Is the Sangha currently divided?

In AN 5.78: Future Perils, it says:

‘Currently, the Saṅgha lives comfortably, in harmony, appreciating each other, without quarreling, with one recitation.
But there will come a time of schism in the Saṅgha.
When there is schism in the Saṅgha, it’s not easy to focus on the instructions of the Buddhas, and it’s not easy to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.

It seems that not all members or groups of the Sangha undertake the same recitation.

  1. Does that imply that there is a schism in the Sangha now? If yes, how many schisms?
  2. Why is the presence of schisms considered a reason for why “it’s not easy to focus on the instructions of the Buddhas, and it’s not easy to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest”? Why can’t one focus on the instructions of the Buddhas and live in solitude regardless of whether there is a schism or not?

I think the book of Sects Sujato Ven talks about it. What is considered a schism? Things like that in the book. And also something to consider that there might have never been a schism it’s just different Sangha living in different regions. And although they didn’t agree they will still will still recite together with the majority if they stay at the monastery. I think in the beginning is was not important where you stayed to spend the day or night because is said to go among other groups and stay some other places. Like a real wanderer. In Sri Lanka the new famous forest monastery school practice to stay a minimum of 3 months at one of their monasteries. It’s the idea not to get attached to one place.

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This is a complex and interesting question, about which there is much misunderstanding even among scholars and Sangha.

I researched this at length while writing Sects & Sectarianism. Among my conclusions:

  • There is a formal definition of “schism” in the Vinaya. To fulfill this legal definition, one must hold a separate recitation of Patimokkha with the intention of creating a schism and harming Buddhism.
  • To my knowledge, this has never happened. I believe the reason is that when Devadatta did it, the Buddha said he’ll go to hell. I don’t think anyone wants to test out whether the Buddha was being literal or not!
  • The evidence attests that existing schools of Buddhism arose primarily due to geographical separation, secondly due to doctrinal differences, and thirdly due to Vinaya interpretations. These schools were separated to a degree, but not schismatic in the technical sense.
  • In reality, personal differences or competition for resources likely played a part.
  • Modern-day Sangha are descended from three of the early scools: Theravada, Dharmaguptaka (east Asia), and Mulasarvastivada (central Asia). There is no evidence that these three schools were ever schismatic.
  • Within each of these major schools there are several smaller groups. Typically one finds a few different “nikayas” within a country. For example, Thailand has the Maha Nikaya and the Dhammayuttika Nikaya. Sri Lanka has the Siam Nikaya (technically the same as the Maha Nikaya), Ramañña, and Amarapura. These for the most part perform Sanghakamma separately, but there is no real evidence that they are technically schismatic.
  • The variety of modern schools seem to have arisen in the 19th century as a means to purify the Sangha against perceived or real corruption. They did so by invoking the semi-mythical purity of the “Kalyani Sima” in Myanmar, through which it was supposedly possible to connect to an unbroken lineage from the old Mahavihara in Sri Lanka. The modern Dhammayuttika, Amarapura, and Ramañña nikayas were formed in this way.
  • The Siam/Maha Nikaya seems to not have been a school in the same sense, but merely whatever the tradition of the unreformed monks in Thailand happened to have been. Given the complxity of movement of Buddhism throughout history, it seems almost certain that this is a mix of different schools not representing a single lineage. However, it likely includes the Mulasarvastivada as well as the Sri Lanka Theravada.
  • Again, within the recognized nikayas there are smaller groups who will not perform sanghakamma with each other. The monks of the Ajahn Chah tradition, for example, famously expelled the monks who performed bhikkhuni ordination and will no longer perform Sanghakamma with us.
  • Finally, there are many monastics, including myself, who believe that all this is rather a waste of time. We are all sons and daughters of the Buddha and should love and accept each other.

It is hard to let go when your brothers and sisters are locked in conflict. We care about the Sangha, and it’s upsetting to see it treated this way. But yes, ultimately if the crisis cannot be resolved, then like the Buddha at Kosambi, one has to simply leave it behind and walk away.


