Can Women be Monks?
March 30, 2011 • Hinduism, Photography & Travel
It is a question I get asked quite often and the answer, at least in the Hindu religion, is Yes! And if you want to be pedantic then they would more appropriately be called nuns.
In Hinduism men and women can attain the same heights of spiritual awakening. It is taught that God is equally present in all. Women tend to naturally gravitate towards the householder path hence you see more men as monastics as oppose to women. However, throughout time there have been many women monastics in Hinduism who have been greatly respected by Hindus all over the world.
At the Kumbha Mela festival in Hardwar that I attended in January 2010 there were a small contingent of nuns. Some were in the role of gurus, spiritual leaders with small to large groups of disciples and then there were a few women ascetics who appeared to be more reclusive.
Here are some images that I took at the Kumbha Mela of these Hindu nuns – gurus and anchorites, a small photographic insight into the world of women and the monastic path.
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