What is schism?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

What is schism?

Postby SarathW » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:39 am

As for confrontational reforms introduced from the bottom up, these have never been sanctioned by the tradition, and Theravadin history has no record of their ever succeeding. The only such reform mentioned in the Canon was Devadatta's attempted schism, introduced as a reform to tighten up the disciplinary rules. The Canon treats his attempt in such strongly negative terms that its memory is still very much alive in the Theravada mind set, making the vast majority of Buddhists reluctant to take up with confrontational reforms no matter how reasonable they might seem. And with good reason: Anyone who has to fight to have his/her ideas accepted inevitably loses touch with the qualities of dispassion, self-effacement, unentanglement with others, contentment with little, and seclusion — qualities the Buddha set forth as the litmus test for gauging whether or not a proposed course of action, and the person proposing it, were in accordance with the Dhamma.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... namic.html
===============

Any examples from recent events?
:reading:
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Re: What is schism?

Postby culaavuso » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:47 am

If you read the terms of service of the dharma wheel site here, there is a prohibition against discussion of a particular recent topic. Google can tell you more about it.

One might also consider the expulsion of Ajahn Brahm from the Wat Pah Pong community to be a relevant recent event. See this article for Ajahn Brahm's take on the series of events.
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Re: What is schism?

Postby SarathW » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:11 pm

Thanks.
Can we consider “Nikayas”,divisions such as Theravada, Mahayana etc.
as “Schism”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikaya_Buddhism

For example there are about 4 diffrent Nikayas in Sri Lanka.
Certain lower cast people are not ordained in some Nikayas.
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Re: What is schism?

Postby culaavuso » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:48 am

SarathW wrote:Thanks.
Can we consider “Nikayas”,divisions such as Theravada, Mahayana etc.
as “Schism”


The different ordination lineages are often viewed as a result of schisms in the Sangha. A good read about the ancient schisms of that sort can be found in Sects and Sectarianism by Bhikkhu Sujato. It covers a lot of ground in terms of the original splits that led to the different ordination lineages around today. "Mahayana" isn't an ordination lineage, so there was never really a schism that split Theravada from Mahayana. Mahayana is a body of texts and teachings, while Theravada is an ordination lineage. The other two lineages still around today are Dharmaguptaka and Mulasarvastivada. For information on the early historical events leading to the emergence of the Mahayana, it could be interesting to read The Bodhisattva Ideal: Essays on the Emergence of Mahayana. The first three essays from the book can be found online for free reading, while the last three I've only seen in the book.
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Re: What is schism?

Postby SarathW » Wed May 07, 2014 3:29 am

David said in another link:

No tradition / lineage, I am not into schisms and also not a bhikkhu.) However, my philosophy is the same as some other Theravada Buddhists; "original Buddhism" :tongue: whatever that is. For me Suttanta, early teachings, as far down on the Shramana trunk / root as one can go, back to Dipankara or even Taṇhaṃkara, if possible.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=20570#p288018
========

Are there schisms in Western countries. (USA, UK, Europe etc)?
What is the possibility of new schisms in the west?
How can we stop it?
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Re: What is schism?

Postby waterchan » Wed May 07, 2014 3:44 am

culaavuso wrote:One might also consider the expulsion of Ajahn Brahm from the Wat Pah Pong community to be a relevant recent event. See this article for Ajahn Brahm's take on the series of events.


Doesn't a schism require an intention to split? I also read somewhere that a schism requires five or more bhikkhus reciting the patimokkha separately from the rest of the sangha. Unfortunately I don't have the references at hand.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
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Re: What is schism?

Postby cooran » Wed May 07, 2014 6:53 am

Hello all,

This might be of interest:

Schism in the Sangha - Buddhist Monastic Code II by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

http://info-buddhism.com/sangha_schism.html

With metta,
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: What is schism?

Postby Dan74 » Wed May 07, 2014 9:54 am

SarathW wrote:Are there schisms in Western countries. (USA, UK, Europe etc)?
What is the possibility of new schisms in the west?
How can we stop it?


