In Buddhist context, a samanera (Pali: IAST|sāmaṇera, Sanskrit: IAST|śrāmaṇera) can be translated as novice monk. It literally means 'small samana', or small renunciate, where 'small' has the meaning of boy or girl. In the Vinaya (monastic discipline), a man under the age of 20 cannot ordain as a bhikkhu, but can ordain as a samanera. The female counterpart of the samanera is the samaneri. Samaneras and samaneris keep the ten precepts as their code of behaviour, and are devoted to the Buddhist religious life.

After a year or at the age of 20, a samanera will be considered for the higher Bhikkhu or Bhikkhuni ordination (Pali: upasampada). Some monasteries will require people who want to ordain as a monk to be a novice for a set period of time, as a period of preparation and familiarization.

The issue of ordination is different for samaneras and samaneris; the rules governing higher ordination are different for samaneras and samaneris.

The female form of the samanera is the samaneri.

ee also

*Ordination process


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