The monks , like any other wise men and sages, has always intrigued my thoughts. Their presence built a calm , curious and mysterious light inside my mind. And hence , in my journey to Spiti , I had the chance to live with them for sometime and here is my brief experience of what I came to know about their beginnings.
Having a wise man in a family , helps the family to grow and be together in peace and happiness. He can guide them through the tricky times of life. And who better a wise man than a monk.
Hence, In Spiti it is a common ritual that every family or house , that has more than a single son , gives away one of them to the monastery. So Rinchen , youngest among his siblings was destined to learn the ways of the monk.
A monk begins his life just like any other human kid being sent away to a school. He has the same innocence and unknowingness of the world around him. He makes friends there and lives with them. The school however , here , is ran by the monastery. And their take of education is lot different and unconventional. A normal kid in school starts their first class learning alphabets , where as monks first lesson is how to breathe properly. This helps them to first built up a mind capable of learning, which helps them to learn more and diverse in faster speed. For they know the techniques of learning now.
The monks learn a lot of subjects like the normal kids among us do in school to grow up and become a knowledgeable human. His subjects here includes sports , martial arts and knowing to read ancient texts , which tells him about his past and the traditions he is part of. He is not just bound by the rituals , but learns the meaning of them and the importance it holds
For a lot of outside world , this might seem cruel , that one of the kids are sent by their parents to the monastery without being asked for their own choices. But it is no so cruel if you understand, the whole world actually works like this only. When a normal kid is sent to school or dragged to a temple or church , he has no choice but to accept his parent's wishes and their beliefs. Kids do it without questioning untill they are learned enough or grown up enough to see the reasons behind it.
Similarly the monks through his younger years are taught to be learned and wise. The monasteries might have a lack of expert teachers when it comes to modern science and subjects , but they are able to teach their monks the old ancient wisdoms of men. Men who lived a happy , peaceful , purposeful life with content and fulfillment. The monks are taught a lifestyle both healthy and happy , spiritual and physical growth is inevitable. And by the time they grow up , they have the choice, if they want to lead the monk life or go back to normal beings.
So the life of monk does ask a lot sacrifice. He let's go of a lot things, that the normal kids never do, only to receive smile , pure and purposeful, that accompanies him till his last days.
To know more about monks and monasteries, high up Himalayas , join an adventure soon with me!
" Travel made me rich and free. Magic and miracles are true , once you wander on the roads to places different and divine. Sharing you all those memories and stories , and wishing you all , that someday you guys travel far and wide too. I am not a great writer , so ignore my grammar and spellings, read it with feelings, and you might just be affected with the wanderlust "