عنوان مقاله [English]
Sangha as a group of monks and nuns that come together to construct a
monastic community based on the principles of vinaya, is the main
religious institution in a Theravādin society. Sangha's structure is based
on its members' relationship with each other and with their surrounding
society. Within Sangha there is an obvious equality among monks on
the one hand, and a distinctive discrimination between monks and nuns.
Prohibition of Monk's and nun's economic activity except for begging
has made Sangha's continuity dependent on laymen's economic
supports, and Sangha, trying to hold these supports, has undertaken
certain social functions. Moreover, despite the emphasis on orthodoxy
and avoidance of religious innovations in Theravādin Buddhism, it has
spread some beliefs which are different from and sometimes even in
contrast with Buddha's teachings.