If I recall correctly I've heard that one can not be ordained if one has debts. Is this just a practical rule to avoid ordaining people that run away from financial problems or does it also have moral aspect to it?

Answers from all schools are welcome.


If you have obligations like debt you might be forced to disrobe. You will not be able to do what you set out to do and any debtor trying to get hold of you will be doing bad karma.

Also you cannot practice properly as you will be afraid of debtors getting hold of you.

You and the Sanga will get a bad name due to your not fulfilling your obligation. This has a karmic implication towards people who might bad mouth the monk and the order.

This can be extended to other obligations also.

Regarding being disfigured or disabled it is the latter reasons. Also you need all your faculties in good condition to effectively do Vipassana.


It seems like it could be both.

Is running away from your debts wholesome? Is it wholesome to not pay debts to somebody when you know you should? Is it unwholesome to put aside ordination until your debts are paid off?

What does it mean for food to be wholesome? It means healthy, beneficial food. Wholesome actions are healthy for the mind and beneficial towards all beings. That's the "moral" aspect of Buddhism, and it really isn't based in somebody's personal view of good or bad, it's based on cause and effect. What would be the effects of running away from debt? What would the gratifications and dangers be?




It's all ganu -denu (give and take). through out all social interaction and through out all sansara that's what we do.. even if you have to chop a tree down, don't do it without a reason. Before the reason is accomplished make sure you plant a similar seedling... then you will not be in debt. Slowly paying off your debts is a good plan...because you have not lost sight of the intention to pay. Have you considered what made the Card companies offer you the loan in the first place? Perhaps there was a collective kamma on their part towards assisting you...! Out of so many thousands that applied they chose you... for what reason? Probably they owe you more than you know...! and you die tomorrow without paying .... that could be due to them not paying you off in time for services rendered...in the past. The karma - vipaka subject is NEVER - a linear - one to one relationship. Many previous factors - bring many future results. It is always a very complex issue. Although the Buddha was the only teacher who explained this subject with maximum clarification, he also mentioned that it's a "buddhagochara dhamma" - we lesser mortals can not fathom the intricacies of it's mechanism. If we try to pay off all debts we owe through out samsara.... we just multiply keep on multiplying this samsara in to a never ending cycle of "ganu-Denu". Buddha's advice was to "get-out of this cycle a.s.a.p." (because the moment you payback the loan to the Credit Card Company they will be indebted to you for honouring the commitment .... and the cycle moves on) There is no end... unless you make an effort to break it now... you and I may have spent most of our samsara as cows... (who knows?) As cows we did not have the intellect to understand the reasoning of dhamma. This time round with some luck we are born as humans, with ability to read, write, comprehend dhamma - be scared of this whole sansaric existence, reason for this existence .... and to find a way out of this existence. So do that... make it your priority goal. The credit card companies may not be able to fully pay off the debts they owe towards you .... or .... you may not be able to fully pay off the credit card company what you owe them... you just say thank you and leave the field and wish that they would find their own escape (nirvana) than creating further "ganu-denu"s with others they owe to.

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