BC6218/ME6218 - Study of the Vinaya

This course focuses on the transformation of the Vinaya and its relation to the development of Buddhism. It will analyse the destructive and negative effects of dogmatic attitudes towards the Vinaya, and demonstrate the essential spirit of the Vinaya which is postulated as the foundation and guiding light during the course of examining the origin and transformation of the monastic code in India and China at different stages. The purpose of this course is to demonstrate that adaptation and changes were the dominant factors during the transformative phases of the Vinaya. Every stage of the consecutive transformations has emerged out of necessity, and in response to cultural, political, geographical and social diversities. The overall salient argument of this course is that so long as the true spirit of the Vinaya is not violated, adaptation and changes of the Vinaya were and remain crucial for the survival of Buddhism in modern times.