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Institutional Authority: A Buddhist Perspective

Institutional Authority: A Buddhist Perspective Institutional Authority A Buddhist Perspective Dhammanand Bhikkhun (Chatsumarn Kabilsingh) Songdhammakalyani Monastery, Thailand rules and authority in the early days of the sagha After the Buddha gained enlightenment, he addressed the group of five people (pañcavaggya) with whom he had once practiced austerities. Kondañña became enlightened, and eventually the whole group of five became enlightened, one after another. There was no need then to set any rules for them to follow, as they were all enlightened. In these early days, there was no material gain in the monastic lifestyle. People walked the monastic path out of sheer commitment. They were serious in pursuing their own spiritual path. As time went by, the teaching of the Buddha became more popular and his followers increased. Even then the Buddha did not think it was necessary to lay down any monastic rules (vinaya). This was clear when he turned down a proposal from Sriputta, his immediate disciple, that he should lay down some rules. Monastic rules came into existence only when specific problems arose in the community for consideration. The very first rule was laid down because Sudinna, a young monk, had sex with his own wife when he visited his parents' http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Institutional Authority: A Buddhist Perspective

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 30 (1) – Sep 30, 2010

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
ISSN
1527-9472
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Abstract

Institutional Authority A Buddhist Perspective Dhammanand Bhikkhun (Chatsumarn Kabilsingh) Songdhammakalyani Monastery, Thailand rules and authority in the early days of the sagha After the Buddha gained enlightenment, he addressed the group of five people (pañcavaggya) with whom he had once practiced austerities. Kondañña became enlightened, and eventually the whole group of five became enlightened, one after another. There was no need then to set any rules for them to follow, as they were all enlightened. In these early days, there was no material gain in the monastic lifestyle. People walked the monastic path out of sheer commitment. They were serious in pursuing their own spiritual path. As time went by, the teaching of the Buddha became more popular and his followers increased. Even then the Buddha did not think it was necessary to lay down any monastic rules (vinaya). This was clear when he turned down a proposal from Sriputta, his immediate disciple, that he should lay down some rules. Monastic rules came into existence only when specific problems arose in the community for consideration. The very first rule was laid down because Sudinna, a young monk, had sex with his own wife when he visited his parents'

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 30, 2010

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