Sons of the Buddha: Continuities and Ruptures in a Burmese Monastic Tradition

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Walter de Gruyter, May 4, 2011 - Religion - 266 pages
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Intended as a methodological and theoretical contribution to the study of religion and society, this book examines Buddhist monasticism in Myanmar. The book focuses on the Shwegyin, one of the most important but least understood monastic groups in the country. Analyzing the group as a tradition constructed around ideas of continuity and disruption/rupture, the study illuminates key aspects of monastic and wider Burmese Buddhist thought and practice, and ultimately argues for the distinctiveness of elements ofthat thought and practice in comparison to the Buddhist cultures of Sri Lanka and Laos.
After situating the Shwegyin within the history of Buddhist monasticism more generally, and within the vicissitudes of modern Burmese political history, the book proceeds along two scholarly avenues. It adopts an interdisciplinary method with attention to biographical, administrative, doctrinal, and ethnographic evidence. Theoretically, the book engages scholarly discussion about “traditions” and their “traditionalisms” and advances a specific type of interpretive approach built on bringing the viewpoints and practices of the Shwegyin into conversation with the enterprise of understanding larger historical and cultural patterns in the Buddhist societies of South and Southeast Asia.

 

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Path finding book. It deals with both the theoretical and practical aspects of the Dhamma. The mainstream therawada history up to the present day is reflected throughout the book.

Contents

Acknowledgements
5
Abbreviations
12
Figures and Tables
13
A Note on the Name Myanmar
14
Conventions for Transliterations etc
15
Map of Myanmar
17
From the Śākyamuni Buddha to the Shwegyin Tradition
19
From Śākyamuni
24
Discipline in the Shwegyin Nikaya
119
The Sāsanas Care Groups
120
The Work of Leaders and Administrators
123
Classic Ritual Permutations
125
Interpretive Issues
128
A Shwegyin Higher Ordination
134
The Harmony and Unity of the Community
136
Eligibility to Live in the S?sana
137

To Monastic Organization and Practices
27
To the Shwegiyn
35
Vicissitudes of Modern Burmese Political History
41
Sources and Approach for Studying the Story
45
The Shwegyin Tradition and Its Traditionalism
50
Shwegyin Tradition and Traditionalism
52
S?sana Histories and Monastic Biographies
59
Histories Biographies and the Ethics of Traditionalism
64
Buddhist Histories and Biographies in and beyond Myanmar
66
The Abridged History and Aspects of Lineage
69
Supporting a Lineage
70
Types of Lineage
73
Dynamics of Kilesas and Sīla
76
The Kyauntawya Sayadaw and Being a Son of the Buddha
78
Signs of a Good DiscipleSon
79
The Role of the Vinaya and Higher Ordination
80
A Son and His Practice
83
A Classic Conflict and a Shwegyin Solution
85
Traditions and the Past Present and Future
88
Institutional Moorings
91
From Lineage to Nikāya
92
A Snapshot
93
Inclusion and Exclusion among Burmese Nikāya and Gaing
95
Records and Meetings of the Shwegyin Nikāya
101
The Meetings and the Texts
105
Relations with Classical Pali and Other Sources
109
The Hierarchy of Shwegyin Leaders and Administrators
113
Keeping Track of Shwegyin Membership
117
Verbal Concord with the Buddha
145
Explaining Life in the Sāsana
150
The Four Foundations
151
The Four Actions Not To Be Done
153
Taking Leave
155
Arahants in Training
156
Existential Ruminations
157
The Abhidhammapiṭaka and the Paṭṭhāna
162
The Work of Abhidhamma Specialists
164
The Abhidhamma and Paṭṭhāna in Contemporary Myanmar
166
The Buddhas Contemplation of Paṭṭhāna
167
Nibbāna Saṃsāra and Abhidhamma
169
Introduction
170
Paṭṭhāna Sermons
174
Faith in the Buddha the Arahant
175
The Place of the Paṭṭhāna in the Quest for Arahantship
176
Comprehending the Paṭṭhāna
179
Rapturous Joy and the Work of an Abhidhamma Specialist
183
Continuities and Ruptures
187
Other Implications for Theory and Method
197
A Comment on Continuity and Rupture from Afar
206
Figures
212
Tables
217
Letter to the Penang Sayadaw
237
Bibliography
241
Pali Sources
243
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Jason A. Carbine, Whittier College, CA, USA.