formation of the name mahaasaamghika

Jonathan Silk silk at HUMNET.UCLA.EDU
Tue Nov 25 20:49:41 UTC 2003

The name of one of the Indian Buddhist schools is Mahaasaamghika.
Since I was asked about this more than ten years ago, I have wondered
about it. The traditional explanation has it that the name signifies
"those who belong to the great community" or something along that
line. BUT:


mahaasamgha + ika

then, should >



To generate mahaasaamghika, we need to assume

mahaa + saamghika < samgha + ika


I cannot reconcile what I understand to be the grammer with what I
understand the tradition to understand. Any ideas?

Jonathan Silk
Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
Center for Buddhist Studies
290 Royce Hall
Box 951540
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
phone: (310)206-8235
fax:  (310)825-8808
silk at

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