Monk Police

Here is an interesting video about the ‘Monk Police’, a crack FBI style squad of heroic defenders of the faith. At least that is how the documenters present it.

These monks have taken it on themselves to catch ‘fake’ monks who beg for food or money via the robe and bowl. Some of them are drunk, others are not even ordained monks.

These kinds of story make it look like Thailand is crawling with ‘fakes’. In fact the opposite is true. While there will always be opportunists, for the most part the Thai Sangha has avoided much controversy. Sometimes someone is ‘caught’ drinking or going to a Karaoke bar. While it is wrong behaviour it is fairly tame. In such times the person, if not given a second chance, will be quietly disrobed and returned to lay life.

As for the giver – when one gives to any monk it should be with the intention to support the Sangha as a whole, rather thanĀ  a particular individual. Of course, if the monk is a family member or someone you know well then there is the personal element. Yet the base intention is to support the Sangha, which protects and maintains the religion. Therefore most people who offer alms in the mornings feel quite rightly that they have done their part. If a monk lets the Sangha side down, it is their own Karmic lookout.