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Encyclopedia > Ascetic
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The word ascetic derives from the ancient Greek term askesis (practice, training or exercise). Originally associated with any form of disciplined practice, the term ascetic has come to mean anyone who practices a renunciation of worldly pursuits to achieve spiritual attainment. In particular contexts, ascetic may also connote some kind of self-mortification / punishment of the body, and/or with a renunciation of pleasure; but this is not always the case. Flagellants mortifying the flesh, at the time of the Black Death Mortification of the flesh literally means putting the flesh to death. The term is primarily used in religious contexts, and is practiced in a variety of ways. ...

Lao Zi, Gautama Buddha, Mahavir Swami, Jesus, Saint Anthony, and Saint Francis can all be considered ascetics. These people left their families, possessions, and homes to live a mendicant life, and in the eyes of their followers demonstrated great spiritual attainment, enlightenment, or God realization. Lao Zi (also spelled Laozi, Lao Tzu, or Lao Tse) was a famous Chinese philosopher who is believed to have lived in approximately the 4th century BC, during the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States Periods. ... Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE. Siddhartha redirects here. ... This article or section should be merged with Mahavir Mahavir Swami (Lord Mahavir) or Mahavira (the Great Hero -- Also, Vardhamana (increasing) or Niggantha Nathaputta -- 599 BC - 527 BC) was the 24th, and last, Jainist Tirthankar. ... Jesus, also known as Jesus Christ, is the central figure in Christianity. ... Saint Anthony the Great, Father of all Monks Saint Anthony the Great (251 - 356), Christian saint, also known as Saint Anthony of Egypt, Saint Anthony of the Desert, Saint Anthony the Anchorite, and The Father of All Monks was a leader among the Desert Fathers, who were Christian monks in... Saint Francis of Assisi (born in Assisi, Italy, ca. ... The Mendicant (or Begging) Orders are religious orders which depend directly on the charity of the people for their livelihood. ... Bodhi (Pali and Sanskrit. ...

Monks, yogis, hermits and — in some religions — priests also lead ascetic lives. A Roman Catholic monk A monk is a person who practices monasticism, adopting a strict religious and ascetic lifestyle, usually in community with others following the same path. ... Hatha Yoga posture Yoga is a form of mysticism that developed on the Indian subcontinent in the Hindu cultural context. ... A hermit (from the Greek erēmos, signifying desert, uninhabited, hence desert-dweller) is a person who lives to some greater or lesser degree in seclusion from society. ... Roman Catholic priest LCDR Allen R. Kuss (USN) aboard USS Enterprise A priest or priestess is a holy man or woman who takes an officiating role in worship of any religion, with the distinguishing characteristic of offering sacrifices. ...


Asceticism in Buddhism

The historical Buddha adopted an extreme ascetic life after leaving his father's palace, where he once lived in extreme luxury. At the moment of his enlightenment, the Buddha realized that neither luxury, nor asceticism, will lead to lasting happiness. Instead, he taught that a middle way that balances enjoyment with restraint is the most effective path to happiness and freedom. A stone image of the Buddha. ... Bodhi (Pali and Sanskrit. ...

The degree of moderation suggested by this middle path varies depending on the interpretation of Buddhism at hand. Some traditions emphasize ascetic life more than others.

The ascetic bhikku lifestyle comes straight from the Vinaya Pitaka of the Pali Canon Tripitaka scriptures, the monastic body of rules taught by Gautama Buddha, reflecting the way of life as lived by the Buddha and his disciples. The practitioner may adopt these rules for only a short period of time (a few months or years) or may follow them for an entire lifetime. Pali or Sanskrit word meaning discipline. The Vinaya is the textual framework for the Buddhist monastic community, or sangha. ... The Pali Canon is one the earliest existing scripture collections of the Buddhist tradition. ... The Tripitaka (Sanskrit, lit. ... Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE. Siddhartha redirects here. ...