Is this even true at all? Of course monks came from Thailand to found the Siam Nikaya, but as far as I know that was the end of any meaningful connection or similarity. I’d love to know more information about this because people often make this claim, but I’ve never heard anything to back it up. Of course there are similarities in a way, but that seems more circumstantial. Like they both preceded other later nikayas who were/are more focused on the Vinaya.
But as I understand the situation to say that they are the same, technically or not seems misleading. Perhaps you mean in a lineage way since one founded the other. But practically, that is meaningless.

True enough. As I intimated, I believe that the “Mahanikaya” is not actually a single lineage at all. In fact, so far as my very limited knowledge affords, it seems the term was first used by the Dhammayuttika, basically in the sense of the “majority of the Sangha who are not us”. Given that for much of its history Thailand was not a unified nation, it’s likely that they received the ordination lineage multiple times from multiple sources. The Siam Nikaya simply draws on one of those unknown traditions. For all practical purposes, of course it is a separate nikaya.

Perhaps we should consider nikaya families, with Dhammayuittka, Amarapura, and Ramanna in one, and Siam and Maha in another. I believe that similar distinctions would apply in Cambodia and possibly Laos and Vietnam. As for Myanmar, perhaps all the nikayas, since they are supposed to stem from the Kalyani Sima, would belong in the former camp. Then of course there are native Theravadin traditions in Bangladesh and southern China as well, who knows where those lineages come from! It would be interesting to have a lineage map.

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I’m new to all of this, but isn’t the recital of patimokkha a sanghakamma?

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It is indeed, in fact it is the core sanghakamma in the consideration of a schism.

It is common for different Sangha groups to avoid performing patimokkha with each other. For example, the Dhammayuttika typically refuse to do sanghakamma with Mahanikaya monks (like me!).

I don’t agree with this policy, and I don’t think it has a basis in Vinaya, but when living in Thailand I did learn to at least appreciate why it is held so strongly. There are a lot of monks around, and many, perhaps most, have little or no practice of Vinaya. I’ve seen “monks” steal or carry liquor in their bowls. the concern is to keep the Sangha pure, and to prevent the infiltration by monks of bad faith.

However, notice that I said “avoid”? In order to create a formal schism, you must have:

  • two groups of monks performing sanghakamma separately
  • within the same sima
  • one of those groups must be aiming at creating a schism for the purpose of harming Buddhism.

By excluding outside monks from the patimokkha recitation, and ensuring that they are outside the sima, modern monks guarantee that a formal schism cannot occur.


Isn’t Siam Nikaya ordaining only high caste of sri lanka? I think they are an example of what might have happened when the Brahmins took over of Buddhism. I didn’t like that caste system is in a Nikaya. I found it weird. Disrespectful to the whole Buddha teaching

I think if we see what year they was invented first time we will understand also when it might have been in india that they did the same. I think Brahmins was the ones that started the divisions

It was forced change to Brahamanic priesthood.

I found in Mahavastu the story like a Jataka but not named so. That Buddha in his former life under a Buddha meaning is the sasana and he asking for gold ( money) from a householder to buy some flowers for the Buddha . And he offered he found his prediction.

And another verse where it’s actually saying what they want from wealthy householders.

For me Mahavastu which they say brought the start for the Brahmanic take over and made the divisions. I quote.

Part of my notes it’s also from what other scholars say for it to make sense

Blockquote * Mahavastu.

  • The story of Abhiya

  • For a hundred thousand kalpas a monk called Abhiya lived in passion, malice and folly.

  • Next, he went to the merchant Uttiya and said to him,

  • “I should like, householder, to make an offering to the exalted Sarvābhibhū and his company of disciples. Pray, give me the means of doing so.”

  • And Uttiya the merchant gave the monk Abhiya much gold, and other rich householders did the same.

  • (38) Now, Mahā-Maudgalyāyana, in the great city of Vasumata, there were two dealers in perfume who were devoted to the monk Abhiya.

