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Sthavira nikāya

The Sthavira nikāya (Sanskrit "Sect of the Elders"; traditional Chinese:上座部; ; pinyin: Shàngzuò Bù) was one of the early Buddhist schools. They split from the majority Mahāsāṃghikas at the time of the Second Buddhist council.

Contents

Origin

The Sthavira nikāya (Sanskrit: "Sect of the Elders"; traditional Chinese:上座部; ; pinyin: Shàngzuò Bù) was one of the early Buddhist schools. The Sthavira nikāya split away from the majority Mahāsāṃghikas during the Second Buddhist council resulting in the first schism in the Sangha.

The Mahāsāṃghika Śāriputraparipṛcchā, a text written to justify this school's departure from the disciplinary code of the elder monks, asserts that the council was convened at Pāṭaliputra over matters of vinaya, and it is explained that the schism resulted from the majority (Mahāsaṃgha) refusing to accept the addition of rules to the Vinaya by the minority (Sthaviras). The Mahāsāṃghikas therefore saw the Sthaviras as being a breakaway group which was attempting to modify the original Vinaya.

Scholars have generally agreed that the matter of dispute was indeed a matter of vinaya, and have noted that the account of the Mahāsāṃghikas is bolstered by the vinaya texts themselves, as vinayas associated with the Sthaviras do contain more rules than those of the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya. Modern scholarship therefore generally agrees that the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya is the oldest. According to Skilton, future scholars may determine that a study of the Mahāsāṃghika school will contribute to a better understanding of the early Dhamma-Vinaya than the Theravada school.

Language

The Tibetan historian Buton Rinchen Drub (1290–1364) wrote that the Mahāsāṃghikas used Prakrit, the Sarvāstivādins used Sanskrit, the Sthaviras used Paiśācī, and the Saṃmitīya used Apabhraṃśa.

Legacy

The Sthaviras later divided into other schools such as:

The Vibhajyavāda branch gave rise to a number of schools such as:

Scholarly accounts

The Theravāda school of Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia has identified itself exclusively with the Sthaviras, as the Pali word thera is equivalent to the Sanskrit sthavira. This has led early Western historians to assume that the two parties are identical. However, this is not the case, and by the time of Ashoka, the Sthavira sect had split into the Sammitīya Pudgalavada, Sarvāstivāda, and the Vibhajyavāda schools.

The Vibhajyavāda school is believed to have split into other schools as well, such as the Mahīśāsaka school and the ancestor of the Theravada school. According to Damien Keown, there is no historical evidence that the Theravada school arose until around two centuries after the Great Schism which occurred at the Third Council.

Theravādin accounts

Starting with the Dīpavaṃsa chronicle in the 4th century, the Theravādins of the Mahāvihāra in Sri Lanka attempted to identify themselves with the original Sthavira sect. The Theravādin Dīpavaṃsa clarifies that the name Theravāda refers to the "old" teachings, making no indication that it refers to the Second Council. Similarly, the name Mahāsāṃghika is in reference to those who follow the original Vinaya of the undivided Saṃgha. The Dīpavaṃsa chronicle lauds the Theravāda as a "great banyan" and dismissively portrays the other early Buddhist schools as thorns (kaṇṭaka). Dīpavaṃsa, 4.90–91 says:

These 17 sects are schismatic,
only one is non-schismatic.
With the non-schismatic sect,
there are eighteen in all.
Like a great banyan tree,
the Theravāda is supreme,
The Dispensation of the Conqueror,
complete, without lack or excess.
The other sects arose
like thorns on the tree.
Dīpavaṃsa, 4.90–91

According to the Mahāvaṃsa, a Theravādin source, after the Second Council was closed those taking the side of junior monks did not accept the verdict but held an assembly of their own attended by ten thousand calling it a Mahasangiti (Great Convocation) from which the school derived its name Mahāsāṃghika. However, such popular explanations of Sthavira and Mahāsāṃghika are generally considered folk etymologies.

Bhante Sujato explains the relationship between the Sthavira sect and the Theravāda:

The term sthavira (meaning "elder") is the Sanskrit version of the term better known today in its Pali version thera, as in Theravāda, the "Teaching of the Elders." The original Sthaviras, however, are by no means identical with the modern school called Theravāda. Rather, the Sthaviras are the ancestor of a group of related schools, one of which is the Theravāda.

Citations
  1. Harvey, Peter (2013). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (2nd ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pg. 89-90.
  2. Harvey, Peter (2013). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (2nd ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pg. 89-90.
  3. Skilton 2004, p. 48.
  4. Skilton 2004, p. 64.
  5. Yao 2012, p. 9.
  6. Sujato 2006, p. 61.
  7. Skilton 2004, p. 66-67.
  8. Keown 2003, p. 279-280.
  9. Morgan 2010, p. 113.
  10. Williams 2004, p. 56-57.
  11. Sujato 2006, p. i.
  12. Sujato, Bhante. "Why Devadatta Was No Saint".
Bibliography

