Tuesday, 30 December 2014

"What is the difference between novitation and full bhikkhu ordination?"




One yogi recently sent us a question asking about the different kinds of ordinations that are possible for men. Following is our answer. For more questions about Dhamma in Burma to be answered on this blog, shoot us an email at burmadhamma(at)gmail.


What is the difference between novitation and full bhikkhu ordination?

Full bhikkhu ordination may only happen when the aspirant reaches 20 years of age, thus anyone under this age may only be ordained as a novice. One of the main differences between the novice and full bhikkhu relates to the code of discipline: while the full bhikkhu has 227 precepts to follow, the novice has just ten. Some adults, while much older than twenty years old, may voluntarily choose to be ordained as a novice if they do not yet feel ready for the full discipline of a monk’s life. Finally, when a lay person wishes to ordain, one must first ordain as a lay person to a novice, and the next step is becoming a full bhikkhu. Although the aspirant may only be a novice for a matter of hours, it is impossible to ordain directly from being a layman to a full bhikkhu.