Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism

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Monastic Education Renunciation and Ordination
Renunciation and Ordination

Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism


Buddhist monks and nuns have renounced secular life. They join the sangha (monastic community) in order to save lives by spreading penetrating wisdom and great compassion. As a member of the sangha, they walk the path of monastic practitioners to become teachers of both gods and humans. The Buddhist monastic sangha can be said to be the world's oldest community, dating back some 2,500 years to the original followers of Shakyamuni Buddha. This monastic sangha, which has now spread all over the world, was introduced to Korea 1,700 years ago. Its traditions and lineages have been passed on without interruption since then.
In the Jogye Order, an aspiring member of the monastic community first seeks out a teacher at a temple, and has his/her head shaved by the teacher. From then on, they serve as a haengja (postulant) for a set period, and familiarize themselves with the monastic lifestyle. When the postulant training is over, there is a ceremony in which they receive the novice precepts. An ordained female novice is called a “samini” while their male counterpart is a “sami.” After completing four years of basic training, they can receive the full precepts and become a monk (bhikkhu) or nun (bhikkuni).
Once ordained, a new monastic will participate in all the daily activities of the temple, including chanting, meditation, prayer, sutra-reading, and mantra-recitation. Some may also be involved in administrative affairs and education of the laity. Dharma propagation and edification are also major activities for monastics.

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