Discipline and Ethical Formation in the Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda Vinayapiṭaka
Fifield, Justin Andrew
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AbstractThis dissertation examines the concept of vinaya, or discipline, in the Vinayapiṭaka, or Canon of Disciplinary Texts, of the Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda monastic order. Discipline is a process of self-transformation toward salvific ends and a means of organizing the monastic community, illuminating personal and communal aspects of Buddhist monasticism. Although recent scholarship advances the field’s understanding of classical South Asian monasticism, the Vinayapiṭaka of the Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda receives little attention. This study is first to consider the entire Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda Vinayapiṭaka and read its component texts against one another, arguing that the Mahāvastu, or Great Chapter, is not only nominally but functionally a vinaya text. This study demonstrates that narratives—mythical stories of the distant past, and biographical stories of the Buddha Śākyamuni and his Great Disciples—function in the Vinayapiṭaka to inculcate personal discipline and communal ethics, examining the disciplinary themes of sexual desire, time, and caste. In this way, it shows the importance of taking narrative seriously as a component of vinaya, and suggests a way to understand how narratives teach discipline.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:40046555
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