Sima?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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theravada_guy
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Sima?

Postby theravada_guy » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:18 am

Greetings all,

I've encountered the term "sima" before. I know it's a boundary stone, but what boundary? What is the purpose of a sima?
With metta,

Justin

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Re: Sima?

Postby salmon » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:06 am

~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~

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Re: Sima?

Postby theravada_guy » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:43 pm

Thank you salmon. I have that site bookmarked, but never have I seen that link. Huh. Thanks!
With metta,

Justin

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Re: Sima?

Postby Bankei » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:35 am

A siima is basically a boundary. There are many different types of sima. The most common one is the boundary surrounding the Uposatha hall (Bot in Thai). There are usually 9 stones which are installed in during a ceremony with Pali chanting etc when they are laid. Formal monastic matters (sanghakamma) are undertaken within the boundaries. This includes ordinations and Patimokha recitations. They were probably developed because unanimous decisions need to be made by the monks so it was necessary to make a boundary to exclude those not participating in the ceremony.

Simas can also be defined by natural barriers such as water (eg an island) or bush.

Many controversies have occurred around centering around sima. King Mongkut, before he was King had many boundary sima stones in Thailand dug up and he concluded they had been placed wrong. This threw doubt on the validity of the ordinations performed in these simas.

In Sri Lanka the Siyam Nikaya, the lineage imported from Thailand, split into two because of a sima dispute. Ordinations were being conducted in the Kalyani river on a small raft. A plank had been placed so that monks could walk over to the island sima. A small gap was left between the raft, but one faction said that this encroached on the sima and made it invalid and therefore the ordinations invalid.
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Re: Sima?

Postby theravada_guy » Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:32 pm

Thanks Bankei. Your explanation helped me quite a bit. :anjali:
With metta,

Justin

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Re: Sima?

Postby cooran » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:03 am

Hello all,

This might be of Assistance:

Buddhist Monastic Code II - Appendix I - by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

A. Territories (sīmā)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .app1.html

with metta
Chris
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theravada_guy
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Re: Sima?

Postby theravada_guy » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:58 am

Thanks Chris. I have a copy of "The Buddhist Monastic Code" coming in the mail from Wat Metta.
With metta,

Justin

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Re: Sima?

Postby Sylvester » Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:29 am

Bankei wrote:A siima is basically a boundary. There are many different types of sima. The most common one is the boundary surrounding the Uposatha hall (Bot in Thai). There are usually 9 stones which are installed in during a ceremony with Pali chanting etc when they are laid. Formal monastic matters (sanghakamma) are undertaken within the boundaries. This includes ordinations and Patimokha recitations. They were probably developed because unanimous decisions need to be made by the monks so it was necessary to make a boundary to exclude those not participating in the ceremony.



Hi Bankei

I think the 9 stones are perhaps used only by the Thais in their "Fang Roop Nimit" ceremony, but I'm not sure if 9 are used in other Theravada traditions. "Fang Roop Nimit" = Placing the Rupa Nimittas, the rupa nimittas being the visible markers of the 8 traditional siima markers. The central one marking the navel may be a purely Thai innovation.

With metta


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