Theravada Buddhism in Myanmar. This is the religion or way of life for Monks and Nuns here in Myanmar.
I think the one thing which I will definately miss when I leave here is seeing the Monks and Nuns everyday… everywhere!
Early morning in Yangon young Buddhist Nuns dressed in traditional pink robes humbly wander the streets carrying thier silver alms bowls collecting donations and food for the day.
BUDDHIST MONKS AROUND YANGON
Facts I have learned about Buddhist Monks:
- A MONK is the highest
- Monks do not handle money
- Monks renounce all worldly goods except 8 items ( 3 robes, a razor for shaving, a needle for sewing, a strainer to make sure they do not swallow ANY living thing, a belt and an alms bowl)
- You should never touch a Monks robe
- Monks are the Buddhist equivalent of Priests
- Monks only eat 2 small meals per day, one in the early morning , which is usually a rice based porridge and a second meal which is eaten at 12 noon. After the noon meal they fast until the next morning
- Every morning Monks walk around townships and city’ in single file lines collecting alms of food for the day. From this collection of offerings from lay-people in their alms bowls during the morning hours. After several hours they return to the monastery. This food is shared among all at the monastery. The lay-people earn merit by feeding the monks
- Monks cannot handle the alms they are given, it must be placed directly into the alms bowl by the lay-person
- Nuns only collect alms twice a month on Sunday
- When collecting the alms in the early morning hours the Monks walk barefoot
- Monks alms bowls are black lacquer and Nuns usually have silver or tin alms bowls
- There can never be any contact between a monk and a woman
- The only real difference between the nuns and monk is the color of their respective robes
- There is no distinction between monks, all robes are the same saffron color despite seniority.
- There is no such things as a life long vow, Monks are able to leave the monastery whenever they like
- young men in Myanmar are expected to spend some time in monastery during their adolescence as a way to accrue merit.
- it is reported that more than a half a million monks live in Myanmar
AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS ALL THAT I KNOW…. SO FAR!!!!