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The Basic Mode of the Lay-Saṃgha Relationship in Indian Buddhism, Its Representations in and Repercussions for Chinese Buddhism
Author Sheng, Kai
Source Studies in Chinese Religions
Volumev.1 n.2
Pages149 - 171
Publisher中国社会科学院=Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences(CASS); Taylor & Francis Group
Publisher Url
LocationLeeds, UK [里茲, 英國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
Keywordsuperior Saṃgha and inferior laity; equality of Saṃgha and laity; respect for Saṃgha; deprecation of the Saṃgha
AbstractThe mode of the Saṃgha- laity relationship is theoretically based on different ideas of Mahāyāna and Theravāda, each with varying emphasis given to the ‘perpetuation of the Dharma and liberation of sentient beings,’ and each representing different interpretations of the precepts. The dynamics of this relationship enters into two dimensions: 1) the mission to preserve Buddhism, and 2) the precedence given to practice and liberation. In the period of primitive Buddhism and sectarian Buddhism, all teachings were centered on renunciation of household life, and established the ethical mode of ‘superior Saṃgha, inferior laity.’ Meanwhile, some sects advocated the existence of laity who were ‘transcendent monks,’ ‘lay Arhats,’ and so on, ideas which had great theoretical and practical impact. The fundamental Mahāyāna goal is the ‘salvation of sentient beings’ and the basic mode of the Sangha-lay relationship is equality between the two. Nonetheless, certain scriptural systems espoused a ‘respect for Saṃgha’ perspective while others a ‘deprecation of the Saṃgha’ perspective.
Created date2017.01.24
Modified date2021.03.22

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