Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: TT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

6. Community (Sangha)

28/10/201017:06(Xem: 1759)
6. Community (Sangha)

 

Buddha and Buddhism

 

6. Community (Sangha)


After the Buddha's death in 483 BC, the first Buddhist Council was led by Mahakassapa during which Ananda recited the discourses on the doctrine and Upali the rules of the discipline. These were then memorized and became the first two baskets of the Pitaka, the Sutta and Vinaya. Buddhism added abstinence from intoxicants to the four cardinal rules of abstaining from violence, stealing, lying, and sexual misconduct.

At Buddhist gatherings the Pratimokshasutra was recited, followed by confessions of monks who felt they had violated any of it. The four offenses that led to expulsion were having sexual intercourse, taking what was not given, taking of a human life or persuading anyone to commit suicide, and falsely boasting of supernatural attainments. The thirteen offenses deserving suspension included sexual misdemeanors, harming living beings by building a hut, falsely accusing another monk of a major offense, persisting in causing divisions in the community, and refusing to move when admonished by other monks. Other minor violations were eating between meals, attending secular entertainment, using unguents and jewelry, using high or luxurious beds, and handling money.

A century after the death of the Buddha the monks of Vaishali relaxed the rules on ten minor points, leading to contributions of money to the monks which was protested by the elder Yasa, who organized a council to condemn the changed rules. The easterners from Vaishali became known as Mahasanghikas, and the traditional westerners Theravada. According to tradition Theravada soon divided into eleven sects and Mahasanghikas into seven. Thus Buddhism was administered locally, though a monk could reside in any monastery irrespective of sect.

In the third century BC the Emperor Ashoka tried to unite the Buddhists, but he was stricken with remorse when his minister beheaded monks refusing to comply. Advised by the most learned monk of the time, Moggaliputta Tissa, all monks who did not follow the Theravada were dismissed from the community, and refutations of heretical views were published in the Kathavatthu of the Abhidamma basket. The number of sects was reduced, but others later denied that Ashoka ever held such a council. Regardless of whether that council was held, the support of Ashoka for Buddhism greatly expanded its influence so that it was even adopted and promoted by Greek rulers such as Menander.

The deification of the Buddha by the non-Theravadins led to the ideal of the Bodhisattva or future Buddha instead of the mere arhat. Bodhisattvas are enlightened persons, who postpone their own nirvana in order to help save all sentient creatures. This along with the conception of the pure mind (vijnana) eventually led to the "Greater Vehicle" or Mahayana Buddhism.

According to Edward Conze the earliest part of the Prajnaparamita Sutra is from about the first century BC.9 It explains that the Bodhisattva comprehending the truth does not retire into the blessed rest but dwells in wisdom to help others. In this wisdom one finds that all truths are empty. The Bodhisattva assured of future Buddhahood by previous Buddhas, whether absorbed in trance or not, knows the essential original nature. Seeing everything and everyone as illusion the Bodhisattva is not attached to anything, while guiding all beings to nirvana. The world is transcended in this practice of wisdom, the highest perfection. Later during the Christian era this form of Buddhism was to spread into China and throughout Asia.

Among the major religions Buddhism is unusual, like Jainism, in that it did not originally believe in God, though it recognized gods and goddesses and heavens and hells. Less stringent and more popular than the ascetic Jainism, it's emphasis on ethical behavior and the quest for enlightenment appealed to both those who renounced the world and laypeople. Though it also offered excellent individual models of ethical behavior and friendly attitudes, except in its religious community it was unable to convert society as a whole to its way of nonviolence any more than Jainism could.

Nevertheless in my opinion both Jainism and Buddhism even more provided outstanding examples of supremely ethical attitudes and actions. They were not afraid to criticize the priestly corruptions of Brahminism nor the violent ambitions of the ruling class (Kshatriyas). Mahavira and the Buddha were great teachers and leaders, and the non-theistic religions they founded nourished and enriched the spiritual tradition of India and encouraged ethical behavior among its people.

Perhaps the greatest contribution they both made was to make nonviolence a noble path in a culture where the word for noble (Aryan) had stood for racism based on color and the violent conquest of India. Their devotion to truthfulness and their ability to live simple lives with few material possessions as well as their chastity kept their lives relatively pure and free of entanglements and exploitation. Though surely not without their individual imperfections and occasional schisms, the good contributed to the world by these teachings and the lives of their best followers must have been substantial.