Sthavira nikāya
Sthavira nikaya Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Sthavira The Sthavira nikaya Sanskrit Sect of the Elders traditional Chinese 上座部 pinyin Shangzuo Bu was one of the early Buddhist schools They split from the majority Mahasaṃghikas at the time of the Second Buddhist council 1 Contents 1 Scholarly views 1 1 Origin 1 2 Language 1 3 Legacy 2 Relationship to Theravada 2 1 Scholarly accounts 2 2 Theravadin accounts 3 See also 4 References 5 External linksScholarly views EditOrigin Edit The Sthavira nikaya Sanskrit Sect of the Elders traditional Chinese 上座部 pinyin Shangzuo Bu was one of the early Buddhist schools The Sthavira nikaya split away from the majority Mahasaṃghikas during the Second Buddhist council resulting in the first schism in the Sangha 2 The Mahasaṃghika Sariputraparipṛccha a text written to justify this school s departure from the disciplinary code of the elder monks asserts that the council was convened at Paṭaliputra over matters of vinaya and it is explained that the schism resulted from the majority Mahasaṃgha refusing to accept the addition of rules to the Vinaya by the minority Sthaviras 3 The Mahasaṃghikas therefore saw the Sthaviras as being a breakaway group which was attempting to modify the original Vinaya 4 Scholars have generally agreed that the matter of dispute was indeed a matter of vinaya and have noted that the account of the Mahasaṃghikas is bolstered by the vinaya texts themselves as vinayas associated with the Sthaviras do contain more rules than those of the Mahasaṃghika Vinaya 3 Modern scholarship therefore generally agrees that the Mahasaṃghika Vinaya is the oldest 3 According to Skilton future scholars may determine that a study of the Mahasaṃghika school will contribute to a better understanding of the early Dhamma Vinaya than the Theravada school 4 Language Edit The Tibetan historian Buton Rinchen Drub 1290 1364 wrote that the Mahasaṃghikas used Prakrit the Sarvastivadins used Sanskrit the Sthaviras used Paisaci and the Saṃmitiya used Apabhraṃsa 5 Legacy Edit The Sthaviras later divided into other schools such as Sarvastivada Vatsiputriya Vibhajyavada Pali Vibhajjavada The Vibhajyavada branch gave rise to a number of schools such as 6 Mahisasaka Dharmaguptaka Kasyapiya Tamraparniya later called Theravada Relationship to Theravada EditScholarly accounts Edit The Theravada school of Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia has identified itself exclusively with the Sthaviras as the Pali word thera is equivalent to the Sanskrit sthavira 7 This has led early Western historians to assume that the two parties are identical 7 However this is not the case and by the time of Ashoka the Sthavira sect had split into the Sammitiya Pudgalavada Sarvastivada and the Vibhajyavada schools 7 The Vibhajyavada school is believed to have split into other schools as well such as the Mahisasaka school and the ancestor of the Theravada school 7 According to Damien Keown there is no historical evidence that the Theravada school arose until around two centuries after the Great Schism which occurred at the Third Council 8 Theravadin accounts Edit Starting with the Dipavaṃsa chronicle in the 4th century the Theravadins of the Mahavihara in Sri Lanka attempted to identify themselves with the original Sthavira sect 9 The Theravadin Dipavaṃsa clarifies that the name Theravada refers to the old teachings making no indication that it refers to the Second Council 10 Similarly the name Mahasaṃghika is in reference to those who follow the original Vinaya of the undivided Saṃgha 10 The Dipavaṃsa chronicle lauds the Theravada as a great banyan and dismissively portrays the other early Buddhist schools as thorns kaṇṭaka 9 Dipavaṃsa 4 90 91 says These 17 sects are schismatic only one is non schismatic With the non schismatic sect there are eighteen in all Like a great banyan tree the Theravada is supreme The Dispensation of the Conqueror complete without lack or excess The other sects arose like thorns on the tree Dipavaṃsa 4 90 91 11 According to the Mahavaṃsa a Theravadin source after the Second Council was closed those taking the side of junior monks did not accept the verdict but held an assembly of their own attended by ten thousand calling it a Mahasangiti Great Convocation from which the school derived its name Mahasaṃghika However such popular explanations of Sthavira and Mahasaṃghika are generally considered folk etymologies 10 Bhante Sujato explains the relationship between the Sthavira sect and the Theravada The term sthavira meaning elder is the Sanskrit version of the term better known today in its Pali version thera as in Theravada the Teaching of the Elders The original Sthaviras however are by no means identical with the modern school called Theravada Rather the Sthaviras are the ancestor of a group of related schools one of which is the Theravada 12 See also EditEarly Buddhist schools Schools of Buddhism Buddhist councilsReferences EditCitations Harvey Peter 2013 An Introduction to Buddhism Teachings History and Practices 2nd ed Cambridge UK Cambridge University Press pg 89 90 Harvey Peter 2013 An Introduction to Buddhism Teachings History and Practices 2nd ed Cambridge UK Cambridge University Press pg 89 90 a b c Skilton 2004 p 48 a b Skilton 2004 p 64 Yao 2012 p 9 Sujato 2006 p 61 a b c d Skilton 2004 p 66 67 Keown 2003 p 279 280 a b Morgan 2010 p 113 a b c Williams 2004 p 56 57 Sujato 2006 p i Sujato Bhante Why Devadatta Was No Saint BibliographyHirakawa Akira Groner Paul 1998 A History of Indian Buddhism From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana Motilal Banarsidass ISBN 9788120809550 Dutt Nalinaksha 2007 Buddhist Sects in India Motilal Banarsidass ISBN 978 8120804289 Keown Damien 2003 A Dictionary of Buddhism Oxford University Press ISBN 978 0198605607 Morgan Diane 2010 Essential Buddhism A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice Praeger ISBN 978 0313384523 Skilton Andrew 2004 A Concise History of Buddhism Windhorse Publications ISBN 978 0904766929 Sujato Bhante 2006 Sects amp Sectarianism The Origins of Buddhist Schools Santi Forest Monastery Williams Paul 2004 Buddhism Critical Concepts in Religious Studies vol 2 Routledge ISBN 978 0415332262 Yao Zhihua 2012 The Buddhist Theory of Self Cognition Routledge ISBN 978 0415544382External links EditSects amp Sectarianism The Origins of Buddhist Schools Santi Forest Monastery 2006by Bhikkhu Sujato Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Sthavira nikaya amp oldid 1034338498, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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