If you visit Southeast Asia (particularly Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia), you will notice Buddhist monks dressed in orange robes with almost skin-tight hair cuts. You might ask why do monks wear orange-clad robes? What do they both represent?
Monks have worn saffron (or a more appropriate name for the color) robes for centuries. The color orange was chosen primarily due to the dye available at the time. The tradition endured, and orange is now the preferred color for Theravada Buddhist followers in Southeast Asia, as opposed to maroon for Tibetan monks. The robes themselves are meant to represent simplicity and materialism’s detachment.
What Are Monks?
A monk is a person who devotes his life (fully or partially) to God and his religion. He spends his days and nights worshiping his Lord and performing acts that make him communal as well as unique. It is a person’s choice to become a monk; some are born with this trait, while others choose this path. However, in some cases, a few monks return to the regular lifestyle that we have; they are not subject to any restrictions.
There isn’t much of a difference between a Buddhist and a Christian monk. They both prefer to live far away from the rest. Some of them, alone in their abbey, unconcerned about what’s going on in the rest of the world. They live with God’s love in them, but each reason of its own reason for cutting off the world. The tribe of monks wears the same color regardless of age, and people wonder why monks wear orange. And hopefully, this article will answer some of your questions about monks.
What Do Monks Do?
If you’re wondering what monks do, they worship, seek God in everything. They avoid worldly desires and live a simple life without the comforts of the modern world. Shutting themselves away in an abbey or monastery is what monks are known for. However, if you ask why they live this way, what was going through their minds when they chose this lifestyle. The responses among Christians and Buddhists will differ.
As Christian monks regard the world as a gift from God, they seek God’s happiness in everything. They master the art of finding peace in chaos. To simply put, they love the world and strive to bring positive energy from it.
Buddhist monks, on the other hand, see the world as a trial. Their purpose in changing lifestyle is to stay away from the glitters of the world. It is an allusion to them, and everything distracts them from staying on the right path. They do this in God’s remembrance and living alone, with no worldly desire in their hearts. Buddhist monks are far more well-known and famous for the clothing they wear.
Buddhist Monks Clothing: Wear Orange Clad Robes
Orange is the color associated with Buddhist monk clothing. When you see a group of people wearing orange in the same style, it is likely that they are Buddhist monks. Because of their history and the color ocher, they believe that this color is synonymous with deliverance and salvation. It is a belief for all beings and has nothing to do with death. Every religious monk has their own history and color to represent their religion in this way.
A few people have criticized it because gold is the royal thing and dominates the rich lifestyle. But to monks, it is not to represent gold or any worldly desire. They chose it because it is the color of dawn, as it represents the natural or intrinsic purity of thoughts. Delivered from individual and worldly ties, symbolizing wisdom and purity, that’s what it is to them. This color constantly reminds them to make certain that no worldly thing or desire enters their life or heart.
Why Do Monks Shave Their Heads?
Having shaved heads is the second thing you will notice about Buddhist monks. No matter what age, each monk’s head is shaved in the same pattern, but why is that? What is the significance of monks shaving their heads? Why they chose to be bald, well, there is a reason for that as well. Everyone has their own personal style, look, and way of dressing. If you question them about it, their reasons for doing so will leave you speechless. In a way, you’ll understand their every move because they’ll be speechless.
So, according to monks, having hair or a beard distracts them from their life’s purpose. It draws them into a worldly lifestyle. They do this to keep them out of the outer attachments. Keeping hair will make them think of the next hairstyle that may be popular in the era. So, if you want to be a monk, you must accept the ascetic lifestyle.
Buddhist Monks Wearing Orange Robes and Their Lifestyle
Color and shaved head are the most noticeable features of Buddhist monks. What they do is the most basic information that almost everyone is aware of. However, there are some interesting facts about Buddhist monks’ lifestyles.
People say they follow one God and spend their lives on his path. But they do not believe in one God. Instead, they follow the footsteps of Buddha and believe it is a way of life they must follow, not God. Furthermore, unlike other religions around the world, they do not have a specific book to consult. Instead, they have important texts to consult. Not only that, they rely on donations because this way of life does not make them greedy. They live on what they only get, just enough. Nothing on splurging. They do not marry, but there is no requirement for any of them to marry or leave the community.
A monk is a person who devotes his life (fully or partially) to God and his religion. Buddhist monks are more well-known for the clothing they wear, the orange robes. Some monks return to the regular lifestyle that we have; they are not subject to any restrictions. They live with God’s love in them, but each has its own reason for cutting off the world. Monks shave their heads to remind them that no worldly thing or desire enters their life or heart.
Monks do not marry, but there is no requirement for any of them to marry or leave the community. They rely on donations because this way of life does not make them greedy. They only live on what they get.