Ordination on Samnak- What to expect
We have received some inquiries with regards to the ordination event.
Different temples would have slightly different ways with regards to the ordination event.
First, Samnak is a temple run by Khun Mae Methika as the abbot. Khun Mae herself is a mae chi (nun) and the temple is solely being funded through the kind donations by Khun Mae’s supporters and disciples. Due to large maintenance required, and for every ordination event require huge amount of funds, often funds are scarce.
Initially when this website was set up, it was done with the objective to notify Khun Mae’s disciples of events and also to provide opportunities to others who may be interested to participate in the event. We would like to emphasis that when the ordination events are being held, it was never done with the intention of commercialize or as a opportunity to receive funding. Khun Mae’s intention is to provide the opportunity for sincere practitioner to benefits from the ordination. There was never any specific fees for those who wishes to undergo ordination. There are some temples that may have big scale promotions to invite sponsors for ordination event. But for this temple, no big scale promotions to announce and request for sponsors have been held. Khun Mae would purchase the ordination requisites like white robes, almsbowl, Sanghadana, donations to other temples where invited monks perform the ordination as well as to provide for food, transport and utilities. We would explain more in details on the ordination and the costs involved so that you may have an idea.
Prior to arrival
Participants are required to notify in advance before arrival. For those who intend to undergo ordination as monks, the personal details of the participants have to be provided for us to fill up in the form to provide to the Upacaya’s temple for preparation of ordination. Aside from that, we also need to prepare for the requisites like robes, almsbowl, bag, slippers, blankets and many other items.
Arrival of participants
Airport pick-up is arranged at Bangkok airport (either Don Meung or Survanabhumi) for overseas participants. The first day upon arrival meals would be provided and participants would be assigned with the place of lodging. Participants would also change into white preceptor clothings- for those who do not have the preceptor clothings, they may purchase from the temple.
Kubah (senior monk) would guide participant in the recital of the ordination scripting.
Banana leafs are being made into a small container to hold participant’s hair during hair shaving. After hair shaving, participants also would cut out their nails using a nail clipper.
Below: After hair shaving is completed, turmeric powder (mixed with a little water) would be rubbed on the face, body, hands and legs of the participants. This is to remove impurities or any unwholesomeness from the participants.
Participants would make aspiration that they are undergoing ordination.
After that, the turmeric powder would be washed off from the participants. This signifies the washing off impurities and unwholesomeness from the participants. The participants would embark on a new life as a monk or novice monk.
Below: Participants need to be familiar with the ordination scripting and when the chant the scripting. The time would be used for participants to practice the scripting. View Ordination Script Bhikkhu and Ordination Script for Novice.
Offering of flowers, Sanghadana, robes, alms bowl and other requisites.
Above: Each time during monks ordination, Khun Mae would provide the special white robes above. The white robes came about from the tradition which begin during the Buddha’s time. A naga (dragon or snake king) had been inspired by the teachings of the Buddha. The naga came down from the heavens and transformed himself into a human form to undergo ordination. However, one day while sleeping, the naga’s real form was revealed and the Bhikkhus were shocked and informed the Buddha. Unfortunately a non human is unable to undergo ordination. The naga made a request that in future those who wishes to perform ordination to kindly wear the white robes in remembrance to the naga who do not have the opportunity to ordain .
Releasing Hair to the River, Liberating Life and Feeding the Fishes
Participants would be brought to a river side to release their shaved hair scattered with flowers. If time permits, then life fishes and eels bought from the market would be released to the river. Khun Mae would also purchase a large packet of fish feed to feed the fishes in the river.
If possible, we would try to offer lunch dana to the Upacaya and the monks especially on the day of the ordination.
The ordination event would be held in the afternoon and will take about 2.5 to 4 hours depending on the number of participants who wishes to undergo ordination.
Lay supporters and nuns would assist to carry the offering items clockwise 3 times at the Ubosot hall chanting Itipiso. After which, we would proceed to the ordination hall.
The ordination would be performed by the Upacaya, in the presence of minimum 12 senior monks. There would also be 2 Acariyas who would assist the Upacaya with the ordination.
For more details on the ordination event, please the page on how ordination is performed (with scripting and photos).
Daily life as an ordained monk/ novice
For a person who have undergo ordination, one goes through the life of self-reflection. On certain days, morning almsround would be arranged.
During almsround, the items received mainly consist of drinks and packaged food like instant noodles, bread, biscuits, etc. Hence, to ensure everyone are receiving sufficient nutrient and suitable food, Khun Mae would arrange for an in-house cook to prepare and cook the food for the those who attend the event.
Below is the photo of a mealtime preparation where ordained monks are eating from their almsbowl on certain days.
Other daily activities including chanting, practicing meditation and Dhamma discussion/ sharing. Ordained monks and novices need to memorise the chant of Yatha (transference of merits which is required to be chanted when receiving alms).
At the same time, Khun Mae would also arrange for trips on certain days for participants to pay respect to Buddha at certain temples like Wat Phanam Cheong on Ayuthaya and Nakhom Pathom Chedi.