The Monk’s Dining Room had enough chairs and tables for about 30 persons. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and quite dry. Made from a species of giant fennel, it can be purchased in specialty spice stores. Report a problem. Daily Life of a Monk. During my first 5-7 years inside the ashram, I was quite self-disciplined in forcing myself to get up by six in the morning. A long, narrow room serves as dining room, living room and bedroom for the men. There may be moments of happiness, but like everything else in life it was far from perfect. (Most of the monks realized the ashram had a “false” harmony–a surface illusion of harmony–while underneath the surface where many deep individual and group frustrations, angers, and passive-aggressions. From 8:30 to 4:30 he was expected to serve SRF worldwide organization. Theravada Buddhism continues this tradition. How can I re-use this? A monk (/ m ʌ ŋ k /, from Greek: μοναχός, monachos, "single, solitary" via Latin monachus) is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. However, these numbers increase during the Buddhist ‘lent’ to 300,000 and 100,000 novices. At the end, every monk eats only two times a day and from 11.30 am onwards he can not touch food until the next day’s breakfast. This was the era of the Spiritual Life Committee. "Someone gave me a flyer that said, free vegetarian food, and he was obviously Hindu," says Sanali Phatak. Strict lacto-ovo vegetarian. If the chili is too thick, add some reserved bean liquid. While ashram routine was helpful with establishing habits and ensuring time each day to practice meditation, most of the monks–as far as I could tell–struggled with the monotony of practicing the same techniques, in the same way, with the same people, day after day, year after year. Public dancing and chanting became its trademark. How does the Hare Krishna movement differ from other strains of Hinduism? Read my post The Ashram: Spiritual-Corporate Caste System. "In most traditional Hindu households, you don't want to ask too racy questions," she said with a laugh, adding, "You know, 'Why is drinking looked down upon?' Cut the disk in half with a sharp knife. "They love me so much, but at the same time, this question is in their mind.". They have specific tasks allotted to them around the monetary so that they may collectively take part in upkeep and daily living. In addition to their attendance at church, the monks spent several hours in reading from the Bible, private prayer, and meditation. Sweets especially were relished in great quantities with gusto. Roll the dough into a rope about 10 inches long and cut the rope in 10 equal sized pieces. Drawn to Monastic Life By mid-morning, eight monks, ages 21 to 48, have gathered for spiritual reading and discussion. Increase or decrease font size for easier reading : A+A- Before the beginning of the retreat season, an importantperiod of restoration happens. Most monks chose solitary or individual fitness activities like walking, jogging, hatha yoga, or gardening. Dip 5 or 6 pieces of vegetable in the batter and carefully slip them into the hot oil. Add the asafoetida powder and stir momentarily. When we look outward (to renunciate or monastic systems, practices, or techniques) for validation we are barred from self-knowledge. Lightly oil a smooth working surface. During the day the Medieval monks worked hard in … Pandit says the way he cooks reflects his faith, right down to honoring — rather than eating — those he says are also children of God. The top edge can be left plain, crimped with a fork or plaited with your fingers. Yes, outwardly the ashram routine allowed for plenty of peace and quiet time for prayer and meditation. It’s not necessary for any of the individuals within the monastery to consciously manipulate or control others or to allow themselves be manipulated and controlled by others. "There is a reason behind whatever he says, and it sounds so much more sane," Sanghi says. And devotees believe that a person need not understand the language of the mantra, because the sound vibration transcends the sensual, mental and intellectual levels of consciousness and puts one directly in touch with the spiritual. A little over an hour later, a 35-year-old monk named Gadadhara Pandit Dasa blows into a conch shell and pours a water offering. A Hindu monk is called a s anyāsī, sādhu, or swāmi. The word "Hare" refers to the divine feminine potency of God. I learned that many monks took a nap before the long meditations to try to prevent themselves from sleeping or nodding off during meditation. "'OK, you love my two-legged children, what about my four-legged ones?'". (For carob halvah, add carob now. Matthew Hall, who left his Protestant family in Houston three years ago, says he was looking for peace, love and satisfaction — something that eluded his friends with good jobs and money. The Hare Krishna understanding is that when Hindus pray to Krishna, or when members of the Abrahamic faith pray to Allah or Yahweh, we are all praying to one and the same person. Divide the filling into 20 even portions. