The Buddhist monastic community, the Sangha, was created by the Buddha for those people who wanted to fully dedicate their lives toward the realization of enlightenment. The monastic lifestyle enables one to leave behind the worries and entanglements of lay life and focus almost all one's time and energy on the goal of liberation. It also offers the opportunity to live in solitude, an important factor for the development of deep states of meditation and wisdom. The Buddha also instituted a detailed and refined code of conduct and discipline to aid monastics in their cultivation of virtue.
Between Buddhist monastics and Buddhist lay people, there is a relationship of inter-dependence. The Sangha relies on the lay Buddhists for their material needs, and in return the monks and nuns provide the lay community with spiritual guidance and moral support. As long as the Sangha continues to practise in accordance with the code of monastic discipline and strives for the attainment of enlightenment, Buddhism will be a strong and vibrant religion.
(to be continued.....)