According to this comment:

I think that monks and laypeople are meant to depend on each other (e.g. as described in Iti 107) however monks must not sell their dhamma talks for food. So there are monastic rules about food and dhamma talks: they're separate transactions ... a quid pro quo is forbidden -- having given a dhamma talk (i.e. after his speaking) the Buddha was no longer willing to receive food, because that would appear as if he were receiving food in exchange for or as payment for talking.

Please provide references from the Vinaya and/or Patimokkha for "there are monastic rules about food and dhamma talks: they're separate transactions ... a quid pro quo is forbidden".

3 Answers 3


An extended answer would probably result in getting aware that there are very, very less who do not maintain just a livelyhood in using the tripple Gems. Less who are actually not in the whole of a serious transgression, with less hope to find a way to get reconciled. While such would formally just touch those "bond" to Vinaya, from a kammic view it touches all of the many, regardless of their clothes.

An that is why even laypeople have been taught the matter, only traceable for those looking sometimes inwardly.

One should not make an effort everywhere,

should not be another's hireling,

should not live dependent on another,

should not go about

as a trader in the Dhamma.

ud 6.2

One would even find the message in the Jatakas, that not even Gods and Devas practice generosity in exchange.

One should also not underestimate that there are four kinds of nutritions in this regard.

Turn on satipaṭṭhānā and you may face corruption and how it arises in one self, and then is no more need to seek Dhamma-Vinaya outside. Till there one is wise to listen and follow the Elders and those ahead in regard of letting go.

(furthermore: Read Iti 107 as what it actually says, without assuming anything in addition)

[Note: this is a gift of Dhamma, not meant for any worldly trade and exchange]

  • I wonder if perhaps I was wrong, though, to say what I was quoted as saying in the OP -- perhaps that was an exaggeration, or an impossible distinction to make in practice. Because, for example isn't it true that people in lay society can invite the sangha to establish a new monastery somewhere, and (implicitly or explicitly) offer to support the sangha in that new location if they do? Or, for example, they may invite a monk to travel, to lecture? Or invite a monk for a meal, understanding that if the monk accepts then the monk may will speak as well?
    – ChrisW
    Sep 24, 2018 at 8:17
  • 1
    Maybe the simile of better eating hot iron balls than to except a gift with string (toward world) by the Buddha may help in this regard to understand the issue. It's a must (to teach Buddha-Dhamma) to give Dhamma as a pure generosity and especially neither sekha nor asekhas are not able to think on there belly first, direct or indirect. Sep 24, 2018 at 15:57

Sorry, I thought this was so, but I cannot find a reference.

I also thought I remembered reading on this site, that if you invite a monk to eat and to give a talk, you must be careful about the sequence (the order) in which you give the two invitations.

The only related text I found is this summary of The Bhikkhus' Rules says that it's considered wrong livelihood to seek reward from ...

the ceremony for [chanting] paritta (verses of protection), that is, making holy water and the sacred thread, the blowing of a charmed formula onto a person by a bhikkhu is also prohibited... It is allowed only to recite the paritta [protection verses], but this also occurs later and is not found in the Paali [texts]... [This is wrong livelihood and a] bhikkhu who seeks his living in this way is called alajjii, 'one who has no shame."


Kasi Bharadvaja Sutta: Discourse to Bharadvaja, the Farmer... is one instance where Buddha did not accept alms in exchange for Dhamma teaching.

The brahman Kasibharadvaja filling a golden bowl with milk-rice offered it to the Blessed One saying: "May the Venerable Gotama partake of this milk rice; a plowman, indeed, is Venerable Gotama who plows a plow for the fruit of Deathlessness (Nibbana)."

The Buddha then said, "What I receive by reciting verses, O brahman, I should not eat. It is not the tradition of those who practice right livelihood. The Buddhas reject what is received by reciting verses. This brahman, is the conduct (of the Buddhas) as long as Dhamma reigns."

  • That was the sutta which started this question (here).
    – ChrisW
    Jul 26, 2018 at 11:19

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