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Why are monks always buying computers

Thailand is a predominately Buddhist country in fact 95% of Thailand is Buddhist. So seeing monks around all the time is normal. But what puzzled me for the longest time is anytime I go to a computer store whether it be Pantip plaza or any of the numerous computer super stores even at Macro I would always see monks eyeing out the latest computer gadgets.

A Thai person would probably read this and just think I'm closed minded, ignorant or just simply have no idea about what the life of a modern day monk is like. And they'd be right too. Last time I spent time in the monastery was in 1996 for a week during Kow Pansa a time that monks are supposed to retreat to the Temple (Wat) for a period of 3 months. I only lasted a week. At that time there was never anyone with a computer and only a few people I noticed actually had mobile phones. 15 years later though what a change.

The modern day monk in Thailand has a cell phone, a computer or at least access to one. Many monks especially the younger ones actually have school (school for monks) they need computers to do their homework, even have access to the Internet.

Recently I went to a Monk Dormitory close to my place. Actually I just walked passed the rooms on my way to the other end of the temple grounds. Poking my head into a few opened doorways I found that most the rooms there were either 2-4 guys in them. Nearly every room had a computer some where playing games even one guy was on Facebook. I did see one guy looking at a website with what appeared to be Buddhist teachings though I couldn't see the address.
Why are monks always buying computers
What I always thought a Buddhist monks life was like, it's certainly different now. The older guys are probably super hard core still but the younger generation are bringing a whole new look to the order. Monks are still educated and in fact you can help volunteer teaching english to monks in Thailand. I think it's great how even religion can adapt to the 21st century too.

I guess I'm still not sure how this is done but I always thought that as a monk in Thailand you weren't allowed to touch money. So how would the monks buy computers? I know i'm ignorant to all of this sorry guys maybe someone here knows? While I'm at it i'd probably like to know where they get the money to buy the computers too. I know many temples and even the monks collect money through donations but a personal computer I doubt that is funded, maybe it's family?

I wonder if anyone else has noticed how many monks are out there buying computers in Thailand. Am I the only one who has thought about it? If not let me know your thoughts about this.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

2 Responses to Why are monks always buying computers

  1. Joe November 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    I always see them at pantip in BKK.

    I just assumed they were still in training and hadn’t become full monks where they would then become enlightened and have no need for Facebook and laptops.

  2. ChiangMaiGuy November 9, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    Hope they are not looking for ‘cheats’ for the ‘ten steps to Nirvana’ game

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