Sakyas had their community council then
popularly know as “Sangh”. Every Sakya youth above twenty had to be
initiated into the Sangh and be a member of the Sangh.
Siddharth Gautama had reached the age of
twenty. It was time for him to be initiated into the Sangh and become a
member thereof. The Sakyas had a meeting-house which they called
Sansthagar. It was situated in
Kapilavatsu. The session of the Sangh was
also held in the Sansthagar. With the object of getting Siddharth
initiated into the Sangh, Suddhodana asked
the Purohit of the Sakyas to convene a
meeting of the Sangh. Accordingly the Sangh met at Kapilavatsu in the
Sansthagar of the Sakyas. At the meeting of the Sangh, the Purohit
proposed that Siddharth be enrolled as a member of the Sangh. The
Senapati of the Sakyas then addressed the
Sangh and proposed the name of Siddharth Gautama for membership of
member of the Sangh. On acceptance of everyone Prince Siddhartha become
the member of Sangh. Thereafter, the
Purohit of the Sakyas stood up and asked
Siddhartha to rise in his place. Addressing Siddhartha, he said: “Do you
realize that the Sangh has honoured you by
making you a member of it?” "I do, sir,” replied Siddhartha. "Do
you know the obligation of membership of the Sangh?" "I am sorry, sir, I
do not. But I shall be happy to know them, sir," said Siddhartha.
"I shall first tell you what your duties
as a member of the Sangh are” said the Purohit and he then related them
one by one:
(1) You must safeguard the interests of the Sakyas by your body, mind
(2) You must not absent yourself from the meetings of the Sangh.
(3) You must without fear or favours expose any fault you may notice in
the conduct of a Sakya.
(4) You must not be angry if you are accused of an offence but confess
if you are guilty or state if you are innocent."
Proceeding, the Purohit said: " I shall
next tell you what will disqualify you for membership of the Sangh if
(1) You cannot remain a member of the Sangh if you commit rape. (2) You
cannot remain a member of the Sangh if you commit murder. (3) You cannot
remain a member of the Sangh if you commit theft. (4) You cannot remain
a member of the Sangh if you are guilty of giving false evidence." "l am
grateful to you, sir," said Siddhartha, "
for telling me the rules of discipline of the Sakya Sangh. I assure you
I will do my best to follow them in letter and in spirit."