When becoming a monk one has to give up most worldly stuff. I have saved hundreds of Buddhist PDF files and on my Kindle app I have bought all of Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhis books (translations on the Pali canon) so I can use those when becoming a monk and having to learn and study the Dhamma. What if I purchase myself an iPad before becoming a monk - can I then use that iPad with my books after I become a monk? If not, then how should one get access to the Dhamma?

  • Evidently some monks have access to the internet, for example. But (I don't know) perhaps they don't own those devices as their own personal property.
    – ChrisW
    Sep 6, 2022 at 16:52
  • Thanks ChrisW. Since there are still some years before I'm able to ordain I will just study the Tipitaka until then so I'm less reliant on this issue. Sep 6, 2022 at 18:39

4 Answers 4


Lord Buddha's preachings have no time period. Those teachings can apply past present and future. Buddhism is a philosophy that needs to deal with consciousness. It has nothing to do with physical items.

Using Ipad or Phone or Laptop is totally a deal that you make with your consciousness. If you use them to learn Dhamma with the permission of your teacher there is no wrong. But you get the permission from the teacher to learn buddhism and you start watching movies or songs or gossips then you are breaking rules.

Being honest to "Sila" and to your heart consciousness you can use them in a valuable way to the society. You use them for the purpose and keep them aside physically. Mentally totally give up the ownership that makes ego which is very harmful for your future activities. so mentally let it go. its just another collection of Ultimate realities just like you me tables trees. It has Chitta - 01[89 or 121 in activities], Chaithisika - 52, and Matters - 28, which comprises 5 aggregates [ Rupa Updana Skandha, Vedana Upadana Skanda, Sagna Updana Skanda, Sankara Upadana Skanda, Vinnana Upadana Skanda ].

They are not permanent. keep on changing and decaying. As a translator of buddhist books i feel you understand what I mentioned here. In Sri Lanka monks can use those with the permission of the Master Teacher.

May Triple Gem Blessed You.

  • Dear Sanath, thank you so much for this answer. That is exactly what I needed. I will only use the ipad to study the Pitakas that I've bought on it and have in my Kindle app. Thank you for telling me about the permission from the head monk or preceptor. That is the info I was looking for. I hope I can ordain in 2-3 years from now. May you be well and happy. Sep 10, 2022 at 20:06
  • Actually I forget to tell you one thing this is the rule if you are ordain under Theravada Buddhism Temple and this is practising in Sri Lanka. Because I know few of my friends ordain and staying remotely in meditation Centers ["Yogashrama"] while learning Thripitaka. Their Teachers allow them to use those after classes. Because this is a real deal with our heart consciousness. To gain a profit for us not to anybody. So as we need to be honest to ourselves not to anybody. May Triple Gem Blessed You!!!
    – Sanath
    Sep 16, 2022 at 12:13

Not at all. I lived in India as a Vedic monk and we had a dozen of most advanced computers and electronic devices for studying and distributing Dharma. We didn't feel the burden of having advanced electronic devices because the were properly utilized. Monks can benefit from technology and use it to advance in spiritual life.

  • Thank you very much for your answer dear friend. Sep 12, 2022 at 17:41

If your primary interest is in reading books, particularly electronically, then just stay a lay person.

If you want to become a monk, choose a monastery where you know the resources exist to learn the Dhamma. If they don't have those resources (either through the people there or through a library), then you should find a different place.


Whether gross physical or electronic, one going forth neither takes from households with him on the path, the more abstains taking and using from what's not personal given to him.

Good to abound the traded and also thieved Dhamma and receive Dhamma in proper ways by one's preceptor and ancestors of this tradition, and proper given, rightly obtained, good householder.

  • Is a monk allowed to take what someone offers them, for example a mobile phone? Or is such a thing perhaps given to a monastery and so available for monks there to use, but not possessed by any monk?
    – ChrisW
    Sep 11, 2022 at 4:59
  • The iPad is gifted to myself by myself. So I can use it when I become a monk. Is that okay? Sep 11, 2022 at 15:17
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    Good householder Chris, although one might be able to receive such, one should be clear not having easy possibilities to maintain, burden to carry and carry a broad desired danger (as others might like to get such) with one. Sure better to place such into a community possession and never carry such along.
    – user24130
    Sep 12, 2022 at 14:05
  • Is it ok if one leaves home to take such with one as one going forth, householder Daydream? My person would give someone much space, who left for higher and took refuge and a preceptor, yet not willing to let go of his house and all the dirt in and around it. But certain common under just common, seeking to build their next home with the noble traditions shelter. If having ipad and traded Dhamma as refuge, why burden those with faith into the Gems, and the Gems?
    – user24130
    Sep 12, 2022 at 14:11
  • Keys, contracts, debts, relations, faults, stores, maintaining connection to the world... (hardly ever get it clean and proper obtained) all such are signs of householder.
    – user24130
    Sep 12, 2022 at 14:14

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