In the Pali language, theravada means 'doctrine of the ancients'. It is the form of Buddhism that remains closest to the original Buddhist teachings. From India, it spread mainly to the south. Theravada Buddhism gives monks an important role. They follow a strict code of conduct and depend on the alms of believers for their survival, hence the name bhiksu, meaning 'beggar'.
Gesture of offering
This monk is represented with his hands joined in front of his chest. A gesture of offering in Buddhist iconography, this posture is called anjali-mudra. It is still a gesture of greeting in India and South East Asia.