Sangiti Buddhist council of collective recitation and rehearsal. The term generally means song, music, concert etc, but has come to signify the general assembly of Buddhist monks in order to settle questions of doctrine and scriptures. The sangitis are of paramount significance in the history of buddhism. These Buddhist councils used to be held from time to time to collect Buddhist doctrines and codify them.
The First Great Council was held at the Saptaparni Guha in Rajgriha under the presidentship of Mahakashyap Thera immediately after the demise of the Buddha. King Ajatashatru gave all assistance to the monks. Both the doctrines (Dhamma) and the Code of Conduct (Vinaya) were collected in this council. The second one was convened at Vaishali, a century after the passing away of the Buddha, during the region of King Kalashoka. The rules of Vinaya were discussed there, ending with the recital of the Dhamma-Vinaya. The third one was convened at Pataliputra under the aegis of emperor Ashoka and presided over by Madgali-putratisya Thera to establish the purity of the Sangha. In this council the tipitaka came into its full shape. The fourth sangitis was held at Jalandhara under the auspices of Emperor Kaniska. Vasumitra and Ashwaghose were the president and the vice-president respectively of their council. In this council Mahavibhasa Shastra, commentaries on the Tripitaka, were composed in sanskrit in place of pali. Some other councils were also held in Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand. [Sumangal Baura]