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«Non-Monastic Buddhist» in Pāli-Discourse

Religious Experience and Religiosity in Relation to the Monastic Order


Sompornnuch Tansrisook

The book intends to grasp the meaning of upāsaka / upāsikā or Buddhist laity in Dīgha- and Majjhima-nikāya of the Pāli canon. Considering the texts as oral literature, the author examines and interprets the structure and stock phrases constructing the narrative with a theory of religious experience. Upāsaka / upāsikā is hence seen as the non-monastic follower, who, having experienced the significance of dhamma and the superiority of the Buddha, has the trust in the goal and spiritual path that the Buddha has shown. In this connection, Buddhist community is the assembly of the followers, monastic and non-monastic alike, sharing the same common ground and following the spiritual path in pursuit of individual liberation, which in tandem contributes to perpetuation of the community.
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Chapter IV: Lay Religiosity in Relation to the Monastic Order


According to the structure of the discourse, after having heard sermon and understood its meaning, the hearer declared their belief in Buddha, took the ‘Three Jewels’ for refuge, and asked the Buddha to become a follower. Tradition regards the moment of the declaration as the beginning of spiritual path. This intention indicates the composite ascription in that the hearer accepted to follow in some way the goal that the Buddha had pointed. According to Taves, the ascription is a process, in which the individuals or the groups “perpetuate an initial thing or event deemed special by agreeing on how it can be re-created.” The re-creation the efficacy of practices relative to the goal may be freestyle for individuals or from a consensus of people in the group.395

This chapter investigates the religiosity and the intention behind as a result of the understanding and the evaluation of Buddha’s teaching discussed in the last chapter. According to the last chapter, the experience with the Buddha following the understanding and the evaluation of the Buddha and his teachings, inspires the hearer to revere Three Jewels and to declare the Three Jewels for refuge. The procedure ends with the request to become a follower under the Buddha, which is the last component of the stock phrase type II, denoting the declaration of followership. In other words, this is a question on “composite ascription” after the “simple ascription.” This chapter aims at observing “religiosity” in relation to the Buddha, his doctrine,...

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