Council of Vaiśālī

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The so-called ‘Second Council’ took place 100 or 110 years after the Council of Rājagṛha and was held at Vaiśālī. It arose out of a dispute concerning monastic practices, and in particular the handling of money by monks. One faction, the Vṛjiputrakas (or Vajjians) claimed that this, together with nine other practices, was legitimate. The more orthodox, on the other hand, regarded them as illegal and prohibited by the Vinaya. The council, consisting of 700 respected monks under the presidency of Revata, ruled against the Vṛjiputrakas but it is unclear how far their practices were reformed as a result. The need for a council to be convened at this relatively early date shows that serious disagreements were surfacing in the early community, and these soon afterwards led to fragmentation and schism.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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