None was allowed to change the Gana
for avoiding atonement for a fault. Similarly a person could be
allowed entry into the Gana after his dismissal for a grave
offense, only if the other members expressed their confidence in him. So
also the change over from a Gana of greater standing to that of a
less standing was prohibited (N:s. 16. 15).
The next group was designated as
the kula, which however has not been satisfactorily explained in
any text. However, it has already been seen that the kulas formed
the Gana (Aup., com -. 81). The Bhagavai commentary (p.
382b) explains it as 'egayariyassa santai' (also Mull I, p.
143), or the disciples of a particular acarya. This, however, fails
to explain the kula and the rules of its formation and working. It
is likely that a kula was headed by a junior officer and a group of
such hulas and their heads were responsible to the acarya.
The sambhoga is yet
another formation referred to in early texts. This has been variously
explained as 'a group taking food together' (Utter. comm. p. 333a),
or as a group having a common samacari and taking food together'
(Patga., p. 1062) or as "a group of monks begging alms in one district
only" (Jacobi, See, XIV, P. 167, In. 1). The unit is also referred to in
the inscriptions from Mathura.
The exact purpose for the formation of
the sambhoga is not explicit though it is said that it facilitated
exchange of requisites, common study of texts, exchange of food, attending
the ill, etc. (Smv. 21b). It is doubtful whether it was a unit in the real
sense of the term.
The most important unit is the gaccha,
which is even now current in Jaina church. It is remarkable to note
that it does not occur in the early texts of the Svetambaras canon
but comes into constant reference in the Nijjuttis. As a matter of
fact an entire text among the Painnayas, the Gacchayarapainnaya,
deals with the gaccha.
There is no unanimity regarding the
information as given about the gaccha. For instance, the
Ovavaiya (p. 86) explains the gaccha so as to mean the
following of one acarya. The Chedasutras do not mention the
gaccha, whereas the Mulacara commentary makes it a group of
seven monks (saptapurusiko: pt. I, p.133). In several texts and
commentaries, it is equated with the Gana. The information as given
in the Marinara makes it a unit of bigger strength than the
gang, as the latter required only five people for its formation. On
the whole it is not clear what relation gacchos and Gana had
between them. Later on, however, the Gana went out of vogue, giving
place to or identifying itself with the gaccha, which arose in a
fairly large number. (DEO, op. cit., pp. 519ff).
The Ohanijjutti (116-117) enjoins
every monk to be a member of some gaccha. Later inscriptions show
that there was an enormous increase in the number of the Gacchas, which
were formed on regional, personal and incidental basis as also on the
strength of some monastic practice. However, since the Gana was
equated with the gaccha in later days, it would not be incorrect to
assume that the rules and regulations pertaining to discipline were the
There are other minor units, which find
mention in the Ovavaiyasutta. For instance, it refers to 'gamma'
and the commentator explains it to be a part of a gaccha
controlled by the Upadhyaya (p. 86). No other information is
available regarding this unit.
Similar is the ease of yet another unit
designated as �phaddaga�, which was a small part of a gaccha
and was in charge of the Ganavacchedaka (Ova. p. 86). This involves
contradictions as it makes the Ganavacchedaka subordinate to the
Upadhyaya whereas the Chedasutras lay down identical
qualifications for the Ganavacchedaka and the acarya, the
latter being definitely senior to the Upadhyaya. On the basis of
this discrepancy, Schubring (Die Lehre der Jainas, article 140)
doubts whether these were technical divisions at all.
Schubring�s remarks seem to hold good
even in the case of the mandali (Ogha. N. 522, 547, 561). This
implied the formation of a group of monks for the purpose of waiting upon
the ill or for helping the new young entrant to the order etc. The
Thera or the elderly monk who headed such a group was called the
The Saka or sakha was not
a unit in the strict sense of the term. JACOB' points out that "it is not
quite clear what is meant by Gana, kula and sakha. Gala
designates the school which is derived from one teacher; kula, the
succession of teachers in one line; sakhathe lines which branch off
from each teacher". (SBE, XXII, p. 288, In. 2).
The details so far given, though not
exhaustive, are sufficient to give an idea about the custodians of
monastic conduct, the qualifications required for various positions in the
church hierarchy, the rules and regulations which were enjoined upon them
and the various groups which formed the monk-order as a whole.
Having known the inter-relation between
the various officers and the groups they headed, let us now pass on to the
actual enactment of the rules of monastic conduct and the application or
enforcement thereof by those who were qualified and authorized to do so.