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Re: [Pali] Building a Sima

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  • Piya Tan
    Dear Steven, I m happy to hear you are making an effort to build a monastic dwelling in Malaysia. However, sima means monastic boundary marking an area
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 27, 2003
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      Dear Steven,

      I'm happy to hear you are making an effort to build a monastic dwelling in

      However, "sima" means "monastic boundary" marking an area that is sacrosanct
      where the Sangha performs various acts like Ordination, dealing with Vinaya
      offences, etc.

      The demarcation of sima (usually marked by 6-8 head stones) are done by the
      Sangha. This is purely a Sangha act (~natti catuttha kamma). I'm not sure if
      this is what you mean.

      If the land is not converted yet, it would be wise to wait. Since we are
      sowing karmic seeds here, it should follow proper procedure like planting
      good crops. It would be sad to see the authorities demolish such a sacred

      However, if you intend to build dwelling for monks, you can always build a
      temporary "samnak" (Thai for "quarters") for them. The Sangha can also mark
      "temporary sima" whenever they need it to perform a Sangha act (again by a
      Sangha act). So there no need to rush things if you are not sure.

      But please do not let my advise discourage you in any way. If your wisdom
      thinks there are better ways around the problem, do what your think is best.



      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "steven_19988" <mettang@...>
      To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, 27 June, 2003 12:57 PM
      Subject: [Pali] Building a Sima

      > Dear Mr. Piya Tan,
      > I would be much obliged if you could advise me on the vinaya rule in
      building a sima. Are there any
      > rules stipulating the direction the entrance of the sima should be facing?
      Should it be facing East?
      > We just bought a piece of agricultural land and we plan to build a sima
      on it. For your information,
      > in our country (Malaysia), it is illegal to erect any building on
      agricultural land without first changing
      > the status of land for religious purposes from the local authorities.
      However, the procedure to convert
      > the status of land takes a long time, usually two to three years. We
      cannot wait that long. We are
      > planning to build the sima first and later applying to the local
      authorities to convert the status of land
      > from an agricultural to a religious land status. Usually, the local
      authorities have no objections in
      > converting the status of land but it takes a lot of time due to the
      difficult procedures to get an approval.
      > So, do we transgress or violate any of the vinaya rules in building the
      sima first and
      > getting the land converted later? Does violating a law mean transgressing
      any of the vinaya rules in
      > this context? We wouldn't like to build a sacred building transgressing
      the vinaya rules to our utmost
      > sincerity.
      > Sadhu for your valuable advice
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