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat. The monk barbers were trained to cut hair by a former monk who, after he left the ashram, ran a successful hair salon. Saute, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. bite-sized vegetables of choice (boiled potato, chopped cauliflower, chopped onion, shredded cabbage, shredded spinach). ), In a different saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. The temperature will fall, but try to maintain it between 345 degrees and 355 degrees throughout the frying. With a critical mass of about 50 students, Pandit announces that they're going to make samosas — deep-fried vegetable turnovers — and the crowd lets out a whoop. The monks eat together, wake up together and worship together. Pandit grew up in an observant Hindu family. A nun is called a sanyāsini, sādhvi, or swāmini. Have extra flour and water on hand to adjust the consistency as required. Mix well with a wire whisk. A little over an hour later, a … With phone, internet, TV, and other communications restricted, monitored, and discouraged, the monks lived in a physically and ideologically closed system. "And at some point, after maybe a year or so, I said, maybe this is something I should consider. At 4:30 p.m., Pandit and fellow monk Dave Jenkins run through their checklist: rolling pins, pots and pans, flour, vegetarian stew, side dishes – everything they'll need to teach some 50 Columbia students how to cook a vegetarian meal, as Pandit does every Tuesday night. John Lee / Aurora Select for NPR Add the diced pepper and celery. Monastics supposedly dedicated their hands, hearts, and minds wholly to the guru’s work–without monetary compensation. Each room contained a single bed–called a yogi-bed, a wood plank with a mattress on top–a dresser, desk, and small closet. Going “within”–using meditation techniques and monastic routines–are following outward systems, promulgated by spiritual authorities. Remove from heat and coarsely mash the vegetables. Monastic routine–including praying and meditating–is founded on the ideals of increasingly handing over control to unchallengeable authorities. Many monks find time for lectio divina, personal study, and spiritual reading. Anyway, during classes in my first 3-5 years in the ashram I wrote copious notes during lectures. Monks were expected, when leaving the monastery grounds, to keep in pairs to avoid getting into trouble–tempted by “maya” (cosmic illusion or satan)–or into activities inappropriate for an SRF monastic who had taken vows of loyalty, obedience, chastity, and simplicity. During the time I was in the ashram no personal phones, computers, or TVs were provided or permitted. The monastery/ashram had its own courts and sport facilities on the grounds. He spent evenings alone and lonely, and one night, began reading the sacred Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita. Read a primer on the Hare Krishna movement and its practices and beliefs. Slowly pour the sweetened liquid into the grains. Hare Krishna monks are in orange or white robes. Add the farina and stir fry until golden brown. In the morning after the alms round, while laymen or laywomen are preparing food, m… A long, narrow room serves as dining room, living room and bedroom for the men. John Lee / Aurora Select for NPR Gently but firmly press the moistened edges together, slightly overlapping them to ensure the seal. At the end of the working day, the monks gather for the daily chapter meeting. Have you ever wondered why Hare Krishnas don't eat meat, or how the movement differs from other strains of Hinduism? Once one’s self-trust is undermined its fairly easy to allow oneself to be manipulated and controlled by authority. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat. However, there was much more I could’ve (and eventually secretly) learned by reading non-SRF approved books. No alcohol or stimulants were served. Studying non-SRF books was discouraged. Pandit found solace in Hare Krishna explanations for Hindu beliefs: why life fluctuates (it's karma, because you reap what you sow); why reincarnation occurs (because one life may not be enough to pay off past debts); why Hinduism has thousands of gods (because Krishna is the supreme God, and lesser gods help run creation). In the fourth and final step of their journey, the monk takes a vow for the 227 rules of conduct and becomes a fully ordained monk. The first-generation Indian-American has grown close to Pandit. Rooms were basic: typically approximately 10×15 sq feet. Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pairs of psychologists came into the ashram and conducted several workshops for monks and nuns. Later, after 10 years or so, I realized that the monks who lasted that long or longer inside this cloistered system had managed to carve out their own routines. Place 2 1/2 to 3 inches of ghee or oil in a wok or deep-frying pan over moderate heat. It's going to be meditation. I'm driving, using cell phones and using Facebook. Maybe a bookshelf. The deceased was identified as Bandhu Sebak Brahmachari. This meditation is really practice for learning to be present. [See my post Guru Dictates the Questions and Answers]. "That's when it really took off for me," he recalls, "because for the first time in my spiritual life, I was being given answers.". Pandit ladles stew into their bowls. Audio Slideshow: A Day in the Life of an Urban Monk. "It can cause avalanches, and sound, through music, can move our emotions in all different directions. Add the ginger and chilies and stir fry for 1 minute. In addition to their attendance at church, the monks spent several hours in reading from the Bible, private prayer, and meditation. