October 01, 1999
So far we have examined the nature and characteristics of the early Buddhist Order. But it may also be helpful to examine how Shakyamuni himself defined who is a priest. First of all, Shakyamuni taught that no form of social distinction-neither class, race, gender nor wealth-should be given any consideration in the priestly order. In his well-known sermon about the eight properties of the oceans, Shakyamuni instructs his priestly disciples:
Just as, monks, whatsoever great rivers there are-namely, Ganga, Yamuna, Aciravati, Sarabhu,Mahi-these, on reaching the mighty ocean, abandon their former names and lineage, and henceforth go by the name of just “mighty ocean,” even so, monks, the four castes-namely, the nobles, the brahmins, the merchants and the serfs-on going forth from home to the homeless in the dhamma-discipline proclaimed by the Wayfarer, abandon their former names and lineage and go by the name of just “recluses who are Sakya sons.” 56
Judging from the openness with which Shakyamuni accepted anyone into his teaching, the total disregard of social distinction or status no doubt permeated the entire community of Buddhists, including lay believers.
Blind to social distinctions or status, Shakyamuni attempted to define priests in terms of their spirituality, their character and their action. This was radically different from the traditions of the priestly class of brahmins, who had to be born into that class. Shakyamuni’s position regarding the definition of priesthood is clear from many passages of the early Buddhist texts. For example, in the Dhammapada, Shakyamuni teaches: “Not by the tonsure, a shaven head, does a man become a samana, a monk. How can a man be a samana if he forgets his religious vows, if he speaks what is not true, if he still has desire and greed?”57 In Sutta-Nipata, Shakyamuni also teaches: “Birth neither Brahmin, nor non-Brahmin, makes; / ’tis life and conduct moulds the Brahmin true.”58 In light of those passages, to define who is a priest based solely on that person’s position, status or appearance does not accord with the original spirit of Buddhism.Finally it should be noted that Shakyamuni strongly urged lay believers to distinguish bad priests from good ones. In Sutta-Nipata, Shakyamuni explains to the blacksmith Cunda the importance of discerning the true nature of a monk based on his character and action. He classifies monks or priests into four categories: “Way-conqueror,” “Way-herald,” “Wayfarer,” and “fraud-of-Way.”59 Shakyamuni describes the last category as a priest “Who, cloaked in piety, / Is froward, boaster, cheat /Of clansmen, unrestrained,/A babbler, masked in mode.”60 Shakyamuni then exhorts Cunda as follows: “And the shrewd householder, /Wise Ariyan listener, / Perceiveth them, knows all /As such; and seeing this / His faith wanes not: for how / Could he confound no fraud / With fraud, cleansed with unclean?”61
Here Shakyamuni encourages his lay followers to develop the wisdom and perception to observe the true nature of crooked monks so that they may protect their faith. Nothing could be further from Shakyamuni’s intent than laity bound up in blind, unquestioning obedience to a priesthood.
The Mistranslation of Samgha into Chinese and Japanese
Although the scope of my discussion has been limited to early Buddhism in India, I would like to note one important detail about the translation of the term samgha into Chinese and then into Japanese. Samgha was translated into Chinese as seng-chia. (To be precise, this was a transliteration of the term.) Seng, the Chinese abbreviation of seng-chia, however, came to be used to indicate an individual monk although in India samgha never carried this meaning. As I mentioned earlier, in India, an individual monk was referred to as bhikkhu or bhiksu. In the Buddhist texts, the usage of the term samgha was strictly distinguished from that of bhikkhu or bhiksu. The samgha was considered one of the three treasures of Buddhism, but an individual monk was never considered an object of veneration as an element of the three treasures.
I-Ching (635-713), a Chinese Buddhist scholar, after paying visits to many Buddhist sites in India, pointed out to Chinese Buddhists this misapplication of the term samgha to individuals.62 Many scholars acknowledged the error, but they insisted on continuing to use the term to refer to an individual priest or monk. This misuse of the term was simply accepted by the Japanese when Buddhism took root in Japan, as well. The Japanese term so, the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese seng of seng-chia, came to signify an individual priest. As a result, this mistranslation significantly altered the concept of the three treasures in China and Japan. Particularly in Japan, the term was misused to promote reverence toward an individual priest. It is this misinterpretation that Nichiren Shoshu has been leaning on to dogmatically define its high priest as being part of the three treasures.63 As I discussed earlier, the treasure of the samgha originally referred to the Buddhist Order, which, in the broadest sense, included all Buddhists, both priests and lay believers. The samgha was revered especially after Shakyamuni’s death precisely because the Buddhist community as a whole fulfilled the important role of preserving and spreading the Buddha’s teaching.
