31. Problems & responsibilities

One of the problems in administering the Saṅgha, in addition to having to deal with all the other major and minor issues that come up, is the lack of monks who will be abbots. We sometimes hear news of monks competing to become abbot of a monastery, but Luang Pu’s students had to be cajoled or forced into taking on the abbotship in other monasteries. Every year without exception, groups of lay people would come to Luang Pu, asking him to send one of his students to become the abbot at their monastery. If Luang Pu saw that a particular monk should go, he would plead with him to go, but for the most part the monk wouldn’t want to go. The usual excuse was, “I don’t know how to do construction work, I don’t know how to train other monks, I don’t know how to give sermons, I’m no good at public relations or receiving guests. That’s why I don’t want to go.”

Luang Pu would respond,

“Those things aren’t really necessary. Your only responsibility is to follow your daily duties: going for alms, eating your meal, sitting in meditation, doing walking meditation, cleaning the monastery grounds, being strict in observing the Vinaya. That’s enough right there. As for construction work, that depends on the lay supporters. Whether or not they do it is up to them.”