The Buddhist order is known as the Sangha, the community of monastics. In the Theravada school, prevalent in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, monks eat one vegetarian meal a day and fast until sunrise. Between midday and the next meal the following day, a strict life of celibacy, scripture study, chanting, meditation and occasional cleaning forms most of the duties. These practices must be conducted in a state of mindfulness and concentration, here and now, to benefit from the experience. Called the Patimokkha, 227 monastic rules govern a monk or Bhikkhu in Pali, and 311 for the Bhikkhuni nun. Sangha is a word in Indian languages that can be translated roughly as association or assembly. It is commonly used in several senses to refer to Buddhist groups. ... Theravada (Pali; Sanskrit: Sthaviravada) is one of the eighteen (or twenty) Nikāya schools that formed early in the history of Buddhism. ... . Pāli (ISO 639-1: pi; ISO 639-2: pli) is a Middle Indo-Aryan dialect or prakrit. ... Categories: Buddhism-related stubs | Buddhist terms ... In general, a nun is a female ascetic who chooses to voluntarily leave the world and live her life in prayer and contemplation in a monastery or convent. ...

In the Mahayana traditions of northern Buddhism, the rules have been lessened somewhat, and the monastics emphasize meditation more than doctrine, valuing the cultivation of liberating insight and wisdom (prajna). Relief image of the bodhisattva Guan Yin from Mt. ... Meditation usually refers to a state in which the body is consciously relaxed and the mind is allowed to become calm and focused. ... Wisdom is often meant as the ability and desire to make choices that can gain approval in a long-term examination by many people. ... Prajñā (Sanskrit; Pali: paññā; Tibetan: shes rab, Chinese: 般若, banruo) meaning wisdom, cognitive acuity; or know-how -- but especially the Buddhist wisdom that is based on a realization of dependent origination, not-self, emptiness, etc. ...

Asceticism in Eastern Christianity

Eastern Christianity refers collectively to the Christian traditions which developed in Greece, the Near East and Eastern Europe. Its division from Western Christianity is as much to do with culture and politics as theology; a definitive date for the commencement of the schism cannot be given.

Asceticism within this tradition is the set of disciplines practiced to work out the believer's salvation, and further the believer's repentance. Although monks and nuns are known for especially strict acts of asceticism, some asceticism is expected of every believer, for the good of that believer. Ultimately, it is thought, salvation comes only by the grace of God, but God's grace and right belief are expected to produce changes in behaviour. Changes in behaviour can also influence beliefs. Asceticism can include anything from taking part in prayers with the church, fasting, almsgiving, or even working hard not to lose one's temper or similar acts of restraint and self-control. Corporate prayers are generally prayed as a "liturgy", which literally means a "work of the people."

Asceticism in Western Christianity

Hindu Asceticism

Indian holy men, or Sadhus, are known for the extreme forms self-mortification they occasionally practice. These include extreme acts of devotion to a deity or principle, such as vowing never to use one leg or the other, or to hold an arm in the air for a period of months or years. The particular types of asceticism involved vary from sect to sect, and from holy man to holy man. In Hinduism, a sadhu is a common term for a renounced ascetic or practitioner of yoga (yogi) who has given up pursuit of the first three Hindu goals of life: kama (pleasure), artha (wealth and power) and even dharma (duty). ...

Asceticism in Islam

The muslim name for asceticism is zuhd. Islam (Arabic al-islām الإسلام,  listen) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith and the worlds second-largest religion. ...

Asceticism in Sufism

Look up Ascetic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

  Results from FactBites:
Asceticism - LoveToKnow 1911 (3543 words)
We may therefore expect in primitive asceticism to find many abstentions and much self-torture apparently valueless for the training of character and discipline of the feelings, which are the essence of any healthy asceticism.
It is not that savages are devoid of the ascetic instinct.
Asceticism then in its origin was usually not ascetic in a modern sense, that is, not ethical.
JewishEncyclopedia.com - ASCETICISM: (1781 words)
Asceticism is indigenous to the religions which posit as fundamental the wickedness of this life and the corruption under sin of the flesh.
Simon ben YoḦai is depicted as an ascetic in the traditions preserved in rabbinical literature.
Moreover, his ascetic practises were not inspired by a consciousness of the futility of this life and its sinfulness, but by the anxiety to fulfil to the letter the Law, to ponder on the Torah day and night.
  More results at FactBites »



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