The Buddha spoke about two kinds of people, the ordinary worldling (puthujjana) and the noble person (ariya). Those who generate sentient thoughts focused on and attached to some sort of sensual pleasures at all times are identified under this first category. In the ”kuddala Panditha” jataka story, the Buddha described the sentient mind as a mind that is swift in nature; a mind that is not commendable; a mind that arises for the purpose of attaching to objects; and once attached to objects, a mind that cannot be retracted.
For an ordinary worldling (puthujjana), obviously it is a worthwhile ambition to become a noble person, as if we keep looking for it at some future time, then it will escape us. The difference between a noble one and a worldling is the experience of "path and fruit" (magga-phala).
This is exactly what a group of 60-80 people / families who lived in the West, and of Sri Lankan origin did some two years ago. They were influenced by the Late Waharaka Thero who ordained in the year 2005. Before the ordination he was a lay person named WA Abayarathna and fully ordained as a monk in 2005 as Ven. Waharaka Abayarathanalankara. At that time even his wife, his son & his daughter, and her husband entered monkhood dedicating themselves to follow the path.
Even in this group of 60-80 people, there were whole families too. One such was Ven. Bhikkhu Baththaramulle Amadassana. The following short story “This is the place where we can find REAL PHILOSOPHY OF THE LORD BUDDHA” is a snapshot of his past and present life.
Buddhist monkhood, 0n the ideal (ariya) level, refers to those of the Buddha’s followers—whether lay or ordained—who have practiced to the point of gaining at least the first of the transcendent qualities culminating in Liberation.
The Buddha designed the monkhood so that monks would have time alone but also have time together. If you spent all your time alone, it has its drawbacks, just as you spent all your time together. So you have to learn how to balance the two – to learn how to develop your own good qualities on your own and at the same time use the actions and words of other people as mirrors for yourself, to check yourself, to see what out there is worth emulating, to see what out there is clearly unskillful, and then reflect on yourself.
In Theragatha - Verses of the Elder Monks, we find the story of Ven. Ratthapala who explains why he's not in the least bit tempted to return to the lay life. The verses here fall into three sections, with the first two relating to Raṭṭhapāla’s story as told in MN 82. In the first, Raṭṭhapāla is addressing his father after the latter had tried to use wealth and Raṭṭhapāla’s former wives to lure Ratthapala into disrobing. In the second section, Raṭṭhapāla is talking to King Koravya, who had asked him why he had ordained when he was still young and healthy, and had suffered no loss of relatives or wealth.
The Way to end all suffering is called the ‘Majjima Patipada’ – Way to Relinquish Attachments to this World - because it avoids the two extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification. Then only the mind has the clarity and strength to meditate deeply and discover the Truth. This ‘Majjima Patipada’ consists of the diligent cultivation of Virtue, Meditation and Wisdom.