  • So, the monk Abhiya, with a hundred thousand pieces[15] in his hand, went to the two perfume dealers and said to them,

  • “My good friends,[16] I want these one hundred thousand pieces’ worth of keśara[17] essence. I shall take care[18] of it and offer it to the exalted Sarvābhibhū and his company of disciples.”

  • The two perfume-dealers gave[19] him a hundred thousand pieces’ worth of keśara essence. Then the monk Abhiya feasted and regaled the exalted Sarvābhibhū and his company of disciples with plentiful and palatable food, both hard and soft. When he saw that the exalted Sarvābhibhū had eaten, washed his hands, and put away his bowl, he scattered the hundred thousand pieces’ worth of keśara essence on, over and about him and his company of disciples.

  • He is dear to me and beloved, and is the son of a brāhman of good birth. Ordain him, Lord, and admit him to the community.”

  • When this had been said, Ānanda, the monk Jyotipāla replied to the exalted Kāśyapa, “It was so, Lord.” Then the exalted Kāśyapa said to the monk Jyotipāla, “Therefore, Jyotipāla, give to the community of monks, with the Buddha at their head, this seat of gold and a suit of garments. For when you have performed this meritorious deed,[35] devas and men will deem you worthy to hearken to and believe in.”

  • Having gained experience of this world and the world beyond, of the worlds of devas, Māra and Brahmā, of the race of brāhmans, recluses, devas and men, here in the Deer Park at Ṛṣivadana, near Benares

  • The hosts of the asuras will dwindle

  • a Śākyan of the city named Kapila.

  • Lokottaravādins seem to approximate closest to the original sect. These latter believed in the supramundane nature of the Buddha; his human traits while on earth were only apparently so.

  • Brahmins began to infiltrate the Buddhist Sangha, to Brahminise or dilute the Buddha’s original teachings and to destroy the Sangha from within.

  • The Jains and Buddhists who remained in India were absorbed into the larger Hindu fold and deprived of their separate identity. The Jains probably deliberately adopted many Hindu practices in order to be considered more acceptable, or less offensive to, the Brahmins.

  • In India Brahmins infiltrated in every sect to take over

  • Buddhism eventually entirely disappeared from India. From the many donations it received, the Sangha became rich, and monks began to ignore the tenth rule of the Vinaya and accepted silver and gold.> Blockquote

If I understand correctly, we have:

  • Theravada
  • Dharmaguptaka = Mahayana
  • Mulasarvastivada = Vajrayana

But are these only vinaya lineages, or do the doctrines of vajrayana, for example, also go back to this school of early Buddhism?

History is a long time. I assume this must have happened at some point, no?

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As a rule, yes. Some monks ignore caste rules when ordaining, but it is still the norm, unfortunately. Obviously this is 100% against what the Buddha taught.

(To make your posts more legible, you might want to check out the formatting rules for Markdown)

Only Vinaya lineages. In practice all schools mix things from various teachings and developments, but Central Asian Buddhism is primarily Varjrayana or Tantrayana in practice, with the orthodox doctrine from the Madhyamaka school based by Nagarjuna. East Asian Buddhism has been very diverse, but draws on both the Yogacara and Madhyamaka schools of Mahayana philosophy, while also creating new schools such as Pure Land or Chan/Zen.

The schools of practice or doctrine, oddly enough, have nothing really to do with the Vinaya lineage. One of the reasons for this is that the Vinaya traditions are almost identical, regardless of the school. Differences in Vinaya practice that we can see today stem not from the Vinaya texts, but from the evolution of Sangha practice in different countries.

As to whether Mahayana or Vajryana doctrines go back to early Buddhism, well, it depends how you see it. All schools inherit a central mass of teachings in common that stem back to the Suttas. Equally, all of them added things to them. The traditions would say that the things added were in line with what was there before, while critics would disagree. I suspect there’s probably some truth to both perspectives.

I doubt it very much. Again, see Sects & Sectarianism for the details, but what we see is that even in the cases where the opponent bhikkhu is vilified and reviled to the greatest possible extent (the story of Mahadeva, the supposed founder of the Mahasanghika), the texts carefully avoid saying that actually created a formal sanghakamma. I think this is basically because the whole Sangha knows about Devadatta and deliberately avoided letting that situation happen again.


