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Re: [Pali] Samghati

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  • Stephen Hodge
    Dear Rett, Thanks for your reply. Yes, I had always understood the sanghaatii to be the patchwork cloak -- indeed, I used to wear (and still have neatly
    Message 1 of 11 , May 26, 2004
      Dear Rett,

      Thanks for your reply. Yes, I had always understood the sanghaatii to be
      the "patchwork cloak" -- indeed, I used to wear (and still have neatly
      stored) one when I was a monk in Japan but the name used is different.
      I'll deal with your other points in combination with a reply to Bhikkhu
      Pesala.

      Many thanks.
      Stephen Hodge

      PS: My study is awash with dictionaries inc the PED
    • Stephen Hodge
      Dear Bhante, Your description of the sa.mghaatii conforms to what I understood it to be -- it was the PED s waist cloth that I found bizarre. As I have
      Message 2 of 11 , May 26, 2004
        Dear Bhante,

        Your description of the sa.mghaatii conforms to what I understood it to
        be -- it was the PED's "waist cloth" that I found bizarre.

        As I have intimated, I am working on the Mahayana-parinirvana-sutra
        (MPNS) -- an extremely important text that gives some new insights into the
        origins of Mahayana and the socio-monastic conditions prevailing in India
        around the time it was compiled, circa CE200 - 250. It is very critical of
        the state of the sangha of the time -- the section where sa.mghaatiis etc
        are mentioned is preceded by a description of poseur ascetics who think they
        can impress folk with their attempts to look the part of an other-worldly
        sage in their soiled rags and hunger-pinched faces. It then moves on to a
        long attack on the vinaya-modifiers -- most likely the Mula-sarvastivadins.
        Gregory Schopen, who I recommended recently, has been a great help in
        understanding what the MPNS is criticizing. What comes across in his work is
        that most viharas were by then thriving business centres, which also
        functioned as warehouses, money-lending banks, trading-posts for
        commodities, tourist attractions etc etc. All very similar to the big
        thriving medieval European monasteries.

        > Accepting meat and fish is, of course, allowable for monks as long as
        > it is not the result of slaughtering an animal specifically to offer
        > alms to the monks.
        Yes, but what the MPNS is talking about is monks accepting raw meat and
        fish, storing it, and cooking themselves. The next bit in my quote mentions
        sa.mghaatiis. I think what is being criticized here is monks accumulating
        whole wardrobes of garments, having them tailor-made, made of improper
        cloth, trading in them with other monks etc. That's my straight-forward
        interpretation of the mention here. However, there might be an alternative.
        PaliYahoo might not be the best place to discuss the delights of decoding
        Tibetan but, as with Pali texts, scribal errors and misprints occur. The
        Tibetan for sa.mghaatii is "snams-sbyar" but "snums-sbyar" would mean
        something like "prepared / cooked with fat", or it could be a misreading of
        the original but lost Skt, since the Chinese of the same section refers
        specifically to "doing cooking oneself".

        > The Mahaayaanists tried to find fault.
        As a life-long vegetarian, I favour the Mahayana reasons for abstention, but
        let's not get involved in this here since it is a rancorous and divisive
        issue.

        > Sesame oil is allowable
        But when the MPNS talks about pots of sesame oil, we should be thinking of
        vihara warehouses full of them stored for trading as well as monastic use.
        So, it's not the oil that's the problem here but the stock-piling and
        trading.

        Finally, I think my puzzling "boiled medicinal ghee" (or perhaps "oil" is
        better) is referring to body massage oil (a bit like aromatherapy massages
        ?), which I believe is not permitted in the conservative Vinayas, as it
        comes in a section on items concerned with monks preening themselves, thus:

        "who apply themselves to cosmetic preparations, song and dance; who possess
        garlands of flowers, betel nut mixtures, boiled medicinal/ herbal oil,
        incense and unguents; who learn ways of improving their comportment and who
        busy themselves with entertainments."

        Sounds like fun ! If all these kinds of things and others had explicit or
        tacit approval, little wonder that the Mula-sarvastivadin Vinaya became the
        predominant Vinaya in northern India.

