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  1. #1
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    How are monks given Titles ??

    How are monks given titles .??
    Do they get it after some certain amount of study or from the contribution that the particular monk has done ??
    Who gives the titles ... ?? or does the monitoring ??
    Title examples : Luanpo , Luangta , Ajarn .... etc etc
    Also what does the titles mean ???
    Are Thai Buddhist monks similiar to tibetian monks where reincarnation of a famous monk is recognised ???

    Sorry for my ignorance .

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    Re: How are monks given Titles ??

    It depends on the age of the Monk and on his duty in the Temple.

    "Luang" means "Venerable"

    "Po" means "Father"

    "Ta" means "Grandfather"

    "Pee" means "Older Brother"

    "Ajarn" means "Teacher".

    So normal Monks are usually called "Luang Pee" (Venerable Brother) if they are not that old that they couldn't be your father.

    The "Abbot" of the Temple is called "Luang Po" (Venerable Father).
    Other Monks, if they have the age that they could be your father are also called "Luang Po".

    Very old Monks, if they have the age that they could be your Grandfather are called "Luang Ta" (Venerable Grandfather).

    Monks which have a certain position in the Temple, for example teaching Novices or other Monks, are called "Ajarn" (Teacher).
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    Re: How are monks given Titles ??

    In general, in Thailand, Monk's titles derive from one, or more, of three systems - Colloquial, Canonical, or the official Thai Sangha system of ranks.

    The colloquial titles are mostly based on respect and age. Typical colloquial titles include those mentioned in the reply posted above -- here is a bit more . . .

    Phra: "Venerable." An honorific that refers to a monk of any rank or seniority. In informal situations Than ("reverend" or "venerable") is used.

    Ajaan, Ajarn, Ajahn, etc.: "Teacher" or "mentor" (derived from the Pali acariya, "teacher"). This title may be applied to monks and laypeople, alike.

    Luang Phaw: Venerable father. 1) A prefix to the name of a senior monk, indicating respect and affection. 2) A prefix to the name of a Buddha image.

    Luang Ta: Venerable Maternal Grandfather. A prefix to the name of an aged monk, indicating somewhat less respect and more affection than Luang Phaw. Usually, but not exclusively, given to monks ordained late in life.

    The canonical titles are based on tradition according to the Vinaya, and are generally bestowed based on length of time in the order.

    Upasika: A female lay-follower of the Buddha. Upasaka is the corresponding term for a male.

    Samanera (Thai, nen or samanen): A novice monk who has yet to receive higher ordination.

    Navaka: A newly ordained monk

    Nissaya-Muttaka: A monk who has spent five years in the monkhood

    Majjhima: A monk who has spent between five to ten years in the Order (middle rank)

    Thera: A monk who has spent ten years or more in the monkhood and is eligible to be a preceptor (upajjhaya, one who ordains other monks)

    Maha-Thera: Often used to refer to a monk who has spent twenty years or more in the Order

    Maha: This also is a prefix to the name of a monk who has passed the third level of Pali exams. The prefix sticks even if the monk disrobes, but if he remains a monk and is given an ecclesiastical title, the prefix is dropped.

    The Thai Sangha ranks are the most detailed, and although I have the classes, and major sub-classes, memorized, frankly I know the least about them as they are very "Thai" and while I have ordained and practiced in Thailand for years now, and have amazing teachers and have spent time with monks up to and including the Supreme Patriarch, they do not seem to want to bother me with the bureaucracy! [For much of the following, I have borrowed from the official Council of Elders list and information regarding the ranks.]

    Monks move through the ranks based on accomplishment and recognition of service. Monks may be recognized for scholarly study, assistance to other high ranking monks, or becoming an administrator (especially an abbot) at a (royal) temple.

    The Sangha has three divisions of honorific titles/ranks (from lowest to highest):
    1. phra khrusanyabat
    2. phra racha khana (more colloquially known as a chao khun)
    Within this class are the following sub-classes:
    phra racha khana chan saman (“ordinary” class)
    phra racha khana chan raj
    phra racha khana chan thep
    phra racha khana chan tham
    phra racha khana chan rong somdet (“deputy” somdet, also known as chan phrom)
    3. somdet phra racha khana (full somdet rank)
    There are about a handful of monks holding this rank. One of them will hold the highest title of Sangharaja, or Supreme Patriarch, of the Thai Buddhist Order.

    Following (just because I want to be complete!) is the full current official list - this time from highest rank to lowest. Of particular interest in posting the full list, and responsive to part of the original question posted here, is that the ranks I have put in italics below indicates a rank attained via educational accomplishments, while all others are ranks attained by “merit” (administration, work, or reputation).

    A List of Monk’s Ranks (and Rank Fans)
    Revised 2541 (1998) According to the Council of Elders (Mahatherasamakhom)
    at Meeting # 6/2541 on the 27th day of February 2541 (1998)

    Somdetphraratchakhana
    1. Somdet Phrasangkharatchao
    2. Somdet Phrasangkharat
    3. Somdet Phraratchakhana chan suphannabat