I’m sorry but my point was not talk off topic. It’s saying maybe the cause of schism. If you understand good. Meaning around the time when that nikaya was build maybe together in India or that nikaya is the trace that the Brahmins that brought about the schism. It’s clarify why maybe came so many school but it’s all after the Brahmins took over. And that why we see as if we are divided.

The first question seemed off topic but it’s related to what I say next that if understood good may be the cause of these schools

Thanks for the explanation.

To concur, the Lokuttarava Vinaya, which is a branch of the Mahasanghikas, is descended from the “other” side of the first split. All the Vinayas in use today are from “our” side i.e. the ancestral Sthaviras.

While the Lokuttarava Vinaya, as also the Mahasanghika Vinaya in Chinese, descend from an early school, of course this does not mean that the Vinayas themselves are early. In fact they seem to have been subject to a large scale reorganization. Part of that reorganization involved extracting many/most of the stories and narratives, and putting them, together with many more stories, in a huge life of the Buddha called the Mahavastu. While this is technically a Vinaya text, in practice the content has little to do with Vinaya. And it tells us little about the state of text and practice of Vinaya among the Lokuttaravadins, for which we luckily have the actual Vinaya texts. Nevertheless, as you suggest, it may be possible to infer some details from the Mahavastu about the state of Indian society and context in which the Lokuttaravadins flourished.


Bhanthe , I saw some misunderstand about Siam mahanikaya in this discussion . Siam Mahanikaya in Sri Lanka, also descend from Mahavihara lineage which previously was established in Thailand, according to the sources which related to establishment of Siam Nikaya.

" Mandarampurapuwatha " is one historical book in sri lanka, that was written in early 18 th century . It explains how establish Siam Maha Nikaya.
According to this book, king Rajasinghe ll , brought upasampada from Arakan in Myanmar, and it was established in Sri lanka . After few decades (early decades of 18 th century ) , that lineage declined.
Therefor , most venerable welivita saranankara samanera, requested help from king Vijayarajasingha to establish " Upasampada " from pure lineage. Also he said that " Don’ t send the messengers to China, Korea , etc.becouse there are not Theravada lineage . But send them to Thailand, upper Myanmar, Ramannadesa (lower Mynmar) and Arakan.

Then According to instructions of Ven.Saranankara, king sent two groups of messengers to Thailand and Myanmar( as above mentioned three kingdoms in Mynmar).

So , these two groups , went and spend there and collected informations about habits of monks whose lived in that country , how to descend them . After about one year ,both messengers groups came back to Lanka and informed about sasana situation of both country .

The messengers who returned from Myanmar, say :
“There are different sects of monks in myanmar ,their behavior differ from each other. Also they ordaine time to time for clear the distrust about their upasampada. They always critize each other and There is no harmony between them…”
(Mandarampurapuwatha; 578 ,579 verses)

Then messengers who returned from Thailand , said ;

" There are two sanga lineages in Thailand. One of them descends from Mahavihara lineage of Sri Lanka and Other lineage descends from Myanmar. Monks of thailand behave well in the sasana…"
(Mandarampurupuwatha - 579 , 580 verses)

After ven. Saranankara novice observed situation of the sasana in Myanmar and Thailand , then decided to bring the ordination from that Mahavihara lineage in Thailand. As result of that ,phra upali Maha thero came srilanka and established the sasana again.
Before phra upali thero was leaving Ayuttya , king Boromkott who was a king of Ayuttya said him ;
" Bhanthe! When our country upsampasada became decline previously , we requested upsampada from Mahavihara lineage of Srilanka . They gifted us that Mahavihara ordination .
Now ,king of srilanka requests us to give that pure ordination .
Therefore, you will go with other monks group and establish sasana there…"
(Mandarampurupuwatha - 658-660 verses)

This is the brief history of establishment of Siam maha nikaya.

If there was not Mahavihara lineage in thailand, ven Saranankara never allow to bring sasana from there.

