Philosophy of language in the Five Nikayas

by K.T.S. Sarao | 2013 | 141,449 words

This page relates ‘The Vinaya Pitaka (Introduction)’ of the study of the Philosophy of language in the Five Nikayas, from the perspective of linguistics. The Five Nikayas, in Theravada Buddhism, refers to the five books of the Sutta Pitaka (“Basket of Sutra”), which itself is the second division of the Pali Tipitaka of the Buddhist Canon (literature).

2.4. The Vinaya Piṭaka (Introduction)

In this section, I briefly present some main points of the Vinaya Pitaka. The great division in which are incorporated injunctions and admonitions of the Buddha on modes of conduct, and restraints on both bodily and verbal actions of bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, which form rules of discipline for them, is called the Vinaya Piṭaka. Far more than merely being a record of rules the Vinaya Piṭaka also narrates the stories behind the origin of each rule, thus providing a fairly detailed and comprehensive account of the Buddha’s solution to the question of how to maintain common harmony within a large and diverse holy community.

There are four divisions of the Vinaya Piṭaka as below.

1. Suttavibhaṅga

The Suttavibhaṅga includes the complete set of rules for the Saṅgha, along with the origin story for each one. The rules are summarized in the Pāṭimokkha, and amount to 227 rules for the bhikkhus, 311 for the bhikkhunīs.

2. Khandhaka (Mahavagga)

The Khandhaka contains several Suttas like texts, including the Buddha’s account of the period immediately following his awakening, his first sermons to the group of five monks, and stories about how some of the Buddha’s great disciples joined the Saṅgha and themselves attained awakening. It also includes the rules for ordination, for reciting the Paṭimokkha during uposatha days, and various procedures that monks are supposed to perform during formal gatherings of the community.

3. Khandhaka (Cullavagga)

The Khandhaka includes an elaboration of the bhikkhus’ etiquette and duties as well as the rules and procedures for addressing offences that may be committed within the Saṅgha. It also contains the story of the establishment of the bhikkhunī Saṅgha, plus detailed accounts of the first two Councils.

4. Parivāra

The Parivāra is a recapitulation of the previous sections, with summaries of the rules classified and re-classified in various ways for instructional purposes.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: