People think that Hinduism is just a religion, with strict rules and regulations that need to be followed for good. But Hinduism is much more than that. It’s more like a way of life that encourages people to connect with their inner selves and live in harmony with the world around them. And one of the most approached ways is by becoming a Hindu monk. Monks in India have devoted their lives to studying the teachings of Hinduism, and they provide a valuable service to the community by sharing their knowledge. So, how to become a Hindu monk in India, what are Hindu monks called and how do you apply to be a monk? Let’s find out!
1. Can Anyone be a Monk?
Yes, anyone can be a monk. Monasticism is a way of life open to people of all religions and backgrounds. With proper preparation and spiritual guidance, you can lead this path. People choose to become monks for a variety of reasons:
- Some feel a calling to dedicate their lives to service
- Others are seeking spiritual guidance
- Some simply want to lead a simpler life.
Whatever the reason, becoming a monk is a personal decision that requires dedication and discipline.
2. How can You become a Monk in India?Photo by Nicolas Häns on Unsplash
How to become a Hindu monk in India? Before you know how do you apply to be a monk, let us first understand the basic necessities. Many temples throughout India practice Buddhism, so the best way to become a monk is to join one of these temples. A temple or sangha is a community of monks who support and help each other live a pious life. Joining this community is an excellent way to learn more about Buddhism and monastic life. (See How many Gods are there in the world?)
3. How do You Apply to be a Monk?
Take a look at the following points to get a brief idea about how to become a Hindu monk in India:
- Devote yourself to religion: This is the first and most important step to becoming a monk and ordained. To be a monk, you must be formally ordained into the religious order by a supervisor or another monk.
- Study Buddhism and practice meditation: Every monk must study Buddhist scripture and follow its teachings. They must also practice regular meditation to clear their minds and focus.
- Research different monastic orders: There are many types of monasteries, each with its requirements for monks. Choose the one that is right for you and research their requirements.
- Make a commitment: Becoming a monk is not a decision to be taken lightly. It is a lifelong commitment to religious studies and practice. Be sure that you are ready to make this commitment.
- Commit to a life of celibacy: To become a monk, you must be celibate. This means abstaining from sexual activity and relationships. Many other requirements vary depending on the monastery or religious order.
4. What are Hindu Monks called?Photo by Shashank Hudkar on Unsplash
Hindu monks are called sanyasi, sadhu, or swami in India. Sanyasi refers to a monk who has renounced the world and all its possessions. Sadhu is a term used for any holy man or woman, and swami is an honorific title given to a sanyasi monk. (See How did Religion Influence the Mauryan Empire?)
5. How to become a Hindu Monk in India?
There is no one specific way to become a Hindu monk in India. Some monks may join order or monastery, while others may live a more solitary life in the forest or in a temple. Generally, a person becomes a Hindu monk after completing extensive training and religious study. Interested individuals can find more information on how to become a Hindu monk by contacting their local Hindu temple or organization. (See How many people do you need to start a religion?)
6. How do You join a Hindu Monastery?Photo by Shaouraav Shreshtha on Unsplash
Now that you know how to become a Hindu monk in India, you might be wondering about the ways through which you could join a monastery. Although there are many different types of Hindu monasteries or ashrams, they all typically require some form of renunciation of material possessions and ascetic living. Some ashrams may also require celibacy.
If you are interested in joining a Hindu monastery, the best way to find out more information is to contact the ashram directly. Many ashrams have websites with detailed information about their requirements and how to apply. In general, the application process for most ashrams will involve an interview and/or an initiation ceremony. Once you are accepted into an ashram, you will likely be required to follow certain rules and regulations regarding your daily schedule and activities.
For example, many ashrams have a daily schedule that includes meditation, prayer, and other spiritual practices. Some ashrams also require their monks to follow a vegetarian diet. (See What are the teachings of Jainism and Buddhism?)
7. Do Monks get paid?
If you are wondering if monks get paid, yes, they get paid. But, how do monks get paid? Their salaries go to their religious community instead of their pockets. In return, they receive a stipend for living expenses. Monasteries and religious orders typically have strictures about how monks can use their stipend, so it is not entirely discretionary income. However, it provides monks with the primary means of support so they can focus on their religious studies and devotions.
8. What do Monks do all day?
Once you are aware of how to become a Hindu monk in India, note that monks in most traditions must spend their days in things like prayer, meditation, and other spiritual practices. In addition to that, they may perform physical labor or other activities to support themselves or their community. While the specifics may vary between traditions and individuals, monks devote much time to introspection and contemplation. (See What does the Confucianism Symbol mean?)
9. Can a Monk be Married?
There is no official stance on marriage for Buddhist monks, however, most of them choose not to be. In Buddhism, marriage is seen as a way to bring happiness and stability to life, but it is not required for enlightenment. (See How Marriage between Individuals who have Similar Social Characteristics happens?)
10. What do Monks eat?Photo by Sunny Tank on Unsplash
After going through the process of how to become a Hindu monk in India, and their income, the next follow-up curiosity would be regarding their lifestyle. Monks live a very simple lifestyle, and their diet is no exception. They typically eat basic foods such as rice, beans, vegetables, bread, porridge, and fruits.
While their diet is simple, that doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy. In fact, their diet is quite healthy and provides them with all the nutrients they need to live a healthy life. And since they don’t eat processed foods or junk food, they don’t have to worry about the negative health effects of those foods. (See What do People Eat in China?)
11. Do you have to be a Virgin to be a Monk?
No, you don’t have to be a virgin to be a monk. Many monks remain celibate for religious reasons, but it’s not a requirement. There are plenty of other ways to show devotion to your faith without abstaining from sex.
12. Can Monks have Phones?
There are no restrictions for the monks to use cell phones. However, as with anything else in life, moderation is key. Too much of anything can be harmful, and the same goes for using cell phones. If monks find that their phone is becoming a distraction from their spiritual practice, they should consider putting them away for a while. But if they’re able to use their phone in a way that doesn’t interfere with their meditation or prayer practice, then there’s no reason why they can’t have one.
Hope you got the answers to how to become a Hindu monk in India and how do you apply to be a monk in a detailed way! (See What is Eight-Day Jewish Festival?)