And also "Jinakalamali " and "Mulasasana chronicle " give evidence of how to establish that “Mahavihara” lineage in thailand.

If there have Theravadi monks in thailand or Myanmar or any other countries , all of them descend from our Mahavihara lineage . Also monks whose lived in those country , changed that Mahavihara tradition according to their culture and knowledge of damma understood.


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Thanks, this is really interesting information. Can you share with us anything further about this book? Is there an English translation? A quick search has turned up the following helpful post:

That’s this king, I believe:

He died 80 years before Mongkut took ordination in Thailand, which ultimately led to the establishing of the Dhammayutikanikaya via the Kalyani Sima lineage from Myanmar. This was, according to the inscriptions in the sima itself, established from the Mahavihara lineage via an ordination in Kelaniya.

So that means that the reference to a Myanmar lineage is unclear. It can’t be the Dhammayuttikanikaya. It’s been a long time since I read the history from Thailand, so I can’t recall if there were other recognized Myanmar lineages earlier.

That’s this king:

His Auytthaya kingdon ruled over much of what is considered modern day Thailand. But this notably did not include the northern Lanna kingdom which remained proudly independent, and with close links with Myanmar. The Lan Xang kingdom to the east ruled over much of what is modern North-east Thailand. And similar situation prevailed in the south.

So let’s assume that the king’s monks accurately represented their situation, and that at the time, the Ayutthaya Sangha was established on a lineage from the Mahavihara. This doesn’t contradict the fact that monks in “Thailand”, who later became subsumed under the label “Mahanikaya”, came from many different lineages.

It’s worth noting that this is quite the opposite conclusion of King Mongkut, who, eighty years later, decided that the entire Sangha of Thailand was so irredeemably corrupt that he couldn’t trust any ordination.

Clearly I was rash in equating the “Mahanikaya” with the “Siam Nikaya”. The Siam Nikaya was, according to this, established with the belief and intent that it was a pure Mahavihara lineage, and that is an important detail that I did not know, so thank you.

Whether it is true or not is another question. I’ve no doubt Ayutthaya monks would say they are from the Mahavihara. By that time, the official position was that Thai Buddhism followed the Mahavira. But official positions serve power, not truth.

My information mostly comes from the book, Buddha Sasana Vamsa by Somdet Nyanasamvara. It was published in the early 70s I believe, before Ven Nyanasamvara became the Sangharaja of Thailand. It’s an excellent work of historical scholarship, which examines multiples sources from Thailand. If you’re interested in these matters, definitely try to get yourself a copy. There’s been multiple previous discussions on this.

Here’s the thing Ravinath. Any discussion of lineages and purity is about power. And the introduction of the Siam Nikaya is no exception.

Wikipedia says:

Although hagiographies written within Sri Lanka avoid the issue, the foundation of the Siam Nikaya was closely linked to both the aristocratic and caste politics of its era, including an attempted coup d’état that is unusually well-documented, due to the interaction of the colonial Dutch and the king of Kandy at the time:

And it quotes Anne M. Blackburn, 2001, Buddhist learning and textual practice in eighteenth-century Lankan monastic culture:

[T]he plot of 1760… occurred during the reign of Kirti Sri Rajasimha and shortly after the formal beginnings of the Siyam Nikaya in 1753. One group within the local aristocracy conspired to overthrow the king and place a Siamese prince on the throne. The leaders are said to have included not only key lay administrators… but also some of the leading Siyam Nikaya monks. Valivita Saranamkara, founder of the Siyam Nikaya, and his chief student… were named among the conspirators. The plot was discovered, the Siamese prince was deported (with the reluctant assistance of the Dutch), and the lay administrators were executed.

And to whatever extent the new Siam Nikaya represented a “pure” lineage, it was not to last long.

