Sangha


Sangha
/sung"geuh/, n.
a community of Buddhist monks.
[1855-60; < Skt sangha]

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Buddhist monastic order, traditionally composed of four groups: monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.

Established by the Buddha, it is the world's oldest body of celibate clerics. Together with the Buddha and the dharma, it makes up the Threefold Refuge, a basic creed of Buddhism. Buddha established the bhiksu sangha for men and later the bhiksuni sangha for women. Members depend on alms from the community, since they are discouraged from engaging in commerce or agriculture. They live according to the Vinaya Pitaka.

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      Buddhist monastic order, traditionally composed of four groups: monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen. The sangha is a part—together with the Buddha and the dharma (teaching)—of the Threefold Refuge, a basic creed of Buddhism.

      The sangha originated in the group of disciples who renounced the worldly life to wander with the Buddha and listen to his teachings. After the Buddha's death his disciples continued to live together as a community, wandering from place to place, living off the receipt of alms. Fortnightly, at the time of the full and new moon (the uposatha days), followers of the Buddha would gather to reaffirm their sense of community and purpose by reciting their basic beliefs, such as the Threefold Refuge and the codes of conduct. The custom of spending the rainy season in one place in a study retreat (see vassa) led gradually to the settling of the community.

      The modern sangha is governed by disciplinary rules (vinaya) that form part of the sacred canon. Generally, the monastic order is dependent on the lay community for economic support in the form of alms or large gifts of money and property, since Buddhist monks—notably those of the Theravāda tradition in Southeast Asia—do not engage in commerce or agriculture.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Sangha — Sangha, Alto ► Región del NO del Congo, fronteriza con Camerún (N) y Gabón (O); 55 800 km2 y 50 172 h. Cap., Ouesso. * * * Orden monástica budista, tradicionalmente compuesta de cuatro grupos: monjes, monjas, laicos y laicas. Esta comunidad de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • sangha — 1858, from Hindi sangha, Skt. samgha, from sam “together” + han “to come in contact.” …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Sangha — This article concerns the concept of Sangha in Buddhism. For information on other senses, see Sangha (disambiguation). Part of a series on Buddhism Outline · Portal …   Wikipedia

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  • Sangha —    The Buddhist monastic order, whose members live according to strict rules (vinaya) and have the solemn responsibility of conserving and promulgating the teachings of Gotama Buddha. They are not priests in the sense of ministering to a… …   Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)


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