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History of the sangha

A talk given during Sravasti Abbey's annual Exploring Monastic Life program in 2005.

  • The purpose of living in a community after one ordains is not to escape the world at large but to train the “berserk-y” mind so as to be of benefit to others
  • How the sangha—the community of monastic followers of the Buddha—began
    • Why study the history
    • The origin of the precepts
    • The society at the time of the Buddha
    • The Buddha’s first ordained and lay disciples
    • The growth of the sangha
    • How the sangha get their requisites—food, clothing, shelter and medicine
  • Questions and answers

Exploring Monastic Life 2005: Session 4 (download)

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.