Be Sein (Religious Affairs)
The members of the Sangha Orders residing in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar are like the sons of the Buddha, who consequently succeeded Maha Thera Kassapa of the First Buddhist Synod.
When the five rivers namely, Ganga, Yamuna, Aciravati, Sarabu and Mahi flow into the ocean, their respective names disappeared, and then they received the one name, ocean. Similarly, the respective names of four castes also disappeared when they were ordained as Bhikkhus. They are regarded as the sons, as well as the disciples of the Buddha. According to the Fourth Wonder of the Sasana, the members of the Sangha received only the name of the sons of Sakya.
Therefore, all the members of the Sangha are united under the Rules of Vinaya expounded by the Buddha. In this way, members of the Sangha Orders have consequently to carry out the benefits of the Sasana. To settle peacefully the disputes of the Vinaya-dhammakamma Adhikarana, the following four main principles were drawn up and passed by the State Central Working Committee of the Sangha of All Orders of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. They are; –
1. These procedures of the Settlement on the Vinayadhammakamma Adhikarana Disputes Act shall be applicable to the members of the Sangha residing in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
2. The Vinayadhammakamma Adhikarana disputes shall be heard and decided only at the courts of the Sangha Vinicchaya and shall not be decreed as civil cases at the public courts.
3. The Viniyadhammakamma Adhikarana disputes arising from among the respective official sects may be heard and decided by the respective sects of Vinayadharas (Sangha Judges).
4. These procedures of the Settlement of the Vinayadhammakamma Adhikarana Disputes Act shall be received and approved only by the majorities of the representatives of the assembly of the Sangha of All Orders.
The above-mentioned four main principles and the procedures and the procedures of the Vinayadhammakamma Adhikarna Disputes were unanimously approved by the 1218 Sangha representatives of the First Congregation of the Sangha of All Orders of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for the purification, perpetuation and propagation of the Buddha Sasana which was successfully held on the 27th May 1980.
In accordance with the four main principles and the procedures of the Vinaya-dhammakamma Adhikarana Disputes passed and adopted by the First Congregation of the Sangha of All orders of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the following different levels of the Sangha Vinicchaya committees were formed throughout the country.
1. The State Sangha Vinicchaya Committee (the highest level)
2. The State/Region Sangha Vinicchaya Committees.
3. Township Sangha Vinicchaya Committees.
The State Sanghamahanayaka committee has to nominate the name-list of the limited numbers out of the members of the State Central Working Committee of the Sangha of All Orders to act as the Vinayadharas (Sangha Judges) of the State Sangha Vinicchaya Court on alternative turn. The members of the State Sangha Vinicchaya Court take office at Apara Goyana Hall, Sirimangalar Kaba Aye Hillock, Mayangone Township, Yangon Region. The State Sangha Vinnicchaya Court consists of (45) members and each (15) members take office for four months.
The complainant or defendant may submit their statement of appeal to the State Sanghamahanayaka Committee within 30 days together with the prescribed form (12) according to the procedures, if the decision of the State or Region Sangha Vinicchaya Committee is not satisfactory. The statement of appeal must be attached to a true copy of the judgement of the State or Region Sangha Vinicchaya Committee. The following cases may be submitted to the State Sanghamahanayaka Committee for appeal:-
1. A dispute occurring between the two different sects (ganas)
2. A dispute occurring between any State and Region.
3. A dispute relating to the four offences (Parajikas)
4. A dispute relating to pagodas and their Images and financial matters.
After accepting the statement of appeal and its case file, the State Sangha-mahanayaka Committee shall form a State Vinayadhara Appellate Court within (15) days consisting of (5) members of the Vinayadhara Sayadaws who were neither members of the primary court nor the Vinayadhara Sayadaws of the State or Region in which the disputes originated.
Besides, the State Sanghamahanayaka Committee shall directly form the State Special Vinicchaya Committee comprising suitable members who are members of the State Central Working Committee of the Sangha of All Orders of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to hear and decide the dispute relating to Dhamma (lawful view) or Adhamma (unlawful view) out of the four kinds of disputes, concerning the whole Sasana affairs.
The judgement of the State Special Court of the Vinayadhara shall be final and conclusive.