NEWS

Tobunken-Seminar "The legal validity of the monastic boundary (sīmā) of Balapiṭiya in 19th century Sri Lanka"

Date and time: February 5, 2020 (Wed.), 4:00-5:30PM

Venue: Room 302, 2nd Conference Room (3rd Floor), Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo

Speaker: Petra Kieffer-Pülz(Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz)

Title: The legal validity of the monastic boundary (sīmā) of Balapiṭiya in 19th century Sri Lanka

Abstract:
In the middle of the 19th century a legal dispute arose within a local Buddhist monastic community of the Amarapura nikāya, an ordination lineage imported to Sri Lanka from Burma in the beginning of the 19th centry CE. The dispute concerned the legal validity of the monastic boundary (sīmā) situated in the village of Balapiṭiya. This dispute lasted for more than three decades and led to the split of the community into two subbranches, the Mūlavaṃsa and the Saddhammavaṃsa, which both exist still today. In addition to the Sri Lankan Vinaya experts also Siamese and Burmese experts and even the kings were involved. The pros and cons brought forward by the quarrelling parties were written down in Pāli treatises and, to a lesser degree, also in Sinhalese and Burmese. The Pāli treatises alone fill about 500 pages. In the frame of my project I am going to edit and translate these Pāli texts, and to analyse the arguments brought forward by the quarrelling parties. In this talk I will give you an overview of the dispute and its problematic.