JKhedrup wrote:This is true in many respects. At the same time, the culture prevalent in India at the time of Lord Buddha's teachings is connected with some of his discourses, how could it not be? That is why many of the Vinaya rules to a modern audience may seem a bit odd.
I agree with Gregory Schopen (2006: 316; 2007: 61) that this strange state of affairs may mean that Aśoka [304-232 BCE] did not know anything about buddhist monasteries, which indeed may not yet have existed at that time. We know that Buddhism started off as a group of mendicants, and Aśoka’s inscription counts as evidence that this group was still not in a position to receive collective gifts at his time.
Schopen (2006: 317): “If the compilers of the various Vinayas considered it ‘highly important’ to regulate the lives of their monks so as to give no cause for complaint to the laity, and if considerations of this sort could only have assumed high importance after buddhist groups had permanently settled down, then, since the latter almost certainly did not occur until well after Aśoka, it would be obvious that all the Vinayas that we have are late, precisely as both Wassilieff and Lévi have suggested a hundred years ago.”
Schopen, 2007: 61: “Even in the later inscriptions from Bharhut and Sanchi there are no references to vihāras, and they begin to appear—though still rarely—only in Kharosṭḥī records of a little before and a little after the Common Era, about the same time that the first indications of permanent monastic residential quarters begin to appear in the archaeological record for the Northwest, and this is not likely to be mere coincidence.” Buddhist literature also preserves traces of an opposition between monks who lived in monasteries and those who lived in the wild; see Freiberger, 2006. Ray (1994: 399 ff.) suggests that buddhist monasticism arose in emulation of the rival brahmanical tradition; both shared two central preoccupations: a concern for behavioral purity and a preoccupation with the mastery of authoritative religious texts.
It seems different traditions have different takes on the rules.
My Theravada teachers told me the Vinaya must be upheld in its entirety if possible because Mahakassapa stated to Ananda that since he did not specifically ask Lord Buddha which rules were major and minor, all of them should be upheld.
Is it possible for you to explain the idea of "remainders" without overstepping the mark?JKhedrup wrote:Geshe Sonam gave some great teachings on the Tibetan Vinaya in France last year and I would love to share them here. Because of the taboo about laypeople not looking at the Vinaya that we find in Tibetan Buddhism (and I think in Mahayana Buddhism in general) I am not free to post it here.
Generally, though, I can say that Geshe la feels both the defeats and remainders are very important trainings, because the remainders are regarded as very heavy in the Vinaya literature.
I see, thanks. I was thinking it meant something about a karmic remainder, doh.JKhedrup wrote:The remainders (Sanghadisesa) are the second heaviest class of transgression, after defeats. Defeats require disrobing but not the remainders.
They are called remainders because something of the vows remains but they have been rather seriously damaged. Traditionally, when one has been compromised by a remainder this is healed through a disciplinary procedure.
JKhedrup wrote:Where is that verse from?
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