Discipline: The Canonical Buddhism of the Vinayapiṭaka
Discipline: The Canonical Buddhism of the Vinayapitaka is a penetrating analysis of a heretofore neglected, yet centrally important portion of the Pali Canon. In identifying the pivotal role of discipline in the bhikkhu quest for nibbana Professor Holt finds that Vinaya rules represent a practical implementation of the Budha's Dhamma. Specifically, adherence to this monastic code theoretically facilitates an overcoming of asavas, mental dispositions that foster attachment to the self and thus perpetuate the process of samsaric kammic retribution. The formulation of Buddhist monastic law, therefore, need not be seen as the result of casuistry; rather, it is the consequence of a conscious attempt on the part of the early Buddhist tradition to identify behavioral expressions that at once generate and reflect a calmed, detached and disciplined mental and spiritual state.
The author has also examined the significance of the principal rituals of Buddhist monasticism as they are prescribed within the Vinaya text. He interprets these rites as cultic celebrations of discipline which, in turn, legitimate the Sangha's claim to be the embodiment and reservoir of the Buddha's teachings. The claim supported the Sangha's role of occupying a mediating position between the spiritual needs of the laity and the authority and the spiritual exemplar of Buddhism, the Buddha. In short, Discipline, written from the perspective of the history of religious approach, contributed significantly to the increased understanding of the dynamics of the Buddhist religion in its formulative stages.
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actions alms Ananda attained become behavior bhanaka bhikkhu bhikkhu community bhikkhusangha Book of Discipline Book of Gradual boundaries brahmin Buddha Buddhist community Buddhist Council Buddhist discipline Buddhist law cankers canonical chapter charisma concerns condition context Cullavagga declared detached determined Dhamma Digha Nikaya disci disciplinary code disciplinary rules dosa Dutt early Buddhist texts ethical existence expression fact Four Noble Truths goal Gotama Gradual Sayings hatred Horner Ibid importance individual Jainas kamma kammic karma Kathina Kathina rite Khandhaka knowledge laity Mahasamghika Mahavagga means mind moha monastic community monks moral motive nature nibbana Nikaya norm offence Oldenberg one's ordination Pachow Pali parajikas passion path paticcasamuppada Patimokkha Pavarana Prebish precepts purity raga rebirth recitation reference regard religions religious represents result Rhys Davids ritual robes Sahgha sekhiyas sexual intercourse sila soteriological spiritual story Sudinna Sutta Suttavibhahga teachings tion tradition transgression understanding undisciplined Upanisads upasampada venerable Seyyasaka Vinaya Vinayapitaka volition