (not even shake hands) unless the monk says it's OK.

Because in some traditions, monk isn't allowed to have any physical contact with female.
by Douglas (guest) rate this post as useful

Was Ippen a fake monk? 2010/3/5 18:45
What is a fake monk?
Did someone consider that only the monks of Tendai, Shingon or Zen are real monk?
Probably Ippen Տl was considered as a fake monk, in old time.
by a believer of minority sect (guest) rate this post as useful

fake 2010/3/5 19:07
believer of minority sect wrote;
What is a fake monk?

A fake monk is just that. An ordinary beggar who doesn't even believe in Buddism, or haven't even tried to become a monk of any kind, or even doesn't lack much money, but just disguised in that monk outfit so that people would spear money to him just by standing there.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Mahayana Buddhism and Fake Monk 2010/3/5 21:14
Mahayana Buddhism considers everyone (even a little child) has Buddha-nature.
Mahayana Buddhism considers that strict practice is not always needed.
Honen, Shinran and Nichiren had studied in the school in Hieizan. But they had realized ultimate truth is not in that school.
There is no such thing as a license of monk.

Ippen and many monks were called beggers.
And as you know Kanjini sometimes meant beggar.

Who can assume a person whom you call fake monk is a fake monk?
by a believer of minority sect (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2010/3/5 21:47
A believer of minority sect,

I suppose that's exactly what I'm trying to say - you can't just a book by its cover. People might think that these monks with bowls give you sincere prayers and use the money for sacred practices or what not, but that's not exactly how it is. They might take the money straight to places where they can buy their booze or cigarettes or use them for gambling or even crime. And as I mentioned previously, I see no problem about that. I just thought that viewers on this site may want to keep that in mind when giving away alms. Okay then, "fake" was misleading.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

fake and monk 2010/3/6 05:07
I believed that Uco explained pretty clear that the fake monk that she refers to is the common layman's idea of not a real monk. A person pretend to be a monk but doesn't do the things that a typical Buddhist monk would do.

It's the ordinary meanings of ''fake'' and ''monk'' without go too deep in to the definition.

If a person dressed like a beggar and begs for money on the street. In reality, the person owns a Ferrari and a luxury apartment. I would called the beggar a fake beggar.

It seems that A believer of minority sect went deep into the definition of the term fake monk and that kind of bring this to a different level. If you starts to break down and analysis the definition, then it would be even difficult to define the word ''fake'' because you would have to ask what is ''real''. Probably no person can be called a monk, because what is a monk, how do you define monk, what are the true qualities, behaviours, and characteristics of a monk?

Anyway, Uco just points out the possibility that the monk may not be a real deal. So what's the better term to use? Monk imposter? pseudo monk?
by Douglas (guest) rate this post as useful

Sorry for the typo 2010/3/6 10:28
Thanks Douglas.
And I just realized I made a typo in my previous post.

Incorrect: can't just a book by its cover
Correct: can't judge a book by its cover

Funny how these typos are made. Well, s is next to d on the keyboard and t is close to g, mumble, mumble...
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2010/3/6 10:32
Fake Monk or not, the act of giving is a great thing and Kami Sama will smile on you. Most of the Monks I met were very kind, fake of not. Ask for permission for a photo and I'm sure it won't be a problem.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Related to freedom of religion 2010/3/6 10:46
Every new belief had been called fake once by existing religion or authorities, and then had been oppressed.
Ippen was blamed as vagrant. Honen and Shinran were regarded as impious monk. Nichiren was called heretical. And a pretty number of common people blamed them with various slander (including gfakeh).

I know these historical occasions. Therefore I consider people should not blame someone as fake monk carelessly, without evidence.

Of course, a large-scale fraud should be regulated. Itfs the serious crime to sell vase at a million yen. But it's a different problem.
And I don't deny there are persons who gain penny with pretending monk. It's sad. (It may be crime to beg persistently on the street. By the way, Mahayana pities them.)

However, I believe it's more important things to protect freedom of religion.

by a believer of minority sect (guest) rate this post as useful

overthinking this... 2010/3/6 11:38
While all the philosphising about giving has validity, some of you people are missing the point. If someone stands outside dressed as a Buddhist monk asking for alms and then spends all the money on pachinko and cigarettes, I believe most people would prefer not to give money to that person, regardless of the karma involved.

No one is discriminating against minority sects, they are saying try to avoid giving money to people who will not use it for good causes- I think that's fairly clear, isn't it?
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

human rights 2010/3/6 13:03
Yes, what I'm commenting about is not always the original point of this thread.

But I would like to say it can be the matter of human rights to blame person without evidence by negative word, like fake. (When person blames other, he/she should be cautious.)
It is careless action. It may be insensitive to human rights too.
I think also it may lack of thinking about historical fact. These rights were gained with the struggle of our ancestor during long time.
by a believer of minority sect (guest) rate this post as useful

not very specific... 2010/3/6 13:11
Which rights are you talking about? The right to misrepresent onself in order to gain money? I believe that could even be considered fraud, and may be quite illegal.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

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