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Buddha taught that in order to live a life that is free from pain and suffering people must eliminate any attachments to worldly goods. Only then will they gain a kind of peace and happiness. They must rid themselves of greed, hatred, and ignorance. They strive to cultivate four attitudes, loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. The basic moral code prohibits killing, stealing, harmful language, sexual misbehavior, and the use of intoxicants. Morality, wisdom, and samadhi, or concentration form the cornerstone of Buddhist faith. By observing these, lust, hatred, and delusion may be overcome. This is known as Nirvana. It is a realistic goal only for members of the monastic community.
The most devoted followers of the Buddha were organized into the monastic sangha. They were identified by their shaved heads and robes made of unsewn orange cloth. Many early monks wandered from place to place, settling down only during the rainy season when traveling was difficult. The Buddhist have lasted because they have the ability to adapt to changing conditions and to a variety of cultures.
Monks are expected to live a life of poverty, meditation, and study. They must avoid all sexual activity. They devote themselves to work, study, and prayer. They all dress in special robes. Monks play an important part in preserving and spreading Buddhism.