If only it
were as easy to attain Enlightenment as it is
to shave one’s head and put on robes!
Becoming a monk does not automatically make
one enlightened, nor does it mean one is better
than others. The excessive respect shown by
many Buddhists towards monks is weakening and
corruptive; imagine what an effect it may have
upon a monk to hear people say—as people
do—"When I meet a monk. It is the
same as meeting the Buddha"! Not only is
such respect potentially dangerous, but it also
lays people open to disappointment. The monk
has to be aware of the dangers by knowing his
own mind; he knows if he is enlightened or not,
and that no high-sounding titles by which people
address him will change this.
is not a priest, to mediate between people and
the Buddha. The Buddha did not ask people to
worship Him and pray to Him, but taught a way
by which anyone could develop his/her own potential
and become enlightened; nor was this only for
monks and nuns.
good conditions for following the Way by the
kind support of the house-holder devotees, the
monks and nuns show their gratitude and affection
by sharing with the people what they have discovered
of the Way that might be of benefit to them.
So, all members of the Buddhist community, or
Sangha, may develop together.