BUDDHIST COUNCIL




Buddhist Council


The scriptures of all Buddhist schools, the first Buddhist Council was held soon after the death of the Buddha, dated by the majority of recent scholars around 400 BCE,under the patronage of king Ajatashatru with the monk Mahakasyapa presiding, at Sattapanni caves Rajgriha.Its objective was to preserve the Buddha's sayings and the monastic discipline or rules.The Suttas were recited by Ananda, and the Vinaya was recited by Upali. According to some sources,the Abhidhamma Pitaka, or its matika, was also included. Also the Sangha made the unanimous decision to keep all the rules of the Vinaya, even the lesser and minor rules.The historical records for the Buddhist Council derive primarily from the canonical Vinayas of various schools. In most cases, these accounts are found at the end of the Skandhaka portion of the Vinaya. The most important was that the Vesali monks, known as Vajjiputtakas, consented to accepting money.Considerable controversy erupted when Yasa refused to follow this practice.He was prosecuted by the Vajjiputtakas, and defended himself by quoting in public a number of canonical passages condemning the use of money by monastics.Wishing to settle the matter, he gathered support from monks of other regions, mainly to the west and south.A group consented to go to Vesali to settle the matter.After considerable maneuvering,a meeting was held, attended by 700 monks.A council of eight was appointed to consider the matter.This consisted of four locals and four'westerners'but some of the locals had already been secretly won over to the westerners'.Each of the ten points was referred to various canonical precedents.The committee found against the Vajjiputtaka monks.