By Mohan Wijayaratna
This ebook offers a shiny and specified photograph of the way of life and non secular practices of Buddhist clergymen and nuns within the vintage interval of Theravada Buddhism. the writer describes the way the Buddha's disciples institutionalized and ritualized his teachings approximately foodstuff, gown, funds, chastity, solitude, and discipleship. this practice represents a fantastic of non secular lifestyles that has been in India and South Asia for greater than thousand years. The advent by means of Steven Collins describes Theravada Buddhist literature, discusses the problem of the historic reliability of the texts, and gives huge feedback for additional studying. The publication may be of curiosity to students and scholars in Asian reviews, non secular experiences, anthropology, and historical past.
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Extra info for Buddhist Monastic Life: According to the Texts of the Theravada Tradition
They were free to stay in any place belonging to the Community, as long as there was room. They had the right to make use of the furniture, but were required to do so with care, as it was common property. Before leaving, they had to put everything back in its place (Pdcittiya rule 14, Vin IV 38-39, nuns7 Pdcittiya 110); they were not, for example, to leave pieces of furniture outside in the open, but had to put them back inside the monastery. If they could not tidy up themselves, they had to get someone else to do so.
The institution of the Retreat served rather to connect two different styles of life: traveling and being settled in one place. The Vinaya Pitaka and the Sutta Pitaka show that even after being given places to live, the Master and his disciples did not abandon traveling. We will return to this point. "Traveling" for a monk did not mean walking constantly day and night. When a group of monks arrived in a town or a village they might stay for several days or weeks, for as long as there were people to listen to the Buddha's teaching.
The king asked if he had known this when he entered as a novice. Nagasena explained: "I did not know why I was entering the Community, nor did I have any idea what the aim was. But I thought at the time, "These monks, the sons of the Sakyans, are learned men; they will give me an education/' And so I received that education and now I know the aim of the religious life/' It might seem as if anyone could join the Community for whatever reason. Many anecdotes from the Vinaya texts show this was not the case.