Managing Monks: Administrators and Administrative Roles in Indian Buddhist Monasticism

Managing Monks: Administrators and Administrative Roles in Indian Buddhist Monasticism

by Jonathan A. Silk
     
 

The paradigmatic Buddhist is the monk. It is well known that ideally Buddhist monks are expected to meditate and study — to engage in religious practice. The institutional structure which makes this concentration on spiritual cultivation possible is the monastery. But as a bureaucratic institution, the monastery requires administrators to organize and manage

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Overview

The paradigmatic Buddhist is the monk. It is well known that ideally Buddhist monks are expected to meditate and study — to engage in religious practice. The institutional structure which makes this concentration on spiritual cultivation possible is the monastery. But as a bureaucratic institution, the monastery requires administrators to organize and manage its functions, to prepare quiet spots for meditation, to arrange audiences for sermons, or simply to make sure food, rooms, and bedding are provided. The valuations placed on such organizational roles were, however, a subject of considerable controversy among Indian Buddhist writers, with some considering them significantly less praiseworthy than meditative concentration or teaching and study, while others more highly appreciated their importance. Managing Monks, as the first major study of the administrative offices of Indian Buddhist monasticism and of those who hold them, explores literary sources, inscriptions and other materials in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, and Chinese in order to explore this tension and paint a picture of the internal workings of the Buddhist monastic institution in India, highlighting the ambivalent and sometimes contradictory attitudes toward administrators revealed in various sources.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195326840
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
10/17/2008
Series:
South Asia Research Series
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3

2 The tension between service and practice 17

3 Vaiyaprtyakara 39

4 Navakarmika 75

5 Varika and specialization of duties 101

6 Karmadana 127

7 Viharapala 137

8 Momodi and Avasika 147

9 Classified lists of administrators 159

10 Misbehaving managers 177

11 Chinese terminology and additional Indian terms 199

12 The administered 203

13 Concluding considerations 207

Supplementary note 213

Textual materials 219

Bibliography 289

Index 323

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