Vinaya (2): The Mahavagga

by T. W. Rhys Davids | 1881 | 156,382 words

The Mahavagga (part of the Vinaya collection) includes accounts of Gautama Buddha’s and the ten principal disciples’ awakenings, as well as rules for ordination, rules for reciting the Patimokkha during uposatha days, and various monastic procedures....

Mahavagga, Khandaka 6, Chapter 17

1. Now the Blessed One journeying on in due course came to Rājagaha. And there at Rājagaha the Blessed One stayed at the Veluvana in the Kalandaka-nivāpa.

Now at that time the Blessed One was troubled with wind in his stomach. And the venerable Ānanda thinking, 'Now formerly the Blessed One when suffering from wind in the stomach had ease from Tekaṭula[1] gruel,' made ready of his own accord tila seeds, and rice, and beans; and kept them indoors; and cooked them indoors of his own accord, and offered them to the Blessed One, saying, 'Let the Blessed One drink this Tekaṭula gruel.'

2. Now the Tathāgatas sometimes ask about what they know (&c., as usual, as, for instance, in I, 31, 5, down to the end).

And the Blessed One said to the venerable Ānanda, 'Whence, Ānanda, is this gruel?'

Then the venerable Ānanda told this thing to the Blessed One.

3. The Blessed Buddha rebuked him, saying, 'This is improper, Ānanda, unbecoming, unsuitable, unworthy of Samaṇas, not allowable, and ought to be avoided. How can you, Ānanda, think (of permitting yourself) such abundance? Whatever, Ānanda, is kept indoors, is not allowed; whatever is cooked indoors, is not allowed; and whatever is cooked of your own accord, is not allowed. This will not redound, Ānanda, to the conversion of the unconverted.'

And when he had rebuked him, and delivered a religious discourse. he said to the Bhikkhus: Whatsoever is kept indoors, O Bhikkhus, or cooked indoors, or cooked of your own accord, is not to be eaten. Whosoever shall eat thereof, is guilty of a dukkaṭa offence.

4. 'And if, O Bhikkhus, there be food kept indoors, or cooked indoors, or cooked of your own accord, and one shall eat thereof, he is guilty of three dukkaṭa offences. If, O Bhikkhus, food kept indoors, and cooked indoors, shall have been so cooked by others, and one eat thereof, he is guilty of two dukkaṭa offences. If, O Bhikkhus, food kept indoors, shall have been cooked out of doors, and so cooked of your own accord, and one eat thereof, he is guilty of two dukkaṭa offences.

5. 'If, O Bhikkhus, food kept out of doors shall have been cooked indoors, and of your own accord, and one eat thereof he is guilty of two dukkaṭa offences. If, O Bhikkhus, food kept indoors, shall have been cooked out of doors, and by others, and one eat thereof, he is guilty of a dukkaṭa offence. If, O Bhikkhus, food kept out of doors shall have been cooked indoors, and by others, and one eat thereof, he is guilty of a dukkaṭa offence. If, O Bhikkhus, food kept out of doors, shall have been cooked out of doors, and of your own accord, and one shall eat thereof, he is guilty of a dukkaṭa offence. If, O Bhikkhus, food kept out of doors, shall have been cooked out of doors, and by others, and one shall eat thereof, he is not guilty.'

6. Now at that time, the Bhikkhus, thinking, 'Food cooked of one's own accord has been disallowed by the Blessed One,' feared to offend by cooking a second time food (already cooked once).

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to cook food a second time.'

7. Now at that time there was a scarcity of food in Rājagaha. People brought salt, and oil, and rice, and hard food to the Ārāma. These the Bhikkhus kept out of doors; and vermin[2] ate them, and thieves carried them off.

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to keep food indoors.'

When they kept it indoors, and cooked it out of doors, those men who practised self-mortification by living on the remains of offered food[3] crowded round them; and the Bhikkhus ate in fear.

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to cook indoors.'

In the time of scarcity, those who (by offering food, inviting Bhikkhus to their houses, &c.) made (the accepting or eating of food) allowable (to the Bhikkhus), used to take more (for themselves), and give less to the Bhikkhus.

I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to cook of your own accord. I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to cook indoors, and of your own accord, food kept indoors.'

8. Now at that time a number of Bhikkhus who had spent the rainy season in the land of Kāsi, and were journeying to Rājagaha to visit the Blessed One, did not receive on the way as full a supply as they required of food, either bitter or sweet. And there was plenty of eatable fruit, but there was no one to make it allowable for them[4]. And those Bhikkhus went on in weariness to Rājagaha, to the Veluvana, in the Kalandaka-nivāpa, where the Blessed One was. And when they had come there, they bowed down before the Blessed One, and took their seats on one side.

Now it is the custom of the Blessed Buddhas to exchange courteous greetings with Bhikkhus who arrive. And the Blessed One said to those Bhikkhus:

'Do things go well with you, O Bhikkhus? Do you get enough to support yourselves with? Have you accomplished your journey without too much fatigue? And whence, O Bhikkhus, have you come?'

9. 'Things go well with us, Lord. We have spent the rainy season in the land of Kāsi; and as we were journeying to Rājagaha to visit the Blessed One, we did not receive on the way as full a supply as we required of food, either bitter or sweet. And there was plenty of eatable fruit, but there was no one to make it allowable for us. And we came on our way in weariness.'

Then the Blessed One, in that connection, after having delivered a religious discourse, said to the Bhikkhus: 'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, wherever edible fruit is seen and there is no one to make it allowable, to pick it of your own accord, and take it away. And when you see one who can make it allowable, you are to place it on the ground, and (only) eat it after you have received it again. I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to take whatever (fruit) you have picked up[5].'

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

That is, gruel containing the three pungent (kaṭu) substances, which are explained to be ginger and two kinds of pepper.

[2]:

Buddhaghosa says, ukkapiṇḍakā pi khādantīti bilāla-mūsika-godha-muṅgusā khādanti. The expression recurs in VI, 33, 5.

[3]:

Buddhaghosa says, damakā ti vighāsādā. The sane explanation is given in Abhidhānappadīpikā, verse 467, where the Sinhalese expression is indul kannā, and the English 'one who eats orts.'

[4]:

See the last section.

[5]:

Compare; below, 21, 1.

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