84000 Glossary of Terms

Our trilingual glossary combining entries from all of our publications into one useful resource, giving translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

དགེ་སློང་། | Glossary of Terms

    དགེ་སློང་།

    dge slong

    bhikṣu

  • Term
Publications: 34

The term bhikṣu, often translated as “monk,” refers to the highest among the eight types of prātimokṣa vows that make one part of the Buddhist assembly. The Sanskrit term literally means “beggar” or “mendicant,” referring to the fact that Buddhist monks and nuns‍—like other ascetics of the time‍—subsisted on alms begged from the laity.

In the Tibetan tradition, which follows the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya, a bhikṣu follows 253 vows as part of his moral discipline. A nun (bhikṣuṇī; dge slong ma) follows 263 rules. A novice monk (śrāmaṇera; dge tshul) or nun (śrāmaṇerikā; dge tshul ma) follows thirty-six rules of moral discipline (although in other vinaya traditions novices typically follow only ten).