Law in the Buddhist Tradition in Ancient Indian Society




Vinaya pitaka, samgha, Bhikkhus, Bhikkhunîs, laity


The Vinaya pitaka is the sacred literature of the Buddhists which contains the regulations for the outward life of the members of the Buddhist samgha - nearly the oldest, and probably the most influential, of all fraternities of monks. Unlike the primarily prescriptive Brahmanical law codes, the vinayas contain narrative portions, commentaries, and casuistries, albeit to different degree. 1Law in the Vinaya texts highlighted as - 1) a body of rules considered binding on a particular political or social unit, and the principle of justice underlying in it. 2) A code or canons of such rules. 3) Institutions and practices for the creation and application of such rules and for of disputes. 4) laws also include such other practices such as the social customs, practices and rules that constitute a form of social control for the maintenance of the groups. 5) Social manners, customary practices etiquette and general behaviors regulating silence, speech, interaction. The set of canonical law texts containing rules, descriptions, case studies, definitions, and punishments and some ancillary material that was used to regulate the samgha. 2The paper explores on how the laws were evolved, the process of making law, the need to make laws? How it regulated? The notion of society during the evolution of law? And in the society how the Buddhist tradition different or similar to the other traditions which existed in during the period? What were the political and economic conditions? Internal relations within the samgha? Law relates to Bhikkhus and law relates to Bhikkhunîs? The relation between laity and renouncers?

Author Biography

E N Mounika Sai, Assistant Professor, Department of History, SRR & CVR Government Degree College (A) Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India

E. N. Mounika Sai is currently serving as an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at SRR & CVR Government Degree College (A) in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India. She holds the position of a member of the Board of Studies at the same institution. She earned her Master of Arts in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, specializing in Ancient Indian History. Her undergraduate studies were completed at Sri Chaitanya Degree College, affiliated with Osmania University in Hyderabad, Telangana, India.


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How to Cite

Sai, E. N. M. (2024). Law in the Buddhist Tradition in Ancient Indian Society. RESEARCH REVIEW International Journal of Multidisciplinary, 9(6), 101–109.