This was held 100 years after Buddha’s mahaparinibbana to settle the Vinaya rules. This lasted for 8 months. Vesali was chosen, as it was the place where the 10 vinaya rules were relaxed by the Vajjian monks. Held at the Valukarama temple. It was chaired by Venerable Rewata and 700 arahants attended.
King Kalasoka was the ruling king then, but he was very fond of the Vajjian monks. Venerables Yasa, Rewata and Sabbakami with the king’s sister who had become a Bhikkhuni were able to convince the king to support the council.
Causes of the 2nd Buddhist council
1. Yasa’s discovery of Vajjian monks’ collection of money (gold and silver) from lay disciples during Uposatha day in Vesali. He objected strongly to this practice. Later, the monks shared the money amongst them, and offered a portion to Yasa who refused to accept it. Yasa strongly objected to the bribery.
2. Vajjian monks imposed ‘Act of reconciliation’ and ‘Act of suspension’ on Yasa
Yasa had reprimanded lay disciples for giving ‘gold and silver’ to the Vajjian monks. Then the vajjian monks imposed the act of reconciliation (patisaraniya kamma’ i.e., to ask pardon from laymen) to Yasa in the presence of an accompanying Vajjian monk as they wanted to convince lay disciples would consider the act of giving gold and silver as proper.
Accompanied by another monk, Yasa went into town and told the laymen, ‘I acknowledge that although religious laymen have good intention, but this is adhamma and avinaya.’ He cited discourses by Buddha, which were decisive on the question of monks being forbidden gold and silver.
The laypeople believing Yasa, decided to break with the Vajjian monks: “There is none but Yasa who is an ascetic and a son of Sakya, all the others are neither ascetics nor Sons of Sakyans.”
The Vajjian monks was upset with Venerable Yasa and decided to impose an ‘Act of suspension’ ((Ukkepaniya Kamma) on Venerable Yasa to silence his objection and to show the lay public at large that it was proper to accept gold and silver from lay disciples. However Venerable Yasa left the Vajjian city before this was imposed.
Read more: http://www.suttas.com/2nd-buddhist-council.html