However, in 1764, merely a decade after the re-establishment of the Buddhist order in Sri Lanka by reverend Upali, a group within the newly created Siyam Nikaya conspired and succeeded in restricting the Nikaya’s higher ordination only to the Radala and Goigama caste, Sitinamaluwe Dhammajoti (Durawa) being the last non-Govigama monk receive his upasampada. This was a period when Buddhist Vinaya rules had been virtually abandoned and some members of the Buddhist Sangha in the Kandyan Kingdom privately held land, had wives and children, resided in private homes and were called Ganinnanses. It was a period when the traditional nobility of the Kandyan Kingdom was decimated by continuous wars with the Dutch rulers of the Maritime Provinces. In the maritime provinces, too a new order was replacing the old. Mandarampura Puvata, a text from the Kandyan period, narrates the above radical changes to the monastic order and shows that it was not a unanimous decision by the body of the sangha. It says that thirty-two ‘senior’ members of the Sangha who opposed this change were banished to Jaffna by the leaders of the reform.

Lineage histories are tales told by men in power in order to legitimate their power. In Buddhist countries this is achieved through the story of an ordination lineage. All of these stories are dubious, if for no other reason than that there are simply no meaningful records of ordination transmission in Theravada countries.

These things are still happening. I was once lured under false pretenses into meeting some powerful men, who proceeded to bully and intimidate me into concealing the truth about the history of Buddhism on the Island. Their version of the facts was one that was supposed to bring about harmony in Sri Lanka, a harmony that was rather crucially dependent on them being the ones in power.

Now, this does not mean that such accounts are necessarily false. Any historical record is valuable and should be treated with care and empathy to understand its perspective. But historians do not take such documents on face value. They consider them critically in the light of other records and the broader context. This inevitably reveals that things are far more complex than conveyed by just a single source.

Obviously the Mahavihara lineage played a key role in establishing the Sangha of the region from the time of Parakkamabahu. But these regions already had a thousand years of Buddhist history. And despite what the official accounts may want us to believe, something like that does not just disappear.


Bhanthe , I have a question . How to lineage come monks who obtained dalhikamma from another sect?
Should monk obtain another upajjhaya in his dalhikamma ordination ?

Lineage come from preceptor to his pupils . Also , there is no ability to obtain two or more monks as upajjaya according to Mahawaggapali. Parivarapali says ;If Someone refuse his upajjaya , will bereave his upasampada.

In Sri lanka, some sects perform dalhikamma and some sect not perform.
Siyam nikaya and Some sub groups of Amarapura nikaya are not performed dalhikamma.When monks of other sects, are entering to their sects , in the first they should become lay , then he is ordained as novice , finally upasampada is given to that novice. This method also , was followed by Ven.Suwannasobhana also in first upasampada in Kalyanisima ,Myanmar.

Ramanna nikaya and remained sub sects of Amarapura nikaya perform either dalhikkamma or above mentioned method . When they doing dalhikamma, candidates of dalhikamma, request from sanga as this;
" okasa aham bhanthe sanghan, dalhikammupasamdapam yachami, thenewa upajjhayena…"
" thenewa upajjahayena" means upajjaya who presented in his first upasampada.

Although srilankan dalhikamma way is this, I saw thailand dalhikamma different to that . According to Pavaras sangharaja, Vajirananavarorasa sangharaja , yanasanvara sangaraja’s biographies and some document which related to dalhikamma of monkut,They had obtained another monks as upajjhayas for their dalhikamma ordination.

Also I don’t know whether get another monk or not as upajjaya in procedure of dalhikamma in Myanmar.

Therefor ,how to decide the lineage of monks who enter by dalhikamma to other sects ?

Namo Buddhaya!

My opinion is that the sangha is divided and it is evident in that there is no universal ordination across the monastic communities.

I think that a schism occurs when the monastic community is not merely factionalized over an issue but when one’s ordination & seniority are no longer recognized across the factions such that there is then a need to re-ordain if one was to change faction.

I don’t see how one would see it otherwise when one’s ordination here is not recognized there and one is made to reordain there in order to participate in communal acts there.

I don’t believe that there is or could be some formal procedure as to make a schism because obvioiusly nobody in their right mind would actually follow that protocol.
Rather it comes about when there is formation of factions over a disagreement wherein a faction is asserted to be schismatic such that there arises a need to reordain if one was to change sides.

