In 1947, when British India was carved into two states of India and Pakistan, many Hindu families relocated from eastern Pakistan (which became Bangladesh in 1971) to Indian Bengal. My parents came from two such families. My father was deeply curious about the world, and bought various Readers Digest and National Geographic publications on a meager rupee-based salary, earned […]
European monasteries were segregated by sex -- for men or women only -- and the inhabitants were expected to be celebate. In South Asia, where many different religious traditions grew up side by side in the same terrain since the earliest times, monasticism neither insisted on absolute celibacy for men, nor did they exclude women. Many monastic men moved from site to site collecting food and exchanging information.