Religion Past and Present

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(282 words)

[German Version]

Saṃgha (also saṅgha; Sanskrit/Pali; lit. “assembly”) is the monastic community originally founded by the Buddha (I; Buddhism: I, 4); according to the Buddhist rules governing such communities, it consists of ordained bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs (“monks and nuns”; monasticism: IV; monasteries: III). Since monastic Buddhism never developed an overall organizational structure, the idea of the “saṃgha of the four points of the compass” that includes all monastics must be distinguished from the actual local saṃgha. The saṃgha was already defined conceptuall…

Cite this page
Freiberger, Oliver, “Saṃgha”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 26 June 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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