What is the most prominent way to ordain as a monk? Like who's involved, and how to contact the respective person to ordain?

  • This answer may give you some guidance.
    – Unrul3r
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 13:21
  • Hmm, I was more hoping for an answer which point out the more practical side of it. It is actually a stage too far to what I meant, and it is actually about the requirements more instead of the pragmatic side and that is what I was looking for. Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 13:31
  • Take a look at the links in the end. They are a bit more pragmatic. If you want more pragmatic than that, I suggest contacting a monastery directly & visiting them. Good luck.
    – Unrul3r
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 15:32
  • Which tradition, which country? If it's for you personally, what sort of level of renunciation are you looking for? (the gamut runs from Shin priests who carry on a mostly regular lay-like life, vs monks in a monastery and inbetween, like in Chinese monastics that also teach and work in hospitals.) Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 17:31
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    Given this question perhaps it's safe to assume that the OP meant Theravada.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 15:56

3 Answers 3


The I. Mahākhandhako: The Great Khandhaka gives most knowledge on not only how the Sublime Sangha got into arising but also how it leaves access for those wishing to make use of the Sublime Buddhas Boundage, (Re-)Legion, toward Unbond.

[Note that this isn't given for stacks, exchange or other world-binding trades but to escape from this wheel: access to real refuge]

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    Thank you Bhante:)
    – user2424
    Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 18:30

Householder Jordy van Ekelen, interested,

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

my person would not answer how to become, ordain, in what ever tradition, but in regard of the Savaka Sangha, the disciples of the Buddhas, his Sangha of monks.

While it is relatively easy to ordain here or there, it's not that easy to ordain under the real Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

First of all one has to meet the Tripple Gems and perceive them correct (see on how to become "Buddhist"). Other than just taking refuge, to become a member of the Sangha one needs to have a valid preceptor and a valid procedure. If one ordains under an actually "non-bhikkhu", although he could nevertheless practice good if right perceived and no doubts, one would not have become a valid member of the Sangha (a case most relevant in regard of certain Bhikkhuni ordinations today, for example. Once the lineage died out, there are no means to reestablish a Sangha of the/a Buddha).

If not sure, if having doubts, reasons for doubts, and desire to become a full member of the Budddhas Sangha, it's good to fist seek for going forth as a pabajjita, homeless (usually called Samanera) if meeting a single monk who is perceived as valid and correct member of the Sangha. Later on, if desiring (note that it is not needed to fully ordain to live the holy live toward Arahatship and as Arahat), one can look out for a proper Sangha to ordain (since there are 6 qualified Bhikkhus needed to perform the ceremony) and should of cause always hold up the wish "may I meet the opportunity" or "if meeting the Savakasangha, and given the chance to ordain, I will".

The problem when ordaining incorrect/invalid is that one would be burdened by doubts and so easy be disturbed in regard of remorselessness.

There is/would be also no problem to went into homelessness, asking for the 10 precepts, and practice as wanderer under the Tripple Gems, or even as wanderer, yet not met the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha at all (like for example Ven. Maha Kassapa left home without Nissaya/teacher). If having the right aspiration, aim, to leave home, right Upanissaya, the wish "if there exist those/he who knows the way to liberation, may I meet them/him" the teacher/Sangha will go out forward to one, meeting on half the way.

If fully ordaining under a group of thieves (groups which maintain a copy), and also perceiving the right Sangha as wrong, it could be very dangerous in regard of ones possibility to ordain since one having gained "Bhikkhu-hood" by thief, could no more be ordained in the Sangha. Something that one should take care of if leaving home as wanderer or Samanera: if giving others to think that one is a Bhikkhu of the Buddha for bellies sake, using the Sangha-heritage without being given so, one counts as one having gained by thief and would be no more ordained in this lifetime.

Similar situation is critical if one, coming from another sect, returns to this sect without disrobing.

There is, how ever, not much a problem if not ordained with doubts that this is the right group, even if wrong. Once meeting the right, valid, one could join them.

In regard of detail requirements for ordination, which is not necessary always good in study much, one can look here as a source giving much information: Nissaya

As for what to do, wishing to ordain, if meeting a member of the Buddhas good Sangha, the Sangha or someone related to it: Simply ask devoted, bowing down, three times for leaving home under the Buddhas discipline, and if wishing also to gain full ordination at the same time. Let the rest be the matter of those actually in change.

If no reaction on it, repeat the wish, even daily and if having doubt that you are taken serious, after a good time of patient (note that a adherent of other sects would be observed minimum 4 month before full ordaining, if his attitude ans aspiration is right and old teachers/teachings abound. Most of western would count as such Aliens, so nothing that requires to feel disregarded, but the Bhikkhus duty to do.)

who's involved: first of all, you, with the right aspiration and perception and as for ordaining as Samanera a valid preceptor, as for ordaining as Bhikkhu, a chosen valid Nissaya (mentor/personal teacher), a valid preceptor, a valid Sangha of six valid Bhikkhus, and a valid place (Uposatha-place, within valid Sema/borders), and a valid Ordination - action.

how to contact the respective person: seek out for a valid perceive-able member of the Sangha of the Buddha, and ask for such three times in a devoted way, asking for taking refuge under the Gems and for going forth under them, and possible full ordination in the Sangha of the Buddha.

What is the most prominent way to ordain as a monk?: merits, inclination to what leads to long lasting happiness. It is strong condition (Upanissaya), caused by strong condition causes (-paccaya) of the past and present, which lead one most prominent to ordain as a homeless under the Buddhas teachings, among his straight following disciples and begins with the first highest blessings, to desire for, is not gained, ripen yet:

[The Buddha:] Not consorting with fools, consorting with the wise, paying homage to those worthy of homage: This is the highest protection.

Living in a civilized land, having made merit in the past, directing oneself rightly: This is the highest protection.

Broad knowledge, skill, well-mastered discipline, well-spoken words: This is the highest protection.

Support for one's parents, assistance to one's wife and children, consistency in one's work: This is the highest protection.

Giving, living in rectitude, assistance to one's relatives, deeds that are blameless: This is the highest protection.

Avoiding, abstaining from evil; refraining from intoxicants, being heedful of the qualities of the mind: This is the highest protection.

Respect, humility, contentment, gratitude, hearing the Dhamma on timely occasions: This is the highest protection.

Patience, compliance, seeing contemplatives, discussing the Dhamma on timely occasions: This is the highest protection.... (Mangala Sutta — Protection)

It's very, very seldom that a Buddha and his teachings arise in this world, even more seldom to get in touch and even more seldom to have the conditions for such a possibility to get in touch gained, so don't waste time if this auspicious change and kusala mind is met, since nothing last aside of the highest gain.

If missing conditions yet, strong desire to gain them by efforts, nourishing this possibilities outwardly and inwardly, associating with that headed toward liberation or already freed, will have it's desired effects, sooner or later, even if caught in household outwardly, at least secure at the break up of this body, if having strong faith that house (the six senses) is no refuge and nothing worthy to give into, aside providing, maintaining for the gaining of independence from it one day.


(Note that this gift of Dhamma is not dedicated for trade, exchange, stacks or entertainment but as a means to make merits toward release from this wheel)


Thailand or Srilanka right now are the best places to do so, where they most adhere to the vinaya. In Thailand, there are still great masters available that can develop your practice. The biggest and most powerful movement is at dhamma.com/en. You wont be able to ordain at Master Pramote's temple but you could not far and go to see him regularly.

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