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Lecture 6

RELIGST 2K03 Lecture 6: Relig St. Lecture/ Week 6 (February 8 2017)
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Department
Religious Studies
Course
RELIGST 2K03
Professor
Joe Larose
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture/ Week 6 - February 8/17 The Big Developments, 500 BCE – 0 - 1. origins (the Buddha biography, jātakas) - 2. support and growth (numbers and geography) - 3. systematization and sectarianism (the canon, the councils, the 18 schools) - 4. institutionalization (the monastery) - 5. reform movements? (mahayana) Support and Growth - The monastic community survived by conversion, by the spiritual growth that the monastic community provides to the laypeople, and by the material necessities of life that the laypeople provide to the monastic community 2. Two Exemplary Patrons of the Buddhist Community - Anāthapiṇḍada – a rich merchant in early Buddhist literature who donated land for the - Buddhist monastery at Jetavana - Literary figure - Aśoka – historic king of the Mauryan Empire who converted to Buddhism after a particularly brutal military campaign - Historic figure - Became supporter of Buddhism during his rule in remorse of killing many people 2. The Jetavana Monastery - Ana, a rich merchant unaware of Buddhism, travels to a city and meets the Buddha. He converts immediately and becomes a follower. He returns home to find a suitable place for Buddha and his followers to stay in the city, eventually choosing a park which is owned by the prince of the kingdom. He buys it for the price to cover the entire land with gold coins. - Ana’s donation of 10 million allowed many monasteries to be built in the park - The modern location of Jetavana is a park with some remains of buildings. - The monasteries are meant to be open to the communities surrounding them to encourage people to convert or become supporters. They are supposed to be beautiful so that people want to visit/spend a day enjoying the place.Kings and rich merchants were ideal supporters because of their wealth. Monasteries have to include a central space for the Buddha to stay in. 2. The 16 Mahājanapadas 2. The Mauryan Empire - the Mauryan empire, India’s first empire, united most of the subcontinent - its rule extended from about 322 to 185BCE - Aśoka (c304-232BCE) was the third ruler of the Mauryan empire - Became a supporter of Buddhism - Left behind many inscriptions on pillars, stones, etc., across the subcontinent - One inscription shows asoka’s remorse at having killed thousands of Kalinga people and professes his newfound love of Buddhism 2. The Mauryan Empire, c3rd century BCE 3. Systematization and Sectarianism - the First Council (c. 483-400 BCE) - During the Buddha’s time, he had one community and he was the authority figure - After he died, he told his followers that the dharma would be the teacher. - tradition holds that, shortly after the passing of the Buddha, the monks assembled in a city called Rajagrha - this was a gathering of monks called the First Council (c483/400BCE) - Ananda, the Buddha’s cousin and right- hand man, recited from memory all of the Buddha’s discourses on doctrine (the sutra texts) - he was almost not allowed to speak at council -he was not enlightened at the time and he had asked the Buddha to allow female ordination, which was disliked - the first female monk was the Buddha’s aunt; when she asked him to become a nin, he answered “be careful o what you’re asking for” = no - Ananda asks for her, and is told that women can achieve enlightenment, then he reminds the Buddha that he owes his aunt, then Buddha agrees but announces that women in the sangha will be subject to extra rules (most of which work to keep women subordinate to men) - Upali recited from memory all of the Buddha’s monastic rules for monks and nuns (the vinaya texts) 3. The Second Council (c383/300BCE) - tradition holds that 100 years after the First Council, a Second Council was called in the city of Vaiśālī - this council was convened after it was discovered that a certain groups of monks, the Vṛjiputrakas, were disregarding a number of vinaya rules - according to some accounts, the community then split into two groups, the Mahāsāṃghikas (“those in the majority”) and the Sthaviras (“the elders”) - beginning of Buddhism sectarianism - Table 7.1 of Strong 3. The Third Council (c250BCE) - according to tradition, there was a third council held in Pāṭaliputra, convened by the Mauryan emperor Aśoka - it was held in order to root out unworthy monks— impious monks and monks with heretical views - Religious life attracted many people living in poverty/low caste because you are provided with the basic necessities of life as a member of that community - at the end of the council, missionary monks were sent in nine directions (to: Sri Lanka - only living original school of Buddhism from the 18 original schools, Burma, Tarim Basin, Bactria, Alexandria, Antioch, Athens) - The monks needed to decide whether they would be a liberal or conservative community - Are the rules flexible in certain circumstances? Would elite males be in charge like Brahmanical religion?
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