Update: Check new design of our homepage!

How to Become a Monk

How to Become a Monk
If you have decided to shun the materialistic pleasures of this world and want to reflect on your inner self, you can choose a life of a monk. Read on to know more.
SpiritualRay Staff
Last Updated: Nov 15, 2018
If you are thinking of becoming a monk, read on to remove some misconceptions usually associated with the life of a monk and the process of becoming one. Here is some information about the basics of becoming a monk in Christianity and Buddhism.
There is a difference between a monk, a sage, a sadhoo, and a priest of the church. Monks are people who live secluded from the rest of the people, usually in a monastery. They do not preach anything. They are just devoted to following a strict regime and aim towards self enlightenment rather than serving.
Common Notion
Buddha Event In Golden Gate Park
Although there are not many who want to become a monk, but there do exist people who are fascinated by a monk's life and seriously think of becoming one. Most of our notions of a monk are associated with Hollywood films and what they portray.
This especially stands true for the one who is thinking how to become a shaolin monk, isn't it? What we see is the immensely disciplined life they lead, renunciation of luxuries of the world and how they possess immense concentration and control of mind.
Becoming a Monk
Knowing the Religion
Tibetan Monks Praying During Puja
Getting to the basics now, a monk is basically a person of the male gender, who has decided to devote himself to the respective religion, be it Christianity or Buddhism. He should know the religion well. And by knowing it is implied that he has to practice it too.
Leading a life following the teachings is the first and foremost thing one is supposed to do, so as to test himself.
novice monks reading
He has to study philosophy deeply and along with this, in order to show sincerity he has to pass the tough and initial phase of the lifestyle.
Something similar to the teachings of Lord Buddha, this is a test for seeing whether the person can successfully continue to lead a life of monk, and thus has to be free of all responsibilities with respect to family, money, etc.
Novice Master
Monks Praying At The Ninna
He has to contact the novice master and visit the monastery for knowing the rituals and to gauge his ability to adapt and be one of them. The novice master then keeps him under surveillance and sees if the candidate is fit and eligible to become a monk.
Trial Period
Monks Chanting In Temple Chion Ji
If you read the precepts, the four noble truths of Buddhism and the eight fold path, you will understand the essence of the trial period. It is observed that few people surpass three days (postulant period in Buddhism) in this situation.
In case of Roman Catholics the duration can be between a month to six months. Needless to say, they mistake the trial period as a daily affair. Fearing the seclusion and almost no interaction with others for all their lives, they quit and leave.
Buddhist little monk
On successful completion of the mentioned process, the training period begins. Lasting for a year, this is when the candidate is taught how to become a monk. New inductees are given new robes.
They are called the Rassaphore. Following this stage is the Stavrophore, known as the 'cross - bearer' and the last one being the Great Schema. The adaptation and acceptance of these two stages have no fixed duration and all the stages are to be accepted voluntarily.
The Study Course
Buddhist novice monk
Yes, there is a degree that you will be honored with and its duration is three years. After successful completion, the community of the monks votes for the candidate again, and this time it is to say whether he can become a permanent member alongside them or not.
If voted for, the person has to then take three compulsory vows and those being the vow of obedience, stability, and conversion of life.
After having completed all these stages, it is not easy to adhere to and live this life. It takes tremendous determination, self-control, discipline, and the non-attached mindset to be able to live through a life as a monk.