In light of those historical facts, as a translator, I personally feel the components of the three treasures would best be translated as the Buddha, the Dharma and the Samgha in order to maintain the original meaning and intent of the concept. (The “Law” or the “Teaching” for the Dharma, and the “Order” or “Community” for the samgha may be permissible if English terms are preferred for understanding.) But translating the treasure of the Samgha as “the treasure of the priesthood” would be, I feel, a gross diminution of the original term, and “the Treasure of the Priest”64 an outright distortion.
IV. The Buddhist Order in Mahayana Buddhism
Stupa Worship and the Rise of Mahayana Buddhism
Shortly before his passing, Shakyamuni prohibited his monks from being involved in his funeral rite. Rather, he encouraged his priestly disciples to focus on their religious practice.65 In his mind, officiating a funeral service had nothing to do with Buddhism. In Shakyamuni’s India, funerals were held by brahmins or Hindu priests, and early Buddhist leaders often held in contempt the magical incantations recited by brahmins. 66 It is an ironic reversal of the Buddha’s intent that funerals and memorial services have become the primary focus of Buddhism in Japan. The Japanese Buddhist establishment would not exist today without funerals and memorial services-rites that are virtually unrelated to the original intent of Buddhism. This is why Buddhism in Japan is often referred to as “funeral Buddhism.”
Shakyamuni died in Kusinagara, and the people who lived there conducted his funeral. His cremated remains were then divided among eight tribes in central India, who constructed stupas (memorial mounds) to house the Buddha’s remains.67 Since lay believers were unable to spend their whole life in scholarship and meditation as were the monks, they soon began to gather around those stupas and worship them, hoping somehow to commune with the Buddha’s spirit. This stupa worship was a simple expression of the laity’s sincere devotion to the Buddha, who was symbolically represented by the stupas. This lay movement eventually evolved into Mahayana Buddhism.
Mahayana scriptures began appearing around the first century BCE,68 but the origin of the Mahayana movement, that is, worship before the stupa, dates back much earlier. For example, according to one Buddhist text, King Ashoka (r.c. 268-232 BCE) opened the original eight stupas and removed and further divided the Buddha’s relics to build many stupas throughout the country.69 Professor Akira Hirakawa suggests that the king was simply responding to the growing popularity of stupa worship.70
Bodhisattva-samgha: The Lay Buddhist Order of Mahayana Buddhism
The term Mahayana means “a greater vehicle.” The Mahayana Buddhists called Nikaya71 or Sectarian Buddhism “Hinayana” or “a smaller vehicle.” It is not clear if the Mahayana Buddhists applied the term Hinayana to the whole of Nikaya Buddhism, or only to some of its branches such as the Theravada school. But it should be noted that no school of Buddhism referred to itself as Hinayana.
Mahayana Buddhism was essentially a lay movement. It encouraged its practitioners to seek their enlightenment through teaching and helping others. Because of their altruistic orientation, the Mahayana Buddhists referred to themselves as “bodhisattvas” (those who seek supreme enlightenment), their teaching as “bodhisattvayana” (the bodhisattva vehicle), and their lay Buddhist order as “bodhisattva-samgha” or “bodhisattva-gana” (group or community of bodhisattvas).72 On the other hand, Nikaya Buddhism was a teaching for monks who would devote themselves to study and meditation for their own salvation. While monks attempted to discipline themselves by following a set of rules or precepts, the Mahayana bodhisattvas sought to cultivate wisdom and faith in their own potential to become Buddhas. Those who realized that they have such potential were called bodhisattvas. 73 The Mahayana bodhisattvas, therefore, aspired to be equal to the Buddha while monks were content to remain as disciples of the Buddha, rather than striving to achieve the same enlightenment as the Buddha. For this reason, the Mahayana practitioners called the monastic tradition “Buddhism for disciples.”74 Put simply, Mahayana Buddhism appealed to ordinary people and their lives, while Nikaya Buddhism was monastic and therefore withdrawn from the everyday world.
