Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
plwk
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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by plwk » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:54 pm

Anyway, what are the best sources to find out more about the Mahāsāṃghika School?
Atisha was ordained in this School...maybe his life story would yield something `besides his mission to Tibet...

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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by louhi » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:45 pm

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Last edited by louhi on Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:19 pm

Ytrog wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I'm sure one of our resident scholars will chime in eventually, but here's a summary of reasonably modern opinion from Rupert Gethin, The Foundations of Buddhism (1998).

He says that the situation is not certain but...
Gethin wrote:It seems clear that at some point after the Vaisali meeting the primitive Sangha formally divided into tow parties each of which henceforth had its own ordination traditions. The ancient accounts are inconsistent as to what provoked the split. Some suggest that it was the result of a dispute over five points, later associated with a monk named Mahadeva, concerning the nature of the arahat. That this was indeed the cause of the division is accepted by Bareau (a French scholar). Other ancient sources attribute the division to a disagreement over questions of Vinaya, and the more recent scholarship suggests that this is the explanation to be preferred. According to this view a reformist group in the Sangha proposed tightening discipline on certain matters of Vinaya, while the majority were happy to leave things as they stood. Since the two parties failed to come to an agreement, the Sangha divided into two: the reformist sthaviras (Pali: thera) or 'elders' and the majority mahasanghaikas or 'those of the great community'. The dating of this important event ... is ... problematic [probably before or maybe during Ashoka's reign.]
The puggala-vardin (personalists), sarvasti-vadin (all things past, present and future exist), vibhajayavadin, and theravadins were products of later splits of the reformist stharvira group.

Mike
To get things clear: the non-reformists became the mahayana and the reformists the theravada? I always thought it was the other way around. This is about that schism, right?
This would be an important point to clarify. My recollection was that the mahayana emerged mostly out of the stharvira group, which is why the sarvastivadin abdhidhamma and other sarvastivadin canonical works are preserved in Chinese. I hope someone more knowledgeable will chip in and clarify this point.

Mike

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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by Ytrog » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:53 pm

Ah, I understand. I was confused by the maha in mahasanghaikas, thinking that this group must have formed mahayana and:
sthaviras (Pali: thera) or 'elders'
Which is also similar to theravada, so I assumed this was the forbearer of theravada.
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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by Kenshou » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:57 pm

I think you're right about "sthavira", but "maha" just means "great", more or less, you see that prefix everywhere in Pali or Sanskrit, has nothing to do with Mahayana inherently.

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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by Ytrog » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:03 pm

Kenshou wrote:I think you're right about "sthavira", but "maha" just means "great", more or less, you see that prefix everywhere in Pali or Sanskrit, has nothing to do with Mahayana inherently.
I just assumed because of the similarities on both sides (thera and maha) that they became theravada and mahayana respectively.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.
mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.

Bankei
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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by Bankei » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:06 am

Have a look at:
Prebish, Charles S. and Jan Nattier 1977 Mahasamghika Origins: The Beginnings of Buddhist Sectarianism. History of Religions Vol 16/3
and
Prebish, Charles S.
2010 "The Role of Prātimokṣa Expansion in the Rise of Indian Buddhist Sectarianism." Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies Vol 9

Prebish argues that the Theravadins split from the majority because of a dispute over the addition of vinaya rules.

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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by Taco » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:06 pm

Bankei wrote:Have a look at:
Prebish, Charles S. and Jan Nattier 1977 Mahasamghika Origins: The Beginnings of Buddhist Sectarianism. History of Religions Vol 16/3
and
Prebish, Charles S.
2010 "The Role of Prātimokṣa Expansion in the Rise of Indian Buddhist Sectarianism." Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies Vol 9

Prebish argues that the Theravadins split from the majority because of a dispute over the addition of vinaya rules.

Bankei
That latter Prebish article if available in pdf:
http://www.shin-ibs.edu/documents/pwj3- ... bish39.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The elders added extra rules and the misbehaving youngsters didn't like it? Nothing new under the sun...

seniya
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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by seniya » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:29 pm

This is from Dictionary of Pali Proper Names http://palikanon.com/english/pali_names ... nghika.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;:
Mahāsanghikā, Mahāsangītikā

One of the Buddhist schools which separated out from the Theravādins at the Second Council. The members rejected the Parivāra, the six sections of the Abhidhamma, the Patisambhidamagga, the Niddesa and some portions of the Jātakas (KvuA. p. 4; Dpv.v.32ff).

The school was so called owing to the great number of its followers, which made a great assembly or "Mahāsangitī." They were counted among the Anātmavādins, and later gave rise to the following schools: the

* Mahāsanghika
* Pubbasela
* Aparasela
* Rājagiriyā
* Hemavatas
* Cetiyavādins
* Sankantivādins
* Gokulikas

Originally they had only two divisions - the Ekabbohārikas and Gokulikas (Rockhill, op. cit., 182ff).

