Kan Sasaki, "What is an ordained priest?" - What is a priest in the first place? Recommended reference book for thinking about Japanese Buddhism and precepts.

What is ordination? Buddhism in India

Summary and Comments on "What is an Ordained Priest?" by Kan Sasaki - What is a priest in the first place? Recommended reference book for thinking about Japanese Buddhism and precepts.

Introduced here is "What is an ordained priest?" by Kan Sasaki, published by Okura Shuppan in 1999.

Let's take a quick look at the book.

The Religious Crisis of a Buddhist Nation without Laws. The "Ritsu" rule-based Indian Buddhist ordination and monastic life are thoroughly portrayed, with a focus on their relationship with society.

Using the Ritual Library, especially the Pali Rites, as the basic source material, this book presents a concrete description of the actual living conditions of Indian Buddhist monastic communities during the Shakamuni period and the hundreds of years that followed, and shows the basic principles of monastic life in Buddhism.

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As the title of this book suggests, "What is ordination? Some may get the impression from the above introduction that this book is difficult to understand, but rest assured, it is not. The narrative of Dr. Kan Sasaki is very easy to understand and read.

Dr. Kan Sasaki's writings have been featured on this blog before.The Birth of Buddhism.We have introduced an introductory book called

The book is written in such a way that even those with absolutely no knowledge of Buddhism can enjoy reading it, making it suitable for beginning students. It is also suitable for those who have some knowledge of Buddhism, as it is written in such a way that it can be enjoyed by those who have no knowledge of Buddhism at all! I didn't know there was such a way of thinking! You will discover something new. I also got a big smack on the knee when he compared the precepts in Buddhism to a traffic light. He is a very reliable scholar. I am sure that "What is an ordained priest?

The afterword at the end of the book states the following about this book

We have reviewed the ordained life of the Indian Buddhist monastic community using the Ritual Library, especially the Pali Rites, as the basic source material. There is much to be said, but since the purpose of this book is to present the basic principles of the Shakamuni Order in a straightforward manner, we have selected a few subjects that are appropriate for this purpose and presented them in a targeted manner. The basic idea is begging. Whether one actually goes around begging or going out to meet people, the way of life of a Buddhist monastic order is absolutely determined by the way of life of "eating from others. The characteristics of Buddhist monastic communities, such as openness to the outside world, inability to turn one's back on worldly conventions, the necessity to maintain close and good relations with society, and avoiding excessive aspirations for power, are all derived from this lifestyle of begging. This is not a way of life unique to Buddhist monks. There is no doubt that many samon groups in India at that time adopted this path. However, Buddhism in particular tried to follow this policy thoroughly, resulting in the creation of a very special legal system called the Yulzang. In the extreme, it can be said that the Ritsuryo codifies the principles of a group that lives in dependence on others.

The various Buddhist groups that we see today equally claim to be descendants of Shakamuni. Of course, there is no such thing as a monastic group that is exactly the same as it was at the time of Shakamuni, but those who claim to be descendants of Shakamuni must, to some extent, have retained the basic principles of Shakamuni. It is not a matter of doctrine. The important criterion is the practical standpoint of the group in terms of the means by which it earns its living and sets up its relationship with the outside world. Is it in accordance with the basic blueprint drawn by Shakamuni, or does it deviate from it, and if so, to what extent and where? It is important to clarify this point. And this can only be clarified through a comparison with the unique legal system of the Buddhist monastic community of Yulchang. I have published this book in the hope that it will help in this work. There must be many corrections and additions to be made. I look forward to your comments and criticisms.

Daizo Shuppan, Kan Sasaki, "What is an ordained priest?" p. 291-292

I am a priest of the Jodo Shinshu sect. Shinran Shonin, the founder of Jodo Shinshu, was a monk who insisted on a unique view of precepts and ordination that was "non-monastic and non secular. One of the most famous of his views was that of wife and child. This is a clear departure from Indian Buddhism, as Dr. Sasaki mentioned above. In Japan, however, Buddhism has been integrated into society without any deviation from these precepts. I strongly felt that we must reconsider the reasons for such deviations, the differences from those in India and Sri Lanka that led to this situation, and what makes a Buddhist organization claim to be a Buddhist organization. I have a sense of crisis that this is no longer an era in which we can simply "go along with things as they are.

This book also discusses the uniqueness of Japanese Buddhism. It is only by comparing the two that we can see what we are looking for. The book is also a very stimulating look at early Buddhist life in India and Sri Lanka.

This is my own experience, but when I belong to Jodo Shinshu, I have many opportunities to read books written from a Shinshu perspective or those that focus on Shinran's philosophy. This is natural for a Shin Buddhist monk, and if one does not understand the teachings of one's own denomination, it is a complete failure. I would like to continue learning about Buddhism with this perspective in mind.

This book is a bit tough for a complete beginner in Buddhism, but it is a great book that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about Buddhism. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about Buddhism.

The above is "Kan Sasaki, "What is an ordained priest?" - What is a priest in the first place? A recommended reference book for thinking about Japanese Buddhism and precepts".

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