donderdag, februari 16, 2006

Sangha

There a many definitions on Buddhism, ways of practicing and teaching and what makes a Buddhist a Buddhist. Eastern Buddhism knows varieties and there are more modern ways of Buddhism in the west. All varieties do have many things in common. One of those are the Three Gems. What makes a Buddhist a Buddhist is that he or she goes for refuge to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.

The three principal roots of the tree, therefore, are the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. But there is not any one single meaning to any of these words as said before. Each of them has many meanings to as many Buddhist.

The word "Sangha" means a group or community. The Sangha to which a Buddhist goes for refuge is the ariya-sangha, which means the Noble Community of people who have attained insight and virtue and who have either attained or come very close to attaining Nirvana.

It is important to realize that not all members of the Noble Community are monks or nuns, and that not all monks or nuns are members of the Noble Community. So a Buddhist does not go for refuge to the community of monks or nuns or even to the community of people who declare themselves to be Buddhists, but to the community of all excellent people everywhere whose insight and purity of character is significantly superior to that of the average human being.

The word "Sangha" can also refer to other communities, such as the community of monks (bhikkhu-sangha), the community of nuns (bhikkhuni-sangha), the community of householders who support the monks and nuns (upasaka-sangha) and to the entire community of people who heard the Buddha and formally went to him for refuge (savaka-sangha).

Sometimes some Buddhists find it convenient to think of Sangha as a a kind of concrete symbol of the much more abstract notion of the Noble Sangha of excellent people to which they go for refuge. .

8 opmerkingen:

enigma4ever zei

Your blog is truly beautiful...such a tranquil respite...thank you...namaste...

enigma4ever zei

I have thought alot about this post and what people Seek and what they Need...Community...but seeking the community of those that are wiser...I don't think people often seek that....if they did the world would such a different place....( if you stop back by watergatesummer- check on April 1968, Florence, and also Chinese New Year....these posts also are centered on this theme...unknowingly at the time)...

Tonette zei
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Nerdine zei

Thanks for posting this Dimitri! You know - in my tradition we have a fourth jewel - Our teacher. When we take refuge we always include him/her as well. Actually it includes all our teachers in buddhism. But then we also put a lot of importance on our teachers - more than any other line of buddhism.

Lenren zei

This is very beautiful. I also have very little knowledge of Buddhism(sp?)so it was interesting. Its comforting to know there are people like you in this world. Honestly! :) Amber

Ammey Kesarkar zei

Namo buddham sharanam gacchami.
Namo dharmam sharanam gacchami.
Namo sangham sharanam gacchami

summersun70 zei

Wonderful blog. It is lovely place to visit.

enigma4ever zei

Alexander I have a huge favor to ask of you- would you consider adding the postal link so on the bottem so we could forward to others...