(Pali/Sanskrit = leading out, education, discipline)
The rules followed by Buddhist sanghas (monastic communities). The purpose of the rules is to create in the monasteries ideal conditions for meditation and renunciation.
1. The rules are based on the canonical texts called Vinaya Pitaka, which are the first division of the Tipitaka.
They include rules governing the life of every bhikkhu (monk) and bhikkhuni (nun), with additional procedures to promote harmony between the monks and the laity.
2. When the Buddha first established the Sangha, the community lived without codified rules. As it grew, however, problematic situations arose and, in response, he was force to create rules — and suitable punishments for rule-breakers.