Talk:Main Page

From Wikivinaya

Goal and Content of WikiVinaya

The goal of WikiVinaya is to facilitate the creation of a free and editable online Vinaya resource*1, covering all the rules (and related conventions) relevant for bhikkhus (monks) and bhikkhunis (nuns), and the male and female lay buddhists who come into (regular) contact with buddhist monks and nuns. It is hoped that this will help both contributors and readers to improve in knowledge about Vinaya.

Any kind of information concerning the Vinaya (or monastic discipline) of the (Theravadin)*2 Buddhist Monastic Order has a place here. Please also have a look at the more specific subjects that WikiVinaya covers.

  • 1 Do you want just scattered, miscellaneous info like on our Mulesika site or a well organised, comprehensive resource? I think it would be good to have a page for each rule, each chapter of the Khandhakas, each chapter of the Parivara, and for special subjects that span several chapters and rules, etc. etc. I think each page should begin with an accurate retranslation of the main Padabhajana section (at least) on each rule, ideally the complete Vinaya of each school, and eventually a synoptic edition of all of them with text and translation in parallel. Then, when commentarialists come along from the various schools we should ask them to provide references and justify every point that is not explicit in the earliest texts, not automatically reject what the say but just ask for references and logical arguments. I saw a good idea on the Early Buddhism forum recently, someone suggested having a page for "points of controversy", basically so that noobies know what they're getting themselves in for if they ask one of the questions on the list. Overall, I think this is a great idea in principle but to do it really well would be sooooo much work, and the monks who would be capable of doing this kind of thing are probably all super-busy already. (bhikkhu santi)
My idea was similar to yours, I think this is the natural way for it to be organised. Also my Pali is not very good so for example I don't know what Padabhajana means. I think the amount of detail on a rule will grow by itself, the wordanalysis (padabhajana?) can be a paragraph of an article on a rule, if you choose to include it. (it's up to people what sections to write, but anyone can add things later). I myself won't write on wordanalyis because my Pali isn't well enough for that. We could make some template for basic patimokkha rules.
I think it would maybe not be necessary to include all words of the wordanalysis? For ease of reading we could put the wordanalysis of a rule o a seperate page (if the wordanalysis becomes quite big and technical), and provide a link to it from the main rule. That way people won't be overwhelmed by it, and just give up on reading the whole article. I think that would be a good way to do it if it becomes big and complicated. On the main page of the rule we could give a short verion, and provide a link to the complete version. (Not only monks and pali experts will read the articles, there will be laypeople and 'new monks' also ). Maybe give every rule it's own category if necessary. Also should stay flexible, soem things will be decided on the spot and that's good also.
Also we don't need to be in a rush. This is a long-time project, start page by page, and naturally it will become more large, detailed, balanced, refined, etcetera. Wikipedia encyclopedia has more than 12000000 articles already, but it did take about 5 years. We'll just see how it goes. Maybe when people discover there's an opportunity to do this here and become involved, they will take up an interest.DJti 22:12, 29 June 2006 (EDT)
  • 2 I would suggest a different way of focussing on the Vinaya in a historical way - just make it clear that you want to maintain a historical perspective without limiting it to the 'Theravada' school or to a particular period, although it's clear that the initial contributors (incl. me) are all 'originalists' (BTW, I found out that among academic scholars 'originalism' is quite unfashionable nowadays.) but we also have to live in a complex modern world full of different traditions from later periods (not least within the Theravada school) so I think we have to allow space for discussing all later traditions that have grown up around Vinaya issues in all countries in all periods. There are several reasons for not limiting it to the 'Theravada' school: i) Theravada is only one of the early schools who have a complete Vinaya recension and there is no a priori reason why the Theravada's recension should necessarily be more reliable. When I lead the Vinaya classes here I sometimes check the other versions on dubious points, although only rarely so far because it would multiply the preparation work so much. Have a look at the similar intro I wrote for the Early Buddhism forum at websangha; ii) the 'Theravada' school is really a western academic abstraction, the term 'Theravada' only began to be used by western scholars in the last century, before that the 'Theravada' was called the "Tambapanniya" (Sri-Lankan) school or "Mahaavihaaravaasin" or "Tamrashatika" or "Theriya"; also within 'Theravada' in Asia there are actually influences from other schools: there are Sarvastivadin elements, Mahayana and Brahmanical elements in the commentaries, there are Mahayana and possibly Vajrayana elements in popular practice - for example the cult of the Kruba Ajahns in Thailand ('cult' just means 'worship' it's not necessarily pejorative) iii) I think it would be unhistorical to assume that absolutely everything in the Vinaya pitaka is 'Buddha-Vacana' or 'Buddha-Vinaya', and very unlikely, just last Wednesday doing the Vinaya class here on BhSg5=BhiSg7 I found two minor contradictions between the permutation series and the main word-analysis sections. BTW, I understand what you mean by 'Buddha-Vinaya', and most of the mulesika group will, but wouldn't it be better to use more familar conventions like 'Buddha-Vacana' or 'rules formulated by the Tathagata'? Basically I think it would be better just to insist on clearly distinguishing different interpretations and periods and so on in an analytical and historical way rather than excluding any of them. In the ASA (Australian Sangha Association) it's good to see that some Tibetan and Chinese monks and nuns as they become more aware of other traditions and our shared roots, and scholarly perspectives on Buddhist history, are becoming more interested in researching and practicing the early Vinaya. (bhikkhu santi)
Interesting, my idea was a bit different because I thought outside Theravada nobody's really interested in correct Vinaya. I wouldn't want opinions like 'no need to keep Vinaya' become embedded in the articles on WikiVinaya (because I believe it's not part of the Buddha's teaching). Yes I agree it's the historical perspective which is needed. No need to limit to Theravada scripture only. One fear is, though, that WikiVinaya will become too scattered if including all vinayas. Maybe for most rules we could use the Theravada Vinaya as the basic, and from there compare with the others? Later if anyone wants they can do the opposite, I think that would be ok also.
Buddha-Vinaya is a pun on Buddha-Dhamma, I thought it was quite nice and clear. Not necessary to use it though. However when I read Buddha-Vacana even I am not quite sure what it means (Buddha-speech, right?). And Tathagatha is a very nice term, only not for WikiVinaya I think, because many people know 'Buddha' but not 'Tathagata'. The most important thing is to be understandable, and sometimes using (even basic or simple) Pali makes it difficult to understand for some people (I don't think your one of those).
Another note on the structure of WikiVinaya: we can use categories to group the instances where these things (inconsistencies and relevant interlineage comparisons) occur, that's one of the nice things of categories - makes it easy to find similar cases. DJti 22:12, 29 June 2006 (EDT)

