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What is a monk?

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In Christianity, there are two types of monks, enclosed (who never leave the monastery) and apostolic monks who engage with society on a day to day basis. All monks take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.


In Buddhism, a monk is a member of the sangha, the community, worships in community and in some forms of Buddhism, particularly in Tibet and South East Asia, interact in every day life on an ordinary basis. Not all Buddhist monks live in the monastery.


In Hinduism, monks are called sanyasins, and undertake a ritual of detachment from home and society. They wear ochre robes, and may or may not live in an ashram. It is common to see wandering monks (sanyasins) with their staff and begging bowl. They are allowed to stay only one day in any village.

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