Ah, Buddhism! This ancient spiritual tradition evokes serenity, deep meditation, and... monks. But do you really know what these devoted monks are called?

Introduction to Buddhist Monastic Life

Images of monks in orange or brown robes, peacefully walking in nature or meditating in temples, have become iconic of Buddhist culture. But where do they come from, and what is their role?

The Origins of Buddhist Monks

Buddhist monks trace back to the time of the Buddha himself. After attaining enlightenment, the Buddha formed a community of disciples, called the Sangha, mainly composed of monks and nuns.

Why Become a Buddhist Monk?

The answer is simple: to seek enlightenment. Many people choose this path to escape the sufferings of the material world and dedicate themselves entirely to spiritual practice.

Terminology: Different Terms

There are various terms for referring to a Buddhist monk, depending on tradition and region.

Bhikkhu and Bhikkhuni

In the Theravada tradition, monks are called "Bhikkhu" and nuns "Bhikkhuni." These terms originate from Pali and mean "beggar."


In Tibetan Buddhism, the term "Lama" is commonly used to refer to a spiritual teacher, who is often also a monk.


Another Tibetan term, "Rinpoche," means "precious." It is usually reserved for high-ranking spiritual masters.

The Role of Monks in Buddhist Society

Buddhist monks are not merely hermits. They play a crucial role in their community.

Preservers of Tradition

Monks are seen as the guardians of Buddhist tradition. They preserve teachings, rituals, and practices that have been passed down through generations.

Spiritual Teachers

In addition to their guardianship role, monks are also teachers. They guide laypeople in their spiritual quest.

How do they choose their disciples?

Disciple selection often hinges on devotion, sincerity, and the ability to follow teachings.

A Monk's Daily Life

If you thought a monk's life was easy, think again!

Daily Rituals

A monk's day is filled with prayers, meditations, and rituals that help them stay focused on their spiritual path.

Duties and Restrictions

Monks adhere to a strict set of rules, called Vinaya, governing every aspect of their lives, from how they eat to how they interact with others.

Conclusion on the Name of a Buddhist Monk

Why is this topic so fascinating?

Because it provides insight into a life dedicated to spiritual quest. In our modern, bustling world, it's inspiring to see individuals choose a life of simplicity and devotion.


  1. What's the difference between a Lama and a Bhikkhu?
    • A Lama is a spiritual teacher in Tibetan Buddhism, whereas a Bhikkhu is a monk in the Theravada tradition.
  2. Can Buddhist monks get married?
    • No, Buddhist monks take a vow of celibacy.
  3. How does one become a Buddhist monk?
    • It depends on the tradition, but generally involves ordination and intensive training.
  4. Do Buddhist monks meditate all day?
    • No, although meditation is an essential part of their practice, they also have other duties and activities.
  5. Why do monks wear robes?
    • The robe is a symbol of their renunciation of the material world.

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