Becoming A Monk In Hong Kong

■Book 111 - Roving Over The World

Following the Buddhist tradition, once a person is ordained as a monk, he must shave his head bald, and wear the monk`s robe. Moreover, he must exude a dignified behavior as follows:

He must stand like a pine tree,

He must sit like a bell,

He must sleep like a bow,

He must walk like a breeze of wind.

He must give others the following impression:

\`Independent and unique\`

\`Uncontaminated\`

\`Gentle\`

\`Courteous\`

\`Solemn\`

\`Calm\`

By following certain rules, he must behave in an impressive and dignified manner.

Monks are embarrassed and puzzled by a custom observed by people in Hong Kong.

When people meet me, they are sure to utter a few words such as:

\`Oh, gone nuts\`

\`So unlucky\`

\`Oh my God, I am dead!\`

\`I will lose everything !\`

Some even go to the extent of throwing an unfriendly glance and spit at me.

As they are all strangers to me, at first I did not know how to react to such behaviour.

Later, I was given the understanding that this is a custom observed only by Cantonese:

1. It is unlucky to meet a monk.

2. Bald means nothing left, you will lose everything if you gamble.

In Hong Kong, gambling is rife. It is not uncommon for people to have a few games of \`Mahjong\` just before the meal. In fact, gambling is a necessity, part and parcel of life in Hong Kong. You come across gambling dens everywhere, people have dreams that they make a fortune through gambling. Human greeds are clearly shown in their behaviour.

I know that Customs and habits are difficult to change.

So is human nature.

We are very protective, even our bad habits.

I have nothing to say since nobody will heed my explanation.

I am asked:

\`Is there a possibility that this custom will change in future ?\`

\`I am not sure \`, I told the truth.

\`Maybe we would educate them through mass media ?\`

\`We should try our best.\`

\`One of these days, they will be delighted to meet those ordained.\`

\`Hope so.\`

A Buddhist monk will always wear a robe known as \`Kasaya\` (the garment of the field of blessing), to represent good fortune. We should be happy to see them.

Moreover, to become a Buddhist monk is considered a conduct that will result in blessing. As monks are observing five precepts and doing ten good deeds, those who see them will be blessed.

By observing the vow, a monk will accumulate two kinds of virtue. The first is merit, we will be blessed if we meet a monk. The second is wisdom, only those who are wise will choose to be monks. In fact, only those who have virtuous cause will become monks. The place where a monk lives is known as a place of blessedness, a monastery.

In short, the monk signifies a blessed field, a virtuous behaviour, a virtuous cause and a blessed place.

We must be very lucky to have met the monks.

There are very few wise persons in this world; most people are blind, they are ignorant and follow others in indulging in all kinds of customs and superstitions.

In learning Buddhism, we must be rational and remove the superstitious elements.

I would not let myself mired in this kind of custom. Therefore, when the crowds pass by, I would not feel sad or uneasy, nevertheless, I will still pray for their well-being.

I feel comfortable when I was in Hong Kong.

 

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