Women in Buddhism: Questions & Answers


Generally why people prefer to make offering to monks rather than mae jis?



Monks are a “field of merit” as they lead chaste life, and are propagators of the teaching of Buddhism. Having left household life they study and follow the path of the Buddha. Hence they are worthy recipients of the offering. Offering food to monks in the morning not only provides them food for their well-being but also supports them as propagators of Buddhism. Thus people believe that offering to monks will bring them multiple merit.

Mae jis who observe the precepts well and follow the path of the Buddha should be considered equal recipients. But because the image that they project to the people is rather negative resulting in the understanding that making offerings to mae jis does not incur equal merit as mae jis are not ‘ordained’, they are not propagators of Buddhism. Besides there are laywomen who exploit the form of mae jis to make their living. These are some of the reasons responsible for the lack of faith from society.