Buddhism is one of the oldest world religions. Prince Siddhartha Gautam, who lived in ancient India in VI art, is considered to be its founder. BC er At 29, he abandoned his wealth and voluntarily left the palace. Becoming a hermit, Gautama devoted himself to thinking about the meaning of life, as a result of which he became enlightened (Buddha). Until his very old age, he preached his doctrine, the meaning of which was reduced to self-restraint and meditation in order to achieve the highest degree of bliss (nirvana).
Prevalence of buddhism
Gradually, Buddhism became popular in several Asian countries. Today it is practiced in India, China, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Japan, Mongolia, Laos, as well as in some regions of Russia (in Kalmykia, Tuva, Buryatia). According to researchers, in the modern world there are approximately 800 million supporters of Buddhism. Of these, about 1 million people are monks who have renounced the benefits of civilization and have dedicated themselves to following the commandments of Gautama. They can seem to a simple inhabitant to be special people whose lives are shrouded in secrets. But is it really? Let's find out who the Buddhist monks are and how they live.
Buddhist monks live in monasteries. Each day passes on a strict schedule, deviation from which is considered a great sin. Buddhist monks wake up at 6 am and start their day with a prayer. After graduation, they begin breakfast, consisting of products brought to the temple by local residents. The hermits themselves do not extract and cook for themselves, according to the prescriptions of religion, they should eat only what they get from the believers in the form of handouts. In some countries, after prayer, monks go through the streets of the city to ask for alms. The food that the citizens give them will be their breakfast. According to tradition, they should eat everything that is on their plate, even if the food has already gone bad.
The rules of Buddhist monks allow them to eat twice a day: early in the morning and at noon. After lunch, they are only allowed to drink water and herbal infusions. The inhabitants of the monastery eat only modest food, food for them is not a pleasure, but a source of vitality. The diet of Buddhist monks consists mainly of plant food, however, there are also limitations. Hermits very rarely eat garlic and onions, as it is believed that these spices increase sexual desire, and this is unacceptable for them. Monks are not vegetarians, but they can eat meat only if they are sure that the animal was not killed for the sake of food. But alcohol, tobacco and drugs they are strictly prohibited.
The ban on eating in the afternoon does not just exist. At this time, Buddhist monks are engaged in self-improvement, meditation and reading religious literature (tripitak), and a stomach full of food will prevent them from concentrating their thoughts in the right direction. Also, after lunch, they receive believers who come to the temple to provide material assistance, pray or receive blessings.
Things necessary to achieve Nirvana
The community of Buddhist monks lives very ascetic. It should strictly follow the tenets of religion, which says that a person needs only 3 things for a normal life: food, clothes and a roof over his head. Everything else is considered superfluous and hinders the achievement of nirvana. Unfortunately, modern residents of monasteries do not so respect the Buddhist rules as their predecessors, and often acquire mobile phones, computers, and even personal machines. The truly righteous monks, who strictly follow all the rules of religion, are becoming less and less every year.
Buddhist monks look very unusual. Photos in which they are shown, allow you to see their appearance. Monks always appear to be bald. They shave their heads, considering that the time spent on washing, cutting and combing hair is best devoted to self-improvement and the search for the path to nirvana.
The traditional clothing of Buddhist monks consists of a top cloak covering the torso and left shoulder, and an inner sarong wrapped around the thigh and hiding legs. In countries with cold climates, monks are allowed to wear warm stoles over religious attire. They usually paint their outfits in such bright colors as curry, saffron and cumin. Sometimes you can find hermits in the clothes of gray and black shades.
Who can take a vow?
Before becoming a Buddhist monk, a person must spend several years in the status of a novice. Not only men can take a vow, but also women who decide to devote themselves to religion. Becoming a novice monastery is allowed to any child who has reached the age of seven. But only an adult who has turned 20 years old from the moment of conception or 19 years and 3 months after the birthday can become a monk.
The basic rules of monks
Anyone who enters the community is obliged to give up all earthly pleasures, leave the family and all the wealth belonging to it. The main rules for him since then are: do not kill, do not steal, do not drink alcohol, do not lie, do not commit adultery, do not sing and do not dance, do not rest on a soft bed, do not be self-interested, do not eat at the wrong hour, do not use things that have a strong flavor.
Throughout their lives, Buddhist monks have the right to return home 3 times to solve important problems or to help their families. Every time after that, at the appointed time, they are obliged to take their place in the monastery. If a person takes a vow and then changes his mind and refuses it, he will be condemned by society.
Buddhist monk self-immolation
Throughout its history Buddhism was repeatedly subjected to harassment. One of the most ardent of its defenders became thiti Quang Duc, Vietnamese monk who committed self-immolation in protest against the persecution of religion by the country's President, NGO Dinh by Siemon. June 10, 1963, in the heart of Saigon (the old name of Ho Chi Minh city) there was a huge crowd of monks, bearing in their hands banners with slogans to stop the oppression of Buddhists. At the head of the procession rode a blue car driven by thiti Quang Duc. Near the presidential Palace, on a busy street the car stopped. Along with thiti Quang Dycom got out 2 monk. One of them lay on the pavement a soft cushion, and the second got out of the car the canister with gasoline.
Thich sat down on a place prepared for him on earth in the lotus position, after which one of the protesters poured fuel on him. While reading the prayer, the monk lit a match and set himself on fire. He flashed like a torch, but to the last remained with his back straight in the lotus position. After 10 minutes, his body was completely destroyed by fire. The journalists managed to capture the self-immolation of a Buddhist monk on a photographic film. Pictures with a burning Thich Quang Dyk spread all over the world and loudly stated that there were serious religious problems in the country.