Buddhist councils

Conventions of Buddhist monastic leaders / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Since the death of the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, Buddhist monastic communities ("sangha") have periodically convened to settle doctrinal and disciplinary disputes and to revise and correct the contents of the Buddhist canons. These gatherings are often termed Buddhist "councils" (Pāli and Sanskrit: saṅgīti, literally meaning "reciting together" or "joint rehearsal"). Accounts of these councils are recorded in Buddhist texts as having begun immediately following the death of the Buddha and have continued into the modern era.

The earliest councils are regarded as real events by every Buddhist tradition. However, the historicity and details of these councils remains a matter of dispute in modern Buddhist studies. This is because various sources belonging to different Buddhist schools contain conflicting accounts of these events and the narratives often serve to bolster the authority and prestige of specific schools.

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