One reason why the Mahayana Buddhists were able to develop and maintain the characteristics of a lay movement was that stupas, that is, the places they gathered for worship and practice, were managed by lay believers. According to the monastic rules, the property and assets of monastic orders were strictly distinguished from those of stupas.75 If monks were to benefit from the land and assets of the stupas, or offerings made to the stupas, they would be accused of stealing-one of the four great prohibitions.76 Since stupas were strictly beyond the control of the monastic orders, the doctrines of lay Mahayana Buddhism were developed, spread widely and transmitted to younger generations without monastic influences. Since the stupas were not controlled by monks, people were free to perform music and dance there in honor of the Buddha. (Any form of entertainment was strictly prohibited in the monastic orders.) People also decorated the grounds of a stupa with various art works carved on gates, pillars and railings.77 The Mahayana movement, in this sense, was also a great cultural and artistic movement based on Buddhist ideals. As stupa worship grew more popular, however, the members of monastic orders became hostile toward the Mahayana movement. According to some later Buddhist texts, some monks claimed that contributions for the monastic orders produced much more benefit than those made to stupas.78 The growing popularity of stupa worship also attracted the envy of the adherents of Brahmanism, who called a stupa “eduka,” which meant a structure of rubbish.79
The Development of the Mahayana Priesthood and Esotericism
Only in its later stage did Mahayana Buddhism became a religion in which a priesthood played a central role.80 Since the stupas included land and structures, people had to manage them. The caretaker of the stupa gradually came to be viewed as a sort of religious specialist who was neither a lay believer nor a priest. He would tell stories of the Buddha’s life or past lives to the pilgrims who visited the stupa and manage lodgings for them.81 But eventually a priestly order began to emerge from among those people.82Meanwhile, by the beginning of the Common Era, stupas were being built on the grounds of monasteries and temples.83 Because of its continued popularity, stupa worship was gradually incorporated into monastic Buddhism as well. The absorption of the stupa worship into monastic orders, despite their initial hostility, undoubtedly had the effect of increasing their income from pilgrims’ offerings.
Since Mahayana Buddhism emphasized believers’ devotion to the Buddha, the concept of the Buddha became highly idealized and mystified over time. While the Mahayana practitioners taught the cultivation of wisdom and encouraged people to realize their own potential of Buddhahood, they also started to emphasize the saving powers of imagined Buddhas and bodhisattvas. In one sense, the essential Buddhist ideal of self-reliance began to be obscured by people’s dependency on external deities. Many Mahayana scriptures expounded the blessings to be derived from magical incantations called dharani. Over the centuries, more magical elements were incorporated into Mahayana Buddhism. Furthermore, with the emergence of a priesthood from within, Mahayana Buddhism eventually leaned toward esotericism. Esoteric Buddhism emphasized rituals over doctrine. It thus became indistinguishable from Hinduism and was finally assimilated into Hinduism.84 With the assimilation of esoteric Buddhism into Hinduism and the Muslim invasion of India, Buddhism in India virtually disappeared by the end of the twelfth century. 85 (Usually the end of Indian Buddhism is marked by the destruction of the Vikramasila Monastery by Muslim troops at the end of the twelfth century.) However, the fact that Hinduism remained strong even after the Muslim invasion suggests that the decline of Buddhism in India could be attributed more to internal causes than to a foreign enemy.
