I am asking this behalf of my friend. He was gonna commit suicide. But I managed to calm him down by taking him to a Buddhist temple. He had a really fun life, movies, friends, night outs, girls, cars, everything. But suddenly he got to know that he has a skin condition called herpes. Something like a pimple. But it seems he regret a lot a lot as it has no cure. But it is a very common all over the world. He doesn't understand and tried to suicide. He has given up life.

Luckily I brought him to this Buddhist temple and managed to save his life. Now he is very interest in becoming a Theravada monk and spend the life in a temple meditating, learning and practicing Buddhism. I decided to support him as he was a good person, help others, donate etc. I am wondering if his conditions and previous life style matters to become a monk. Thanks.

4 Answers 4


Previous lifestyle & herpes should not prevent a person from becoming a monk. If your friend wants to become a monk, he should talk to a monk at the temple.


The commentary on page 195 of this document, The Buddhist Monastic Code II, implies that it depends on the type of skin condition, where it is, how severe it is, and whether it's likely to spread. I don't know to what extent it applies to herpes.

This answer to a related question starts with,

The degree of strict interpretation of such rules largely depends on the monastery, tradition and abbot under whom one ordains. Most monastic orders I know adapt these rules to suit their circumstance in practice.


I am glad you managed to save your friend's life.

I suggest that both of you google "Thai monk with neurofibromatosis" and become aware that his 'problem' isn't a real problem.


look up Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha (Buddha's physician). He also treated other monks during Buddha's time. One day he noticed that many lay men in the market had their head shaved. He realized that many people ordained just to get free health care and would dis-rope and went back to normal lay person life after their illness was cured. So he asked Buddha not to ordain people with certain illness or conditions.

This has to be clear, if your friend's condition does not meet the perquisite to be a monk, it doesn't mean he wont make progress in Dhamma.

Here are quotes and referecences Jīvaka's fame as a physician brought him more work than he could cope with, but he never neglected his duties to the Sangha. Many people, afflicted with disease and unable to pay for treatment, joined the Order in order that they might receive that treatment. On discovering that the Order was thus being made a convenience of, he asked the Buddha to lay down a rule that men afflicted with certain diseases should be refused entry into the Order (Vin.i.71ff). Jīvaka was declared by the Buddha chief among his lay followers loved by the people (aggam puggalappasannānam) (A.i.26). He is included in a list of good men who have been assured of the realisation of deathlessness (A.iii.451; DhA.i.244, 247; J.i.116f).

  • YUK! This rule sounds made up. What if the man with a disease is rich and obviously isn't out to get free healthcare? This rule sounds unnecessarily heartless and not in harmony with the Dhamma. What's wrong with people getting medical care regardless of they're monastic sincerity?
    – Lowbrow
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 16:27
  • i added reference to my answer. I believe these rules were made to prevent people come in to take advantage of Sangha without sincerity. I believe Buddha set things out of kindness for all beings. Perhaps, people inflict with certain illness may have made a greater progress as lay person.
    – user5056
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 16:59

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