Thudhamma Nikaya

Last updated
Thudhamma Nikaya
သုဓမ္မာနိကာယ
AbbreviationThudhamma
Formation1800s
TypeBuddhist monastic order
HeadquartersMyanmar
Thudhamma Nikaya derives its name ultimately from the Thudhamma Zayats, which was the meeting place for the Thudhamma Council. Thudhama Zayats.jpg
Thudhamma Nikaya derives its name ultimately from the Thudhamma Zayats, which was the meeting place for the Thudhamma Council.

Thudhamma Nikaya (Burmese : သုဓမ္မာနိကာယ, IPA:  [θudəma̰ nḭkàja̰] ; also spelt Sudhammā Nikāya) is the largest monastic order of monks in Burma, with 85-90% of Burmese monks (250,000) belonging to this order. [1] It is one of 9 legally sanctioned monastic orders (nikaya) in the country, under the 1990 Law Concerning Sangha Organizations. [2] Thudhamma is considered a more pragmatic order than the Shwegyin Nikaya, with looser rules regarding Vinaya regulations and is less hierarchical than the former. [3] Like all the major orders in Burma, Thudhamma Nikaya prohibits monks from engaging in political activity. [4]

Contents

Origins

Thudhamma Nikaya was founded in the late 18th century by King Bodawpaya, after a series of Sangha reforms by prior Konbaung kings to purify and unite the Sangha. The name 'Thudhamma' comes from the Thudhamma Council (an ecclesiastical organization founded by Bodawpaya), which in turn is named after Mandalay's Thudhamma Zayats, the meeting grounds for the Council. [5]

The office of the Supreme Patriarch (သာသနာပိုင် or Thathanabaing ), similar to the position of Sangharaja in Thailand and Cambodia, dates back to the 13th century, started by the monk Shin Arahan in the Pagan Kingdom. [6] The Thathanabaing was responsible for managing the monastic hierarchy and education at monasteries. In 1784, King Bodawpaya assembled the Thudhamma Council, led by the Thathanapaing and four elders (ထေရ် or thera) to resolve a longstanding issue on the proper wearing of monk's robes (whether one or both shoulders should be exposed). [6] Toward the end of the Konbaung dynasty, the council, which oversaw religious affairs in the kingdom, including the appointment of monastery abbots, Vinaya regulations, discipline of individual monks, and administration of Pali examination, was expanded to include 8 elders. [6]

Related Research Articles

Sangha Sanskrit word meaning religious community

Sangha is a Sanskrit word used in many Indian languages, including Pali, meaning "association", "assembly", "company" or "community". It was historically used in a political context to denote a governing assembly in a republic or a kingdom. It is used in modern times by groups such as the political party and social movement Rashtriya Seva Sangh. It has long been commonly used by religious associations including by Jains and Sikhs.

Nikāya Pāḷi word meaning "volume." commonly used in reference to the Sutta Piṭaka but also refer to the monastic divisions of Theravāda Buddhism.

Nikāya is a Pāli word meaning "volume". It is often used like the Sanskrit word āgama to mean "collection", "assemblage", "class" or "group" in both Pāḷi and Sanskrit. It is most commonly used in reference to the Buddhist texts of the Sutta Piṭaka but can also refer to the monastic divisions of Theravāda Buddhism.

Dhammayuttika Nikaya an order of Theravada Buddhist monks in Thailand and Cambodia.

Dhammayuttika Nikaya, or Thammayut is an order of Theravada Buddhist bhikkhus (monks) in Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma, with significant branches in the Western world. Its name is derived from Pali dhamma + yutti + ka (group). The order began in Thailand as a reform movement led by a prince who would later become King Mongkut of Siam and has come to play a significant political role in Thailand as well.

Sangharaja is the title given in many Theravada Buddhist countries to a senior monk who is the titular head either of a monastic fraternity (nikaya), or of the Sangha throughout the country. This term is often rendered in English as 'Patriarch' or 'Supreme Patriarch'.

Buddhism in Thailand Theravada integrated with folk religion and Chinese traditional religion

Buddhism in Thailand is largely of the Theravada school, which is followed by 94.6 percent of the population. Buddhism in Thailand has also become integrated with folk religion as well as Chinese religions from the large Thai Chinese population. Buddhist temples in Thailand are characterized by tall golden stupas, and the Buddhist architecture of Thailand is similar to that in other Southeast Asian countries, particularly Cambodia and Laos, with which Thailand shares cultural and historical heritage.

Sangharaj Nikaya tradition of Theravada Buddhism, located in Bangladesh

The Sangharaja Nikaya is a tradition of Theravada Buddhism, located in Bangladesh.

Buddhism in Myanmar Buddhism as practiced in Myanmar

Buddhism is practiced by 90% of the country's population, and is predominantly of the Theravada tradition. It is the most religious Buddhist country in terms of the proportion of monks in the population and proportion of income spent on religion. Adherents are most likely found among the dominant Bamar people, Shan, Rakhine, Mon, Karen, Zo, and Chinese who are well integrated into Burmese society. Monks, collectively known as the sangha, are venerated members of Burmese society. Among many ethnic groups in Myanmar, including the Bamar and Shan, Theravada Buddhism is practised in conjunction with nat worship, which involves the placation of spirits who can intercede in worldly affairs.

Buddhist monasticism

Buddhist monasticism is one of the earliest surviving forms of organized monasticism and one of the fundamental institutions of Buddhism. Monks and nuns, called bhikkhu and bhikkhuni, are responsible for the preservation and dissemination of the Buddha's teaching and the guidance of Buddhist lay people. Three surviving traditions of monastic discipline (Vinaya), govern modern monastic life in different regional traditions: Theravada, Dharmaguptaka, and Mulasarvastivada.

Amarapura Nikaya Sri Lankan monastic fraternity

The Amarapura Nikaya is a Sri Lankan monastic fraternity founded in 1800. It is named after the city of Amarapura, Burma, the capital of the Konbaung Dynasty of Burma at that time. Amarapura Nikaya monks are Theravada Buddhists.

Buddhism in Cambodia has existed since at least the 5th century. In its earliest form it was a type of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Today, the predominant form of Buddhism in Cambodia is Theravada Buddhism. It is enshrined in the Cambodian constitution as the official religion of the country. Theravada Buddhism has been the Cambodian state religion since the 13th century. As of 2010 it was estimated that 96.9 percent of the population was Buddhist, and is currently estimated to be the faith of 95% of the population.

Kyaung Buddhist monastery

A kyaung is a monastery (vihara), comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of Buddhist monks. Burmese kyaungs are sometimes also occupied by novice monks (samanera), lay attendants (kappiya), nuns, and young acolytes observing the five precepts. Kyaungs are typically built of wood, meaning that few historical monasteries built before the 1800s are extant. Kyaungs exist in Myanmar (Burma), as well as in neighboring countries with Theravada Buddhist communities, including neighboring China.

Shwegyin Nikaya

Shwegyin Nikāya is the name of the second largest monastic order of monks in Burma. Approximately five percent of Burma's monks belong to this order. It is one of nine legally sanctioned monastic orders (nikāya) in the country, under the 1990 Law Concerning Sangha Organizations. Shwegyin Nikaya is a more orthodox order than Thudhamma Nikaya, with respect to adherence to the Vinaya, and its leadership is more centralized and hierarchical. The head of the Shwegyin Nikaya is called the Sangha Sammuti (သံဃာသမ္မုတိ), whose authority on doctrine and religious practice is considered absolute.

Maha Dwara Nikaya ; also spelt Maha Dwaya Nikaya or Mahādvāra Nikāya, is the name of a small monastic order of monks in Myanmar (Burma), numbering a three to four thousand monks, primarily in Lower Myanmar. This order is very conservative with respect to Vinaya regulations. It is one of 9 legally sanctioned monastic orders (nikaya) in the country, under the 1990 Law Concerning Sangha Organizations.