The decline of Buddhism in India is instructive precisely because it was mainly self caused. When Shakyamuni came to be deified and other imaginary Buddhas and bodhisattvas were invented, Buddhist practitioners began to depend more on priests as intermediaries to enjoy their supposed powers of salvation. Rituals conducted by priests became more central than their own efforts to practice for themselves and others. On one hand, Mahayana Buddhism revived the original spirit of Buddhism by emphasizing compassion for others. Its practitioners, however, eventually succumbed to their yearning for a transcendent deity while ignoring the greatness of the human Shakyamuni. They sought to commune with this transcendent Buddha-deity through priests as intermediaries. The disappearance of Buddhism in India was caused in no small part by believers’ lack of self-reliant practice-as the Buddha, on his deathbed, had admonished them to develop. It was not hostile “Hinayana” monks nor invading Muslims who brought about the decline of Mahayana and eventually all of Indian Buddhism. Ironically it was Mahayana priests who sapped the vigor of the popular Buddhist movement by inserting themselves between believers and a Buddha who had turned from a living example into an inaccessible god. Ultimately, however, it was the laity who came to yearn for external saviors and invited priests to bridge the gap between them. They had completely forgotten Shakyamuni’s admonition of self-reliance: “Only a man himself can be the master of himself: who else from outside could be his master?”86
In the “Preface” of the first edition of Leaves of Grass published in 1855,Walt Whitman (1819-1892) speaks to the future of priesthood:
There will soon be no more priests. Their work is done. They may wait awhile . . perhaps a generation or two . . dropping off by degree. A superior breed shall take their place . . . . the gangs of kosmos and prophets en masse shall take their place. A new order shall arise and they shall be the priests of man, and every man shall be his own priest. . . . They shall arise in America and be responded to from the remainder of the earth. 87
With the publication of Leaves of Grass, Whitman attempted to break a new ground in American literature. He challenged the traditions of the New England literary establishment with his new poetic form, subject and vision. Whitman saw himself as a poet of democracy who inspires people to seek their own communion with the universe and the divine. In this sense, he refused to be a poet who, as an intermediary, interprets the message of Mother Nature for the people. His theology was aptly expressed in such lines from “Song of Myself” as: “Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touched from” or “In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass.”88 What he stood for in his poetry echoes important Mahayana ideals such as the universality of Buddhahood. And his rejection of priests as intermediaries between people and their own inherent divinity accords with the original Buddhist ideal of self-reliance. In this sense, Whitman’s remarks about priests contain an invaluable insight.
So do priests play a necessary role in Buddhism? I believe the answer depends on what we mean by the word priest. Whitman replaced one kind of priest with another, more universal kind of role that any of us can fulfill. I think we can conclude that Buddhist priests who do not fulfill their originally intended function—to protect and spread the teachings of Buddhism—are not really priests. Nor are priests who are concerned with their own status— who deify the Buddha and insert themselves between the Buddha and the people to elevate that status—of use to anyone but themselves. On the other hand, I can find no reason to reject a priest who, in accord with the original role of the samgha, dedicates him or herself to protecting and spreading Buddhism, and to serving its believers.
As we observed in the historical development of the samgha, the form of a Buddhist movement changes according to the circumstances while the essential teaching of Buddhism should not change. What Shakyamuni thought of as priests in his day is virtually an extinct species today. Particularly in Japan, Buddhist priests marry, own homes and live in relative comfort; they accumulate wealth, and conduct funerals and memorial services as a source of income. They are not Buddhist priests in any sense of the original meaning. They simply, over the centuries, invented themselves. As the form of priesthood changes, it would be foolish to be attached to a preconceived notion of priesthood.
Rather than being preoccupied with the form of priesthood, we must look at the original spirit and functions of priesthood in Buddhism and try to fulfill those functions in a manner best suited to the time and place. What priesthood must do is protect and spread Buddhism. As I think of how best we as a community of Buddhists fulfill those functions in contemporary American society, I cannot help but think that shaved heads and robes would hamper rather than help us in our endeavor. “Protecting” Buddhism means to correct any misconception or distortion of Buddhism and proclaim its truth among practitioners or in society at large. “Spreading” Buddhism means to communicate the joy and benefit of Buddhist practice to those unaware. Both functions of the samgha require a considerable degree of commitment in terms of social engagement. I do not think that priests who would lock themselves up in a temple or monastery are suited to fulfill those functions today. (In this regard, Professor Harvey Cox discusses the worker-priest movement of Catholic priests in his essay “Priesthood in the Post-modern World.” See page 16.)
Early Mahayana Buddhists proudly called themselves the “bodhisattva-samgha,” that is, a group of ordinary people who saw their innate Buddhahood and strove to manifest it while helping others do the same. Free from the influences of monks, they inspired people’s lives with art and culture rooted in the rich spirituality of Buddhism. Centuries after Shakyamuni’s death, they revived the original Buddhist spirit of compassion in the lives of ordinary people. I believe that this is exactly what the SGI is doing. Like Walt Whitman, we have become our own priests.
