Nature and Discipline of Monastic Sangha AO1

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Nature of the Monastic Sangha

  • Established by the Buddha for the holy man in India
  • Provides the best opportunities and conditions for enlightenment
  • Close interdependence- monks guide the lay people
  • Therevadin- all men are ordained at some point, the monastic sangha is highly valued
  • Mahayana- takes on different forms and functions and have roles in key lay ceremonies
  • Leave wordly life and remove the defilements of the three mental poisons
  • In all schools of Buddhism it is viewed as a higher level of virtue than lay life
  • Bearers and preservers of the Buddhist tradition
  • Viharas can be the centre of the village and focus of community life
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Discipline of the Monastic Sangha

  • Follow the authority of the abbot, the rules set out in the vinaya texts (217 rules for example celibacy and not handling money)
  • They only have the requisities- an alms bowl, robe, razor and toothbrush.  These are the only things required to live a life without craving
  • They are required to learn the patimokkha (227 rules for men, 311 rules for women)
  • These ensure comfort and protect the sangha along with helping destroy the 3 mental poisons
  • There are 5 extra precepts for monks
  • They are required to recite the vinaya every two weeks
  • There are rules to transform the mind and behaviour.  They are arranged in varying degrees of gravity with varying levels of punishment, the ultimate being dismissal
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