The Mon Ordination Tradition and its Practices

Thet Naing

Abstract


The intention of this study is to describe the three types of ordination ceremonies in Mon State and their  practices: (1) A splendid Mon ordination ceremony; (2) a simple Mon ordination ceremony; (3) an emergency Mon ordination ceremony; and (4) the practices of these Mon ordination traditions. A splendid ordination ceremony is a ceremony that is mixed with entertainment, many decorations, and an abundance of donations. A simple Mon ordination ceremony is held with few cultural celebrations and those that celebrate adhere only to the requirements of the Vinaya as given by the Buddha. An emergency Mon ordination ceremony occurs  in the event of a serious  illness of a beloved one  or, alternatively, during a funeral ceremony. The practices of a Mon ordination ceremony is most commonly practiced in the form of a splendid ordination ceremony that the Mon people perform in an attempt to represent the occasion of the Bodhisatta Siddhattha Gotama’s renunciation and  associated legendary events. It is a beautiful tradition and embodies meritorious deeds which will be illustrated with the Mon traditional ways of life, stories and the stories from the Buddha’s time.

In summary, this article will show the attitude of the Mon people towards the celebration of an ordination tradition which some could accuse of involving extraneous work and unnecessary additions. However, the Mon takes it as a moral and religious expression of their Buddhist way of life and feels there are many good reasons behind those celebrations.

Key Words: Mon ordination; tradition; and practice.


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