1. The etymology of the word is indicated in the Oxford English Dictionary.
2.Martin Luther. To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation. Quoted in Classical and Christian Ideas in English Renaissance Poetry. Isabel Rivers. 2nd Ed. London: Routledge, 1994. p. 96.
3. Martin Luther. “Answer before the Emperor and the Diet of Worms.” Ibid., p. 96.
4. John A. Hardson. Pocket Catholic Catechism. New York: Image Books, 1989. p. 186.
5. Ibid., p. 186.
6. Ibid., p. 191.
7. Nichiren Shoshu Temple. Soka Gakkai Announces Issuance of Counterfeit Gohonzons: The Circumstances and Correct Doctrinal Perspective From Nichiren Shoshu, NST News (Special Issue). 1993. p. 1.
8. Ibid., p. 5.
9. The Nichiren Shoshu Doctrinal Research Committee. Refuting the Soka Gakkai’s “Counterfeit Object of Worship”: 100 Questions and Answers. West Hollywood, Calif.: Nichiren Shoshu Temple, 1996. p. 15.
10. Ibid., p. 16.
11. Nichiren. The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin. Vol. 1. Tokyo: NSIC, 1979. p. 4.
12. Hajime Nakamura. Gotama Buddha. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1987.
13. Ibid., p. 27.
14. Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana. Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. p. 14.
15. Ibid., p. 16.
16. Ibid., p. 31.
17. Ibid., p. 32.
18. Ibid., p. 32.
19. Susan Murcott. The First Buddhist Women: Translations and Commentary on the Therigatha. Berkeley, Calif: Parallax Press, 1991. pp. 174-75.
20. Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana. Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. p. 36.
21. Hajime Nakamura. Gotama Buddha. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1987. p. 91.
22. Udana (Verses of Uplift) and Itivuttaka (As It was Said). Translated by F. L.Woodward. London: Oxford University Press, 1948. pp. 57-58.
23. Hajime Nakamura. Gotama Buddha. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1987. p. 93.
24. Ibid., p. 69.
25. Hajime Nakamura. Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India, China, Tibet and Japan. Edited by Philip P.Wiener. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1964. p. 69.
26. Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana. Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. p. 62.
27. Ibid., p. 62.
28. Ibid., p. 62.
29. Ibid., p. 60.
30. Ibid., p. 63.
31. Hajime Nakamura. Gotama Buddha. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1987. p. 80.
32. Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana. Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. p. 64.
33. Ibid., p. 64.
34. Hajime Nakamura. Gotama Buddha. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1987. p. 80. The practices of early Buddhist priests are also discussed by Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana. Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. pp. 66-68.
35. Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana. Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. p. 68.
36. The various dates estimated for Shakyamuni’s lifetime are discussed by Hajime Nakamura. Gotama Buddha. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1987. p. 12- 14.
37. Sukumar Dutt. Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India: Their History and Their Contribution to Indian Culture. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1988. p. 57.
38. Ibid., p. 57.
39. Buddha’s Teachings Being the Sutta-Nipata or Discourse-Collection. Translated by Lord
Chalmers. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1997. p. 55. Verse 224.
40. Ibid., pp. 55-56. Verses 225-26.
41. Ibid., pp. 55-56. Verses 227-28.
42. Hajime Nakamura. Gotama Buddha. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1987. p. 68.
43. Hermann Oldenberg. Buddha: His Life, His Doctrine, His Order. Translated by William Hoey. Motilal Banarsidass, 1997. pp. 338-39.
44. Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana. Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. p. 32.
45. Udana (Verses of Uplift) and Itivuttaka (As It was Said). Translated by F. L.Woodward. London: Oxford University Press, 1948. p. 67.
46. Hajime Nakamura. Gotama Buddha. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1987. p. 78.
47. Hermann Oldenberg. Buddha: His Life, His Doctrine, His Order. Translated by William Hoey. Motilal Banarsidass, 1997. pp. 365-66.
48. Ibid., p. 366.
49. Hajime Nakamura. Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India, China, Tibet and Japan. Edited by Philip P.Wiener. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1964. p. 112.
50. Further Dialogues of the Buddha: The Majjhima Nikaya. Translated by Lord Chalmers. Vol. 2. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications, 1988. pp. 159-60.
