Sangha is a Sanskrit word used in many Indian languages, including Pali, meaning "association", "assembly", "company" or "community". It was used in a political context to denote a governing assembly in a republic or a kingdom, it is used in modern times by groups such as the political party and social movement Rashtriya Seva Sangh. It has long been used by religious associations including by Jains and Sikhs. In Buddhism sangha refers to the monastic community of bhikkhunis; these communities are traditionally referred to as the bhikkhuni-sangha. As a separate category, those who have attained any of the four stages of enlightenment, whether or not they are members of the monastic community, are referred to as the āryasaṅgha "noble Sangha". According to the Theravada school, the term "sangha" does not refer to the community of sāvakas nor the community of Buddhists as a whole. In a glossary of Buddhist terms, Richard Robinson et al. define sangha as: Sangha. Community; this word has two levels of meaning: on the ideal level, it denotes all of the Buddha’s followers, lay or ordained, who have at least attained the level of srotāpanna.
Mahayana practitioners may use the word "sangha" as a collective term for all Buddhists, but the Theravada Pāli Canon uses the word pariṣā for the larger Buddhist community—the monks, lay men, lay women who have taken the Three Refuges—with a few exceptions reserving "sangha" for a its original use in the Pāli Canon—the ideal and the conventional. The two meanings overlap but are not identical; some members of the ideal Sangha are not ordained. Unlike the present Sangha, the original Sangha viewed itself as following the mission laid down by the Master, viz, to go forth "…on tour for the blessing of the manyfolk, for the happiness of the manyfolk out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the blessing, the happiness of deva and men"; the Sangha is the third of the Three Jewels in Buddhism. Common over all schools is; as for recognizable current-life forms, the interpretation of what is the Jewel depends on how a school defines Sangha. E.g. for many schools, monastic life is considered to provide the safest and most suitable environment for advancing toward enlightenment and liberation due to the temptations and vicissitudes of life in the world.
In Buddhism, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha each are described as having certain characteristics. These characteristics are chanted either on a daily basis and/or on Uposatha days, depending on the school of Buddhism. In Theravada tradition they are a part of daily chanting: The Sangha: The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples is: practicing the good way practicing the upright way practicing the knowledgeable or logical way practicing the proper way practicing the mindful wayThat is, the four pairs of persons, the eight types of individuals - This Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples is: worthy of gifts worthy of hospitalities worthy of offerings worthy of reverential salutation the unsurpassed field of merit for the world; the Sangha was established by Gautama Buddha in the fifth century BCE in order to provide a means for those who wish to practice full-time in a direct and disciplined way, free from the restrictions and responsibilities of the household life. The Sangha fulfils the function of preserving the Buddha’s original teachings and of providing spiritual support for the Buddhist lay-community.
The Sangha has assumed responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the doctrine as well as the translation and propagation of the teachings of the Buddha. The key feature of Buddhist monasticism is the adherence to the vinaya which contains an elaborate set of 227 main rules of conduct including complete chastity, eating only before noon, not indulging in malicious or salacious talk. Between midday and the next day, a strict life of scripture study, chanting and occasional cleaning forms most of the duties for members of the Sangha. Transgression of rules carries penalties ranging from confession to permanent expulsion from the Sangha. Saichō, the founder of the Japanese school of Tendai, decided to reduce the number of rules down to about 60 based on the Bodhisattva Precepts. In the Kamakura, many Japanese schools that originated in or were influenced by the Tendai such as Zen, Pure Land Buddhism and Nichiren Buddhism abolished traditional ordination in favor of this new model of the vinaya.
The Order of Interbeing, established in 1964 and associated with the Plum Village Tradition, has fourteen precepts observed by all monastics. They were written by Thích Nhất Hạnh. Monks and nuns own a minimum of possessions due to their samaya as renunciants, including three robes, an alms bowl, a cloth belt, a needle and thread, a razor for shaving the head, a water filter. In practice, they have a few additional personal possessions. Traditionally, Buddhist monks and novices eschew ordinary clothes and wear robes; the robes were sewn together from rags and stained with earth or other available dyes. The color of modern robes varies from community to community: saffron is characteristic for Theravada groups. A Buddhist monk is a bhikkhu in Pali, Sanskrit bhikṣu while a nun is a bhikkhuni, Sanskrit bhikṣuṇī; these words mean "beggar" or "one who lives by alms", it was traditional in early Buddhism for
Gautama Buddha known as Siddhārtha Gautama in Sanskrit or Siddhattha Gotama in Pali, Shakyamuni Buddha, or the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was a monk, sage, philosopher and religious leader on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught in the northeastern part of ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region, he taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala. Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, he is believed by Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarised after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.
Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha's life. Most people accept that the Buddha lived and founded a monastic order during the Mahajanapada era during the reign of Bimbisara, the ruler of the Magadha empire, died during the early years of the reign of Ajatasatru, the successor of Bimbisara, thus making him a younger contemporary of Mahavira, the Jain tirthankara. While the general sequence of "birth, renunciation, search and liberation, death" is accepted, there is less consensus on the veracity of many details contained in traditional biographies; the times of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain. Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE. More his death is dated between 411 and 400 BCE, while at a symposium on this question held in 1988, the majority of those who presented definite opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the Buddha's death; these alternative chronologies, have not been accepted by all historians.
The evidence of the early texts suggests that Siddhārtha Gautama was born into the Shakya clan, a community, on the periphery, both geographically and culturally, of the eastern Indian subcontinent in the 5th century BCE. One of his usual names was "Sakamuni" or "Sakyamunī", it was either a small republic, or an oligarchy, his father was an elected chieftain, or oligarch. According to the Buddhist tradition, Gautama was born in Lumbini, now in modern-day Nepal, raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilvastu, which may have been either in what is present day Tilaurakot, Nepal or Piprahwa, India. According to Buddhist tradition, he obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, gave his first sermon in Sarnath, died in Kushinagar. Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential Śramaṇa schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Ajñana. Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of thought. In this context, a śramaṇa refers to one who toils, or exerts themselves.
It was the age of influential thinkers like Mahavira, Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambalī, Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, as recorded in Samaññaphala Sutta, whose viewpoints the Buddha most must have been acquainted with. Indeed and Moggallāna, two of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, were the foremost disciples of Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, the sceptic. There is philological evidence to suggest that the two masters, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, were indeed historical figures and they most taught Buddha two different forms of meditative techniques. Thus, Buddha was just one of the many śramaṇa philosophers of that time. In an era where holiness of person was judged by their level of asceticism, Buddha was a reformist within the śramaṇa movement, rather than a reactionary against Vedic Brahminism; the life of the Buddha coincided with the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley during the rule of Darius I from about 517/516 BCE. This Achaemenid occupation of the areas of Gandhara and Sindh, to last for about two centuries, was accompanied by the introduction of Achaemenid religions, reformed Mazdaism or early Zoroastrianism, to which Buddhism might have in part reacted.
In particular, the ideas of the Buddha may have consisted of a rejection of the "absolutist" or "perfectionist" ideas contained in these Achaemenid religions. No written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or from the one or two centuries thereafter. In the middle of the 3rd century BCE, several Edicts of Ashoka mention the Buddha, Ashoka's Rummindei Minor Pillar Edict commemorates the Emperor's pilgrimage to Lumbini as the Buddha's birthplace. Another one of his edicts mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era; these texts may be the precursor of the Pāli Canon. "Sakamuni" in mentioned in the reliefs of Bharhut, dated to circa 100 BCE, in relation with his illumination and the Bodhi tree, with the inscription Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodho. The oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts are the Gandhāran Buddhist texts, repor
Nanda (Buddhist nun)
Sundarī Nandā known a Sundarī, was the half-sister of Siddhartha Gautama, who became Gautama Buddha. She became a nun after the enlightenment of her half-brother and became the foremost bhikkhuni in the practise of jhana, she lived during the 6th century BCE in what is now Uttar Pradesh in India. When she was born, Princess Nandā was lovingly welcomed by her parents: Her father was King Śuddhodana the father of Siddhartha. Mahaprajapati was the second wife of Suddhodarna and the younger sister of his first wife, the late Queen Maya. Nanda's name means joy, contentment and was named as her parents were joyous about the arrival of a newborn baby. Nanda was known in her childhood for being well-bred and beautiful. To disambiguate her from Sakyans by the same name, she was known as "Rupa-Nanda," "one of delightful form," or sometimes "Sundari-Nanda," "beautiful Nanda." Over time, many members of her family, the family of the Sakyans of Kapilavastu, left the worldly life for the ascetic life, inspired by the enlightenment of their Crown Prince Siddhartha.
