Klaus Pinte

in Buddhism

ISBN: 9780195393521
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:


The disciplinary codes for the training of Buddhist monks (Skt. bhikṣus) and nuns (Skt. bhikṣuṇīs), as well as the institutional regulations for the monastic community (Skt. saṃgha) are collected in the vinaya section of the Buddhist canon (Skt. tripiṭaka), next to doctrinal texts (Skt. sūtra) and philosophical treatises (Skt. śāstra). In Chinese, vinaya is translated pínàiyé (毘奈耶/毘那耶/鼻那夜), syn. lü (律); in Japanese, binaya (毘奈耶/毘那耶/鼻那夜), syn. ritsu (律); and in Tibetan, ’dul-ba. Following Louis Renou and Jean Filliozat, leading vinaya specialists such as Charles Prebish have categorized the vinaya corpus into canonical, paracanonical, and noncanonical literature: (A) canonical literature preserved in the vinaya-piṭaka mainly covers three divisions of texts, generally comprising: (1) sūtravibhaṅga, or the detailed analyses of offenses and respective punitive measures listed in the prātimokṣasūtra, (2) skhandhakas, or regulations for the organization of the Buddhist community, and (3) appendices, mostly comprising summaries of the monastic rules listed in the two previous sections; (B) paracanonical vinaya literature refers to: (1) the set of precepts from the prātimokṣasūtra that is recited every fortnight during the so-called poṣadha ceremony, and (2) karmavācanā texts of correct procedures to settle communal transactions and disputes; and (C) noncanonical vinaya literature covering (1) commentaries and (2) miscellaneous texts, which include translations with unclear school affiliation and other vinaya-related texts. Although they still occupy a rather small niche within the fields of religious or even Buddhist studies, since the 18th century the Buddhist monastic codices—as crystallized in seven seemingly complete vinayas—have been the subject of increasing scholarly attention. These seven vinayas are those of the Theravādins, Mahāsāṃghikas, Mahāsāṃghika-lokottaravādins, Mahīśāsakas, Dharmaguptakas, Sarvāstivādins, and Mūlasarvāstivādins. However, since the Mahāsāṃghika-lokottaravāda tradition may actually be considered an offshoot of the Mahāsāṃghika, the number of schools is sometimes restricted to six or even to five when following the theory on the identity of the Sarvāstivādins and Mūlasarvāstivādis (see Enomoto 2000, cited under Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya). In any case, due to its divergent structure, the Mahāsāṃghika-vinaya is opposed to the other vinayas, which allegedly stem from a presectarian vinaya matrix (Skt. mātṛkā) known as the Sthavira tradition, but this is still under discussion. Although surely not comprehensive and remaining open to updates, the major fruits of past Western-language scholarship in vinaya studies are summarized in the bibliographical survey below. The entry focuses on the above-mentioned text traditions and their history, development, and interrelations. The available academic sources on the respective traditions are discussed by first listing general works related to the respective vinaya in question; then, in case of sufficient scholarly attention, subsections on more specific material are included, retaining the before-mentioned division between canonical and paracanonical literature. Regardless of the assumption that the so-called Kāśyapīya and Saṃmitīya traditions may have produced vinayas of their own, the primary material related to those schools is almost entirely lost and, except from such outstanding articles such as Hinüber 1985 (cited under General Overviews), to date there are no substantial monographs on the these two traditions. They therefore are not treated here. Given the author’s research field and unfamiliarity with the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, the primary sources covered in this bibliography are principally Sanskrit fragments and Chinese redactions preserved in the Japanese Taishō period edition of the Buddhist canon.

Article.  12634 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism ; Tibetan Buddhism ; Zen Buddhism

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