51. Ibid., p. 160-62.
52. Hajime Nakamura. Gotama Buddha. Los Angeles: Buddhist Books International, 1987. pp. 113-14. Another similar passage reads: “Therefore, O Ananda, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Be ye a refuge to yourselves. Betake yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp. Hold fast as a refuge to the Truth. Look not refuge to any one besides yourselves.” Dialogue of the Buddha (The Digha Niyakya).Trans. by T.W. and C.A.F. Rhys Davids. The 5th edition. London: Luzac and Co., 1971, p. 108.
53. Hermann Oldenberg. Buddha: His Life, His Doctrine, His Order. Translated by William
Hoey.Motilal Banarsidass, 1997. p. 353.
54. Ibid., p. 383.
55. Ibid., p. 384.
56. Udana (Verses of Uplift) and Itivuttaka (As It was Said). Translated by F. L. Woodward. London: Oxford University Press, 1948. p. 66.
57. The Dhammapada: The Path of Perfection. Translated by Juan Mascaro. London: Penguin Books, 1973. p. 73.
58. Buddha’s Teachings Being the Sutta-Nipata or Discourse-Collection. Translated by Lord Chalmers. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1997. p. 155. Verse 650.
59.Woven Cadences of Early Buddhists: Sutta-Nipata. Translated E. M. Hare. London: Oxford University Press, 1947. p. 15. Verses 86-89.
60. Ibid., p. 15. Verse 89.
61. Ibid., p. 16. Verse 90.
62. Hajime Nakamura. Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India, China, Tibet and Japan. Edited by Philip P. Wiener. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1964. p. 259.
63. The Nichiren Shoshu promotes the absolute obedience to the high priest, using the concept of the three treasures. For example, “The Treasure of the Priest (s) was first received by Nikko Shonin through the Bestowal of the Living Essence of the Law by the Daishonin, and after that, the Pure Law was passed down to each successive High Priest in the lineage of the Heritage, spanning the generations up until the present day. . . . In short, with perfectly sincere faith and self-imposed, strict obedience, we should hold the High Priest’s instruction in deepest reverence . . .” Quoted from Dai-Nichiren (Special Edition): On the Soka Gakkai Problem-The Correct Way of Faith in Nichiren Shoshu, published by the Nichiren Shoshu Bureau of Religious Affairs, pp. 13-14.
64. In Nichiren Shoshu, the treasure of the samgha is translated as “the Treasure of the Priest.” See, for example, Dai-Nichiren (Special Edition): On the Soka Gakkai Problem- The Correct Way of Faith in Nichiren Shoshu, published by the Nichiren Shoshu Bureau of Religious Affairs, pp. 10-16.
65. Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana. Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. pp. 36-37.
66. Hajime Nakamura. Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India, China, Tibet and Japan. Edited by Philip P. Wiener. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1964. p. 585.
67. Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana.
Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. p. 37.
68. Ibid., p. 252.
69. Ibid., p. 105.
70. Ibid., p. 105.
71. Nikayas are collections of Buddhist texts that are discourses attributed directly to the Buddha. The word also means a school or sect. “Nikaya Buddhism,” therefore, refers to the various early Buddhist schools that were based on these canonical texts.
72. Ibid.,p. 8, p. 274, p. 311.
73. Ibid., p. 259.
74. Ibid., p. 259.
75. Ibid., p. 272.
76. Ibid., p. 272.
77. Hajime Nakamura. Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India, China, Tibet and Japan. Edited by Philip P. Wiener. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1964. p. 165.
78. Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana. Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. p. 272.
79. Sukumar Dutt. Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India: Their History and Their Contribution to Indian Culture. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1988. p. 186.
80. Akira Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana. Translated and edited by Paul Groner. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998. p. 270.
81. Ibid., pp. 273-74.
82. Ibid., p. 273.
83. Ibid., p. 271.
84. Ibid., p. 4.
85. Ibid., p. 5.
86. The Dhammapada: The Path of Perfection. Translated by Juan Mascaro. London: Penguin Books, 1973. p. 58.
87.Walt Whitman. “Preface” from Leaves of Grass (1855). Complete Poetry and Collected Prose. New York: The Library of America, 1982. pp. 24-5.
88. Ibid., “Song of Myself” from Leaves of Grass (1855). p. 51, p. 85.