Posted in Dharma Talks

What does Sangha mean?

Sangha is a Pali and Sanskrit word meaning “community, association, members and in Buddhism it is the 2 part members called bhiksu (men) and bhikshuni (women) or the 4 part members bhikshu, bhikshuni, upasaka (layman), upasika (laywoman); and controversially and wrongly it has been used by western fans without lineage or refuge in the Triple Jewel and 5 Precepts (ie, as proper laybuddhists) and secular Buddhist groups in it’s literal sense of community.from India where the Buddha Sakyamuni actually was born, raised and lived.

Secularists have made inroads into Buddhist centers and have unfortunately no proper standing among Buddhist communities since they do not acknowledge or support the Triple Jewel in the core of their practice and teachings. They often santiize Buddhism because they do not have access to actual Buddhist monasteries, Buddhists, and the Sanghans themselves; so in that light they have money to create centers then in order to gain power they decry what they never had and actively promote their own often christian beliefs and rewrite that into a ‘secular’ equating it with liberal view of Buddhism. This is only because they had limited or no encounters with actual Buddhism beyond books so they lack a proper understanding of what is a Buddhist or even the basics of Buddhist culture.

If they had contact with traditional Buddhism they tell of their lack of understanding due to language difficulties, rejection of standard practices and teachings, dissatisfaction with monks or the monastic life, refusal to participate in events, Telling words are thus: correct, fair, unfair, equalitarian, secular, free of traditional trappings including rites, monastics, and sutras, overemphasis on meditation as the only means and no access to traditional Sutras/suttas to back up their teachings, no lineage, no Sangha presence, outright slander by refusing to support the Triple Jewel (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha).

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Author:

I am a Bhikshuni ordained in Mahayana Chinese Buddhist tradition. I'm currently translating Vinaya sutras from the Chinese Mahayana Tripitaka.