What is Renunciation in Buddhism?

In Buddhist tradition, renunciation refers to the act of taking the vows of a monk or nun. However, renouncing is not the only way to practice Buddhist religion. One can also practice Buddhism as a lay person in order to attain the aim of ending suffering.

Why One Renounces:
One who has renounced in Buddhism is the very person to take responsibility to spread the the Buddha’s teachings. He won’t be involved in daily mundane work, but concentrates more on the practice of Buddhism. But, it is an individual choice, and no one can force others to renounce in Buddhism.

There are some people who observe the spaciousness, quietness and beauty of the temples and monasteries and make a decision to show their admiration to the Buddha. In their eyes, living in a majestic place will benefit them in achieving enlightenment.

How to Renounce:
One should free oneself from worldly attachment and desire so as to practice Buddhist renunciation. As a result, it requires a person’s great determination to concentrate on spiritual self-improvement rather than the pursuit of materialism. One is encouraged to put one’s whole effort to understand Buddhism with pure intentions by practicing diligently before and after midnight. Apart from practicing in the monasteries, a renounced monk or nun has to go around to preach the Buddha’s teachings.

Renounced Buddhists live a very simple and hard life. They strive to bless all living beings by practicing all day. Non-Buddhists can give the monasteries offerings and pay respect to them by prayer or chanting at home.

There is a myth about Buddhist diet, suggesting that all Buddhists are vegetarians . It varies from region to region. It is the case in China, but not in Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet and Mongolia. It is true that a vegetarian will cultivate one’s loving kindness and compassion for others by avoiding the killing of animals. Also, a vegetarian diet is more economical, rich in nutrition and can reduce the risk of sickness.

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