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When and Where is a Monk No Longer a Monk? On Communion and Communities in Indian Buddhist Monastic Law Codes

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Indian Buddhist monks and nuns who commit pārājika offences are generally deemed to be asamvāsa ("not in communion"). In this paper I question the simplistic equation of asamvāsa with "expulsion." I discuss the case of a matricide monk who, having been expelled, went down the road and set up a new monastery. I use this example to throw light on local and translocal aspects of Buddhist monastic ordination, suggesting that asamvāsa may refer not to a loss of communion from the Sangha of the Four Quarters, but from a specific, local monastic community.


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