Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


Theravada Buddhism Conflict on the Cancellation of Little Discipline (SIKKHABTH) Provisions

Author(s): Pongtaratid Kongseang, Vichian Dhammawajiro, PhraKhruwapeechanthakun, Phrakhrusutaworathammakit, Sanya Kenaphoom

The cancellation of Little Discipline is a problem in interpreting Buddha's words to create an understanding of the will of the Buddha. If the Lord Buddha permitted his Nirvana, that Little Discipline could be withdrawn. But in the 1st meeting, Phra Thera passed a resolution not to cancel, so it was a conflict between the two views. Today, amid the changing social context and living conditions of the monks, Theravada priests continue to adhere to the scriptures and resolutions of the 1st rectification. But in practice, monks always have discipline violations. The authors see that the scriptures and the practices of the monks are inconsistent, which may confuse the congregation with their teachings. Therefore, the author takes this issue into account utilizing contextual interpretations as a tool for clarity in practice. Little Discipline refers to the discipline that does not affect oneself, society, and beliefs, which is socially acceptable if abuse occurs. The manner of applying the Buddha's discipline is flexible according to the time. Hence, the Lord Buddha established Mha pa thes 4 (comparison reference principles) so that the monks can be used as a framework for considering the discipline following this framework. Hence, we can see that there is nothing fixed, which in principle requires consideration that the relationship of the discipline is matched or contrary to what should therefore lead to conclusions. There is evidence that the Lord Buddha assures that violating the Little Discipline of the monk is not an obstacle to achieving success. Thus, confirming that by the will, the Lord Buddha permitted to cancel Little Discipline can be because it is not the essence of religion.

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