The Info List - Vinaya

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The Vinaya
( Pali
and Sanskrit, literally meaning "leading out", "education", "discipline") is the regulatory framework for the sangha or monastic community of Buddhism
based on the canonical texts called the Vinaya
Pitaka. The teachings of the Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
can be divided into two broad categories: Dharma
"doctrine" and Vinaya
"discipline". Extant vinaya texts include those of the Theravada
(the only one in Pali), the Kāśyapīya, the Mahāsāṃghika, the Mahīśāsaka, the Dharmaguptaka, the Sarvāstivāda and the Mūlasarvāstivāda.[1]


1 Overview 2 Texts 3 Traditions

3.1 Theravada 3.2 East Asian Buddhism 3.3 Tibetan Buddhism

4 Use in Mahāyāna Buddhism 5 Interpretation 6 See also 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External links

Overview[edit] At the heart of the Vinaya
is a set of rules known as Patimokkha in Pāli and Prātimokṣa
in Sanskrit. The Vinaya
was orally passed down from the Buddha to his disciples. Eventually, numerous different Vinayas arose in Buddhism, based upon geographical or cultural differences and the different schools of Buddhism
that developed. Three of these are still in use: Theravadin (Theravada), Mulasarvastivadin (the schools of Tibetan Buddhism) and Dharmaguptakin (East Asian Buddhism). The Vinayas are the same in substance and have only minor differences. Texts[edit] The Prātimokṣa
is traditionally a section of the Vinaya. The Theravada
is preserved in the Pāli Canon
Pāli Canon
in the Vinaya Piṭaka. The Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya
is preserved in both the Tibetan Buddhist canon
Tibetan Buddhist canon
in the Kangyur, in a Chinese edition, and in an incomplete Sanskrit
manuscript. Some other complete vinaya texts are preserved in the Chinese Buddhist canon
Chinese Buddhist canon
(see: Taishō Tripiṭaka), and these include:

(T. 1421) Mahāsāṃghika
(T. 1425) Dharmaguptaka
(T. 1428) Sarvāstivāda Vinaya
(T. 1435) Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya
(T. 1442)

Traditions[edit] Theravada[edit] Main article: Vinaya
Pitaka Buddhism
in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Thailand
followed the Theravadin Vinaya, which has 227 rules[2] for bhikkhus and 311[3] for bhikkhunis. As the nun's lineage died out in all areas of the Theravada
school, traditionally women's roles as renunciates were limited to taking eight or ten Precepts: see women in Buddhism. Such women appears as maechi in Thai Buddhism, dasa sil mata in Sri Lanka, thilashin in Burma and siladharas at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery
Amaravati Buddhist Monastery
in England. More recently, women have been undergoing upasampada as bhikkhuni, although this is a highly charged topic within Theravadin communities: see ordination of women in Buddhism East Asian Buddhism[edit] Buddhists in China, Korea, Taiwan
and Vietnam
follow the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya
(四分律),[4][5] which has 250 rules[6] for the bhikkhus and 348 rules[7] for the bhikkhunis. Some schools in Japan
technically follow this, but many monks there are married, which can be considered a violation of the rules. Other Japanese monks follow the Bodhisattva Precepts only, which was excerpted from the Mahāyāna version of Brahmajālasutra (梵網經). And the Bodhisattva
Precepts contains two parts of precepts: for lay and clergy. According to Chinese Buddhist tradition, one who wants to observe the Bodhisattva
Precepts for clergy, must observe the Ten Precepts and High Ordination [Bhikkhu or Bhikkhunī Precepts] first. Tibetan Buddhism[edit] Tibetan Buddhists in Tibet, Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, Ladakh
and other places follow the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya, which has 253 rules for the bhiksus and 364 rules for bhiksunis. In addition to these pratimokṣa rules, there are many supplementary ones. The full nun's lineage of the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya
was never transmitted to Tibet, and traditionally, Tibetan "nuns" were śramaṇerīs or simply took eight or ten Precepts, see ordination of women in Buddhism. Use in Mahāyāna Buddhism[edit] The Mahāyāna Bodhisattvabhūmi, part of the Yogācārabhūmi Śāstra, regards it an offense for monastics following the Mahāyāna to reject the traditional rules of the Vinaya:[8]

If he thinks or says, "A future buddha has nothing to do with learning or observing the law of the Vehicle of the Śrāvakas," he commits a sin of pollution (kliṣṭā āpatti).

Louis de La Vallée-Poussin
Louis de La Vallée-Poussin
wrote that the Mahāyāna relies on traditional full ordination of monastics, and in doing so is "perfectly orthodox" according to the monastic vows and rules of the early Buddhist traditions:[9]

From the disciplinary point of view, the Mahāyāna is not autonomous. The adherents of the Mahāyāna are monks of the Mahāsāṃghika, Dharmaguptaka, Sarvāstivādin and other traditions, who undertake the vows and rules of the bodhisattvas without abandoning the monastic vows and rules fixed by the tradition with which they are associated on the day of their Upasampad [full ordination].

Interpretation[edit] The Buddha constantly reminds his hearers that it is the spirit of the rules that counts. On the other hand, the rules themselves are designed to assure a satisfying life, and provide a perfect springboard for the higher attainments. Monastics are instructed by the Buddha to live as "islands unto themselves". In this sense, living life as the vinaya prescribes it is, as one scholar puts it: "more than merely a means to an end: it is very nearly the end in itself."[10] Surrounding the rules is a range of texts. Some of these explain the origins of the rules - it is possible to trace the development of the rules from responses to specific situations or actions to a general codification. There are also a number of sutta-like texts that are more general statements about Buddhist doctrine, or that give biographical details of some of the great disciples and their enlightenment. Other sections detail how the rules are to be applied, how breaches are to be dealt with, and how disputes amongst the monks are handled. It is thought that originally there were no rules and the Buddha and his disciples just lived in harmony when they were together. Most of the time they would have been wandering alone, but every year, during the monsoon season when travelling became impossible, the bhikkhus would come together for a few months. As the sangha became bigger and started accepting people of lesser ability who remained unenlightened, it became necessary to begin having rules. It seems that initially these were quite flexible and were adapted to the situation. By the time of the Buddha's death there would have been a body of rules bhikkhus were expected to follow. In the Mahaparinibbana Sutta
Mahaparinibbana Sutta
the Buddha, as part of his last teaching, tells the bhikkhus that they can abandon some minor rules, but that they should stick to the major ones, but there appears to have been some confusion over which was which. It was therefore decided that they would keep all of the rules. Immediately after the Buddha's death there was a council, at which all of the teachings were recited, collected, and sorted. Legend has it that the huge volume of teachings was recited from memory, with Ananda
reciting the dhamma and Upali reciting the Vinaya.[11] See also[edit]

First Buddhist Council Second Buddhist Council Early Buddhist Schools Schools of Buddhism


^ Keown, Damien. Dictionary of Buddhism. 2003. p. 220 ^ " Bhikkhu
Pāṭimokkha: The Bhikkhus' Code of Discipline". www.accesstoinsight.org. Retrieved 15 March 2018.  ^ "Bhikkhunī Pāṭimokkha: The Bhikkhunīs' Code of Discipline". www.accesstoinsight.org. Retrieved 15 March 2018.  ^ 四分律 http://www.cbeta.org/result/T22/T22n1428.htm ^ 解脫戒經 http://www.cbeta.org/result/normal/T24/1460_001.htm ^ (四分律比丘戒本) http://www.cbeta.org/result/normal/T22/1429_001.htm ^ (摩訶僧祇比丘尼戒本) http://www.cbeta.org/result/normal/T22/1427_001.htm ^ Silk, Jonathan. The Maharatnakuta Tradition: A Study of the Ratnarasi Sutra. Volume 1. 1994. pp. 9-10 ^ Silk, Jonathan. The Maharatnakuta Tradition: A Study of the Ratnarasi Sutra. Volume 1. 1994. p. 10 ^ Richard Gombrich, Theravada
Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo. Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988, page 89. He is quoting Carrithers. ^ Thakur, Amarnath (1996). Buddha and Buddhist Synods in India and Abroad. Abhinav Publications. p. 120. ISBN 9788170173175. 


Horner, I.B. (1970). The book of discipline Vol. I (Suttavibhaṅga), London Luzac, reprint. Horner, I.B. (1957). The book of discipline Vol. II (Suttavibhaṅga), London Luzac. Horner, I.B. (1957). The book of discipline Vol. III (Suttavibhaṅga), London Luzac. Horner, I.B. (1962). The book of discipline Vol. IV (Mahāvagga), London Luzac. 1. publ., reprint, Oxford: Pali
Text Society 1993. Horner, I.B. (1963). The book of discipline Vol. V (Cullavagga), London Luzac. Horner, I.B. (1966). The book of discipline Vol. VI (Parivāra), London Luzac. Ichimura, Shōhei (2006). "The Baizhang Zen
monastic regulations", Berkeley, Calif: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, ISBN 1-886439-25-7. Jayawickrama, N.A., trans. (1962). Inception of discipline and the Vinaya-Nidana, Sacred books of the Buddhists Vol. XXI, London Luzac. (Buddhagosas Samantapasadika, the Vinaya
commentary) Pruden, Leo M. (1995). "The essentials of the Vinaya
tradition", by Gyōnen, Berkeley, Calif: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, ISBN 0-9625618-9-4. Rhys Davids, T. W.; Oldenberg, Hermann, trans. (1881–85). Vinaya Texts, Sacred Books of the East, volumes XIII, XVII & XX, Clarendon/Oxford. Reprint: Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi (Dover, New York) Vol. XIII, Mahavagga I-IV, Vol. XVII, Mahavagga V-X, Kullavagga I-III, Vol. XX, Kullavagga IV-XII

External links[edit]

Sects & Sectarianism - The origins of Buddhist Schools Translations and extensive commentary on Theravada
(Vinaya section on www.accesstoinsight.org) The book of discipline Vol. I-VI, translated by I.B. Horner The Essence of the Vinaya
Ocean by Tsongkhapa

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