bhikkuni

bhiksu

Pali bhikku

In Buddhism, a member of the sangha, the ordained order of men established by the Buddha. (Female orders exist in some Mahayana Buddhist traditions). Originally they were mendicant followers of the Buddha who taught Buddhist ways in return for food. Today children may enter monastic life as novices, but candidates for ordination must be 21 years old. There are some 200 rules; sexual relations, taking of life, stealing, or boasting of spiritual attainment will lead to expulsion. A bhiksu shaves his head and face, owns a few essential items, and begs daily for his food. Theravada Buddhism forbids monks to handle money and perform labour. Chan (Zen) Buddhism requires monks to work. See also Vinaya Pitaka.

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