Samanera (or, Sramanera) is Buddhist monk with "learner's license", i.e.- someone below 20 years of age who has taken lower ordination, but yet to become a full fledged monk (Bhikkhu) by taking higher ordination. After attaining twenty, a smanera can decide whether he wants to ordain as a monk. I met these bunch of adorable boys, of course Samaneras, in the campus of the SriLankan Monastery at Lumbini. Some construction work was on progress and these little monks were happily volunteering for the same. A quick wiki-study made me aware of the Ten Precepts which Samaneras are expected to follow in conjunction with the Buddhist religious life:
* Refrain from killing living creatures.
* Refrain from stealing.
* Refrain from unchastity.
* Refrain from incorrect speech.
* Refrain from taking intoxicants.
* Refrain from taking food after noon.
* Refrain from singing, dancing, playing music and attending entertainment programs.
* Refrain from wearing decorative accessories.
* Refrain from sitting on high chairs and sleeping on luxurious soft beds.
* Refrain from accepting money.
Yes, too many restrictions to follow! Even if moralities are of utmost concern, it is hard to imagine how a adolescent boy/girl would deaf ear his/her biological demand. I see no harm or find no sin if any of these boys dares to taste meat secretly in some restaurant or sip a drink. Anyway, sometimes it's their choice, sometimes compulsion (out of socioeconomic pressure) and I'm certainly in no position to comment on others' religious ways. From an enthusiastic clicker's perspective I must mention, Samaneras are really photogenic and Lumbini is an excellent travel destination!