October 5, 2007

Samaneras of Leh


In Theravada Buddhism, bhikkhu or bhiksu is the term for monk. Young boys are ordained as samaneras (novice). They live in wats (monastries). Bhikkhus and samaneras eat simple food and apparently do not indulge in any sort of worldly luxury. The simplicity in their lifestyle is shaped so as to support their spiritual practice, to live a simple and meditative life, and attain Nirvana.

Additionally, there is the Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism where the terms are used sometimes differently.










After a day's trip around Ladakh, on the way back to Leh, the driver of the vehicle I had hired, gave a lift to some hitch hiking samaneras. Apparently they had a long weekend and so were heading home to spend time with their families. These pictures were shot while the vehicle was on the move (except the last). The pictures are not great but I find their expressions interesting and thought would share them here.



I captured the joy of these little samaneras of the Thiksey Monastery as they were enjoying a lighter moment when they were running away from their seniors who were trying to splash water from water bottles from the upper floors on them. Ragging goes on in the Himalayas too!

It was a very dear sight to enjoy to watch them running around, giggling and laughing; and I forgot about my awe of the beauty of Thiksey monastery for a while as I watched their glee.

8 comments:

shooting star said...

nice pics...kids are same every where i guess..even the ones who have to lead a life on monkhood int he near future....

indicaspecies said...

shooting star: Yes, kids are the same everywhere. Their zest for life is the same, no matter where they are.

Pijush said...

I cant see first 3 pics, but the kids are really joyful. Loved the way you captured and narrated.

Priyank said...

Did you know that students from as far as Arunachal go to Leh to study? Maybe its like the IIT's for buddhist studies:)

indicaspecies said...

pijush: Thank you for pointing out. I've reposted them. Hope now can be seen. Thanks for your kind words too.

priyank: I had an idea on it. Now that you mention it, I wish to do some more reading on that topic. Thank you for sharing such interesting information on the blogosphere.

niki yokota said...

u really think the pics are not great??
i think they are super shots!!
so very wonderful and make me smile :)

indicaspecies said...

niki yokota: Thank you. I feel good that these shots made you smile. Now you make me smile. *a big smile*

niki yokota said...

awww thank u very much for brightening up my day!!