Fourfold Community (사부대중)
Pages InformationWriter Jogye Date13 Aug 2015 Read6,855 Comment0
I want all our monasteries to have a fourfold Sangha composed of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen, and for the laypeople living there to be a bridge between the monastic community and the laypeople society.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
The fourfold Sangha, or fourfold community, consists of:
Bhikshus (bhikkhus) - monks / Bhikshunis (bhikkhunis) - nuns
Upasakas - laymen / Upasikas - laywomen
Compassionate harmony and support within the fourfold Sangha is important. It was advised by the Buddha to neither neglect the spiritual needs of the lay people nor become inextricably intertwined with them. The sangha, if it became isolated from the laity, would lead to a decrease in the learning and practice of the Buddha-Dharma by the laity, and over time, result in the demise of the Sangha. If the laity isolates itself from the Sangha, it too cannot claim to be a complete fourfold community.
- excerpt from Buddhist English (Elementary 1) published in 2014 by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism