Managing Monks: Administrators and Administrative Roles in Indian Buddhist Monasticism

Hardcover | October 1, 2008

byJonathan A. Silk

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The paradigmatic Buddhist is the monk. It is well known that ideally Buddhist monks are expected to meditate and study -- to engage in religious practice. The institutional structure which makes this concentration on spiritual cultivation possible is the monastery. But as a bureaucraticinstitution, the monastery requires administrators to organize and manage its functions, to prepare quiet spots for meditation, to arrange audiences for sermons, or simply to make sure food, rooms, and bedding are provided. The valuations placed on such organizational roles were, however, a subjectof considerable controversy among Indian Buddhist writers, with some considering them significantly less praiseworthy than meditative concentration or teaching and study, while others more highly appreciated their importance. Managing Monks, as the first major study of the administrative offices ofIndian Buddhist monasticism and of those who hold them, explores literary sources, inscriptions and other materials in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, and Chinese in order to explore this tension and paint a picture of the internal workings of the Buddhist monastic institution in India, highlighting theambivalent and sometimes contradictory attitudes toward administrators revealed in various sources.

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The paradigmatic Buddhist is the monk. It is well known that ideally Buddhist monks are expected to meditate and study -- to engage in religious practice. The institutional structure which makes this concentration on spiritual cultivation possible is the monastery. But as a bureaucraticinstitution, the monastery requires administrators...

Jonathan A. Silk is an Assistant Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures at University of California, Berkeley.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.3 × 6 × 1 inPublished:October 1, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195326849

ISBN - 13:9780195326840

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Tension Between Service and Practice3. Vaiyaprtyakara4. Navakarmika5. Varika and Specialization of Duties6. Karmadana7. Viharapala8. Momodi and avasika9. Classified Lists of Administrators10. Misbehaving Managers11. Chinese Terminology, and Additional Indian Terms12. The Administered13. Concluding Considerations