Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations

By Reginald A. Ray | Go to book overview

followed by the bhikkhus that they criticize as inferior and even illegitimate. Finally, we see here little evidence of interactions or relationships between the forest renunciants and the nonforest bhikkhus. The little interaction that is mentioned notes either the settled monks' ignoring of the forest traditions or open hostility against them. 54 As Pārāpariya and Phussa see it, then, a dramatic change has occurred within Buddhism: there seems to be an increasing tendency for Buddhist renunciants to move from forest into village, abandoning the solitary vocation of meditation in favor of the collective, monastic life defined primarily by other preoccupations, including cultivating correct external behavior and engaging in study and debate. We may refer to this type of movement from forest retreat to village monastery as a process of monasticization. In the history of Indian Buddhism, as we shall see, monasticization occurs in a number of different contexts. In the present instance, the center of gravity of Buddhism seems to be shifting from forest to a nonforest type of renunciation. It is not possible to determine whether the monasticization described in these songs reflects only the growing popularity of town-and-village renunciation within Buddhist circles or whether it reflects a time when the development of what came to be classical monasticism was in full spate. In other cases of monasticization the issue is more clear, for they involve the movement of traditions, specific phenomena, and individuals-- originally associated with forest Buddhism--into the context of settled monastic life. In the process of monasticization, these are absorbed and integrated into monastic Buddhism in a way that inevitably involves some transformation of both assimilated and assimilator. Understanding this process of monasticization is essential to an accurate appreciation both of the forest renunciants themselves and of their dynamic relationship with the more conventional forms of Buddhism.


Notes
1.
Norman's translations of the Theragāthā ( 1969) and Therīgāthā ( 1971) supersede those of C. A. F. Rhys Davids ( 1909 and 1913). Rhys Davids's volumes remain useful, however, because the author introduces each song with a translation of the initial, biographical part of Dhammapāla's commentary on that song. On Ta and Ti, see Norman 1983, 72-77 and Homer 1930, 162-210.
2.
These texts contain, respectively, 164 songs in 1,279 verses and 73 songs in 522 verses. These appear to have corresponding texts in Sanskrit in the Stharivagāthā and Sthavirīgāthā, which do not survive, but which are mentioned in the canonical literature ( Lamotte 1958, 177-78). (The Mūlasarvāstivādin vinaya, "Bhaiṣajyavastu" section, contains a collection of songs called by N. Dutt "Sthaviragāthā" [ Gms 3:1.21] and Hofinger "Sthavirāvadāna" [ 1954], surviving in an incomplete Sanskrit version [ Gms 3:1.162ff.] and in Tibetan and Chinese [see Hofinger 1954, 9-15 for a discussion of the various editions]. The stories contained in this text are different from those contained in the Ta and Ti, although there is a small amount of shared material due, Dutt believes, to borrowing [ Gms 3:1.20ff.]). The Ta and Ti contain from one to twenty-eight (Ti) or one to seventy (Ta) verses arranged in each text in sections (nipāta) with other verses of the same length. These sections are in turn ordered in each text according to length, beginning with those containing the fewest number of verses up to those containing the most.

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Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xi
  • Conventions xiii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes 10
  • 1 - The Buddhist Saints and the Two-Tiered Model of Buddhism 15
  • Notes 36
  • 2 - Buddha Śākyamuni as a Saint 44
  • Notes 68
  • 3 - Saints of the Theragāthā and Therīgāthā 79
  • Notes 99
  • 4 - Some Orthodox Saints in Buddhism 105
  • Conclusion 136
  • Notes 141
  • 5 - Saints Criticized and Condemned 151
  • Notes 173
  • 6 - Cults of Arhants 179
  • Notes 205
  • 7 - The Solitary Saint, the Pratyekabuddha 213
  • Notes 241
  • 8 - Bodhisattva Saints of the Forest in Mahāyāna Sūtras 251
  • Appendix: the Minor Rāṣṭrapālaparipṛcchā Sūtra on Forest Bhikṣus 275
  • Appendix: the Minor Rāṣṭrapālaparipṛcchā Sūtra on Forest Bhikṣus 280
  • 9 - Ascetic Traditions of Buddhist Saints 293
  • Notes 318
  • 10 - The Buddhist Saints and the Stūpa 324
  • Notes 352
  • 11 - The Cult of Saints and Buddhist Doctrines of Absence and Presence 358
  • Notes 386
  • 12 - The Buddhist Saints and the Process of Monasticization 396
  • Notes 423
  • Conclusion: Toward a Threefold Model of Buddhism 433
  • Notes 447
  • Bibliography 448
  • Index 469
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