Schism

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Ron-The-Elder
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Schism

Post by Ron-The-Elder »

During a recent reading of The Vinaya Rules for Monks I came across this:
10. Should any bhikkhu agitate for a schism in a united Community, or should he persist in taking up an issue conducive to schism, the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: "Do not, venerable sir, agitate for a schism in a united Community or persist in taking up an issue conducive to schism. Let the venerable one be reconciled with the Community, for a united Community, on courteous terms, without dispute, with a common recitation, dwells in peace."

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke him up to three times for the sake of relinquishing that. If while being rebuked up to three times he relinquishes that, that is good. If he does not relinquish (that), it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

11. Should bhikkhus — one, two, or three — who are followers and partisans of that bhikkhu, say, "Do not, venerable sirs, admonish that bhikkhu in any way. He is an exponent of the Dhamma. He is an exponent of the Vinaya. He acts with our consent and approval. He knows, he speaks for us, and that is pleasing to us," the bhikkhus are to admonish them thus: "Do not say that, venerable sirs. That bhikkhu is not an exponent of the Dhamma and he is not an exponent of the Vinaya. Do not, venerable sirs, approve of a schism in the Community. Let the venerable ones' (minds) be reconciled with the Community, for a united Community, on courteous terms, without dispute, with a common recitation, dwells in peace."

And should those bhikkhus, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke them up to three times for the sake of relinquishing that. If while being rebuked up to three times they relinquish that, that is good. If they do not relinquish (that), it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

12. In case a bhikkhu is by nature difficult to admonish — who, when being legitimately admonished by the bhikkhus with reference to the training rules included in the (Pāṭimokkha) recitation, makes himself unadmonishable, (saying,) "Do not, venerable ones, say anything to me, good or bad; and I won't say anything to the venerable ones, good or bad. Refrain, venerable ones, from admonishing me" — the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: "Let the venerable one not make himself unadmonishable. Let the venerable one make himself admonishable. Let the venerable one admonish the bhikkhus in accordance with what is right, and the bhikkhus will admonish the venerable one in accordance with what is right; for it is thus that the Blessed One's following is nurtured: through mutual admonition, through mutual rehabilitation."

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke him up to three times for the sake of relinquishing that. If while being rebuked up to three times he relinquishes that, that is good. If he does not relinquish (that), it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

13. In case a bhikkhu living in dependence on a certain village or town is a corrupter of families, a man of depraved conduct — whose depraved conduct is both seen and heard about, and the families he has corrupted are both seen and heard about — the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: "You, venerable sir, are a corrupter of families, a man of depraved conduct. Your depraved conduct is both seen and heard about, and the families you have corrupted are both seen and heard about. Leave this monastery, venerable sir. Enough of your staying here."

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, say about the bhikkhus, "The bhikkhus are biased through favoritism, biased through aversion, biased through delusion, biased through fear, in that for this sort of offense they banish some and do not banish others," the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: "Do not say that, venerable sir. The bhikkhus are not biased through favoritism, are not biased through aversion, are not biased through delusion, are not biased through fear. You, venerable sir, are a corrupter of families, a man of depraved conduct. Your depraved conduct is both seen and heard about, and the families you have corrupted are both seen and heard about. Leave this monastery, venerable sir. Enough of your staying here."

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke him up to three times for the sake of relinquishing that. If while being rebuked up to three times he relinquishes that, that is good. If he does not relinquish (that), it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.
My first thought after reading it was, "If these rules were truly practiced, how did varieties of Schools and Traditions of Buddhism come into existence in the first place?" Then I reasoned that monastics are simply people with understandable propensities for difference of view just like us laypersons, as each of us is raised in these individualized flesh and water packages we call our bodies by different parents with their differing views arisen from their individual life experiences in different communities, nations, countries, regions, ecosystems, biomes, continents, and shortly: planets as man migrates from this planet Earth to other celestrial orbs, galaxies, universes in what seems to be an increasingly approaching future necessity as we corrupt and pollute our current home.

Logically, just as families eventually encourage and kick out their offspring as they mature, monks must have nudged their students out the door, much like we eject elementary school, high school, and college students using a more P.C. term for it, "graduation", encouraging them to go into the world and find their own way and experiences equipped and armed with what they have been taught, in this case: "The Dhamma". And, as their venues of living change, experiences vary, perspective and application of "The Dhamma" changes to adapt to newly arisen needs for adaptation. Darwin saw this with various birds as they moved by air from one isolated environmental and eco-system condition to another.

