Donnerstag, 29. März 2012
The Importance of Sangha
Buddhism cannot be practiced on one’s own. If someone takes refuge into the Buddhist teaching (Sanskrit dharma), at the same time he takes refuge in the Buddha and the Buddhist community (Sanskrit sa.mgha).
Sangha originally means “collection”, “assemblage” or even “crowd”. Adapted by Buddhism the word refers to the Buddhist community - in a narrow sense to the monks and nuns and in a broad sense to all people who practice Buddhism and teach it to others. Especially the Mahāyāna Buddhism emphasizes the importance of the Sangha, because in its view there is no difference between Buddha, Dharma and Sangha (同体三宝dōtai sanbō). In this way Buddhism transformed a very ordinary term into the most meaningful expression at all.
What makes a group of people to the sangha? What must the individual contribute to be really a part of the sangha and what does he/she receive from it? How is the relationship between the sangha and the world? Last, but not least, to what degree the sangha should assimilate to its respective cultural background, and at what point it gets lost in “customization”.
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