Amongst them was her brother Nanda, her cousins Anuruddha and Ananda, who were two of the Buddha’s five leading disciples. Her mother, was the first Buddhist nun; as a result of this, many other royal Sakyan ladies, including Princess Yasodharā, the wife of Siddhartha became Buddhist monastics. Thereupon, Nanda renounced the world, but it was recorded that she did not do it out of confidence in the Buddha and the dharma, but out of blood love for her relatives and a feeling of belonging, it soon became obvious that Nanda was not focused on her life as a nun. Nanda's thoughts were directed centred on her own beauty and her popularity with the people, characteristics which were the karma of meritorious actions in past lives; these karmic traits became impediments to Nanda, since she neglected to reinforce them with new actions. She felt guilty that she was not fulfilling the lofty expectations that others had of her, that she was far from the objective for which so many of the Sakyan royal family had renounced their worldly life.
She was certain that the Buddha would censure her, so she evaded him for a long time. One day, the Buddha requested all the bhikkhunis to come to him individually, to receive his teaching, but Nanda did not obey; the Buddha let her be called explicitly, she presented herself, in an ashamed and anxious demeanour. The Buddha addressed her and appealed to all of her positive qualities so that Nanda willingly listened to him and delighted in his words, he knew that the conversation had raised her spirits and had made her joyful and ready to accept his teaching. Since Nanda was so preoccupied with her physical beauty, the Buddha used his psychic powers to conjure the vision of a woman more beautiful than Nanda, who aged and visibly in front of her own eyes; as a result, Nanda could see, in a short time span, what could otherwise only be noticed in humans in a time span of decades: the recession of youth and beauty, the decay, the appearance of aging, such as wrinkles and gray hair. This vision affected Nanda deeply.
After having shown Nanda this confronting image, the Buddha could explain the law of impermanence to her in such a manner that she grasped its truth and thereby attained the knowledge of future liberation — stream-entry. As a meditation subject, the Buddha advised her to contemplate the impermanence and foulness of the body, she persevered for extended periods with this practice "faithful and courageous day and night". As is that, thus will this be. Exhaling foulness, evil smells, A thing. Diligently considering it, By day and night thus seeing it, With my own wisdom having seen, I turned away, dispassionate. With my diligence I examined the body And saw this as it is — Both within and without. Unlusting and dispassionate Within this body was I: By diligence from fetters freed, Peaceful was I and quite cool; as Nanda had been overly concerned with her physical appearance, it had been necessary for her to apply the extreme of meditations on bodily unattractiveness as a counterbalance to find equanimity between the two opposites.
The Buddha recognised his half-sister as being the foremost amongst bhikkunis who practiced Jhana. This meant that she not only followed the analytical way of insight, but emphasised the experience of tranquillity. Enjoying this pure well-being, she no longer needed any sensual enjoyments and soon found inner peace, despite having become a member of the sangha out of attachment to her relatives. Http://www.palikanon.com/namen/s/sundari_nandaa.htm GREAT FEMALE DISCIPLES, 21. Sundari Nanda by Radhika Abeysekera The First Buddhist Women: Translations and Commentaries on the Therigatha Author: Susan Murcott, ISBN 0-938077-42-2] Hecker, Hellmuth. "Buddhist Women at the Time of The Buddha". Buddhist Publication Society. Retrieved 2007-03-30
King Sihahanu was an ancient monarch and paternal grandfather of Gautama Buddha. He was a ruler of Shakya people. Sihahanu was brother of Princess Yasodhara, he married Kaccanā of daughter of Devadahasakka. Kaccanā and Sihahanu had these children: King Śuddhodana Dhotodana Sakkodana Sukkadana Amitodana Amitā PamitāAs a young prince Śuddhodana excelled in warfare and swordsmanship. After a victorious battle Sihahanu offered him a boon, he requested permission to marry two beautiful sisters and Mahāpajābatī Gotamī
Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a history going back about 3,500 years. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions. Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language; as one of the oldest documented members of the Indo-European family of languages, Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies. It is related to Greek and Latin, as well as Hittite, Old Avestan and many other extinct languages with historical significance to Europe, West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, it traces its linguistic ancestry to the Proto-Indo-Aryan language, Proto-Indo-Iranian and the Proto-Indo-European languages.