While the birds' adjustments and adaptations over the generations for the sake of survival eventually became physical resulting in variations of beak sizes in length and width, monks adjustments and adaptations to varying cultures became behavioral so that they could assimilate into the various communities they encountered. Therefore also "The Dhamma" evolved as cultural needs dictated to facilitate acceptance and adoption by members of the new communities the monks encountered.

Very recently we experienced an exact reenactment of such a pivotal sociological event as two Theravadan Bikkhus from Sri Lanka, one ninety year old Mahayana Nun and her attendant from Vietnam, visited with us and our ecumenical Buddhist meditation community. The four of them drove for two hours in a compact car from Boston, Mass. to Concord, New Hampshire. The two Bhikkhus joined with me to practice a walking meditation in one of our beautiful local city parks, White Park. We sat for an hour or so in meditation and discussion and discussed various suttas. We left the park for a quick culinary refreshment of tomato soup and lemonade at a nearby Friendly's restaurant. The ninety year old Mahayana nun refused the soup and drink opting instead for a plate of French Fries with Katsup. I lit up inside when I saw her do this.

We left for The Unitarian Church of Concord where our ecumenical Buddhist meditation community had prepared a welcoming meditation circle for our visitors. Our visitors were welcomed, a reading by our group leader of The Metta Sutta was given in English, and one of our visiting monks, Bhante' Dhammananda, offered to lead the monastic community in a recitation of The Metta Sutta in Pali, the original language of Gotama Buddha.

The bell signaling the beginning of meditation was sounded and Theravadan Monastics, Mahayana Monastics, Theravadan Laypersons, Mahayana Zen Laypersons, Tibetan Laypersons, and non-commited Laypersons sat together, each in silence observing the nature of their individual minds for about twenty minutes.

Later, after meditation period, the leader read a Tibetan commentary regarding the importance of continued development of skillfulness as a part of individual practice, shared how they individually related to what was read, and asked questions of our visitors.

It occurred to me, while there might have been differences in name among The Buddhists and practitioners, who sat in that room together, there was no schism in the sense of a warm thriving Buddhist and Meditation community. And that realization sat very well with me giving me a deep sense of peace.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Schism

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

Ron-The-Elder wrote:My first thought after reading it was, "If these rules were truly practiced, how did varieties of Schools and Traditions of Buddhism come into existence in the first place?
Splits occurred because the rules were not truly practised.

Second Buddhist Council
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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Schism

Post by JamesTheGiant »

It is also worth noting that the Mahayana - Theravada split was not a schism. It was just one group of monks going and doing something else somewhere else.
SarathW
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Re: Schism

Post by SarathW »

I thought all Buddhist monks got only one goal. The Nibbana.
There is no need to do something else.
:thinking:
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Re: Schism

Post by Zom »

My first thought after reading it was, "If these rules were truly practiced, how did varieties of Schools and Traditions of Buddhism come into existence in the first place?"
Because, as it seems, so called "schools" appeared not as doctrinal sects, but as administration units separated by geographical distance. When you have, lets say, a sangha in Australia and a sangha in Germany - these two will eventually develop into separate "schools" with different traditions and some doctrinal nuances - especially when they do not (or rarely) contact each other for a long time.
We left for The Unitarian Church of Concord where our ecumenical Buddhist meditation community had prepared a welcoming meditation circle for our visitors. Our visitors were welcomed, a reading by our group leader of The Metta Sutta was given in English, and one of our visiting monks, Bhante' Dhammananda, offered to lead the monastic community in a recitation of The Metta Sutta in Pali, the original language of Gotama Buddha.
I think ecumenical Buddhism will ruin true Dhamma, because it will mix together all wrong views and practices with the right ones. Buddhists schools are different, have certain insoluble contradictions, and this is the fact one should just accept. Without a doubt if a Buddha were to appear nowadays, he would establish a new "clean" school rather than try to mix all schools together.
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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Schism

Post by Ron-The-Elder »

zom: "I think ecumenical Buddhism will ruin true Dhamma, because it will mix together all wrong views and practices with the right ones. Buddhists schools are different, have certain insoluble contradictions, and this is the fact one should just accept. Without a doubt if a Buddha were to appear nowadays, he would establish a new "clean" school rather than try to mix all schools together."
Don't know the source of this quotation, but I find it valuable to my practice and my willingness not to judge living books by their cover.: "The truth (Dhamma) is the truth (Dhamma) no matter what the source."

