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The Sangha

The Sangha

Wikipedia defines Sangha (Pali: saṅgha; Sanskrit: saṃgha; Wylie: ‘dus sde; Chinese: 僧伽, sēng qié) as a word in Pali and Sanskrit, meaning “association”, “assembly,” “company” or “community”. read more at www.wikipedia.com

 

Historical Perspective

 

Toward his end of life, the Buddha summoned many disciples to come and speak with him and to listen. This group formed the first Sangha. It was a community of monks and nuns. Buddhist texts explain that, after his night of enlightenment, the Buddha sat under his Bodhi tree for several weeks, experiencing the bliss that came with enlightenment. Soon, five men who had been confidants of the Buddha prior to his enlightenment joined him. They had left Siddhartha when he began eating normal food once again but now returned. The Buddha taught them the Four Noble Truths, among other insights. Ajnata Kaundinya was the first of these five men to become a disciple of the Buddha. The Sanghas most important task was to recite the words of the Buddha and agree on what the members of the Sangha remembered that he had said. Then to pass this on to others. They wandered around India telling people about the Buddha’s philosophy. During the rainy season, they returned to the communal areas that had been constructed for them.

In this way the idea of monastic life developed in Buddhism.
The monastery became the most important establishment in early Buddhism, and remains so to this day. The earliest texts and discussions were not so much about how the Buddha’s teachings should be interpreted but about how monks and nuns should live. These texts are called the Vinaya texts. What was clear was that the Buddha had said his system was open to all souls, not just monks and nuns. Although in that day and age, women were seen as having a lower status than men, the Buddha had eventually invited women to use his teachings with the same status as the men.

 

The Buddha Center Sangha

 

The Buddha Center strives to provide a true Sangha in the virtual reality world of Second Life, to those seeking one. Many do not have a Sangha close to them in real life and find it is both reasonable and agreeable since the Center provides the same spiritual benefits as one in real life. It is for everyone who wishes to join.

The Sangha represents the true meaning of fellowship, brotherhood and it provides a safe and peaceful haven for those who are pursuing the path of the Buddha. The Sangha is a critical component of the Triple Jewels.

 

The Three Jewels are:

 

1. Buddha

Sanskrit, Pali: The Enlightened or Awakened One;
It can mean the historical Buddha (Siddharta) or the Buddha nature —the ideal or highest spiritual potential that exists within all beings;

 

2. Dharma
Sanskrit: The Teaching; The teachings of the Buddha, the path to Enlightenment.

 

3. Sangha
Sanskrit, Pali: The Community; Also used more broadly to refer to the community of practicing Buddhists.

read more on the three jewels at  www.wikipedia.com

 

Currently the Buddha Center has 4363 members, and that is just in second life and does not include all those who have joined the Buddha Center Facebook account, and follow on us Twitter and who are member of our internet-site. The Center is growing each day.

The Buddha Center Sangha consists of a rich mix of real life ordained monastics, lay teachers, ordained Dharma teachers, meditation facilitators, chanters and practitioners. The Sangha recognizes the great opportunity for sharing the merit among its members and is encouraged to do so. A true Sangha has no sense of separateness. Sangha members are encouraged to hold no prejudices and to get along with everyone. Each member of the Sangha is upheld as a respected and cherished being. The Buddha Center Sangha does, as in real life Sanghas, good works, such as collecting donations for impoverish countries, countries in crisis and so forth, counseling those who are suffering and by providing vibrant teachings to those with open minds.

 

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