Religious mendicant; Buddhist fully ordained monk. Bhiksuni is the equivalent term designating a woman.
A Bhikkhu, (Sanskrit: Bhiksu) is a fully ordained male Buddhist monastic. Female monastics are called Bhikkhunis (Skt: Bhiksunis). Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis keep many precepts: they live by the vinayas framework of monastic discipline, the basic rules of which are called the patimokkha. Their lifestyle is shaped so as to support their spiritual practice, to live a simple and meditative life, and attain Nirvana.
The Dhammapada states:
Not therefore is he a bhikkhu
Merely because he begs from others.
Not by adopting the outward form
Does one truly become a bhikkhu.
He who wholly subdues evil,
Both small and great,
Is called a monk (bhikkhu)
Because he has overcome all evil. Dhp 266, 267
Techincal term for mendicant monk, a religious prefessional who has abandoned worldly pleasures to attain Buddhist idea of nirvana.
M (A being who renounces (the pleasures of the world)). The most often, this term refers to Buddhas disciples, to the members of the sangha. To be a bhikkhu, one should give up all worldly possessions except a bowl, a robe and a few utensils such as a razor, a tooth brush, a water filter, etc. One should then perform a specific ceremony that does unfold according to the rules of the appropriate kammavaca, within a sima, in the presence of at least five bhikkhus, and positively answer fifteen questions.
Basically, this term defines the one who seeks detachment and strives to follow this path (with a shaven head or not). The bhikkhu is someone who abandons all enterprises and everything that can bring some enjoyment, possessions or fame. He relentlessly trains for liberation and remains vigilant and attentive to everything that appears to his mind. The rest of the time, he studies and teaches the dhamma.
See also: The monks
a male mendicant who has been formally accepted into the Bhikkhu Sa"ngha and is training under the Paa.timokkha Rule; Buddhist monk. In this work bhikkhu and monk are used interchangeably.
A fully ordained disciple of the Buddha is called a bhikkhu.
"Mendicant monk" may be suggested as the closest equivalent for "Bhikkhu", literally it means "he who begs" but bhikkhus do not beg. They silently stand at the door for alms. They live on what is spontaneously given by the supporters.
He is not a priest as he is no mediator between God and man. He has no vows for life, but he is bound by his rules which he takes of his own accord. He leads a life of voluntary poverty and celibacy. If he is unable to live the Holy Life, he can discard the robe at any time.
monk (particularly Theravada).
bhikkhu : (m.) a Buddhist monk.
Bhikkhu，(cp．later Sk．bhikṣu，fr．bhikṣ) an almsman，a mendicant，a Buddhist monk or priest，a bhikkhu．‹-› Nom．sg．bhikkhu freq．passim; Vin．III，40 （vuḍḍhapabbajita）; A．I，78 （thera bh．，an elder bh．; and nava bh．a young bh．）; III，299 （id．）; IV，25 （id．）; Sn．276，360，411 sq．，915 sq．，1041，1104; Dh．31，266 sq．，364 sq．，378; Vv 801; Acc．bhikkhuṁ Vin．III，174; Dh．362，& bhikkhunaṁ Sn．87，88，513; Gen．Dat．bhikkhuno A．I，274; Sn．221，810，961; Dh．373; Pv．I，1010; & bhikkhussa A．I，230; Vin．III，175; Instr．bhikkhunā Sn．389．pl．Nom．bhikkhū Vin．II，150; III，175; D．III，123; Vism．152 （in sim．）; VbhA．305 （compared with amaccaputtā） & bhikkhavo Sn．384，573; Dh．243，283; Acc．bhikkhu Sn．p．78; M．I，84; Vv 2210; & bhikkhavo Sn．384，573; Gen．Dat．bhikkhūnaṁ Vin．III，285; D．III，264; Sn．1015; Pv．II，17; & bhikkhunaṁ S．I，190; Th．1，1231; Instr．bhikkhūhi Vin．III，175; Loc．bhikkhūsu A．IV，25，& bhikkhusu Th．1，241，1207; Dh．73; Voc．bhikkhave （a Māgadhī form of Nom．bhikkhavaḥ） Vin．III，175; Sn．p．78; VvA．127; PvA．8，39，166; & bhikkhavo Sn．280，385．
There are several allegorical etymologies （definitions） of the word bhikkhu，which occur frequently in the commentaries．All are fanciful interpretations of the idea of what a bhikkhu is or should be，and these qualities were sought and found in the word itself．Thus we mention here the foll．（a） bhikkhu=bhinnakilesa （“one who has broken the stains＂ i．e．of bad character） VbhA．328; VvA．29，114，310; PvA．51．‹-› （b） Another more explicit expln is “sattannaṁ dhammānaṁ bhinnattā bhikkhu＂ （because of the breaking or destroying of 7 things，viz．the 7 bad qualities，leading to rebirth，consisting of sakkāyadiṭṭhi，vicikicchā，sīlabbata-parāmāsa，rāga，dosa，moha，māna）．This def．at Nd1 70=Nd2 477a．-- （c） Whereas in a & b the first syllable bhi（-kkhu） is referred to bhid，in this def．it is referred to bhī （to fear），with the further reference of （bh-） ikkh（u） to īkṣ （to see），and bhikkhu defined as “saṁsāre bhayaṁ ikkhati ti bh．＂ Vism．3，16 （saṁsāre bhayaṁ ikkhaṇatāya vā bhinna-paṭa-dharaditāya vā）．-- A very comprehensive def．of the term is found at Vbh．245--246，where bhikkhu-ship is established on the ground of 18 qualities （beginning with samaññāya bhikkhu，paṭiññāya bh．，bhikkhatī ti bh．，bhikkhako ti bh．，bhikkhācariyaṁ ajjhupagato ti bh．，bhinna-paṭa-dharo ti bh．，bhindati pāpake dhamme ti bh．，bhinnattā pāpakānaṁ dhammānan ti bh．etc．etc．）．-- This passage is expld in detail at VbhA．327，328．-- Two kinds of bhikkhus are distinguished at Ps．I，176; Nd1 465=Nd2 477b，viz．kalyāṇa(--ka-)puthujjana （a layman of good character） and sekkha （one in training），for which latter the term paṭilīnacara （one who lives in elimination，i．e．in keeping away from the dangers of worldly life） is given at Nd1 130 （on Sn．810）．
--gatika a person who associates with the bhikkhus （in the Vihāra） Vin．I，148．--bhāva state of being a monk，monkhood，bhikkhuship D．I，176; Sn．p．102; --saṅgha the community of bhikkhus，the Order of friars D．III，208; Sn．403，1015; Sn．p．101，102; Miln．209; PvA．19 sq．& passim．（Page 504）
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