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Introduction

Buddhist Councils - Venerable Dr. Rewata Dhamma

The authentic teachings of the Buddha Gotama have been preserved and handed down to us and are to be found in the Tipitaka. The Pali word, 'Tipitaka', literally means 'the three baskets' (ti- three + pitaka- basket).

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Published - Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The First Council

King Ajatasattu sponsored the First Council. It was convened in 544 B.C. in the Satiapanni Cave situated outside Rajagaha three months after the Buddha had passed away. A detailed account of this historic meeting can be found in the Cullavagga of the Vinaya Pitaka. According to this record the incident which prompted the Elder Mahakassapa to call this meeting was his hearing a disparaging remark about the strict rule of life for monks.

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Published - Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The Second Council

The Second Council was called one hundred years after the Buddha's Parinibbana in order to settle a serious dispute over the 'ten points'. This is a reference to some monks breaking of ten minor rules. They were given to..

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Published - Thursday, November 29, 2007
The Third Council

The Third Council was held primarily in order to rid the Sangha of corruption and bogus monks who held heretical views. The Council was convened in 326 B.C. at Asokarama in Pataliputta. It was presided over by the Elder Moggaliputta Tissa and one thousand monks under the patronage of the Emperor Asoka. Tradition has it that he won his throne through shedding the blood of all his father's sons save his own brother, Tissa Kumara who eventually ordained and achieved Arahantship.

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Published - Thursday, November 29, 2007
The Fourth Council

The Fourth Council was held in Tambapanni (Sri Lanka) in 29 B.C. under the patronage of King Vattagamani. The main reason for its convening was the realization that it was now not possible for the majority of monks to retain the entire Tipitaka in their memories as had been the case formerly for the Venerable Mahinda and those who followed him soon after.

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Published - Thursday, November 29, 2007
The Fifth Council

The Fifth Council took place in Mandalay Burma now known as Myanmar in 1871 A.D. in the reign of King Mindon. The chief objective of this meeting was to recite all the teachings of the Buddha and examine them in minute detail to see if any of them had been altered, distorted or dropped. It was presided over by three Elders, the Venerable Mahathera Jagarabhivamsa, the Venerable Narindabhidhaja, and the Venerable Mahathera Sumangalasami in the company of some two thousand four hundred monks (2,400).

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Published - Thursday, November 29, 2007
The Sixth Council

The Sixth Council was called at Kaba Aye in Yangon, formerly Rangoon in 1954, eighty-three years after the fifth one was held in Mandalay. It was sponsored by the Burmese Government led by the then Prime Minister, the Honourable U Nu. He authorized the construction of the Maha Passana Guha, 'the great cave', an artificial cave very like India's Sattapanni Cave where the first Buddhist Council had been held. Upon its completion The Council met on the 17th of May, 1954.

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Published - Thursday, November 29, 2007

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