Friday, August 5, 2011

The Second Buddhist Council

The Second Buddhist Council
The second Buddhist Council was took place at Valukarama Monastery near the city of Vesali approximately one hundred years after the passing away of the Buddha. Virtually all scholars agree that the second Council was a historical event and feature. The traditions regarding the second Council were confusing and ambiguous but it was agreed that the second Council was due to emerge the schism as the first time in Sangha Community; the Sthaviras (Minority) and Mahasanghika (Majority). What the Sthaviras and Mahasanghika mean is that the monks who were orthodox and were to try to keep Vinaya rules including lesser and minor rules of the training as during the lifetime of Buddha is the Sthaviras and the monks who were to try to relax a certain Vinaya rules, especially lesser and minor rules of the training is the Mahasanghika. According to Theravada pali text, Venerable Yasa, Venerable Sabbakami, Venerable Revata and Venerable Sumana presided over the council and it was celebrated with seven hundred Arahats.
The Cause of the Council
When Venerable Yasa visited Vesali, he saw that there were a lot of local monks named Vajjiputtakas living in Vesali who began to practice and follow the ten point unlawful Vinaya rules that had been laid down by the Buddha. One of the most obvious unlawful rules was that they were asking the money (gold and silver) in a great silver bowl with full water for robs of Sangha Community on full moon day while he told them that its behaviors were not allowable to Buddha. There were ten point unlawful Vinaya rules as the follow:
1. Singilonakappa, or the practice of carrying salt in a horn,
2. Dvangulakappa, or the practice of taking meals when the shadow is over two fingers broad,
3. Gamantarakappa, or the practice of going to another village and taking a second meal on the same day,
4. Avasakappa, or the observance of the Uposatha ceremonies in various place in the same parish,
5. Anumatikappa, or the obtaining of sanction for a deed after it is done,
6. Acinnakappa, or using customary practices of precedents,
7. Amathitakappa, or the drinking of buttermilk after meal,
8. Jalogim-patum or the drinking of toddy,
9. Adasakam-nisidanam, or using a rug which has no fringe,
10. Jataruparajatam, or the acceptance of gold and silver which is forbidden by rule 18 of the Nissaggiya pacittiya.
The Venerable Yasa openly declared these practices to be unlawful rules for order but on the contrary, Vijji monks pronounced the penalty of Patisaraniya-kamma upon him and later the punishment of Ukkhepainaya-kamma upon him, which meant the expulsion from the Brotherhood. After having been the sentence of excommunication from Vesali local member of monks, he went to Kausambi and sent messages to the members of Order in the Western and Southern countries respectively, inviting them to assemble and examine the rules that were practiced by Vijji monks, and to ensure the preservation of the Vinaya Rules. To settle these matters, a committee consisting of four monks from the East and four monks from the West appointed. The council, however, was presided over mainly by Venerable Yasa, Venerable Sabbakami, Venerable Revata and Venerable Sumana together with the seven hundred Arahats while the king Kalasoka of Vesali and the people gave the necessary supports to this council and it lasted eight months. The Dipavamsa mentioned that, on the other hand, the bhikkus of Vesali held another Council which was attended by ten thousand monks and it was called the Great Council, Mahasanghiti (Majority). Therefore, all scholars agree that the Second Buddhist Council was a historical event.

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