What is the meaning of giving food to the monks?

As regards the giving of food to the monks, some people doubt whether that is of any use. They are inclined to think thatmonks want to have an easy life and that they do not have towork at all, but they forget that the real meaning of being a monkis seeking the truth. A monk’s life is a hard life, he does not have a family life, he
cannot choose his own food and he does not take part in any entertainment such as going to the movies or football matches.He renounces the luxuries of a home, entertainment, choice ofclothing and food, in order to seek the truth and to help otherpeople to find the truth as well.

When people give food to the monks their act is one which willbe fruitful for both parties. The giver will benefit from his actbecause he has a wholesome mental state at the time of giving:when there is generosity there is no greed or attachment. Thereceiver will benefit from the act of the giver because he isencouraged to study and practise the Buddhist teachings moreearnestly and to help other people to know the teachings as well.He knows that the food he receives puts him under an obligationto be worthy of the gift, to work for the spiritual welfare of thewhole world. Monks are continually reminded of their responsibilityas monks, and twice a month they recite the rules of “Påìimokkha”in which their obligations are summed up. Furthermore, whenthe receiver is aware of the wholesome state of the giver, he willrejoice in the good deeds of the giver and thus he will have awholesome mental state as well; he will be inspired by the generosityof the giver.

[Exerpted from the Book: Buddhism in Daily Life written by Nina van Gorko]

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