Their separation from the orthodox school was brought about by the Vajjiputta monks, and was probably due to difference of opinion on the ten points (for these see Vin.ii.294f) held by the Vajjiputta monks. According to Northern sources, however, the split occurred on the five points raised by Mahādeva:

* (1) An arahant may commit a sin under unconscious temptation;
* (2) one may be an arahant and unconscious of the fact;
* (3) an arahant may have doubts on matters of doctrine;
* (4) one cannot attain arahantship without the help of a teacher;
* (5) the "Noble Way" may begin with some such exclamation as "How sad!" uttered during meditation (J.R A.S. 1910, p. 416; cf. MT 173).

These articles of faith are found in the Kathāvatthu (173ff., 187ff., 194, 197), attributed to the Pubbaselas and the Aparaselas, opponents of the Mahāsanghika school.

According to Hiouen Thsang (Beal.ii.164), the Mahāsanghikas divided their canon into five parts: Sūtra, Vinaya, Abhidhamma, Miscellaneous and Dhāranī.

Fa Hsien took from Pātaliputta to China a complete transcript of the Mahāsanghika Vinaya. (Giles, p. 64, Nañjio's Catalogue mentions a Mahāsanghika Vinaya and a Mahāsanghabhiksunī Vinaya in Chinese translations, Cola. 247, 253. Ms. No.543).

The best known work of the Mahāsanghikas is the Mahāvastu. Their headquarters in Ceylon were in Abhayagiri vihāra, and Sena I. is said to have built the Vīrankurārāma for their use. Cv.1.68.
I'm sorry if my words are not understandable and it is in impolite expression, because my native language is not English....

Mettacitena

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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by Paññāsikhara » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:25 am

For accounts of the divisions of early Buddhist schools, it really pays not to use the history of one school alone (be it any school). All of them are somewhat biased in their own favor (naturally!) Rather, it requires a careful study of all the material. I recommend the studies of Bareau (1955) and Yinshun (1971) in particular, for they are some of the few studies that use all the sources.

Otherwise we bizarre conclusions like "They were counted among the Anātmavādins", and "the Mahāsanghikas ... [t]heir headquarters in Ceylon were in Abhayagiri vihāra". But I guess, great though Malalasekera's dictionary is, it is now pretty dated...
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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by some1 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:17 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Ytrog wrote:...
To get things clear: the non-reformists became the mahayana and the reformists the theravada? I always thought it was the other way around. This is about that schism, right?
This would be an important point to clarify. My recollection was that the mahayana emerged mostly out of the stharvira group, which is why the sarvastivadin abdhidhamma and other sarvastivadin canonical works are preserved in Chinese. I hope someone more knowledgeable will chip in and clarify this point.

Mike
What I learnt is the opposite, Mahayana emerged mostly out of the Mahasanghika instead of the Sthavira group. And, works preserved in Chinese are not exclusively Mahayana, it does contain other pre-Mahayana contents.

Perhaps the term "reformist" is rather confusing. I find at least in one context it refers to "attempts to restore a supposed earlier, ideal state of Buddhism". Mahayana was certainly not a "reformism" in that sense.

Anyway, this seems to be a bit off-topic from the OP. Perhaps we should discuss that in another thread if needed.

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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by seniya » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:15 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:For accounts of the divisions of early Buddhist schools, it really pays not to use the history of one school alone (be it any school). All of them are somewhat biased in their own favor (naturally!) Rather, it requires a careful study of all the material. I recommend the studies of Bareau (1955) and Yinshun (1971) in particular, for they are some of the few studies that use all the sources.

Otherwise we bizarre conclusions like "They were counted among the Anātmavādins", and "the Mahāsanghikas ... [t]heir headquarters in Ceylon were in Abhayagiri vihāra". But I guess, great though Malalasekera's dictionary is, it is now pretty dated...
Thx for the info, Bhante....

I don't have the references as you say. I primary depend on Googling and I find this interesting DPPN of Malaasekera from palikanon.com....

Btw, what the meaning of "Anatmavadins" here, Bhante? Is it same with "adherents of Anatma/Anatta doctrine"?
I'm sorry if my words are not understandable and it is in impolite expression, because my native language is not English....

Mettacitena

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Re: Which texts did the Mahāsāṃghikas dispute?

Post by yamaka » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:34 pm

They(The Arya Mahasangika Sect.) didn't disputed the Sutta Pitaka text but have comments on the 10 different Vinaya codes that the Theravada hold.

:anjali:

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