The transformation of Buddhist vinaya in China [article]

Tso Sze-Bong, University, The Australian National, University, The Australian National
The first chapter of this thesis discusses how the Chinese Monastic Order developed the Chinese Monastic Rule some two hundred years before the introduction of the Vinayas (rules of monastic discipline) of the different Indian Buddhist schools into China, and how the different sects of the Chinese Disciplinary School were established after the Vinayas were introduced. The second chapter indicates the reasons why the Chinese Monastic Order originally in the Mahayanist tradition should have
more » ... d the Hinayanist Vinaya to govern the conduct of the clerics. This chapter also discusses how the Buddhist disciplinarians, in interpreting the Indian developed Vinaya, fought a hopeless battle to make its rules acceptable in a Chinese milieu, and gives some examples of the enthusiastic clerics who faithfully observed the Vinaya rules. The third chapter indicates the internal factors, such as the cultural conflict between Indian and Chinese traditions, the differing economic structure of the monastic establishments of the two countries, and the contempt felt by the Chinese Mahayanists for the Hinayanism, that lead the priests to stray from the Vinaya. The fourth chapter outlines the external factors, such as the interference of the imperial government with the Monastic Order, the infiltration of unfaithful elements into the Order and the measures taken by the monastic establishments to meet the pressures of secular society, which encouraged the priests to stray from the Vinaya. The last chapter discusses how Master Huai-hai of Ch'an Buddhism took the revolutionary course of abandoning the Vinaya which did not meet the needs of a Chinese environment, and establishing instead the 'Ch'ing-kuei (Pure Rule) for monastic administration which was welcomed by the clerics and spread throughout the whole of China after the tenth century A.D.
doi:10.25911/5d74e134a7097 fatcat:6mr4hqnjdrg2bhzek3sorf3f5i