Men who will be ordained as monks in a formal way must stay in the monkhood for at least 15 days, according to the Sangha Supreme Council (SSC), as part of new measures to ensure monks behave properly.
The resolution came after the SSC’s recent meeting, according to the Office of National Buddhism (Onab) inspector Somkiat Thongsri, who is also Onab spokesman.
A working team of the SSC proposed short courses for those being ordained must be either 15 or 30 days, Mr Somkiat said, adding the SSC agreed that the seven-day course for the monkhood, as currently practiced, is unlikely to ensure new monks understand the principles of the dhamma.
However, no discussion touched on those ordained in traditional ways, which usually lasts three, seven or nine days, he said.
Traditional forms include the funeral ordination or those who want to fulfill vows to deities.
The resolution, Mr Somkiat said, will be sent to ecclesiastical officials across the country so they can comply with it. As for the short courses, the working panel needs to make minor changes to the curricula before they will be announced on www.onab.go.th.
The curricula will be adhered by all temples nationwide.
SSC spokesman Phra Phrom Methi insisted people who want to be ordained for less than 15 days in traditional forms will not be barred.
For those who want to become monks in the formal manner, the SSC emphasised they must stay in the monkhood at least either 15 days or 30 days.
Referring to the short courses for newly-ordained monks, Sipbavorn Kaew-ngam, director of the SSC’s secretariat office, said the working team uses a 30-day short course initiated by former Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara as a model for the newly-drafted courses.
Newly-ordained monks will study dhamma, discipline, the life of the Buddha, preaching, religious rites and meditation.