Explain the responsibilities of the king, Humanities

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"Though the birds sang in the Unebi Mountain;/ None passed by who even looked like my wife./ I could only call her name and wave my sleeve." (Man'yoshu)

Speaker: From the article of Orzech, the Buddha is speaking to King Prasenajit

Subject: Addresses the gradual disappearance of dharma. Outward signs no longer referred to inward characteristics. Explain the responsibilities of the king.

Occasion: the Buddha is showing what rituals must be done and describing what will happen (the sequence of events) after the disappearance of dharma, the age of Mo Fa. This shows the corruption of the social order. Buddha is saying that laymen should not be in place where monks should be seated, b/c laymen are below in social/ religious order.

Purpose: Buddhism needs to be open to radical change. So it is important to fit Buddhism to the doctrine of the state. Therefore, kings must play pivotal role as source of salvation. Monks insist on autonomy of their temples. But rulers gained greater authority and significance in this age of Mo Fa. This is another way to get monks to pull back from worldly values, keep them in isolation, and cut back the growing power of the monasteries.

General Time: composed in Chinese in 5th century C.E.


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