The word bhakat or monk gives a crude image of an individual clad in a piece of cloth and devoting his life to prayer and meditation. Giving up on earthly possessions and family relationships, monks are conceived to be devoid of any hedonism one begets since the beginning of life including adopting the practice of celibacy. This had been my conception too, until I ventured out for the current project, did I get a clearer picture of everything that is related to the life of Satra monks.
The very first thing that caught my eyes was the fact that Satra monks have a way different life than that of any other kinds of monks (like that of Buddhist). As my project involved studying the life of the younger generation of bhakats or monks (3-17 years of age), I focused on their daily life starting from how they came to live there. I was told that often when the elder monks visits different places on account of religious or cultural practices, they look for children with unique qualities such as patience, devotion, understanding, thoughtful, etc. And they offer the families to raise them in Satras as bhakats. Other with economical constraints or religious faith in the Satra culture, also send their kids to be raised in Satras. There are other reasons such as beliefs in treating of ailments as a result of the Satra way of life also makes people send their kids to Satras at a very young age such as 3 or 4 years old. These kids are then raised in the Satra way of life. They are not only taught the religious practices but also cultural customs and traditions for which they are to carry forward later in life.