General principle

An ordination in Buddhism can happen once there are 1) ordinand that means who would like to be ordained, 2)  monastic committee that means preceptor with  two assistants and monastic witness and 3)ordination ceremony.


Traditionally person who can be ordained in Theravada Buddhism need to

  1. Be a gentleman
  2. Have no serious diseases such as leprosy, epilepsy, serious infectious disease and serious deformity.
  3. Be free from any debt.
  4. Have monastic necessities such as robes and bowl
  5. Have permission from parents
  6. Be from 20 years old (For younger person can be ordained as novice)


20170420_134100Preceptor and monastic witness

From the Buddha time when an individual would like to be a monk, he needs to find a senior monk to be his preceptor or “monastic father”. Preceptor has role to be responsible to consider character of candidate if if follow requirement, to allow monks to form monastic community for the ceremony and then to lead the ceremony by himself.

Monastic committee for ordination ceremony consists of one preceptor, two assistants who help to perform process of ceremony and a certain number of monastic witness who are also monks.

To be a novice, need only preceptor.

In Thailand preceptors are official administrative senior monk at least at level of head of sub-district and need to have official license as preceptor.



Ordination ceremony in Thailand will be as these steps:

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Hair shaving

Circumbulation in white dress
  1. Hair shaving

First step to be monk need to shave their hair and eye brow. This activity can be done before ceremony day.

  1. Circumbulation in white dress

In ordination day first activity is three rounds walking around chapel with chanting to pay respect to the Triple Gems which means the Buddha, dhamma ( Buddha teaching) and Sangha ( monks community) . We consider that the Buddha stay at the center of the ceremony.

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Robe receiving

Ask to be a novice

  1. Receive robes from parents

Ordinand receives robes from parents or representative.

  1. Ask preceptor to be a novice

Ordinand holds robes in their arms and ask preceptor to accept him to be a spiritual member of the community. Preceptor will ask him to respect the Triple Gems and teach basic objects for meditation. Later ordinand will change cloth to be in robes. Then ask precepts from preceptor to be a novice.

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After receiving the bowl Group photo after finish
  1. Receive bowl

Novice receives bowl from parents or representative.

  1. Novice ask preceptor to be a monk

Novice will announce themselves to be under supervision of preceptor. Then preceptor teaches necessary objects to be ordained. Two assistants will ask requirement in front of the chapel and do it again in the middle of monks. Preceptor will teach important things monk can do and can’t do as the last step.