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The Pristine Six Buddhist Councils

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发表于 2021-1-28 01:13:37 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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The Undisputed Authority of Modern day Theravada Buddhism,

The Pristine Six Buddhist Councils

Mingun Sayadaw

Mahasi Sayadaw

Mingun Sayadaw became Tipiṭakadhara Dhammabhaṇdāgārika in the Tipitaka Examination principally held to seek out an intellectually expert personage, a Tipiṭakadhara, fully qualified to become a Respondent in the planned upcoming Sixth Buddhist Council to be held in Rangoon, Burma in 1954.

The Sixth Council held in Myanmar, but participated and coordinated by all the five Theravāda Buddhist countries, had been the Council of the entire Buddhist World. The Council verified, purified and approved not only the Pāli Pitaka Texts, but also its Commentaries and Sub-commentaries which had been recognised and accepted as the most verified original versions of Buddha's teachings.

The Venerable Mingun Sayadaw contributed extraordinarily, in all verification, redaction, purification and confirmation process of the Buddha's Dhamma in the Council.

Of all the Buddhist Councils held in the Buddha Sāsanā, the most recently held Sixth Buddhist council had great impact for the perpetuation of the Sāsanā. It had verified, purified and confirmed not only Pāli Pitaka Texts, but also Commentaries and Sub-commentaries, which were approved, printed out and distributed around the world as the Sixth Council versions.

The convening and success of the Council’s proceedings had been undertaken by 2500 Sangha Members from all Theravāda Buddhist world, but the Venerable Tipitaka Mingun Sayadaw’s extraordinary contributions to the Council had been unrivalled. Without participation of the Mingun Sayadaw, the convening itself could not have taken place.

Buddha Sāsanā and Buddhist Councils

The teachings of the Buddha which He had taught during 45 years of his life are known as Dhamma. The Buddha’s teachings had been preserved and maintained by his great Arahants and Sanghas who carried them down to later generations, centuries after centuries up to the present time. During the long history of the Buddha’s Sāsanā, it had passed through an unsteady journey with challenges from within and without. Whenever there arose danger to the original teachings in the form of misinterpretations, encroachments and attacks, the great Arahants and eminent Sangha members of the particular time, tried to preserve the Buddha’s original teachings in its pristine purity by convening Buddhist Councils.

The Institutions of Sangāyanā or Buddhist Councils

The Pāli term Sangāyanā or Buddhist Council is known to Theravāda Buddhists in Myanmar as the unanimous recitation of Pitaka Texts by the Sangha Order. Three months after the Parinibbana of the Buddha, Mahākassapa assembled 500 Arahants and held the first Buddhist Council in India.

A hundred years after great Parinibbana of the Buddha, a Second Buddhist Council was held in India. And 135 years later, the Third Buddhist Council was held in India again and the Buddha’s teachings had not been recorded in writing up to Third Buddhist Council. However, 450 years after great demise of Lord Buddha, when the Fourth Buddhist Council was held in Srilanka, the Buddha’s teachings were recorded in writing onto palm leaves for the first time.

When the Fifth Buddhist Council was held in Mandalay, Myanmar, all the original Pāli Texts was recorded by inscribing on 729 marble slabs in its entirety for longer durability in 1871 AD. The Sixth Great Buddhist Council had been held after 83 years of the Fifth Council, held in Mandalay, Myanmar.

The Opening Ceremony of Sixth Great Buddhist Council in Myanmar.

A great grand scale Buddhist Ceremony had been held on 17 May 1954 in Mahāpāsana Cave of Yangon, Myanmar. It was attended by two thousand four hundred and seventy-three bhikkhus from Myanmar, and one hundred and forty-four bhikkhus from other Theravāda Buddhist countries. Over two thousand lay devotees were also in attendance. Mahānāyaka Sangha Members and representative Sangha members of other Theravāda Buddhist countries and Sangha members from other countries such as China, Japan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, Heads of States and Governments, all congregated to attend this Opening Ceremony of Sixth Buddhist Council.

Buddha Sāsanā and Myanmar

Buddha Sāsanā which had reached Myanmar before 10th Century AD, became established and flourished gradually under Myanmar Kings, who became chief supporters of Buddha Sāsanā. Successive generations of bhikkhus, rulers and lay devotees had made concerted efforts for the promotion of Sāsanā. The majority of people embraced Buddhism which played an influential role in the history of Myanmar.

During the Congregation of the Council

During the Council proceedings, the verification of the Pāli Texts had been done in the Question and Answer Sessions as the major feature of purification process. Bhaddanta Sobhana (Aggamahāpaṇḍita) Mahāsi Sayādaw was the Questioner and The Most Venerable Mingun Sayadaw Bhaddanta Vicittasārabhivaṃsa Tipitakadhara Dhammabhandagārika Agga Mahapandita Abhidhaja Maharatthagura  was the Answerer.

The most distinguished features of the Sixth Council was although it was held in Myanmar, all five Theravāda Buddhist countries had participated in all stages of convening the Council from advanced preparation for redaction of Pāli Texts up to the end of Council. The unity of Theravāda Buddha Sāsanā was highlighted by the attendance of 2500 members of the Sangha. Not only Pāli Texts but also Commentaries and Sub-commentaries had been verified, purified, confirmed and approved by the Council.

Unlike other previous Councils, the reasons necessitating to convene the Sixth Council had been unique. Nationalism and religious conditions had been more conducive than the plight of the printed Pāli Texts.  The version of Tipitaka, which the Sixth Council undertook to produce, has been recognised as being true to the pristine teachings of the Buddha, the most authoritative rendering of them to date. These purified and confirmed Texts had been already printed many times and distributed through-out the world.

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