A schism to me means there was a disagreement, a conflict that resulted in a division. As has been mentioned, it is unlikely that this was how Mahayana originated. But even when there is an active schism, I don't think it is necessarily bad. There are often more than one sensible way of doing things and different predilections. Different lineages and practice styles can work better for different people.
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Re: What is schism?

Postby ArkA » Wed May 07, 2014 1:50 pm

“Nikayas”, divisions such as Theravada, Mahayana etc. are not “Schisms”. It's more like like-minded guys hanging together. They are just different lineages due to disagreements on Dhamma-Vinaya. And sometimes due to class system, as in Sri Lanka, which is sad to see in Buddhism. If SarathW considering the option, please consider that if you managed to pull a one it's a very bad kamma. Just kidding. :D

I have heard about some incidents where the notion "Schism" unfairly used by those who hold the power to suppress bottom up reforms or ideas which not align with the power.

"There are these five inhabitants of the states of deprivation, inhabitants of hell, who are in agony & incurable. Which five? One who has killed his/her mother, one who has killed his/her father, one who has killed an arahant, one who — with a corrupted mind — has caused the blood of a Tathagata to flow, and one who has caused a split in the Sangha. These are the five inhabitants of the states of deprivation, inhabitants of hell, who are in agony & incurable."

- Anguttara Nikaya 5.129, Parikuppa Sutta


Anyway, to seriously fall into a schism, first, one must take one or more from below mentioned eighteen points (against Dhamma-Vinaya) with the wilful intention of splitting a united (same communion) Sangha. Then, he must do Uposatha separately in the same Sima (boundary). Here same communion means those who follow the same interpretation of Vinaya and do Uposatha together.

"Now, Sariputta, a speaker of non-dhamma is to be known by eighteen points: In such a case, Sariputta, a monk explains

    (1) non-dhamma as dhamma,
    Dhamma as non-dhamma;
    (2) non-discipline as discipline,
    discipline as non-discipline;
    (3) what was not spoken, not uttered by the tathagata as spoken, uttered by the tathagata,
    what was spoke, uttered by the tathagata as not spoken, not uttered by the tathagata;
    (4) what was not practised by the tathagata as practised by the tathagata,
    what was practised by the tathagata as not practised by the tathagata;
    (5) what was not laid down by the tathagata as laid down by the tathagata,
    what was laid down by the tathagata as not laid down by the tathagata;
    (6) no offence as an offence,
    an offence as no offence;
    (7) a slight offence as a serious offence,
    a serious offence as a slight offence;
    (8) an offence which can be done away with as an offence which cannot be done away with,
    an offence which cannot be done away with as an offence which can be done away with;
    (9) he declares a very bad offence as not a very bad offence,
    he explains not a very bad offence as a very bad offence.
Sariputta, a speaker of non-dhamma is to be known by these eighteen points.

- The Book of Discipline IV, page 506 (Vinaya, Mahavagga, 10. Kosambaka Khandhaka)


Vinaya has a whole section regarding Schisms. Ref: The Book of Discipline V, page 253 onwards (Vinaya, Culavagga, 7. Sanghabhedaka Khandhaka) or BMC II page 354.

Edit: The incident in Kosambaka also talked about a similar incident where it came very close to a Schism. Also, here monk's literally asked the Buddha to "get lost!" Ref: The Book of Discipline IV, page 506 (Vinaya, Mahavagga, 10. Kosambaka Khandhaka).
I'll restart my yearlong meditation retreat on 15th June 2014, hence will not be here.

"Bhikkhus, there are these three things that shine when exposed, not when concealed. What three? (1) The moon. (2) The sun. (3) The Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata."
- Anguttara Nikaya, 3.131, Paticchanna Sutta

"Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation."
– Rumi

Introduction: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=20572
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Re: What is schism?

Postby SarathW » Thu May 08, 2014 12:41 am

Venerable Thanissaro has mentioned that there is a consciousness outside the five aggregate.
Eg:
"Because none of the aggregates were involved in the experience of the deathless, and
yet there was still an awareness of that dimension"

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... 130123.pdf

=======================

It apperars there is a disagreement among monks about this matter.
When I had a discussion with a friend he pointed out:

The "consciousness without surface" mentioned in MN 49 is "viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ". The "consciousness" referenced there is thus "viññāṇa", the same word used in the five aggregates and the twelve links of dependent origination.