An example: Recently I saw a lecture from HHDL regarding Climate Change, which was indistinguishable in content from a similar homily given by Pope Francis regarding the same topic. :toast:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Zom
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Re: Schism

Post by Zom »

"The truth (Dhamma) is the truth (Dhamma) no matter what the source."
Yes, but certain traditions will mix in non-truth, non-Dhamma, while you will keep thinking that it is truth and Dhamma. And the problem is that this will lead you in wrong direction.
SarathW
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Re: Schism

Post by SarathW »

See the following links. They are very clear cut Schism.

=============
Angry Asian Buddhist

White privilege & the mindfulness movement

And a white-backlash:
The Emergence of Western teachers of Buddhism

It may or may not be perceived negatively, but each of the above 3 are discussing Buddhist practices along race lines and the perceived harm found by all 3 authors.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 60#p359542" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Schism

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Sarath,
SarathW wrote:See the following links. They are very clear cut Schism.
As schismatic as they are in conventional terms, they don't constitute a schism in the sense of the Vinaya.

Metta,
Paul. :)
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"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Schism

Post by NotMe »

Please excuse my ignorance and errors and okie-ness. [12 steps intro: I am a contrarian and must walk backwards to present my best side and yes, my knuckles drag the ground - i was born this way - what's your excuse?]

This is light, empty of substance - maybe? We'll see.
Ron-The-Elder wrote: We left the park for a quick culinary refreshment of tomato soup and lemonade at a nearby Friendly's restaurant. The ninety year old Mahayana nun refused the soup and drink opting instead for a plate of French Fries with Katsup. I lit up inside when I saw her do this.
I lit up inside reading it! What an inspiration! What moxie!!! JUST when i thought there would be no way in, ahem, all of creation, that i would even *consider* myself {winces} Mahayana. It may be tooo late. Ummmm.... tomatoes and potatows ... or is it potatoes? Who said grease and sugar? Might as well be Quayle and Crow to this hillbilly!
:goodpost:
:rules:
:focus: on the breath ...
Ron-The-Elder wrote: It occurred to me, while there might have been differences in name among The Buddhists and practitioners, who sat in that room together, there was no schism in the sense of a warm thriving Buddhist and Meditation community. And that realization sat very well with me giving me a deep sense of peace.
How can this -> be said with tact because I was startled once when my teacher bluntly stated "Delusional concentration."

metta?

dig hole deeper:

1

2

1
2
Kum
Bye
Bye
Y'all

Kumbaya [consolidated] Lyrics:
[kudos to Peter, Paul, and Mary - BUY their music, please]
"Someone's sleeping, Lord, kumbaya"
Rinse and repeat


Reading "Buddhist Romanticism" by Ven. Thanissaro certainly resulted in an equitably subtle sense of schism.

In fact, one could say: "And that realization sat very well with me giving me a deep sense of peace."

To which my teacher might well, correction, would reply:

Delusional concentration.

No shock anymore to me.

metta
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Re: Schism

Post by Mkoll »

It seems to me that many of the different schools that developed did so at least in part because of doctrinal differences. I haven't read the Kathāvatthu itself, but from what I've read about it, many of the doctrines refuted within it were those of other early Buddhist schools. An example would be the Pudgalavādans, who held the doctrine that there was a "person" (pudgala) neither completely apart from nor completely the same as the aggregates and that it is this "person" who undergoes rebirth and experiences liberation. All other early Buddhist schools we know of rejected this concept.

I don't know if this is a "schism" according to the Vinaya, but it is absolutely a doctrinal schism.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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Re: Schism

Post by Ron-The-Elder »

Zom: "Yes, but certain traditions will mix in non-truth, non-Dhamma, while you will keep thinking that it is truth and Dhamma. And the problem is that this will lead you in wrong direction.
Yes. And that is why I take The Kalama Sutta, Buddha's advice to the Kalamas seriously. We Buddhists have not only a right, but an obligation to verify and validate for and by ourselves what is presented as "The Dhamma", truth, reality, as it is presented, taught, or proposed. Otherwise, there is no true penetration, discovery, or understanding in our individual practices. Otherwise, we are just parroting zombies and "believers" much like those that accept the rantings of preachers in the revival tents, what some have labeled: "sheeple". Jesus taught this principle to his diciples when he asked Peter to step from his ship while amidst a storm and walk to him over wind driven treacherous waves as the story is told in The Christian Gospel ◄ Matthew 14:29 ►:
28Peter said to Jesus approaching the ship in the troubled, stormy darkness, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"…
source: http://biblehub.com/matthew/14-29.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Now, as to our experience, how many of us have walked on water? Who among us would have sufficient faith to do so if commanded? Realizing this Buddha advises:
The criterion for rejection

