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buddhist lit wk3

buddhist lit wk3 - by leaving his life behind The text...

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Jen Winston REL134xg Discussion Response Week #3 September 16, 2008 Q1.) According to Scripture 26, “Making Men into Monks,” becoming a monk means undergoing a difficult and extensive process. The text reminds us that the early requirement to achieve monk status was simply having the Buddha address one with the words, “Come, monk” (230). This is a perfect portrayal of how simple Buddhism was at one point—it was only a man suggesting his teachings to other men that were interested. As time passed and more people wanted in, the rules had to become stricter. A monk prospect had to partake in a personal interview with an elder monk, answering questions to prove that he is male, has the blessing of his parents, is not in debt, has never been expelled from the sangha in the past, and that he is healthy (230-1). These guidelines are only the beginning of a monk’s desired traits, and they seem to have been suggested simply to ensure that the religion is not blamed for any misfortune the monk may cause
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Unformatted text preview: by leaving his life behind. The text continues to state the things a monk must give up (robes, food, medicine, and a bed) for their natural equivalents (231). It is also said that a monk must not lie, and lie is defined as claiming to see supernatural beings. I find this interesting, especially since it does not seem to be the worst type of lie a person can tell. The doctrine was probably in place to ensure that monks did not periodically claim to see the Buddha, and that imagined “visions” did not affect class standing in the sangha, which was determined by years in the doctrine. This was a very legitimate way to create a caste system within the sangha, considering it accounted for experience as opposed to wealth and possessions. Since monks were not really entitled to any sort of possessions, the seniority-type system arranged them based on their devotion to the sangha....
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