    Phraratchakhana
    4. Phraratchakhana chaokhanarong chan hiranyabat
    5. Phraratchakhana chaokhanarong chan sanyabat
    6. Phraratchakhana chan tham
    7. Phraratchakhana chan thep
    8. Phraratchakhana chan raj
    9. Phraratchakhana chan saman
    — Phraratchakhana palat khwa - palat sai
    — Phraratchakhana rongchaokhana phak
    — Phraratchakhana chaokhana changwat
    — Phraratchakhana rongchaokhana changwat
    Phraratchakhana chan saman parian fai wiphatsana thura (vipassana dhura)
    Phraratchakhana chan saman parian po. tho. 9-8-7-6-5-4-3
    Phraratchakhana chan saman thiapparian fai wiphatsana thura (vipassana dhura)
    Phraratchakhana chan saman thiapparian
    — Phraratchakhana chan samanyok fai wiphatsana thura (vipassana dhura)
    — Phraratchakhana chan samanyok

    Phrakhrusanyabat
    10. Phrakhrusanyabat chaokhana changwat
    11. Phrakhrusanyabat rongchaokhana changwat
    12. Phrakhrusanyabat chaoawat phra aram luang chan-ek
    13. Phrakhrusanyabat chaokhana amphoe chan-phiset
    14. Phrakhrupalat khong somdet phraratchakhana
    15. Phrapariantham 9 prayok
    16. Phrakhrusanyabat chaoawat phra aram luang chan-tho
    17. Phrakhrusanyabat chaokhana amphoe chan-ek
    18. Phrakhrusanyabat chaoawat phra aram luang chan-tri
    19. Phrakhrusanyabat chaokhana amphoe chan-tho
    20. Phrakhrusanyabat rongchaoawat phra aram luang chan-ek
    21. Phrakhrusanyabat rongchaoawat phra aram luang chan-tho
    22. Phrakhrusanyabat rongchaoawat phra aram luang chan-tri
    23. Phrakhrusanyabat phuchuai chaoawat phra aram luang chan-phiset (or the equivalent)
    24. Phrakhrusanyabat phuchuai chaoawat phra aram luang chan-ek fai wiphatsana thura (vipassana dhura) (or the equivalent)
    25. Phrakhrusanyabat phuchuai chaoawat phra aram luang chan-ek (or the equivalent)
    26. Phrakhrupalat khong phraratchakhanarong chan hiranyabat
    27. Phrakhrupalat khong phraratchakhanarong chan sanyabat
    28. Phrakhruthananukrom chan-ek khong somdet phrasangkharat
    29. Phrapariantham 8 prayok
    30. Phrakhrusanyabat phuchuai chaoawat phra aram luang chan-tho (or the equivalent)
    31. Phrapariantham 7 prayok
    32. Phrakhrupalat khong phraratchakhana chan tham
    33. Phrakhruthananukrom chan-tho khong somdet phra sangkharat (phrakhru parit)
    34. Phrakhrusanyabat rongchaokhana amphoe chan-ek
    35. Phrakhrusanyabat rongchaokhana amphoe chan-tho
    36. Phrakhrusanyabat chaokhana tambon chan-ek fai wiphatsana thura (vipassana dhura)
    37. Phrakhrusanyabat chaokhana tambon chan-ek
    38. Phrakhrusanyabat chaokhana tambon chan-tho
    39. Phrakhrusanyabat chaokhana tambon chan-tri
    40. Phrakhrusanyabat chaoawat watrat chan-ek
    41. Phrakhrusanyabat chaoawat watrat chan-tho fai wiphatsana thura (vipassana dhura)
    42. Phrakhrusanyabat chaoawat watrat chan-tho
    43. Phrakhrusanyabat chaoawat watrat chan-tri
    44. Phrakhrusanyabat rongchaoawat watrat
    45. Phrakhrusanyabat phuchuai chaoawat watrat
    46. Phrapariantham 6 prayok
    47. Phrapariantham 5 prayok
    48. Phrakhrupalat khong phraratchakhana chan thep
    49. Phrakhrupalat khong phraratchakhana chan thep
    50. Phrakhru winaithon
    51. Phrakhru thammathon
    52. Phrakhru khusuat
    53. Phrapariantham 4 prayok
    54. Phrapalat khong phraratchakhana chan saman
    55. Phrapariantham 3 prayok
    56. Phrakhru rongkhusuat
    57. Phrakhru sangkharak
    58. Phrakhru samu
    59. Phrakhru baithika
    60. Phra samu
    61. Phra baithika
    62. Phra phithikam

    Department of Religious Affairs
    27 February 2541

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  6. #4
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    Re: How are monks given Titles ??

    If anyone is looking for an all-purpose form of address for monks, I think Ajarn is always OK.

    At the Wat I go to here in Melbourne, English speakers are taught to address all monks as Ajarn.
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    Re: How are monks given Titles ??

    Thanks for the info ... it is even more complex than i expected .

    Just another question ..... Are monks also given the titles based on the "mystical Powers" which they have ? Like some are known to make talisman that are "powerful" than others .

    Do they have to be of a certain ranking before they are able to make talismans ?

    Quote :Monks move through the ranks based on accomplishment and recognition of service. Monks may be recognized for scholarly study, assistance to other high ranking monks, or becoming an administrator (especially an abbot) at a (royal) temple.

    mentioned earlier in colloquial titles :

    Luang Po = Venerable Father
    Luang Ta = Venerable Grandfather .

    Eg : Why is Luang Poh Khun still called Luang Po instead of Luang Ta Khun . he's exteremly old

    Sorry again for my ignorance

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    Re: How are monks given Titles ??

    As I said, the Abbot of the Temple is called "Luang Po", in this case age doesn't matter.

    The very famous Monk "Luang Po Khun" is the Abbot of the Temple.
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  10. #7
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    Re: How are monks given Titles ??

    I visited Luang Pho Khun many times already and every time was an unforgettable experience.

    Attached is a Photo of one of my visits
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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