Notes

1. Samyutta Nikaya (author's version), 5:420.

2. Thomas, Edward J., The Life of the Buddha, p. 88.

3. Maha Parinibbana Suttanta 6:7 (156).

4. Brahma-Jala Sutta 1:9 (4).

5. Dhammapada (author's version), 2:1-3.

6. Ibid. 18:17-19.

7. Ibid. 25:20-22.

8. The Questions of King Milinda tr. T. W. Rhys Davids, 4:4:16.

9. The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines & Its Verse Summary tr. Edward Conze, p. x.


 

Gửi ý kiến của bạn
Tắt
Telex
VNI
Tên của bạn
Email của bạn
31/10/201404:31(Xem: 10800)
A roof of the prayer hall collapsed early this morning at the Vietnamese Buddhist Center in far Southwest Houston. The Houston Fire Department tells Eyewitness News that no one was inside at the time and no one was hurt. An alarm went off about 1:45am this morning at the temple on Synott between Old Richmond and West Bellfort, alerting the monks who live on property the building to collapse. One Buddhist follower we spoke to says he received a phone call at home and just had to come see this for himself. A roof of the prayer hall collapsed at the Vietnamese Buddhist Center in far southwest Houston KTRK Photo/ Linh Nguyen "At first we didn't really believe it... We drove out here. Luckily nobody was in the building," said Khoa Ngo. The prayer hall can hold hundreds of people, and parts of the ceiling collapsed to the ground. HFD says engineers will inspect the building later today to determine what should happen next.
30/10/201412:48(Xem: 2883)
Two men shot in the head with a nail gun after an attack at a Buddhist temple Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2812103/Two-men-shot-head-nail-gun-attack-Buddhist-temple.html#ixzz3HaZ9wRnH Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
28/10/201407:44(Xem: 2511)
Disappeared, The Official Documentary for TwoTooMany. Released on the 26th of October, it marks 4months since the 2 Woodville High School boys where taken. Quoted from one of the main powers behind this campaign, Wathnak Vy “4 months of SADNESS”. After these 4 months, the 2 boys have not been returned. The Immigration Minister has still made no comment upon this issue. The Woodville High School Community and the Community abroad will continue to fight for these 2 boys and all Asylum Seeker rights. JLe Productions will continue to support them all the way. Official Correspondence: BringBackTheWoodvilleKids@gmail.com Twitter - @two_too_many FaceBook Group - bringbackthewoodvillekids --- Featuring --- Meredith Edwards Kyle Rigney Kevin Chung Wathnak Vy Kathy Nguyen Narridy Loechel Special Appearance from Neo Pitso --- Crew --- Director - Jordan Le Assistant Director – Jake Capasso and McKenzie Whyte Producer – Kenley Walter and Jordan Le Co-Producer – Alex
27/10/201410:09(Xem: 2869)
The Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation of Australia–New Zealand has received the news that the Former Prime Minister of Australia, The Honourable Edward Gough Whitlam passed away in Sydney on October 21st, 2014, aged 98 years. We Vietnamese Buddhists began arriving in Australia as refugees from communism in the mid-1970s during Mr. Whitlam’s term as Prime Minister. From our reading we know that the Late Former Prime Minister has become a legend, and that for his near century of life all Australians are grateful to him and admire, respect and honour him. He has through his determination and strength of spirit and to the best of his ability brought progress to Australia making her an equal among free, democratic and powerful nations of the world. Through audacious and welcome reforms to education, justice, health, etc… he made Australia and its people feel reassured and more confident in the future.
08/10/201408:15(Xem: 9358)
Dan Stevenson is neither a Buddhist nor a follower of any organized religion. The 11th Avenue resident in Oakland's Eastlake neighborhood was simply feeling hopeful in 2009 when he went to an Ace hardware store, purchased a 2-foot-high stone Buddha and installed it on a median strip in a residential area at 11th Avenue and 19th Street. He hoped that just maybe his small gesture would bring tranquillity to a neighborhood marred by crime: dumping, graffiti, drug dealing, prostitution, robberies, aggravated assault and burglaries.
02/10/201418:59(Xem: 2363)
Someone once said to me that nothing stays forever No state of mind, stays good or bad but it could, if we were together
05/08/201413:21(Xem: 4490)
Ai cũng có quyền được sống an toàn, lành mạnh và hạnh phúc. Vào ngày 26 tháng 06 năm 2014, các nhân viên Sở Di Trú đợi trước nhà của 2 em tị nạn Việtnam đang theo học ở Trường Trung Học Woodville. Khi hai cậu bé đi học về từ trường thì bắt đi và đưa đến Trại tạm Giam Inverbrackie ở Adelaide Hills, trong lúc bản thân hai câu bé không biết chuyện gì đang xảy ra với mình. Hôm sau đó, hai cháu được đưa đến Darwin bằng đường hàng không, và hiện đang bị giam giữ tai Wickham Point.
19/06/201407:21(Xem: 4264)
On December1 1955, in Montgomery Alabama, an African-American woman refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. That simple act of defiance for the cause of social justice became one of the most important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movements in the USA. That woman was Rosa Parks. The United States Congress called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. December 1 is commemorated in the US states of California and Ohio as “Rosa Parks Day”
26/05/201418:42(Xem: 4967)
The prison is a scary place, our mental prisons that we've created are no less terrifying. Buddhist Congress and Angulimala Fellowship bring us Ajahn Brahm as he shares his insights and wisdom on this prison-break, peppered distinctively with Ajahn's trademark Brahm Humor.
11/03/201415:20(Xem: 2456)
Visiting Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says that "Heaven is here and now. Don't look into the distance. The kingdom of God is really available in the here and now." San Diego, Calif. (USA) -- His head is shaved, his small frame wrapped in the brown robe of his faith. It is late morning, and Thich Nhat Hanh is bathed in a sunlit room talking about heaven.