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Bareau-Sectes-Bouddhiques

Bareau-Sectes-Bouddhiques

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buddhist
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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Ashoka0 on Jan 30, 2013
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04/13/2013

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 THE BUDDHIST SECTSOF THELESSER VEHICLE
ByAndré Bareau1955(Les Sectes Bouddhiques du Petit Véhicule)
Translated from the French byGelongma Migme Chodron2005
 
 
Les Sectes Bouddhiques du Petit Véhicule
 by André Bareau (1955)
PART I
GENERALITIES
2
 
 
INTRODUCTION
From the first centuries of its history, the Buddhist Community split into numerous
 sects
and
 schools
on theoccasion of sometimes sensational schisms, and each of these divisions held opinions that were accused of  being
heresies
by the others. The present work is concerned with these schools, these schisms and theseheresies.Before getting into the thick of the subject, it is important to clarify the meaning of the above terms whichwe are using for lack of any better ones, but which do not exactly express the Indian notions that they claimto represent.We will call
 sect 
or 
 school 
what Sanskrit Buddhism calls
nik 
ā
 ya
and P
ā
li Buddhism calls
ā
cariyav
ā
da
. A
nik 
ā
 y
a is a group of people subject to the same rules. More generally, it is also a collection of objects, suchas the collections of S
ū
tras called
nik 
ā
 ya
in P
ā
li. By comparing the word
ā
 ya
, which has the same root andmeans
body
, we may say that a
nik 
ā
 ya
is a constituted
body
or a
body
of doctrine according to whether theword is applied to people or to things. Thus it renders rather well the word ‘sects’ although constructed onquite a different etymology. The P
ā
li word
ā
cariyav
ā
da
means oral teaching (
v
ā
da
) of a master (
ā
cariya
)and, rather, corresponds to our word ‘school’. As the Sanskrit texts call
nik 
ā
 ya
what the P
ā
li texts call
ā
cariyav
ā
da
, we will use the words
 sect 
and
 school 
in the same sense. They express the idea of a spiritualassociation constituted under the patronage of a master whose teaching it follows.Buddhist sects differ from those of early Christianity in that the sect or school, not having a supremeincarnate authority like the Christian church, did not really separate itself from the Community and that its
heresy
was purely relative to the doctrine of the other factions of the latter. In most cases, the relationships between various sects was not without peace and harmony and the Buddhist sects could be compared to theProtestant sects which, while greatly differing sometimes in regard to doctrine or practice, are nonethelessunited in a certain way at the ecumenical level.We will call ‘schism’ what the Buddhists call
 sa
 ghabheda
, “splitting of the Community”, whichconstitutes one of the five major crimes, comparable in gravity to that of parricide, matricide, murder of anArhat and wounding of a Buddha. It occurs when an intelligent and virtuous monk <8> who, consequently,enjoys great authority carries away with himself a part of the Community and gives it a new teacher and anew Path.
1
 But once again, since the Community lacks a supreme authority, the Buddhist schism is purelyrelative and the schismatic claims to be the guardian of the doctrinal or moral purity, weakened by thedecadence of the Community from which it has originated and of which he presents himself to be thereformer.
1
L.V.P.: Ko
ś
a, IV, p. 208-209.
3

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