        Best wishes,
        Stephen Hodge
      • Piya Tan
        Dear Stephen, The sa.nghaa.ti is usually worn over the left shoulder by a monk when he is in between houses . In Thailand, I remember we would then use a
        Message 3 of 11 , May 26, 2004
          Dear Stephen,

          The sa.nghaa.ti is usually worn over the left shoulder by a monk when he is "in
          between houses". In Thailand, I remember we would then use a waistcloth to secure it
          futher.

          As such, "shoulder-piece" might be what the word you are looking for.

          Sukhi

          Piya

          Stephen Hodge wrote:

          > Can anybody improve on "waist-cloth" for sanghaa.tii ? It seems a bit
          > misleading to me.
          >
          > Best wishes,
          > Stephen Hodge
          >
          >
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        • rett
          Stephen, Thanks for bringing up this interesting subject. So you were ordained? Hope you find time to tell us all about it (at least in connection with
          Message 4 of 11 , May 27, 2004
            Stephen,

            Thanks for bringing up this interesting subject. So you were
            ordained? Hope you find time to tell us all about it (at least in
            connection with something having to do with Pali). I love stories,
            memoires, reflections etc :-) The same invitation goes to everyone.

            > However, there might be an alternative.
            >PaliYahoo might not be the best place to discuss the delights of decoding
            >Tibetan but, as with Pali texts, scribal errors and misprints occur. The
            >Tibetan for sa.mghaatii is "snams-sbyar" but "snums-sbyar" would mean
            >something like "prepared / cooked with fat", or it could be a misreading of
            >the original but lost Skt, since the Chinese of the same section refers
            >specifically to "doing cooking oneself".

            If I remember from your earlier post, the term occurs in the middle
            of a section of the list all pertaining to foodstuffs (from cereals
            to sesame oil):

            "Moreover, noble son, there will also be those who accept raw cereals, meat
            and fish, waist-cloths, pots of sesame oil; who frequent leather-makers,
            parasol-makers and royalty, who engage in soothsaying and pharmacology; etc
            etc etc."

            How much would you weigh in the surrounding context in deciding
            between it being an article of clothing or yet another food/cooking
            term as in the Chinese (and where the Tibetan might be corrupt)? Does
            the rest of the list tend to group things by topic? The continuation
            in your translation above does seem to, moving on to accessories and
            then occupations. If the list tends to be organized that way, it
            would seem to strongly speak for the Chinese. I can see why you'd
            like to find the long lost Skt.

            Also after reading the varioius responses, I realize I might have
            misrepresented Walshe by saying he translated as 'inner robe'. Since
            the cpd he translates contains both sanghaatii and ciivaram, and
            since he rearranges the order of cpd in his translation, he might
            just as well have meant sanghaatii= outer robe and ciivaram means
            inner-robe. I just assumed the opposite because of the stock phrase
            'pattaciivaram aadaaya'.


            best regards,

            /Rett
          • J.A. Wibier
            Dear Stephen, My name will probably be unfamiliar to you and most other members of the list. I have, however, already been a member of this group for some
            Message 5 of 11 , May 27, 2004
              Dear Stephen,

              My name will probably be unfamiliar to you and most other members of the
              list. I have, however, already been a member of this group for some time,
              but have not contributed to the discussions so far. Anyway, a short time
              ago I acquired an old publication (1975) entitled "A Dictionary of Early
              Buddhist Monastic Terms" by C.S. Upasak, and in this dictionary I found the
              following information about the
              "San.ghaat.ii" which may be of interest to you and the other members of the
              group:

              "San.ghaat.ii: The upper robe of a member of the Buddhist Order to cover up
              the body. It is one of the three main robes (ciivaras) of the Buddhist
              monks. (Mv., p. 305)

              If the material is new, it is usually made of two layers (Ibid. p. 305).
              And in case the material is old, it may be made of four layers; and if the
              material is the Pam.sukuula (rag), the layers may be of any
              number as according to the need (Khuddakasikkhaa (M), Gaathaa Nos. 52, 53).

              The size of the Sam.ghaatii should not be equal or more than that of the
              Ciivara of the Buddha (Sugataciivarappamaan.a); i.e. it must be less than
              nine Sugata-spans in length and six Sugata-spans in breadth (as this was
              the size of the Buddha's Sam.ghaat.ii). If it is so, an offence of
              Paacittiya is committed. (Bhikkhu Rule No. 92; Bhikkunii Rule No. 166;
              Paac. p. 231; Pm (B), pp. 10 and 52).

