- Dear venerable monks,
I used to donate food such as milk,oats and bread to a monk
on the street.Many people kneel down and bow to him,paying respect to him as
GOD.Yesterday,I saw this particular monk smoking in the coffeeshop.I was so
shocked as he did not keep the simple 5th precept as a holy and well
respected monk.I felt cheated.My question is should I or other people
continue to offer food to him who is not virtuous and noble as many people
think?Please advise me.
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- First of all, smoking cigarettes is not in contravention of the fifth
precept because it is not an intoxicant. If he was smoking marijuana,
one might justifiably accuse him of breaking the precept.
Smoking is some kind of sensual indulgence that is unsuitable for a
monk. One could perhaps argue that smoking was contravening the third
precept, which according to some interpretations includes all kinds of
excessive sensual indulgence like gambling, and not just adultery.
As far as I know, there is no Vinaya rule that forbids smoking, though
I wouldn't defend it. In any sensible person's view it is unsuitable
for a monk to smoke, though it is hardly a serious misconduct like
drinking alcohol. It is not any worse than watching sport on TV.
Certainly, it does not deserve the accusation of "bogus monk." Bogus
means that he is not a monk at all, one guilty of defeat, or one who
has never been ordained as a monk. I suggest that you ask forgiveness
of that monk. He may or may not be a good monk, but seeing him smoking
cigarettes does not mean that he deserves to be called "bogus."
Please see Venerable Ledi Sayadaw's explanation of the right attitude
that lay persons should take towards a monk who they know for sure to
be immoral, i.e. guilty of a serious offence of defeat. Truly a bogus