4. "It is proper for you, Kalamas, to doubt, to be uncertain; uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill,' abandon them.
Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el008.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And then Buddha advises his son, Rahula in still another sutta regarding the need for reflection before, during and in retrospect with regard to our intentional action (kamma) to assess merit.:
"In the same way, Rahula, bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions are to be done with repeated reflection.

"Whenever you want to do a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any bodily action of that sort is fit for you to do.

"While you are doing a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

"Having done a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.

"Whenever you want to do a verbal action, you should reflect on it: 'This verbal action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful verbal action with painful consequences, painful results, then any verbal action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful verbal action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any verbal action of that sort is fit for you to do.

"While you are doing a verbal action, you should reflect on it: 'This verbal action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

"Having done a verbal action, you should reflect on it: 'This verbal action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful verbal action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful verbal action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.

"Whenever you want to do a mental action, you should reflect on it: 'This mental action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful mental action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful mental action with painful consequences, painful results, then any mental action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful mental action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any mental action of that sort is fit for you to do.

"While you are doing a mental action, you should reflect on it: 'This mental action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful mental action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

"Having done a mental action, you should reflect on it: 'This mental action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful mental action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful mental action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should feel distressed, ashamed, & disgusted with it. Feeling distressed, ashamed, & disgusted with it, you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful mental action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.
source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This is how Buddha advises us to come to know what is beneficial, right, harmonious and truthful: Test, validate, verify; reflect before, during, and after any volitional action, kamma.
Last edited by Ron-The-Elder on Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Schism

Post by Dhammanando »

Mkoll wrote:It seems to me that many of the different schools that developed did so at least in part because of doctrinal differences. I haven't read the Kathāvatthu itself, but from what I've read about it, many of the doctrines refuted within it were those of other early Buddhist schools. An example would be the Pudgalavādans, who held the doctrine that there was a "person" (pudgala) neither completely apart from nor completely the same as the aggregates and that it is this "person" who undergoes rebirth and experiences liberation. All other early Buddhist schools we know of rejected this concept.
"Pudgalavāda" is actually the name of the doctrine. The schools who held it were the Sammitiyas (an enormous school) and the Vajjiputtakas (medium-sized).
I don't know if this is a "schism" according to the Vinaya, but it is absolutely a doctrinal schism.
When two groups of monks are in dispute as to whether something is Dhamma or not-Dhamma, Vinaya or not-Vinaya, the Vinaya terms it a "conflict in the Order" (saṅgharuci). It becomes a "schism in the Order" (saṅghabheda) only when they're so much at odds with each other that they won't perform saṅghakammas together.
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
SarathW
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Re: Schism

Post by SarathW »

Bhante
In Sri Lanka, are all those four Nikaya groups (Amarapura Nikaya etc) do saṅghakammas together?
:thinking:
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Re: Schism

Post by Mkoll »

Dhammanando wrote:
Mkoll wrote:It seems to me that many of the different schools that developed did so at least in part because of doctrinal differences. I haven't read the Kathāvatthu itself, but from what I've read about it, many of the doctrines refuted within it were those of other early Buddhist schools. An example would be the Pudgalavādans, who held the doctrine that there was a "person" (pudgala) neither completely apart from nor completely the same as the aggregates and that it is this "person" who undergoes rebirth and experiences liberation. All other early Buddhist schools we know of rejected this concept.
"Pudgalavāda" is actually the name of the doctrine. The schools who held it were the Sammitiyas (an enormous school) and the Vajjiputtakas (medium-sized).
I don't know if this is a "schism" according to the Vinaya, but it is absolutely a doctrinal schism.
When two groups of monks are in dispute as to whether something is Dhamma or not-Dhamma, Vinaya or not-Vinaya, the Vinaya terms it a "conflict in the Order" (saṅgharuci). It becomes a "schism in the Order" (saṅghabheda) only when they're so much at odds with each other that they won't perform saṅghakammas together.
Thanks for the correction and the new information, Bhante.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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