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The Maha Sangha: Monastic Order of Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis

The self-chosen spiritual path of the Order of the Sangha entails a frugal mendicant-like way of life devoid of worldly possessions and strict abstinence from indulging sensual pleasures. In addition, they are to selflessly devote their time and energies towards propagating the religion and guiding upasikas and upasakas (lay female and male) to understand and diligently practice the Buddha Dhamma, primarily by self-example. Aside from this spiritual responsibility and role, they are to selflessly serve the welfare and well-being of society as a whole.

It is a matter of singular significance that the avowed commitment to unconditionally serve society is specifically inscribed in the Maha Vagga Vinaya Pitaka.

According to this sutta (Discourse of the Buddha or scriptures), the Buddha categorically implores the Order of the Maha Sangha: “To go forth, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world...Let not two go in one direction. Preach the doctrine that is beautiful in its beginning, beautiful in its middle, and beautiful in its ending. Declare the holy life in its purity completely, both in letter and spirit.”

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