Sanskrit is traceable to the 2nd millennium BCE in a form known as the Vedic Sanskrit, with the Rigveda as the earliest known composition. A more refined and standardized grammatical form called the Classical Sanskrit emerged in mid-1st millennium BCE with the Aṣṭādhyāyī treatise of Pāṇini. Sanskrit, though not Classical Sanskrit, is the root language of many Prakrit languages. Examples include numerous modern daughter Northern Indian subcontinental languages such as Hindi, Bengali and Nepali; the body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetry, drama, scientific and other texts. In the ancient era, Sanskrit compositions were orally transmitted by methods of memorisation of exceptional complexity and fidelity; the earliest known inscriptions in Sanskrit are from the 1st-century BCE, such as the few discovered in Ayodhya and Ghosundi-Hathibada. Sanskrit texts dated to the 1st millennium CE were written in the Brahmi script, the Nāgarī script, the historic South Indian scripts and their derivative scripts.
Sanskrit is one of the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It continues to be used as a ceremonial and ritual language in Hinduism and some Buddhist practices such as hymns and chants; the Sanskrit verbal adjective sáṃskṛta- is a compound word consisting of sam and krta-. It connotes a work, "well prepared and perfect, sacred". According to Biderman, the perfection contextually being referred to in the etymological origins of the word is its tonal qualities, rather than semantic. Sound and oral transmission were valued quality in ancient India, its sages refined the alphabet, the structure of words and its exacting grammar into a "collection of sounds, a kind of sublime musical mold", states Biderman, as an integral language they called Sanskrit. From late Vedic period onwards, state Annette Wilke and Oliver Moebus, resonating sound and its musical foundations attracted an "exceptionally large amount of linguistic and religious literature" in India; the sound was visualized as "pervading all creation", another representation of the world itself, the "mysterious magnum" of the Hindu thought.
The search for perfection in thought and of salvation was one of the dimensions of sacred sound, the common thread to weave all ideas and inspirations became the quest for what the ancient Indians believed to be a perfect language, the "phonocentric episteme" of Sanskrit. Sanskrit as a language competed with numerous less exact vernacular Indian languages called Prakritic languages; the term prakrta means "original, normal, artless", states Franklin Southworth. The relationship between Prakrit and Sanskrit is found in the Indian texts dated to the 1st millennium CE. Patanjali acknowledged that Prakrit is the first language, one instinctively adopted by every child with all its imperfections and leads to the problems of interpretation and misunderstanding; the purifying structure of the Sanskrit language removes these imperfections. The early Sanskrit grammarian Dandin states, for example, that much in the Prakrit languages is etymologically rooted in Sanskrit but involve "loss of sounds" and corruptions that result from a "disregard of the grammar".
Dandin acknowledged that there are words and confusing structures in Prakrit that thrive independent of Sanskrit. This view is found in the writing of the author of the ancient Natyasastra text; the early Jain scholar Namisadhu acknowledged the difference, but disagreed that the Prakrit language was a corruption of Sanskrit. Namisadhu stated that the Prakrit language was the purvam and they came to women and children, that Sanskrit was a refinement of the Prakrit through a "purification by grammar". Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, it is one of the three ancient documented languages that arose from a common root language now referred to as the Proto-Indo-European language: Vedic Sanskrit. Mycenaean Greek and Ancient Greek. Mycenaean Greek is the older recorded form of Greek, but the limited material that has survived has a ambiguous writing system. More important to Indo-European studies is Ancient Greek, documented extensively beginning with the two Homeric poems. Hittite.
This is the earliest-recorded of all Indo-European languages, distinguishable into Old Hittite, Middle Hittite and Neo-Hittite. I
Lumbinī is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi District of Province No. 5 in Nepal. It is the place where, according to Buddhist tradition, Queen Mahamayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in 563 BCE. Gautama, who achieved Enlightenment some time around 528 BCE, became the Buddha and founded Buddhism. Lumbini is one of many magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha. Lumbini has a number of older temples, including the Mayadevi Temple, various new temples, funded by Buddhist organisations from various countries, have been completed or are still under construction. Many monuments, monasteries and a museum, the Lumbini International Research Institute are within the holy site. There is the Puskarini, or Holy Pond, where the Buddha's mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he had his first bath. At other sites near Lumbini, earlier Buddhas were, according to tradition, born achieved ultimate Enlightenment and relinquished their earthly forms.
