those days, there were many wandering monks who belonged to
various cults. They had left their families to become ascetics.
They believed that by starving themselves or tormenting their
bodies (asceticism) they would be reborn in heaven. Their
belief was that the more they suffered in this life, the more
pleasure they would receive in the future. So some ate extremely
little food, some stood on one foot for a long time, and others
slept on boards covered with sharp nails.