National Geographic : 1913 Dec
Photo by Wiele and Klein CARE FREE AND DEBONAIR In other countries incorrigible idlers degenerate into vagrants, who are often a danger to the community. In India they can pursue a more decorous course and become honored ascetics. Photo byJohnston and Hoffman THE TRADE-MARK OFTHE ASCETIC Almost all ascetics can be recognized assuch by thepossession of the so-called begging-bowl. This term issomewhat ofamisnomer, for few of the ascetics actuallycondescend tobeg; but most ofthem carry an alms bowl-often a mere cocoanut shell oracalabash-as a reminder to the faithful that tocontribute tothesupport ofaholy man is one of the best ways of acquiring merit.