There is essentially no other way to fully divide a monastic community. Once these monks stop allowing those monks to participate in recitation, and no longer recognize their ordination & seniority, then it’s a wrap as to schism.

I’ll add that i don’t have a conflict of interest in this matter.


Pardon my crude way of saying things.

People have differences in opinion: so what? Beings vary in their degrees of wisdom, concentration and ethical conduct. Beings are freed in panna, samadhi and sila. Beings are also obscured by varying degrees of ignorance, attachment and aversion.

Some people have gauged the depths of the dhamma for themselves and others are still dipping their toes in. Some know what they realise, and some think they know. Some rely on experience and others rely on the fixed word. The differences between A and B laid out prior can be vast.

If you take the word ‘buddha’ to mean ‘one who knows’, dhamma ‘the way it is’, and sangha meaning ‘community’. You could consider Mary Berry, the well known UK baker, her showing the ‘way’ to bake a cake, and her community of aspirants to be a sangha. Of course, this is not the ariya-sangha which is the community of noble beings whose focus is on identifying/uprooting the causes of suffering and exploring metaphysics.

Those who somehow experience division: that is fruit of where they have got to thus far playing out. There is a vihara, a mosque, a synagogue, and a church that doesn’t have four walls and its members are all united in the same realisation - it is the universal Church [insert desired term] of loving-kindness, where the constituents are married together in realisation despite sectarian affiliation. Likeness recognises likeness, you know?

People go their own way. I think the mistake people make is they think that Siddhartha is some sort of hierarchial King above all (his realisations are utterly profound) and those who aren’t him fall under, then it goes from senior disciples to the aspirant. This isn’t so: the ariya-sangha is an equal platform of beings, individuals in a group setting, who are married in realisation and work together for the same objective. The Bhikku sangha, just one type of sangha, is a system for people to train in. The mistake is that some assume that every monk is a fully awakened arahant. That isn’t so. My deduction is that those who quibble don’t really ‘get it’ yet.

Noble friendship is the whole of the holy life. Siddhartha, and other noble ones, are like the best friends we never knew we had. Through love, they have laid the foundations down for the aspirant to begin to crawl, walk and then run. Although you may never meet such ones, they have shared out of love, for you.

All the historical Buddha needed is some existential angst, a whole load of suffering, a need to uproot it, set out on a journey and then reflected earnestly. This is going on for all of us, no matter how small that wish is, and fruit will develop at some point for as long as one persists.

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Namo Buddhaya!

As i see it,

This is essentially how the bhikkhusangha is divided and eventually conquered.

When the bhikkhusangha is united then it is very difficult for the bad monks to have much influence. Whereas when the bad monks manage to divide the community the bad monks become leaders of a faction and run it as they see fit.

This has many bad consequences because it is not easy for the lay people to know who are the bad ones and the bad ideas become prominent.

The bad monks influence the field of laity and set them up against the good monks and good ideas. The bad ideas eventually become prominent among the new monks who don’t yet know & see. This creates doubt & confusion when the sangha is split.

Kings become confused as well, not knowing whom to support, and there comes to be competition for king’s favor. Eventually kings get much influence in the bhikkhusangha.

The stock of the bhikkhusangha as a whole is devalued because the bad monks becoming unrestrained due to the split.

There is then confusion about the right instruction and after some time the good monks are simply overwhelmed due to the lack of checks & balances which existed when the sangha was united.

The good monks get less respect, their teachings get less respect, there is less interest to live in the forest, there is less interest to wear only rag-robes, there is less interest to eat only alms food.

Eventually the old ways disappear and it becomes as it is nowadays and worse.

Nowadays monks don’t really live in the forest, they don’t encourage new monks to live in the forest and i guess many will not allow it. They are confused as to what is the true dhamma, they live indoors, sleep on soft pillows, they get fat, don’t go for alms, have food brought to them or have food be made in monastery kitchens, and they wouldn’t think of wearing rag-robes.

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