Studying the Dharma: Moral Qualities of a Disciple

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Abstract

The topic of the article is early medieval Indian Buddhist views on the problem of monks’ selection for the study in monastery universities. Basing on the analysis of Vasubandhu’s treatise “The Encyclopedia of Abhidharma” and the commentary on it (Abhidharmakośa, Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya), the author demonstrates that the criteria of the selection elaborated by Kaśmīr Vaibhāṣikas included only moral qualities of competitors. Only monks inspired with determination to achieve the soteriological aim of the Buddha’s Teaching to “eradicate the root of suffering” could be regarded as appropriate for the study. The object of special attention was virtuous behavior of a competitor and strict observance of monastic vows. Those who were diligent, abstinent from sin, content with minimal material goods (clothes, food, bed, and seat), and see happiness in monastic ascetics and religious practices regarded as worthy competitor.

About the authors

Helena P. Ostrovskaia

Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: ost-alex@yandex.ru

Researcher-in-Chief, Head of the South Asian Section of the Department of Central Asian and South Asian Studies, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts

Russian Federation, St. Petersburg

References

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  3. Dhammajoti Bhikkhu K.L. Sarvāstivāda Abhidharma. Hong Kong: Centre of Buddhist Studies, University of Hong Kong, 2009 (in English).
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  7. Vasubandhu. Abhidharmakosha. Razdely III i IV [Vasubandhu. Abhidharmakosha. Sections III and IV]. Izdanie podgot. E.P. Ostrovskaia, V.I. Rudoi [Ed. prepared by E.P. Ostrovskaya and V.I. Rudoy]. Moscow: Ladomir, 2001 (in Russian).
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  9. Vasubandhu. Entsiklopediia Abhidharmy [Abhidharmakosha]. Razdely I i II [Sections I and II]. Edition prepared by E.P. Ostrovskaya and V.I. Rudoi. Moscow: Ladomir, 1998 (in Russian).


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