Sunday, March 23, 2014

Interpretation - Buddhist Monks with Begging Bowls

A ‘patra’ or begging bowl holds symbolic importance for Buddhists, and there are numerous legends about the Buddha having begged for alms. In some sects of Buddhism, groups of monks, like the ones in the picture, head out early in the morning in single file to beg and receive alms of food, money and items of ritual worship. The focus is not so much on the giver or receiver as much as on the act itself, where a monk or nun will receive alms with no ego, expectation or attachment and the lay Buddhist will give alms in the same spirit.

An edited version of the article was published in Culturama's December 2012 Issue.

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