A Bhikku praying in the moonlight.
A Bhikkhu or Bhikṣu (Sanskrit) is an ordained male Buddhist monastic. A female monastic is called a Bhikkhuni . The life of Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis is governed by a set of rules called the patimokkha within the vinaya's framework of monastic discipline. Their lifestyle is shaped to support their spiritual practice, to live a simple and meditative life, and attain Nirvana. In the Vinaya monastic discipline, a man under the age of 20 cannot ordain as a bhikkhu but can ordain as a samanera. the female counterpart is samaneri.
"Ordination" in Buddhism is a cluster of methods of self-discipline according to the needs, possibilities and capabilities of individuals. According to the spiritual development of his followers, the Buddha gave different levels of vows. The most advanced method is the state of a bikshu(ni), a fully ordained follower of the Buddha's teachings. The goal of the bhikku(ni) in all traditions is to achieve liberation from suffering.
March 18th, 2014
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