Twenty-five centuries ago, there had long been a tradition of wandering mendicant, the Buddhist monks who took shelter in forests. Most of the time, Buddha and his disciples followed this tradition. They traveled in groups from village to village, offering teachings, receiving alms, and sleeping beneath the boughs of trees.
But, much of India had monsoon season then, just as it has today. Usually, the rains begin some time in June or July and continue till September or October. The incessant downpour didn't just make travel difficult for Buddha and his monks, but small animals that came out in the rains - leeches, snails, worms, frogs, would also get crushed underfoot. And occasionally, the monks travelling in the rains also damaged the newly planted rice paddies.
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