A ''bhikkhu'' (Pali, Sanskrit: ''bhikṣu'') is an ordained monastic ("monk") in Buddhism.〔(Ly Guide to the Monks' Rules )〕 A female monastic ("nun") is called a ''bhikkhuni'' (Sanskrit ''bhikṣuṇī'').
The lives of all Buddhist monastics are governed by a set of rules called the prātimokṣa or pātimokkha.〔 Their lifestyle's are shaped to support their spiritual practice: to live a simple and meditative life and attain nirvana.〔(What is a bhikkhu? )〕
A person under the age of 20 cannot be ordained as a bhikkhu or bhikkhuni but can be ordained as a śrāmaṇera or śrāmaṇērī.
''Bhikkhu'' literally means "beggar" or "one who lives by alms".〔''Buddhist Dictionary, Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines'' by Nyanatiloka Mahathera.〕 The historical Buddha, Prince Siddhartha, having abandoned a life of pleasure and status, lived as an alms mendicant as part of his śramaṇa lifestyle. Those of his more serious students who abandoned their lives as householders and came to study full-time under his supervision also adopted this lifestyle. These full-time student members of the sangha became the community of ordained monastics who wandered from town to city throughout the year, living off alms and stopping in one place only for the Vassa, the rainy months of the monsoon season.
In the ''Dhammapada'' commentary of Buddhaghosa, a bhikkhu is defined as "the person who sees danger (in samsara or cycle of rebirth)" (Pāli: ''ikkhatīti: bhikkhu''). He therefore seeks ordination to obtain release from it.〔(Resources: Monastic Vows )〕 The ''Dhammapada'' states:
For historical reasons, the full ordination for women has been unavailable to Theravada and Vajrayana practitioners, although recently the full ordination for women has been reintroduced to many areas: see ordination of women in Buddhism.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』