Chapter

The Sangh

Aakash Singh Rathore and Ajay Verma

in B.R. Ambedkar

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780198068679
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081233 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198068679.003.0005
The Sangh

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This chapter discusses the followers of Buddha who are generally divided into two classes: the Bhikkhus and the Upasakas or lay followers. The Bhikkhus are organized into Sangh while the Upasakas are not. Bhikkhus are primarily Parivrajakas or wanderers who abandoned their family to ascertain the truth but were later on organized into Sangh and were given rules of discipline. Sangh is open to all and not constrained by caste, status or gender. Members of the Sangh are required to take the vow of poverty wherein they live on alms. Although Buddhism does not enforce the vow of obedience, it is expected that Bhikkhus strictly observe rules of conduct where departure from these rule means punishment or banishment. The chapter also discusses the Buddha's conception of the Bhikkhus, the duties of the Bhikkhus, the relationship of the Bhikkhus to the laity, and the Vinaya.

Keywords: followers of Buddha; Bhikkhus; Upasakas; Sangh; Parivrajakas; vow of poverty; duties; rules of conduct; Vinaya

Chapter.  11755 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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