For an interesting discussion on this issue from another perspective, Bhikkhu Sujato has written a series of blog posts:

Nibbana is not viññāṇa. Really, it just isn’t.
http://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/ ... e2%80%99t/

Nibbana is still not Viññāṇa
http://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/ ... e1%b9%87a/

Nibbana remains not Viññāṇa
http://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/ ... t-vinnana/

Bhikkhu Sujato's second posting also makes a statement about what Bhikkhu Bodhi's perspective is:
Bhikkhu Sujato wrote:Given all these uncertainties, it is not possible to establish one definitive interpretation of the phrase. I have suggested that it is a reference to the formless attainment of infinite consciousness, which is surely the most obvious reading (since it actually says ‘infinite consciousness’!). Bhikkhu Bodhi prefers to read it as a reference to the arahant’s meditative experience of Nibbana; while this is not an unproblematic reading, it is certainly defensible.

===============================
There is also a current thread in this regard:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=20626
================================

Qestion:
Has Ven. Thanissrao commit a schism or has pave the way to schism.?
:thinking:
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Re: What is schism?

Postby ArkA » Thu May 08, 2014 1:26 am

SarathW wrote:Qestion:
Has Ven. Thanissrao commit a schism or has pave the way to schism.?
:thinking:


Oh! Let's say Ven. Thanissaro holds to non-dhamma, but still we don't know his intention. Perhaps, it's scholarly blindness. It's better to ask Ven. Thanissaro whether he has an evil intention to split a united Sangha. :)

However, those who take non-dhamma -- to split the Sangha or not -- might escape in Vinaya wise by not doing separate Uposathas in the same Sima, but definitely they will go very far in bad kamma wise.
I'll restart my yearlong meditation retreat on 15th June 2014, hence will not be here.

"Bhikkhus, there are these three things that shine when exposed, not when concealed. What three? (1) The moon. (2) The sun. (3) The Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata."
- Anguttara Nikaya, 3.131, Paticchanna Sutta

"Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation."
– Rumi

Introduction: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=20572
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Re: What is schism?

Postby SarathW » Fri May 09, 2014 4:07 am

"class system, as in Sri Lanka"

Actually it is the cast system.
This is one reason I do not have much faith in Sri Lankan monks.
They break the very basic rules of Buddha's teaching - conceit. (Mana)

Is this a violation of Vinaya?
======
ps: By the way this is the profile of our family cast, if you like to know what "cast" means.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appuhamy
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Re: What is schism?

Postby ArkA » Fri May 09, 2014 2:32 pm

It is a violation of Buddha's words! Some talked about a deviated Thai buddhism from the original egalitarian spirit of the Sangha. So does Sri Lankan Buddhism. In Sri Lanka, prohibiting ordination for so-called lower casts was introduced by the Siamese sect, and then followed by the Amarapura sect. But the third, Ramanya sect doesn't follow this restriction.

Buddhism began in a society with a deeply rooted cast system, and went against it. Hence, after twenty years of the Sasana when Vinaya rules started emerging, there was no issue about not ordaining low class/cast people.

17. "Whosoever debased by his pride, exalts himself and belittles other — know him as an outcast.

21. "Not by birth is one an outcast; not by birth is one a brahman. By deed one becomes an outcast, by deed one becomes a brahman.

- Sutta Nipata 1.7, Vasala Sutta


(4) Just as the mighty rivers on reaching the great ocean lose their former names and designations and are just reckoned as the great ocean; even so, when members of the four castes — nobles, brahmins, commoners and menials — go forth from home into the homeless life in this Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by the Tathāgata, they lose their former names and lineage and are reckoned only as ascetics following the Son of the Sakyans. This is the fourth wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline, which the monks perceive by reason of which they take delight in it.

- Anguttara Nikaya 8.19, Paharada Sutta
I'll restart my yearlong meditation retreat on 15th June 2014, hence will not be here.

"Bhikkhus, there are these three things that shine when exposed, not when concealed. What three? (1) The moon. (2) The sun. (3) The Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata."
- Anguttara Nikaya, 3.131, Paticchanna Sutta

"Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation."
– Rumi

Introduction: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=20572
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