Scholarly and renowned consensus has painted an image of Indian Buddhist monasticism within which priests and nuns severed all ties with their households once they left domestic for the non secular existence. during this view, clergymen and nuns remained celibate, and people who faltered of their “vows” of monastic celibacy have been instantly and irrevocably expelled from the Buddhist Order. This romanticized picture relies principally at the ascetic rhetoric of texts resembling the Rhinoceros Horn Sutra
. via a research of Indian Buddhist legislation codes (vinaya), Shayne Clarke dehorns the rhinoceros, revealing that during their very own criminal narratives, faraway from renouncing familial ties, Indian Buddhist writers take without any consideration the truth that priests and nuns might stay involved with their families.
The imaginative and prescient of the monastic existence that emerges from Clarke's shut interpreting of monastic legislation codes demanding situations a few of our most elementary scholarly notions of what it intended to be a Buddhist monk or nun in India round the flip of the typical period. not just will we see thick narratives depicting priests and nuns carrying on with to engage and go together with their households, yet a few are defined as leaving domestic for the non secular lifestyles with their young ones, and a few as married monastic undefined. Clarke argues that renunciation with or as a kin is tightly woven into the very cloth of Indian Buddhist renunciation and monasticisms.
Surveying the nonetheless principally uncharted terrain of Indian Buddhist monastic legislation codes preserved in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and chinese language, Clarke presents a complete, pan-Indian photo of Buddhist monastic attitudes towards kin. while students have usually assumed that monastic Buddhism has to be anti-familial, he demonstrates that those assumptions have been truly now not shared by way of the authors/redactors of Indian Buddhist monastic legislation codes. In demanding us to think again a few of our so much loved assumptions pertaining to Indian Buddhist monasticisms, he presents a foundation to reconsider later different types of Buddhist monasticism akin to these present in relevant Asia, Kaśmīr, Nepal, and Tibet no longer by way of corruption and decline yet of continuity and improvement of a monastic or renunciant perfect that we've got but to appreciate fully.