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Study of the Social Dimension of the Causes and Conditions
A Thesis Submitted in Fulfillment of the Requirements
of the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka,
Please note: VU-Times font (Pali Unicode) is used in this document.
From the day of enrolment for the Degree a number of scholars and friends gave me their full assistance for the successful completion of this thesis. The Vice-Chancellor, Dean of the Graduate Faculty, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and the Head of the Department of Pāli and Buddhist Studies of the University of Kelaniya were always helpful in official matters. My Supervisor Senior Professor G.D Sumanapāla went through A to Z of this thesis and gave available advice to improve its quality. Mr. Sanath Nanayakkara, a former editor of the Encyclopaedia of Buddhism also was very kind to go through this thesis and make changes in order to correct the medium and quality of this work. I am sure, I would not have been able to successfully complete this work without the kind assistance of all the above mentioned scholars. So, I express my sincere gratitude to all of them.
Further, my revered teachers the Most Venerable Dr. Khantidhammo Mahā Thero and Puṇṇavijjo Mahā Thero prepared everything to create a sound environment for me to engage freely in this research without which I would not have been able to get success in this task. I express my respectful gratitude to them. I also should mention the names of the following venerables, supporters and friends for their kind help advice and attention during the period of compiling this thesis.
Venerable Meegamuwe Sumedha Tissa Thero, the Chief Incumbent of Abhayasekararamaya Temple, No. 127, Temple Road, Negombo, Sri Lanka, Venerable Indacanda, Venerable Dhammapālo, Venerable (M.D) Dr. Varapañño, Venerable Vimalacāra, Venerable Amaro (Thien - Hien), Venerable Sister Tu Ngoc, my great Parents and family, Mr. Chandrakanth Anthony Goonawardena and family, Mr. Kankanange Leelaratne Perera, Mr. K.M.G.K. Wijesinghe and his parents, Mr. Waruna Chandrakeerthi Hettiarachchi, Madame Kim Thanh and family, Ms. Visākha, Ms. Ly Thi Theu and family etc.
Finally, I am very thankful to all of them and wish them good health, long life and prosperity with the blessings of the Triple-gem.
Sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhitattā.
Ven. Ho Quang Khanh
This thesis consists of seven chapters. Chapter I is the Introduction. It lays out the scope and objective of the thesis, the methodology adopted in carrying out the research, and the important sources used in gathering data.
Chapter II examines the aims and objectives of ‘Monastic Vinaya’. In doing this focus has been directed on such matters as relation between Vinaya and Brahmacariyā, reasons that led to the promulgation of formal Vinaya, how in the Theravāda Buddhism Vinaya took precedence over Dhamma etc.
Chapter III is devoted to critically examine the social dimension of Vinaya. Special attention was paid to examine such issues as asylum seekers in the Saṅgha, monk’s role as missionaries, influence of Saṅgha-laity links on the formulation of Vinaya rules, influence of the prevailing practices and norms on Vinaya, the impact of the establishment of bhikkhu Order on Vinaya and so on.
Chapter IV is totally devoted to the examination of the functional relevance of the Sekhiyā-dhammā with regard to the practice of Brahmacariyā and realization of Nibbāna.
Chapter V is about the nature of offences and punishments. The Pārājika and other offences have been examined, and the purpose of punishment meted out to offenders who are found guilty is also critically appraised.
Chapter VI contains data obtained through a study of character traits of some offenders. An attempt has been made here to see whether there is any relation between offences, offenders and the socio-cultural background to which they belonged.
Chapter VII presents the conclusion. It is found that though Vinaya is primarily based on ‘Sīla’ and ‘Sikkhāpadas’, in application Vinaya is of much wider scope than Sīla and Sikkhapadas. The Vinaya rules are of multiplex purpose; all are not directly related to the practice leading to the realization of the goal. The major offences that affect the successful practice of Brahmacariyā are related to sexual misbehaviour; Vajjis stand out as major offenders, though some Vajjis have been leading very exemplary lives as members of the Order.
Sincere thanks to Bhikkhu Giac Hanh for giving the digital files (Binh Anson, 06-2009).