A man who never saw a woman in the lifespan of 82 years.


What would it be like if you were confined within four walls for lifetime? What exists outside those walls remains a complete mystery. With knowing nothing of the allurements of outside world, one remains at peace from the things that distract. May be this is the reason that the monks of Mount Athos do not allow any sort of distraction, from the path if spirituality, to break in.

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This story is of a monk who spent his entire life in a monastery and had no contact with the outside world. The monastery condemned the entry of women inside and hence he never layed his eyes on any woman in fact was unaware of the existence of women.

Mihailo Tolotos, said to be born in 1856 lost his mother just 4 hours after he was born. With no one to take the responsibility, few men abandoned him on the steps of a monastery and the boy was adopted by the monks. He was named Michael Tolotos and was bought up to be a monk who never stepped out of the doors of monastery. He died in 1938 at the age of 82 without the knowledge that even women does exist.

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In the year 1046, a Greek law called Avaton was imposed by the Byzantine emperor Constantine Monomachos which restricted the entry of women atop the mountain Athos. The aim of the law was to save the monks from being distracted from the spiritual path. Opinions were that women have the potential to misguide the monks and these views still clouds mountain Athos. Women are still not allowed in the premises of the mountain, only men with the purpose of tourism or becoming a part of monastery, are allowed to explore the place.

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The monks are still prohibited from venturing out of the four walls, bathe, fight, shave or question the possibilities of external world.

Sounds hard to believe but these monks are actually leading the life that we can’t even dream of.