2. Buddha’s Disciple Can’t Be Bothered To Ask Vital Questions
Born before Christ was even a twinkle in Joseph’s eye, Siddhartha Gautama (aka the Buddha) created a global religion, with some 500 million people worldwide adhering to his every utterance. With his words at such a premium, you might expect his disciples to have asked him about everything in minute detail. You’d be wrong. Thanks to the laziness of a guy named Ananda, there are still super-important things that we don’t know about Buddhist vows to this very day.
Toward the end of his life, the Buddha dropped a theological bomb on his disciple Ananda: From then on, the minor vows wouldn’t be needed in ordination, just the major ones. This is kinda like St Peter calling the future pope over and saying, “Know those Hail Marys? I’ve chatted with the big G, and we’ve decided to drop them.” The only problem was, Ananda didn’t know which were the major vows and which were the minor. He deciding that asking could wait for later. He kept on thinking that right until the Buddha died, taking the answer with him.
As a result of this one lazy disciple, no one in the past 2,500 years of Buddhism has had any idea if they’re saying the right vows or not. No one wants to accidentally skip a major one, so they just say the whole lot, painfully aware that a good chunk of it is totally unnecessary.