chapter
The Monastic, Sectarian Stage
Pages 3

Buddhist monasteries originated in India as humble shacks of wattle daubed with mud in which hermits and wanderers sheltered during the annual rainy season. To the mendicant Gotama and his chief disciples, such shelters had been donated by householders who admired and venerated the vocation of holy men who begged their daily meal because they had renounced all possessions. The evolution of temporary abodes into permanent monastic residences was an early step in the history of Buddhism, and one which necessarily revolutionized the lives and the ideals of those who professed the dhamma of the Buddha. The seeds of this-the second stage in our scheme of Buddhist development-were certainly sown early (probably in the Buddha's own lifetime), and the growth in India of Buddhist monasticism was apparently one of comparative rapidity.