pavarana (also known as uposatha or upavasatha).
There was a special code of rules for the nuns. It contained certain extra
restrictions relating to movements, residence and general supervision of the
nuns by monks.
Monks living within a definite boundary were to hold a fortnightly
assembly, were to elect their president (sanghathera or sanghaparinayaka)
and to select two speakers, one on dhamma and the other on vinaya. In the
assembly meetings, there were the systems of formal moving of resolutions
(Jnapati), ballot voting by means of wooden sticks (salaka), formation of
subcommittees, for different kinds of religious acts like punishment for an
offence, admission or readmission of a monk into the Sangha, restoration of
the privileges of a monk, etc. The minimum number of members required to
form the panels was fixed.
The ceremony of initiation into the Sangha was simple and plain.
Whenever a new person, desired to join the Order, he or she had to have
his or her head shaved, put on a yellow robe and before the president of
the local Sangha take the oaths of fidelity to the triratna, viz. the Buddha,
the Dhamma and the Sangha. Next he was to repeat the ten
commandments (sila) of the Buddha. He was required to attach himself to
a monk for certain preliminary training after which he was to present him
to an assembly of monks and make a formal proposal for admitting him to
the Sangha. When permission was given, he would be ordained as a monk.
Henceforth, he was required to observe the discipline of the Sangha and
abide by its rules.
The Sangha was governed on democratic lines and was empowered to
enforce discipline among its members. It also had power to punish the erring
members. Whenever a meeting of the Sangha was held, the members or
monks took their seats according to their seniority. No assembly was valid
unless at least ten monks were present, though in border countries the quorum
could, in exceptional cases, be reduced to five. Novices and women were not
entitled to vote or to constitute