Bodhisattva Precepts and Their Compatibility with Vinaya in Contemporary Chinese Buddhism: A Cross-Straits Comparative Study

Chiu Tzu-Lung

Abstract


Bodhisattva ideas have steadily developed since medieval times, to become key characteristics of Chinese Mahāyāna Buddhism. Monks and nuns in the Mahāyāna tradition generally have bodhisattva precepts conferred upon them while undergoing the Triple Platform Ordination, and adhering to both these precepts and the bhikṣu/bhikṣuṇī precepts is a conspicuous feature of Mahāyāna monastic practice. Against this backdrop, it is worth exploring Chinese monastics’ perceptions of the bodhisattva precepts and ideal, and the practices surrounding them, in the current sociocultural contexts of Taiwan and Mainland China. Though both these regions share the same tradition of Chinese Mahāyāna Buddhism, it has very different manifestations. This long-term, cross-Straits comparative study also reveals a hitherto under-theorised conflict between vinaya rules and the bodhisattva ideal.

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