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. All monks were expected to read the SRF Lessons, books, or lectures in the privacy of their own room. These jobs were not unlike any corporate cubicle job. Just as an alarm clock awakes a sleeping person, the Hare Krishna mantra awakens the soul to its spiritual reality — whereby it can experience its eternal connection with Krishna or God. Thursday evenings the monks were expected to skip dinner (fast)–no food was served, except sometimes there was a watery soup. Take one piece of dough and press it into a smooth patty. They were not SRF members and were invited at the behest of the ashram leadership. Updated: Feb 14, 2012. doc, 26 KB. During my last few years in the SRF Order, psychologists visited the ashram. Monks cycled through the dining area in shifts or waves. Created: Nov 3, 2011. Some people might romanticize the life of a monk: thinking that it’s filled with peace, contentment, and brotherly love. Other resources by this author. Add the sugar and lemon juice. For example, Swami Prabhupada provided an equal opportunity to both men and women to become priests in the worship rituals — a privilege reserved only for men in traditional Hinduism. Add the corn and the chopped tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. The daily routine of Buddhist monks is pretty much the same every day.Buddhist monks live a life of simplicity and monastic dedication to the Buddhism religion.. Every day Buddhist monks wake up at 4 am and they meditate for an hour. But a rigid routine, based on unlivable ideals also has many pitfalls and dangers. In this article we try to understand the philosophy hidden behind this beautiful and noble concept of human life. Though the ashram routine being discussed is founded within a Hindu-Christian religious ideology and an extreme monastics renunciate lifestyle, any closed system–political, social, religious–is likely to have similar risks and dangers. A monastic routine teaches lessons in self-discipline, contemplation, and obedience. I have my own Web site.". This marks the half-way point in this three-hour morning worship service, a daily celebration. The daily life of a buddhist monk was extremely peaceful. Carefully spoon one portion of the vegetable stuffing into the pastry cone, leaving a 1/4 inch border on top. Have you ever wondered why Hare Krishnas don't eat meat or how the movement differs from other strains of Hinduism? And it's why Pandit will arrive home at 11 at night, crawl into his sleeping bag and get up at 4 the next morning for another day of worship. Films that were particularly popular among the monks included Raiders of Lost Ark/Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Star Trek, and so on. Inside is the New York City headquarters of the Interfaith League, a Hare Krishna group. In the ashram monastery the longer a monk was in the Order the more supposedly spiritual the monk was. An Essay on Hinduism As Way of Life. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When Pandit returned from Bulgaria, he began studying with a monk. There were 80 monastic residents at that time at the Mt Washington Ashram Center. "Prozac is not going to be the solution," Pandit says. But Pandit's rational arguments have drawn him back. If you decide to pursue monastic life, upon returning to the monastery, simple premonastic pledges are given for six months at a time for the first year or two. Note: Many of Pandit's recipes call for asafoetida powder, a spice known as hing in India. She attends his Bhagavad Gita study groups on Friday afternoons and says he helps her understand her faith. After all, we were led to believe that our guru was all-knowing, all-loving, an enlightened master. Nothing remarkable. They live an uncomplicated life free from the toils. Film Teachers notes Add to a list. Daily Chapter Meeting. Within a monastery, the typical life of a monk is one of devote prayer and meditation within the temple. Fry the pakoras until they are golden brown, turning to cook them evenly on all sides. From the 3rd century CE there developed a trend in Egypt and Syria which saw some Christians decide to live the life of a solitary hermit or ascetic. He was an only child. Add the asafoetida powder and sauté momentarily. A monastic routine could reinforce self-discipline, contemplation, and persistence. Pandit – whose name means "saint"-- sits cross-legged on the hardwood floor of this urban temple. Hare Krishna monk Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, left, pulls out Japa beads from a sack as he meditates with fellow monks during a daily pre-dawn ritual at The Krishna Center in New York's Lower East Side. The