Buddhist Monastic Discipline contains two significant Buddhist monastic disciplinary texts-the Sanskrit Pratimoksa Sutras of the Mahasamghikas and Mulasarvastivadins-for the first time, translated into English. They are printed on facing pages for ease of comparison. One of the texts is that of a very early Buddhist school first appearing in the 4th century BCE, and the other is one not mentioned in the records until the 7th century CE. The contrasting texts thus highlight the development of Buddhist sectarian practices.
Two introductory chapters precede the translated Sutras. The first gives an overview of the rise of Buddhist monasticism; analyzes Vinaya, that portion of the Buddhist canon regulating the life of monks and nuns; and proisionally identifies the problematics inherent in Pratimoksa study, pointing the way to needed research. The second chapter describes how the two translated Sutras were found and edited.
The translated texts are thoroughly annotated, often highlighting hitherto unknown grammatical variants in Buddhist Hybird Sanskrit, and are followed by a concordance table of Bhiksu Pratimoksa Sutras preserved in Indic languages and by a selected bibliography.