In Classical India, society was structured so that the first-born son inherited his parents land, profession, and dharma in life.
Daughters were sold off via arranged marriages where they could and the remaining children went to the Ashram.
This is because thousands of years ago, India was already suffering from overpopulation and scarcity of resources. For every 2 people who got together and bred, only 1 of their children (plus the wife he took off another couple’s hands to be his cook, servant, maid, sex-slave and baby-making machine) could inherit that land and keep doing the same thing his parents did.
Birth control was spotty at best at the time, and you can’t very realistically try to rationally convince a married couple to not fuck for the good of society, so what do you do with the remaining children?
That’s where meditation comes into play (yes, there are myriad health and psychological benefits of meditation and I’m not trying to dispel any of that), but when you really get down to the roots of the matter, what is meditation and the life of someone spent in monastic “spiritual hermitage”?
You curl your body up into the most sustainable way of taking up the least amount of space possible. Furthermore, meditation is a silent process. Maybe you incorporate some soft muttering of mantras or chanting OMs, but in a lot of cases it is silent.
On top of this, many monks are vegetarian, take vows of silence, and also vows of celibacy.
What this all boils down to again is “sit down and shut up”. More specifically, the life of a child sent to the Ashram is one where, because there is no room for them and no resources and no one wants to hear them bitch, they adopt the most effective way of taking up as little space as possible, moving around as little as possible, talking as little as possible, eating as little as possible, using as little resources as possible, and most importantly: never reproducing.