"The second mechanistic-revolution was followed by a general rejection of religion. While worship was never prohibited by law, the pious were despised by the
masses: prayers do not rebuild civilization. However, humanity is weak. It craves subjugation to a higher power. Realizing that religion could never be eradicated
from our psychology, the Infinite Empire merged Buddhism and Altruism to create a suitable spiritual refuge for those fools. We came to know these sinners and
criminals as the Labor Monks. These outcasts reject social participation in favor of backbreaking drudgery, seeking redemption in their solitude. But do not
mistake their self-imposed isolation for weakness. They have willingly confined themselves to the most vicious of environments, scuttling deep within the core of
Cloud City and the mines, excavating link fluid for their shrouded masters."
The Labor monks are miscreants who have converted to the Infinite Empire's official religion.
Bhikshu Morse: Soldier... I... our Sangha in the west... Naga, great Naga. We three came looking... only me... only me.
Bhikshu Dillon: Are you visiting our Sangha to inspect the mines? Lately, we’re suffering through times of duhka. Find our Arhat south from here in the temple. Hear his word. Namaste, namaste.
Bhikshu Golic: She was wild and restless, her dvesha destructive. This blonde bhikshuni is our samudaya. She came. Accidents happened. Machines failed.
Bhikshu Aaron: We hit a strong vein, but then the pumps failed. Madhyamaka. Not this, not that.
Arhat Andrews: Namaste, soldier. Our karma is tested. The lower parts of the mine flooded. We sealed the entrance. Pretas have arisen from the raw fluid and roam the tunnels. For now, we can only sit, wait, and practice our samadhi.
Bhikshu Rains: We’re trapped. Hunted by tribesmen outside. Punished by our forsaken brothers below. And through the southern shaft the great Naga devours everything.
Bhikshu Clemens: Imagine sitting on a beach, greeting the good waves and turning away the bad. Sounds tedious…
Arhat Andrews: Namaste again, soldier. I apologize to fall out of character, but please: Take that freakish dynamite and blow open the mine-entrance right here. Then smash that devilish girl over the head, so we can go back and be nice, orange idiots.
Bhikshu David: (After obtaining Stardust) Oh, so you escaped the Naga and reclaimed the stardust explosives? That’s even better than Nirvana, brother. Head back to the monastery and blow open the entrance to the mines.
Bhikshu Murphy: Some of our brothers may have found sanctuary below the flooded shafts. If you get all three pumps working, we may be able to reach them before the shadows do.
Bhikshu Murphy: (After killing Mr. P) Wait, what? A large banana protected the last pump? Did you sniff too much link fluid gas? But thanks anyway, I want to reach nirvana before lunch.
Bhikshu Morse: Our brothers below are lost to Shunyata. Show no mercy, be mara herself.
Bhikshu Boggs: We all must overcome avidya. Learn to suffer. We tried to show her the way. Labor, fasting, rites of submission. She was stubborn, so I broke her rupa.
Bhikshu Bishop: (After reviving with Transient Heart) Light… there’s a light at the end of the… Wait, I’m not dead? Marty wasn’t so lucky. There was no light for most of her short life. You need to go even deeper underground. Make it shine. Bring her the light.
Much of the Labor Monks vocabulary consists of terms from Buddhism.
Arhat - A perfected person, one who has achieved nirvana.
Bhikshu/Bhikshuni - Male/female members of the Buddhist community.
Sangha - A community or association.
Dvesha - Hatred or anger.
Duhka - The fundamental suffering and pain of mundane life.
Samudaya - The "origin," specifically the origin of duhka.
Madhyamaka - An intermediate school of Buddhism, between the Sarvastivada and Yogacara schools.
Shunyata - Emptiness or nonexistence.
Mara - A demonic, celestial king associated with death, rebirth, and desire.
Avidya - To not know or not understand, the opposite of "vidya."
Rupa - The physical existence and appearance of objects.
Nirvana - The ultimate state of enlightenment and liberation from repeated birth.
Preta - Also known as a "hungry ghost," a supernatural being undergoing more suffering than humans.
Samadhi - A state of meditative consciousness.
Karma - The spiritual principle of cause and effect.
Namaste - A customary Hindu greeting.