The Spir­i­tual Life of the Lit­tle Monks of Burma


As the sun rises and wisps of smoke from burn­ing in­cense fill the empty hall­ways, the lit­tle monks of Burma wake to be­gin their daily rou­tines. In this Asian coun­try, also known as Myan­mar, ev­ery boy be­tween the ages of eight and six­teen is re­quired to learn the teach­ings of Bud­dha. It is be­lieved that this will al­low them to find nir­vana later in life and give their par­ents the ben­e­fit of not suf­fer­ing in the after­life. Af­ter an ini­ti­a­tion cer­e­mony, the boys are brought to a monastery where their heads are shaved and they don lit­tle saf­fron robes. For as lit­tle as one week—or, for as long as they want—the boys do daily chores, study and learn chants and prayers.The ones that stay grow up to­gether, form­ing a close con­nec­tion and ul­ti­mately be­com­ing a broth­er­hood.

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