A Buddhist monk is the one who abides by the principles and practices of Buddhism and the teachings of the lord Buddha. As per the culture of the Far East, it is deemed as a high honor to leave the family by severing the worldly ties to delve deeper into the practices of Buddhism. It might appear strange to the people of western civilization to think about valuing ones children to depart from the home to become a practicing monk.
But when we look into the life of a Buddhist monk in the Indian Subcontinent, East Asia and South-East Asia, they are known to live simple and pure lives. Buddhist monks either wander as nomads or live in monasteries, where they serve the community and practice various mudras of the Buddha to attain spiritual fulfillment.
Though they are committed to an ascetic life, they never find themselves completely torn apart from their former lives and families. In case of the illness or death of a family member, they are allowed to venture back. Otherwise, they are expected to spend their lives meditating and practicing chants and prayers. Additionally, they are assigned with specific tasks to collect monetary donations as well as alms, so that all the materialistic needs related to daily living and upkeep can be met.
The Buddhist monks practice Dhamma, to initiate the Buddhist Wheel of Dharma. They adopt the dharmachakra mudra of the Buddha and usually practice it in front of a dharmachakra mudra Buddha statue to make a better spiritual connectivity. The Buddhist monks even teach inside and outside the monastery to spread the Dharma among the disciples. They focus upon personal development and even encourage debates, which is termed as vitarka. While conducting debates among their pupils, the monks ensure the presence of a teaching Buddha statue, which is known as Vitarka mudra Buddha statue. They encourage learning in the quest of wisdom, but with integrity and deep-rooted principles.
The Buddhist monks are known to live in simplistic appearance. Their robes are typically modest and made out of cotton with no ornaments at all. Most of them shave their heads to shed the desire for external beauty and focuses primarily upon the inner beauty. Even when you look at the meditating Buddha, especially in dhyana mudra Buddha statues, then you find the head covered with a snail crown; which was made by the snails to protect the shaved head of the Buddha from the scorching heat when we was meditating in the pursuit of enlightenment. This instance from the Mahayana Buddhist scriptures inspire the Buddha monks to shave their heads as a mark of getting emancipated from the earthly desires.
Stone Buddha sculptures in different mudras have a profound impact on the Buddhist monks of Mahayana sect, which is commonly practiced in most of the parts including Indian subcontinent, East Asia and South-East Asia. Buddha has always encouraged learning and rational thinking and always discouraged self-doubt and negative emotions. That is the reason why, the patronage of the Buddha is always enlightening and life-changing for the Buddhist monks.
Even for the common individuals who are connected with the mortal desires of life, the presence of a stone Buddha idol at home and garden will also have a similar kind of profound impact as it would have upon the monks practicing Buddhism. It is primarily because the positive influence of the companionship of the Buddha is universal and it will always derive something positive out of you in one way or the other.