Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Korean Little Monks

Every year, a group of children will enter Chogye Temple in Seoul to become temporary monks in conjunction with the Buddha's Birthday. On May 3 this year, a group of 8 children entered the monastery to become monks to learn more about Buddhism. These children will stay in the monastery for 21 days.

Chogye is the only major temple within the old city walls of Seoul. Built in 1910, the temple became the main site of Korean Buddhism's Chogye Order in 1936.

After the end of the Second World War, the Chogye Order fought for many years to take control of monastic properties for the exclusive use of celibate clergy, and expel all married monks. It finally succeeded, and today it is the most prominent group in Korean Buddhism.

Children getting ready to undergo the shaving ceremony

The children pray before the shaving ceremony

Faces of the children while being shaved by the monks

After shaving the children are dressed in robes with the help from the monks

This child cries after being shaved

While one cries the other is in joyous mood

This child must be pondering what's life in store for him in the coming 3 weeks

This child seems to be happy with his new "head" and monastic attire

Mothers embrace their children to console them

The mothers pray during the ceremony

A child's arm is poked as Buddhist monks attempt to burn incense on his skin during the 'Children Becoming Buddhist Monks' ceremony

A unique relationship between the monks and the children

These little monks having their group photo taken

Monks pray during the ceremony

Children proscrate to pray during the ceremony


Crusader said...

An evil religion that tortures people such as Buddhism should never ever be tolerated!

Anonymous said...

its not an evil....maybe for you,but every religion has its own belief u must respect it...for as long as they're not teaching bad things to children....

Anonymous said...

Unlike the crusaders who fought in wars lasted for years by the name of God,The Buddhists have never once started a war by the name of their religion for the past 2600 years, so how can u call Buddhism as evil?

OfficialRow said...

Being new to Buddhism i wanted to see how the children become monks, I found these pictures beautiful! I dont think it is torture of any sort..that was a silly and pathetic comment to make! Anyways, i loved the group picture..I guess its fair to say a moment like this is like a child having their 1st commuion?

Anonymous said...

That crusader is sure a crazy guy, but a religion that burns people's body is definitely not something good.

Anonymous said...

And you don't have to do it. The church gives wine to children.... that should probably be reconsidered, too, but this is a ritual.

Anonymous said...

These are some of the most beautiful pictures I have seen. What I would do to be able to meditate with these men.

Anonymous said...

Bearing the most unbearable, and doing the most difficult things. When one has gone through all of them, he will be free between the heaven and earth.
But shaving off the hairs are not a difficult thing at all, it is actual good for us. Because then, we will not need to face the mirror and worry for our hairstyles. When on the street, and the wind blows across us, we will not be worried if our hairs are messy. But instead we can take a deep breath and enjoy it. One lesser burden in our stressful and fast-pacing life. So isn't this great?

Katia said...

Burning incense on skin? What kind of sadistic religion is this and what is it teachign children?? And what's next? These monks have no clue what Grace of God is. The are just child-kidnapping demons, really, who are away from God and leading others away from God. May God help them all

Cherry James said...

Katia you sound like a Christian so you yourself must understand that other religions have there own god's and such to protect them. Monks and Buddhists believe in there own Religion so why don't you just leave other religions alone. everyone is entitled to there own Religion or not, and to say that they are child kidnapping demons is an outrage, the Monks respect there traditions, have done for thousands of years. the only difference between them and Christians is that they have not lost there way. Christians and other religions years ago used to do far worse things than this. besides. its not kidnapping the mothers are there and they will return to them in 21 days, you should seriously re think your comment.

Anonymous said...

woww, i am surprised korean still do this tradition! i am surfing on internet to find reference to teach buddisme to my son. i love your blog. so inspiring.
please, to others that dont know anything about buddhisme, just dont judge before you know any deeper. thanks a lot

Kilika said...

Says the "Crusader".....;)

Kilika said...

If "torture" is the word one chooses when looking at children getting their heads shaved, try looking at an image of the faces of Abrahamic children during circumcision..... not exactly something one can grow back and certainly involves blood