A YOUNG man who thought of turning over a new leaf and study dhamma was badly disheartened after a senior district monk refused to ordain him because he has tattoos all over his body including his face, Thai News Agency said today (August 29).
A stream of criticism is spreading online after a Facebook user posted this message:
“I am a sinner, a senior district monk won’t ordain me because people with tattoos on their face cannot be ordained. I wanted to ordain and become a good person isn’t that possible?”
It was Thosaporn or Top, 24, who posted this message while also mentioning that previously he was unruly and roamed around plus was jailed for various offenses but upon being released from jail, after still coming across problems, he decided to become a monk and study dhamma with this to be a new starting point in his life.
Moreover he had earlier made a vow that if he did not get a long jail term he would ordain as a monk near his house in Pathum Thani.
He contacted the temple’s abbot and he and the other monks were eager for him to turn over a new leaf. So preparations were made for ordination on August 26 but when he reached the temple the abbot asked him to meet the District Primate who looked at his tattoos and said, “looking like this I can’t let you ordain,” and rushed away without asking for an explanation or letting him ordain as a novice.
Thai News Agency reporters went to meet Pathum Thani District Primate and asked him about this decision.
The monk said in the past those who reached ordination age all came to the temple to learn everything they could but today people just show up for the ordination which was wrong.
The monk also said those who want to ordain have to look fit and clean as this would help sustain Buddhism and ensure that it prospers.
The monk added that a man with tattoos on his face asked to ordain and he was not wrong in wanting to do so. However the monk said he could not ordain him but another temple might do so and that was a different issue.
Who would want to offer him food, this monk wondered, adding this decision was based on suitability.
Top and inset: A dejected Thosaporn after he was refused ordination. Photo: Thai News Agency