What was the situation like in the period of Nikayas’ Schism?

发布日期:2019-02-01   字体大小:   


The Buddhist community was initially divided into two major years after the Buddha’s passing away. The direct cause of the schism was the controversy over the issue of sila among monks. It is said that there was a bhikkhu from Baranasi named Yasa, who traveled to Vesali in the east and saw the Vajjian monks inducing the laity to donate money to the Sangha so that they could buy their necessities. Considering the acceptance of gold and silver a violation of the rules in the Vinaya, Yasa raised an objection, but as a result he was excommunicated by the Vajjians. Thereupon, he went to various places in the west and appealed to orthodox bhikkhus to assemble at Vesali. As a result, the verdict of the assembly declared the conduct of Vajjian monks to be unlawful. (According to Theravada records, apart from receiving alms of gold and silver, they committed another nine offenses.) This was the Second Samigiti or the Council of the Seven Hundred, since there were 700 participants in the assembly. Most of the Vajjian bhikkhus refused to obey the decision and held another Samgiti, which was attended by ten thousand monks. This contributed to the schism in the Buddhist Order. (From Essentials of Buddhism: Questions and Answers)