I called All India Bhikkhu Sangha to know whether I can be trained as a monk… ? The person I called said that world has progressed a lot and it is not a wise thing to leave family behind. He said give up laziness and do your household chores. It is a sin to leave helpless family…

This has created a doubt in my mind whether I should strive to follow Buddha’s path or should I give up the path and lead a layman’s life ?

Is it ok become a monk ?

  • You'll get the answer easily, if you read the Story of Sudinna, in Parajikapali under the 1st Parajika. It describes how he got faith to ordain after listenning to a Dhamma sermon.
    – Blake
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 6:17

4 Answers 4


He probably wants you to be absolutely certain that becoming a monk is what you really want, without any room for alternative options.

Otherwise, you would simply end up wasting precious time without achieving neither the goals of the monastic life nor the goals of the householder life.

Those who in youth have not led the holy life, or have failed to acquire wealth, languish like old cranes in the pond without fish.

Those who in youth have not lead the holy life, or have failed to acquire wealth, lie sighing over the past, like worn out arrows (shot from) a bow.
Dhp 155-156

... so by such a simile do I speak about this person: he has missed out on the enjoyments of a householder, yet he does not fulfil the purpose of recluseship.
Iti 91

I say that person is just like this. They’ve missed out on the pleasures of the lay life, and haven’t fulfilled the goal of the ascetic life.
SN 22.80

If you haven't read it already, the book "Broken Buddha" by Ven. S. Dhammika would help you to avoid romanticizing life in Theravada monasteries, especially in Asia. However, at the same time, you should not let it discourage you, as there are bound to be a mix of good and bad experiences when it comes to monasteries and life in monasteries.

  • Ven. S. Dhammika was caught in guilty of destroying faith of people on Theravada, by presenting incorrect information in his book Broken Buddha. Apart from the many partial criticisms directed towards the Theravada by him, S. Dhammika says, "even venerable Buddhaghosa did not believed in his own work", by showing the "aspiration" mentioned in the Visuddhimagga-colophon. Later it was revealed that the Colophon was not written by venerable Buddhaghosa himself. See: classicaltheravada.org/t/…
    – Blake
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 6:09

Actually you can still follow Buddha's path in your layman condition. I suggest you practice a weekend Vipassana or 10 day Vipassana. After that, apply what you learn in that retreat in everyday activities.


Doubt is the greatest hindrance towards doing skillful things, and it's wise not to leave any room for doubt, either inwardly or outwardly.

Nothing helps oneself and others more than to go after the holy life and seek freedom and release from suffering, good householder.

Don't waste your time.


You can become sottapanna in a household life.

The main point here in what this person said to you will refer to what type of family you have. If you have an elderly and unwell parent or have a wife/husband and/or children then becoming an ordained member of the sangha is inappropriate.

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