Adding to the WikiVinaya

Since WikiVinaya is a wiki, the writing of all pages of the WikiVinaya is principally a community-effort, and the contents of these pages can be altered. Also this page, and any of the other pages. So feel free to change and add things. However, you need to create an account on WikiVinaya in order to be able to edit pages and make new pages.

More information for newcomers to wikis can be found at the welcomepage for newcomers at wikipedia (P.S. Wikipedia is not the same as WikiVinaya, but it uses the same software as WikiVinaya and has a good help-section). [edit]

I think it would be good to control the group of those who can edit and create pages in order to maintain quality. Probably any bhikkhus or bhikkhunis should be given the benefit of the doubt that they know enough to particapate, at least until they've proven otherwise. I agree with your suggestion to limit the participation of laypeople to only quite knowledgeable and essentially sympathetic Buddhists, maybe also academic scholars. You could just try inviting a few scholars like Charles Prebish for example. I'm sure he would be very busy but I've read a few articles by him about 'scholar-practitioners' and I think he would in principle be interested in contributing.

Good, let's just wait for a bit more opinions before implementing this? I think maybe you could contact them because I don't know who they are, at least you know something about them and their activities?DJti 22:12, 29 June 2006 (EDT)

About origins of rules

Nowadays many different rules exist in the different Buddhist monasteries and the various Buddhist monastic lineages. One may hear different interpretations of the same rule, which can be quite confusing for the newcomer to Buddhism, and see some rules being emphasized in some monasteries, and unheard of at other monasteries.

WikiVinaya tries to clear things up by trying to always make a distinction concerning the origin of a certain rule:

  1. Is the rule Buddha-Vinaya (contained in the oldest scriptures (the Vinaya Pitaka), and very likely to have been proclaimed by Buddha himself?
  2. Is it one of a number of variant interpretations of a passage or rule in the Vinaya Pitaka, which subsequently lead to different practices of the very same rule.
  3. Is it a commentarial comment on the Vinaya, written down (many) centuries after the passing away of the Buddha?
  4. Or is it a current practice, of which it maybe cannot be said that it has a basis in any rule contained in the old scripture of the Tipitaka and her (ancient) commentaries? 

I would like to rephrase this to allow any and every kind of historical analysis without any a priori assumptions: the Vinaya pitaka is the best resource we have for learning about the earliest Vinaya, but there are six complete versions and several other fragments, they're all very similar but slightly different, mostly in structure, but then structural differences can be very easily subjected to comparison and evaluation in a historical way. So there's a massive feild for research in comparative Vinaya studies. We have pretty much all the resources here at SFM, except for lots of free time of course!

Let me know whether you like these suggestions and then when I have time I will try to write something similar but rephrased along these lines. Santi.

Yes have a go at it, I'll see what becomes of itDJti 22:12, 29 June 2006 (EDT) Also maybe you want to look at the subject-areas of WikiVinaya (it's a seperate page which can be accessed from the community portal) and add something there about different lineages?
greetings DJti 22:12, 29 June 2006 (EDT) (by the way if you type this ~ symbol 4 times in a row, then you make a signature when you press 'save page'.) Put it under your writing, so it's easy to look back and see who wrote what. I wonder now also if you have taken a look at the community portal? There's a bit more detail there. You can access it from the navigation panel on the left (sometimes it moves to left-under). I might copy your and my remarks later and put them in the right pages (I made seperate pages which can be accessed from the Community Portal).
P.S. Actually - I do believe there's place for commentaries and kor wat or monastery rules here on WikiVinaya. But also that they need to be clearly defined as that, and that also it should be mentioned what the Vinaya has to say about those 'new' rules. (for example whether they are permissible or not according to Vinaya (or the Buddha), and maybe from what parts of Vinaya or Dhamma they get their 'inspiration').
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