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The Righteous Procedure and Complete Set of Measures of the Seven Ways of Settling Disputes in the Sangha Order



Parallel abstracts

The main principle of this article is the assimilation of members in the Sangha Order. The article starts with a brief discussion on the Ten Benefits of formulating precepts. Then, it narrows its scope into examining the meaning of the First Benefit-the assimilation of Sangha members. Extending from this, the discussion touches on the six basic criteria in promoting harmony in a Sangha order-the meanings of Six Harmonies. To highlight its great importance, this article places special emphasis on the First Harmony-Harmony in View. There are also discussion on the aspiration, methods and procedures in settling disputes regarding views. In addition, the article also gives a broad introduction on the four types of disputes that cause disharmony in a Sangha order, and the Seven Ways of Settling Disputes that can restore the harmony of the Sangha Order.To handle disputes of any size with a righteous and peaceful principle, will help to ensure the right and benefit of each individual (e.g. applying the methods of: sammukhavinaya (verdict in the presence of), sativinaya (verdict of innocence), amulhavinaya (verdict of past insanity), patinnkarana(verdict with acknowledgement)). This also prevents individuals from trying to flee from offence (e.g. using the method of tassapapiyyasika (formal act for specific depravity/obstinately wrong)). Handling disputes with a righteous principle can also help to regain the peacefulness and purity of the Sangha Order. (e.g. applying the methods of yebhuyyasika(by decision of majority)or tinavattharaka (covering up (as) with grass)).The Seven Ways of Settling Disputes, and other rules and regulations related to settling disputes and giving advice, are substantial teachings and procedures that assimilate the Sangha member and maintain the harmony of the Sangha order. They are also essential factors in ensuring the purity and peacefulness of individual Sangha members and the Order. In addition to this, this article progresses into explaining how to apply these methods of settling disputes flexibly. This includes two points:1) The corresponding relationship between the matters in dispute and the methods of settling disputes;2) The peaceful and harmony aspiration in accepting the majority and respecting the minorities.Based on the information in the Pratimoksa, this article tries to find out all measures related to the ways of settling disputes. It is proved that the Buddha positively encouraged wholesome actions such as settling disputes, pointing out mistakes and giving advice. However, he strictly restrained unwholesome behavior of causing disputes, grudging and reproving, hiding/covering mistakes and to accompany and agree with those who are under suspension.