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Buddhist monks in Thailand

bhikṣu (P. bhikkhu; T. dge slong དགེ་སློང་; C. biqiu 比丘), commonly translated as "monk," has at least three possible meanings:

(1) someone who begs;
(2) someone who has taken the highest level of Buddhist ordination; and
(3) someone who has destroyed mental afflictions.[1]

Bhikṣu who have taken the highest level of Buddhist ordination are commonly referred to as "fully-ordained monks"; these monks observe the highest type among the eight types prātimokṣa vows.[1] They are distinguished from novice monks (śrāmaṇera), who observe a more limited set of vows.

A fully-ordained female monastic is called a bhikṣuṇī (P. bhikkhuni).

The Dhammapada states:[2]

A shaven head
doesn't mean a contemplative.
The liar observing no duties,
filled with greed & desire:
what kind of contemplative's he?
But whoever tunes out
the dissonance
of his evil qualities
— large or small —
in every way
by bringing evil to consonance:
he's called a contemplative.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Internet-icon.svg དགེ་སློང་, Christian-Steinert Dictionary
  2. Dhammatalks icon 50px.png Dhp XIX: The Judge,

Further reading

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