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Why do monks go on alms rounds in the morning?

In order to appreciate this act, one needs to have a background understanding of Buddhist society, Buddhist society consists of four groups of people: monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen. Monks and nuns have left household life and have gone forth to spend time fully in the study and practice of Buddhist teaching. Once they are well fortified with study and practice, they are expected to teach the lay people and provide them with spiritual comfort and guidance.

Lay people, on the other hand, are householders who are still engaged in worldly activities. It is expected that able Buddhists should support the ordained ones by providing them with material requisites such as clothing, food and medicine. Buddhist societies are expected to work out with this compromise division of responsibilities.

When the monks go for alms round, from the monk’s point of view, they are to make available the opportunity for the lay people to make offering to the ordained ones who are the “field of merit”, worthy of offering. Also by taking care of the material needs of the ordained ones is a way to reinsure the stability of Buddhism and its institute on the one hand and also to uplift the lay peoples’ own practice on the other.

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