Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monks have worries too

During one of my official visits to Pemagatshel recently, I came across three young monks memorizing Buddhist scripts. In front of them was an elderly monk seated reclined over the window, proudly monitoring these young monks. While these children enthusiastically memorized these holy scripts, a simple thought ran through my mind - "For these children, their only dream could be study hard and rise to the ranks of Lopen, but for that Lopen in front of them, he must be already worrying about his old age (although his appearance at that point of time did not show any signs)."

I get this thought because while I was working in the district I had couple of monk friends (all Lopens) and we would often jokingly discuss over this contentious issue of monks losing their celibacy.

Why you monks have to marry?  Why girls are after monks? Once you have become a monk, does our religion allow you to involve in sexual affairs? Why some monks leave the Dratshang and marry? I would throw up these questions to them.

"I don't know what is in their (the ones who marry and go) mind?" one would say.
"These people are tarnishing the image of monkhood", the other would agree.
And on some occasions, "Wai sir!" they would say on a serious note.
"If we think seriously, what do we monks have?" they would begin.
"Being a monk we aren't spared by this constant process of aging.We get old like you and we have to die one day like any being on this earth. By the time we get old, our parents are long gone and our relatives are in their own world trying to meet their ends. Where do we look upon when we become sick? and, who do we look upon to take care of our body when we finally leave."

These put me a big full stop and may be this is why someone has rightly pointed out, "Never judge a person, we never know what kind of problems s/he is struggling with."

And this is what makes our monks worry. I guess it's true.

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