Whether to Disrobe

Whether to Disrobe

Date of Advice:
December 2018
Date Posted:
August 2019

An ordained student wrote that his father had died and left a large debt that he had to take care of. The student asked Rinpoche whether he should disrobe, get a job and pay off the debt or continue as a monk even though he would have to work for some time. He was also teaching UE-style classes in local schools.

My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
Thank you for your letter, I am sorry for the long delay.

I checked and please try as much as possible to continuously be a monk. As you know there are the basic vows, so don’t break the vows, especially the four root vows. Try to keep these four and the rest of the vows if possible. So try this.

To become a lay person for a few years and then become a monk again doesn’t seem to come out.

I will give you one example. One monk who led pujas at the monastery was so eaten by one lady (this is an expression) like a dog eating meat, sucking, swallowing the meat without taking much time. His idea was to be with her for twenty years and after that to become a monk again, but of course, once he ceased being Sangha there was no way. It is like a quagmire, being stuck in mud—once inside you get caught. Now it has been thirty years and he still isn’t a monk.

Regarding the offering, it is excellent what you have done, especially following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice and doing anything that brings peace to the world and develops compassion, especially satisfaction, patience. It is very good for children to learn the five attitudes that I mention on the basis of Universal Education, that I put together. That is very good.

Please continue to make your life meaningful with the thought of bodhicitta day and night and in every action that you do.

With much love and prayers ...