Hngettwin Nikaya, officially Catubhummika Mahāsatipaṭṭhana Nikāya is the name of a monastic order of monks in Burma, numbering approximately 1,000 monks, primarily in Mandalay. Founded in the mid-19th century by the abbot of the Hngettwin Monastery, it is one of 9 legally sanctioned monastic orders (nikaya) in the country, under the 1990 Law Concerning Sangha Organizations. Hngettwin Nikaya is a very orthodox order, with a minimalist and austere approach to Buddhist rituals found in Burma, not recognizing any rituals inconsistent with Buddhist doctrine, including nat spirit worship. For instance, members of this order do not worship or venerate the image of Buddha, but his spirit.

A bhikkhunī (Pali) or bhikṣuṇī (Sanskrit) is a fully ordained female monastic in Buddhism. Male monastics are called bhikkhus. Both bhikkhunis and bhikkhus live by the Vinaya, a set of rules. Until recently, the lineages of female monastics only remained in Mahayana Buddhism and thus are prevalent in countries such as China, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam but a few women have taken the full monastic vows in the Theravada and Vajrayana schools over the last decade. From conservative perspectives, none of the contemporary bhikkuni ordinations are valid.

State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee government-appointed body of high-ranking Buddhist monks in Myanmar (Burma)

The State Saṅgha Mahā Nāyaka Committee is a government-appointed body of high-ranking Buddhist monks that oversees and regulates the Sangha in Burma (Myanmar).

Taunggwin Sayadaw Burmese Buddhist monk

The Taunggwin SayadawU Visuddha Silacaraha was the last Buddhist monk to hold the office as Thathanabaing of Burma. The office was abolished after his death in 1938 and no successor was ever appointed.

The Thathanabaing of Burma served as the head of the Buddhist Sangha in pre-colonial Burma, until the position was abolished in 1938 by the British authorities in colonial Burma. The Thathanapaing was responsible for managing the monastic hierarchy and education at monasteries. The Thathanabaing resided in a royal monastery near the kingdom's capital. However, appointees were usually commoners born in the villages, with no blood relationship with the royal house. Their appointments were made on the basis of their mastery of Buddhist knowledge and literature.

Mahagandhayon Monastery Monastery in Amarapura, Myanmar (Burma)

Mahāgandhāyon Monastery, located in Amarapura, Myanmar, is the country's most prominent monastic college. The monastery, known for its strict adherence to the Vinaya, the Buddhist monastic code.

Monastic examinations

Monastic examinations comprise the annual examination system used in Myanmar (Burma) to rank and qualify members of the Buddhist sangha, or community of Buddhist monks. While the institution of monastic examinations first began during pre-colonial era, modern-day examinations are conducted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs's Department of Religious Affairs.

References

  1. http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/seasia/thuddama.html
  2. Gutter, Peter (2001). "Law and Religion in Burma" (PDF). Legal Issues on Burma Journal. Burma Legal Council (8): 10.
  3. Matthews, Bruce (1993). "Buddhism under a Military Regime: The Iron Heel in Burma". Asian Survey. University of California Press. 33 (4): 411. doi:10.1525/as.1993.33.4.00p02742. JSTOR   2645106.
  4. Aung-Thwin, Michael (2009). "Of Monarchs, Monks, and Men: Religion and the State in Myanmar" (PDF). Working Paper Series No. 127. Asia Research Institute (18).
  5. Carbine, Jason A (2011). Sons of the Buddha: Continuities and Ruptures in a Burmese Monastic Tradition. 50. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN   978-3-11-025409-9.
  6. 1 2 3 James, Helen (2005). Governance and civil society in Myanmar: education, health, and environment. Psychology Press. p. 81. ISBN   978-0-415-35558-2.

See also