The “Brahmajala Sutta” and monastic precepts

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A talk given during Sravasti Abbey’s annual Exploring Monastic Life program in 2009.

  • Development of monastic precepts
  • Description of three present-day Vinaya traditions
  • Ethical conduct as the foundation of practice
  • Commentary on the Brahmajala Sutta (DN 1)1
    • How to respond to comments on the Three Jewels
    • Ethical conduct is not sufficient
    • Action and karmic results
  • Questions and answers
    • Attitude toward female disciples during Buddha’s time
    • Creation of the nuns’ order and prediction of existence of Dharma
    • What constitutes sexual misconduct
    • Mixed-gender monastery

Exploring Monastic Life 2009: Session 7 (download)


  1. In the references to the sutras MN refers to the Majjhima Nikaya, the Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha. DN refers to the Digha Nikaya, the Long Discourses of the Buddha. 

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