Sangha, The

The Sangha is the Buddhist monastic community, comprised of Buddhist monks and nuns. Although Buddhist monks and nuns traditionally renounce the responsibilities of family life, they do not remove themselves completely from society. Rather, they exist as part of an economy with lay Buddhists, who offer the monks material support in exchange for religious teachings and positive karma, or merit. As such, the Sangha can have a tremendous legitimizing force as a source of merit for individuals who make offerings to them.