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    Why Do Monks Shave Their Head?

    I believe everybody has seen one or more Buddha statue before. The Buddha is always sculptured with long curly hair tied up in top knot. Whereas the Buddha obviously had never shaved his head, why do Buddhist monks shave their heads?
    Last edited by Ramseth; 11-11-2008 at 11:54 AM.

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    A: When the prince who was to become the Buddha left his palace to seek a way beyond ageing, sickness and death, it is said that one of the first things that he did was to shave off his hair and beard and put on the yellow cloth . Buddhist monks always completely shave their head and beard, showing their commitment to the Holy Life (Brahmacariya) of one gone forth into the homeless life. (In India some ascetics tear out their hair, while others never touch it so that it becomes a tangled mass.) A rule states that a bhikkhu should not allow his hair to grow beyond a certain length or time, so he will shave usually at least once a fortnight or month, sometimes more frequently. To do this he uses his razor, which is also one of his requisites. 'Hair-of-the-head' (kesa) is one of the five parts of the body mentioned in the ordination ceremony and is used to recollect the true nature of the body. The bhikkhu is also not allowed to dye or pluck out any grey hairs, for they are useful reminders of old-age and impermanence. (Just consider how much time and money is wasted by people trying to make their hair remain beautiful and young-looking.)

    FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on the Buddhist Monks' Rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    A: When the prince who was to become the Buddha left his palace to seek a way beyond ageing, sickness and death, it is said that one of the first things that he did was to shave off his hair and beard and put on the yellow cloth . Buddhist monks always completely shave their head and beard, showing their commitment to the Holy Life (Brahmacariya) of one gone forth into the homeless life. (In India some ascetics tear out their hair, while others never touch it so that it becomes a tangled mass.) A rule states that a bhikkhu should not allow his hair to grow beyond a certain length or time, so he will shave usually at least once a fortnight or month, sometimes more frequently. To do this he uses his razor, which is also one of his requisites. 'Hair-of-the-head' (kesa) is one of the five parts of the body mentioned in the ordination ceremony and is used to recollect the true nature of the body. The bhikkhu is also not allowed to dye or pluck out any grey hairs, for they are useful reminders of old-age and impermanence. (Just consider how much time and money is wasted by people trying to make their hair remain beautiful and young-looking.)

    FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on the Buddhist Monks' Rules.

    Thanks lots. But then why isn't Buddha statue sculptured with shaven head?

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    pass .......

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    The Buddha was not a buddhist monk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankenstein View Post
    The Buddha was not a buddhist monk.

    Wasn't the Buddha is the first founding Buddhist monk?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramseth View Post


    Thanks lots. But then why isn't Buddha statue sculptured with shaven head?

    I thought they were

    what looks like hair on some is in fact snails

    they crawled onto his head to protect him from the sun whilst he was meditating

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    Not all Buddha statues have hair, just the majority. The earliest Indian Buddha statues showed the Buddha with a shaved head.

    Older traditions, preserved in the Nikayas, state that Buddha was a "Mundaka", a shaven headed monk. Later tradition, from the Mahavastu, the Nidanakata, and the Lalitivistava say that the Buddha cut his hair with a sword, leaving some of it intact, and that after the he never needed to cut his hair again. This is now the most popular tradition and the Buddha is usually represented as conforming to this image. Also, one of the thirty-two marks of a Buddha is having hair in ringlets which curl to the right so it was a convenient way of showing that a particular image was of the supreme Buddha and not of a disciple or a lesser Arhat. The topknot is also not a topknot, it's a lump, called Ushnisha, symbolising wisdom attained through enlightment.

    Only the very earliest Buddha statues attempt to show the genuine physical likeness of the Buddha, almost all those now in existence are purely symbolic and are meant to be "read" rather than just looked at.

    From the Nidanakata:

    "Then he thought, These locks of mine are not suited for a mendicant. Now it is not right for any one else to cut the hair of a future Buddha, so I will cut them off myself with this sword.' Then, taking his sword in his right hand and holding the plaited tresses together with the diadem on them with his left, he cut them off. So his hair was thus reduced to two inches in length, and curling from the right, it lay close to his head. It remained that length as long as he lived, and the beard the same. There was no need at all to shave either hair or beard any more. The Bodhisattva Guatama then threw the hair and diadem together towards the sky. Sakka received them into a chedi in the heaven of the Thirty-three gods"
    Last edited by DrB0b; 11-11-2008 at 07:03 PM.
    The Above Post May Contain Strong Language, Flashing Lights, or Violent Scenes.

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    Member Ramseth's Avatar
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    Another interesting observation. Most if all not Buddhist statues depict the Buddha's features as somewhere between an native continental Indian and an East Asian. How could this be true? Prince Siddharta was an Aryan. He should look like somewhere between a German, Polish and Italian. Most if not all paintings of Moses and Jesus depict them as blue-eyed blondes. How could this be true? They're native middle-eastern semites who should look like somewhere between Arabs and north Africans.

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    ^Go check out the thirty-two signs of a Buddha and forget the Western idea that art is representational, in Asia it's not - it's symbolic.

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    Member Ramseth's Avatar
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    I've heard this version. Early Buddhism had no statutes for some 300 years or so until Alexander the Great invaded India and brought along with him the Greek idea of statue worshipping.

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    You need to check this out

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramseth View Post
    Another interesting observation. Most if all not Buddhist statues depict the Buddha's features as somewhere between an native continental Indian and an East Asian. How could this be true? Prince Siddharta was an Aryan. He should look like somewhere between a German, Polish and Italian. Most if not all paintings of Moses and Jesus depict them as blue-eyed blondes. How could this be true? They're native middle-eastern semites who should look like somewhere between Arabs and north Africans.
    I think you misunderstand the word Aryan as used in regard to Buddha.
    Aryan: A Much Misunderstood Word

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinlyn View Post
    I think you misunderstand the word Aryan as used in regard to Buddha.
    Aryan: A Much Misunderstood Word
    Wow...that's a response almost a year in coming...thanks.

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    It's all about image . Monks are even taught how to speak with a soft voice and this is also image. The orange robes . The shavein head ,,image. But underneath it all is just a book that constantly repeats,repeats repeats. And everything is dumbed down.

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    ^

    It's simply that everything can be put into perspective with respect to our human limitations of experience, language and sensory awareness.



    That's it....




    The shaved head thing is a dirty sex thing actually.

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