Lumbini was made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. In the Buddha's time, Lumbini was situated in east of Kapilavastu and southwest Devadaha of Shakya, an oligarchic republic. According to Buddhist tradition, it was there. A pillar discovered at Rummindei in 1896 is believed to mark the spot of Ashoka's visit to Lumbini; the site was not known as Lumbini. According to an inscription on the pillar, it was placed there by the people in charge of the park to commemorate Ashoka visit and gifts; the park was known as Rummindei, 2 mi north of Bhagavanpura. The Sutta Nipáta states that the Buddha was born in a village of the Sákyans in the Lumbineyya Janapada; the Buddha stayed in Lumbinívana during his visit to Devadaha and there preached the Devadaha Sutta. In 1896, General Khadga Samsher Rana and Alois Anton Führer discovered a great stone pillar at Rummindei, according to the crucial historical records made by the ancient Chinese monk-pilgrim Xuanzang in the 7th century CE and by another ancient Chinese monk-pilgrim Faxian in the early 5th century CE.
The Brahmi inscription on the pillar gives evidence that Ashoka, emperor of the Maurya Empire, visited the place in 3rd-century BCE and identified it as the birth-place of the Buddha. The inscription was translated by Paranavitana: At the top of the pillar, there is a second inscription by king Ripumalla, known from an inscription at the Nigali Sagar pillar: "Om mani padme hum May Prince Ripu Malla be long victorious" A second pillar of Ashoka is located about 22 kilometers to the northwest of Lumbini, the Nigali Sagar pillar, a third one 24 kilometers to the west, the Gotihawa pillar. According to Robin Coningham, excavations beneath existing brick structures at the Mayadevi Temple at Lumbini provide evidence for an older timber structure beneath the walls of a brick Buddhist shrine built during the Ashokan era; the layout of the Ashokan shrine follows that of the earlier timber structure, which suggests a continuity of worship at the site. The pre-Mauryan timber structure appears to be an ancient tree shrine.
Radiocarbon dating of charcoal from the wooden postholes and optically stimulated luminescence dating of elements in the soil suggests human activity began at Lumbini around 1000 BCE. The site, states Coningham, may be a Buddhist monument from 6th-century BCE. Other scholars state that the excavations revealed nothing, Buddhist, they only confirm that the site predates the Buddha. Lumbini is 1.6 km in width. The holy site of Lumbini is bordered by a large monastic zone in which only monasteries can be built, no shops, hotels or restaurants, it is separated into an eastern and western monastic zone, the eastern having the Theravadin monasteries, the western having Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries. There is a long water filled canal separating the western and eastern zones, with a series of brick arch bridges joining the two sides along the length; the canal is serviced by simple outboard motor boats at the north end. The holy site of Lumbini has ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Ashokan pillar and the Mayadevi Temple, where the supposed place of birth of Buddha is located.
From early morning to early evening, pilgrims from various countries perform chanting and meditation at the site. A non-governmental organization named Samriddhi Foundation started in 2013 working extensively in the field of education and health specially in government schools of the area where underprivileged children study. A non-governmental organisation called "Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation" backed by chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal and Prime Minister Prachanda, the Chinese government and a UN group called "United Nations Industrial Development Organization" signed a deal to develop Lumbini into a "special development zone" with funds worth $3 billion; the venture was a China-UN joint project. A broader'Lumbini Development National Director Committee' under the leadership of Pushpa Kamal Dahal was formed on 17 October 2011; the six-member committee included Communist Party of Nepal leader Mangal Siddhi Manandhar, Nepali Congress leader Minendra Rijal, Forest Minister Mohammad Wakil Musalman, among other leaders.
The committee was given the authority to "draft a master plan to develop Lumbini as a peaceful and tourism area and table the proposal" and the responsibility to gather international support for the same. Nipponzan Myohoji decided to build a Peace Pagoda in