bhikkhus depend on alms to live. Serve warm or at room temperature. He’s a Buddhist Monk, and TrueTube followed him around with a camera to find out what he does all day. And Ari Weiss, a Jew just testing the waters of monastic life, says it can be equally trying for the monks' families. Indeed, SRF devotees/members often assumed that the monastics were “saints”. "One of the hardest things for me is having my parents on the periphery thinking, 'Is my son a fanatic?'" But rigid routines, based on renunciation and unlivable ideals have many pitfalls and dangers. In short, a follower’s concerns with their own interests becomes the source of their own problems. "I was like 'Indian food! However, no salary was paid. Allow the mixture to cool to room temp. "They end up with a bunch of bills, stress, a whole bunch of anxieties," Hall says. It was bureaucratic and tedious. Rather the underlying message was always about following the guru–obediently. Of course, it can be trying living in such close quarters. Friday night’s no particular group events were scheduled, but once or twice per month, there was an optional group shopping trip to one of the local malls. Combine the flours, salt, powdered spices and green chilies in a bowl. At 6:00 P.M. a two hour session of meditation and prayer begins. Stir in the tomatoes, spinach, turmeric and salt. It is one reason monks don't go to restaurants, because it raises the question, "Whose consciousness are you eating today?". When I'm calling out to Krishna, saying the Hare Krishna mantra — Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare Hare — Krishna is actually present there.". School’s Out For Recreation hide caption. If you are angry and elbow deep in the lentils or kneading dough for chapattis (unleavened bread), Hindu philosophy claims that your emotions are transferred to the food — and then to the person who eats the meal. Partially cover and reduce the heat to moderately low. They sleep on the hardwood floor and store their sleeping bags in lockers with all their other possessions: coat, sweaters, robes, laptop computers. A monk could pick and choose, do “all you can eat,” fast or abstain entirely from eating. Firmly press the moistened edges together, thoroughly sealing the filling inside the triangular pastry casing. Remove from heat and serve hot. Special thanks to Scott D. Jacobsen, Editor at Conatus News, and Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing for his editorial assistance and comments prior to publication of this post. "I really don't feel like I'm missing anything," he says. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. At 1.30 PM school resumes until 5.30 PM, when everyone meets in the temple to pray the Buddha and by 7 PM they are all in bed. A typical day in the life of an adult monk is: 5.00 am: Puja (gathering prayers for offering). During my fourteen years in the Order I served in four different departments. During the day the Medieval monks worked hard in the Monastery and on its lands. For blueberry halavah, use 1/2 cup blueberries. In the life of a Zen monk, sitting meditation (zazen) is one of the most important parts of his day. That's where we get the most joy. In other words, if we live in a world of maya (cosmic illusion) we cannot trust ourselves unless we surround ourselves with other SRF members or better yet SRF monastics who think these same thoughts like us. The psychologists told us that the lifestyle of a monastic was one of the most stressful professions, along with Air Traffic Controllers, Police, and Firefighters. Pandit applies tilak onto his forehead as he prepares to head to New York University to talk with a group of Hindu students. We also have time for tea, usually together at 4.15pm. The work was not meant to be creative or productive, but to follow orders and to “keep the teachings pure” for SRF by protecting the image and “divine dispensation” of guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. Pandit checks a computer with a fellow monk. Krishna is often accompanied by Radharani, the female aspect or counterpart of Krishna. It's going to be practice of yoga. Walkers or joggers were permitted to venture outside the walls but only on prescribed paths and preferably with another monk. Pandit applies tilak onto his forehead as he prepares to head to New York University to talk with a group of Hindu students. After breakfast, there is deep temple and room cleaning, and the monks shave their heads. Be careful! Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy saucepan or large wok over moderate heat. "It's going to be spirituality. The early monks travelled from place to place, not staying too long in one place, though occasionally they do like during the rainy season. The Daily Life of a Thai Monk The Sangha World in Thailand consists of about 200,000 monks and 85,000 novices at most times of the year. But for Hare Krishnas, he says, the most important worship is done outside, by engaging the world. 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And shaping the rest monks the daily life of Medieval monks was food start the.

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