              In the Khuddakasikkhaa (Gaathaa No. 45) it is mentioned that the
              Sam.ghaat.ii and Uttaraaasan.ga
              are of equal sizes. The smallest size as given there is four full-stretched
              arms and one close-fisted-arm in length; and in breadth it is two
              full-stretched arms and one close-fisted-arm.

              A Bhikkhu is not allowed to live by keeping away any of the three
              Ciivaras (viz. Sanghaat.i, Uttaraasan.ga, and Antaravaasaka) even for a
              night. If one does so, he commits an offence of Nissaggiya Paacittiya (Rule
              Nos. 2 and 14; Paaraa. pp. 291-295); Pm. (B), pp. 6 and 14; Pari. p.16).
              When entering into a village, it is laid down by the Buddha that the
              San.ghaatii must be carried along with the other two ciivaras (the
              uttaraasan.ga and antaravaasaka); otherwise the offence of Dukkat.a is
              committed (Mv. p. 313). Certain exceptions are also mentioned. E.g., when
              the monk is sick; or when it is 'rainy season'; or when crossing a river;
              or if the Vihaara is safe and well-protected; or when the Bhikkhu has
              received the Kat.hina.

              As it was the thickest robe of the monks, it was probably used mostly
              during the winter season for covering up the whole body from all sides
              (paarupana); and the Uttaraasan.ga was mostly used during the summer and
              rainy seasons, although the Sanghaat.i was also kept.

              The San.ghaat.ii must be dyed with the Kasaaya (yellow colour) and then
              'disfigured' (dubban.n.akaran.a) at one of its ends. (Ibid., p. 302).

              The San.ghaat.ii should be used very carefully. It should not be used
              for sitting in the Pallatthikaa
              (squatting) posture. If one did so, he committted the offence of Dukkat.a.
              (Cv, p. 306)".

              You and the other members will, I suppose, be familiar with the
              abbreviations of the references given in the above text, but for
              completeness I am giving them here as follows:
              Mv = Mahavagga
              Cv = Cullavagga
              Pari = Parivaara
              Paac = Paacittiya
              Pm = Paatimokkha

              In the Preface of the dictionary the author says that the Vinaya Pit.aka
              texts utilised by him are the Naalaandaa Devanaagarii edition (ed. by
              Bhikku J. Kashyap). He also used some Pali texts in the Burmese characters
              of the Chat.t.ha San.gaayanaa edition and some in the Roman characters of
              the P.T.S. where he found this necessary.

              This is what this dictionary said about this subject (I especially like the
              method of giving its size, i.e. the "full-stretched" and
              "close-fisted-arms"). I hope this information will be of some help: I only
              wanted to supplement the information already given in the former emails
              about this subject.

              Best wishes,

              Joop Wibier
              The Netherlands


              >Can anybody improve on "waist-cloth" for sanghaa.tii ? It seems a bit
              >misleading to me.
              >
              >Best wishes,
              >Stephen Hodge
              >
              >
              >
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            • Bhikkhu Pesala
              A word of warning about studying the Vinaya. The purpose of Vinaya is to train oneself to abandon defilements. If used skilfully it is an excellent tool for
              Message 6 of 11 , May 27, 2004
                A word of warning about studying the Vinaya.

                The purpose of Vinaya is to train oneself to abandon defilements. If used
                skilfully it is an excellent tool for training oneself in renunciation.
                Even a lay person can derive benefit from studying it for this purpose.

                However, all of the sectarian divisions and disputes have arisen over
                different interpretations of the Vinaya, with each sect doing their utmost
                to discredit the other. One should bear in mind the simile of the snake in
                the Alagaduuppama Sutta.

                "Here, monks, some misguided men learn the Dhamma, but they do not examine
                the meaning properly. They learn the Dhamma only for the sake of
                criticising others and for winning debates. Those teachings, being wrongly
                grasped, conduce to their harm and suffering for a long time. If a man
                needs a snake he should catch it with a cleft stick and pick it up behind
                the head."

                In the beginning there was no Mahaayaana or Theravaada. There was only one
                Dhamma-Vinaya taught by the Buddha. The right way to study Vinaya is by
                practising it as a bhikkhu, and living it day by day. It is a gradual
                training, and not something one can perfect until one gains Arahantship.
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