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 10, Chapter 5

1. And the Blessed One, having dwelt at Pārileyyaka as long as he thought fit, went forth to Sāvatthi. Wandering from place to place he came to Sāvatthi. There the Blessed One dwelt at Sāvatthi, in the Jetavana, the garden of Anātha-piṇḍika. And the lay-devotees of Kosambī thought: 'These venerable Bhikkhus of Kosambī have brought much misfortune to us; worried[1] by them the Blessed One is gone. Well, let us neither salute the venerable Bhikkhus of Kosambī, nor rise from our seats before them, nor raise our hands before them, nor perform the proper duties towards them, nor honour and esteem and revere and sup-port them, nor give them food when they come on their walks for alms; thus, when they are not honoured, esteemed, revered, supported, and hospitably received by us, they will go away, or return to the world, or propitiate the Blessed One.'

2. Thus the lay-devotees of Kosambī did not salute any more the Bhikkhus of Kosambī, nor did they rise from their seats before. them (&c., down to:) nor gave them food when they came on their walks for alms.

Then the Bhikkhus of Kosambī, when they were no more honoured (&c., down to:) and hospitably received by the lay-devotees of Kosambī, said to each other: 'Well, friends, let us go to Sāvatthi and let us settle there that question before the Blessed One.' And the Bhikkhus of Kosambī put their resting-places in order, took up their alms-bowls and their robes, and went forth to Sāvatthi.

3. And the venerable Sāriputta heard: Those litigious, contentious, quarrelsome, disputatious Bhikkhus of Kosambī, the constant raisers of questions before the Saṃgha, are coming to Sāvatthi.' And the venerable Sāriputta went to the place where the Blessed One was; having approached him and respectfully saluted the Blessed One, he sat down near him. Sitting near him the venerable Sāriputta said to the Blessed One: 'Lord, those litigious, contentious (&c., down to:) are coming to Sāvatthi. How am I to behave, Lord, towards those Bhikkhus?'

'Well, Sāriputta, you must side with those who are right according to the Dhamma.'

'But how shall I discern, Lord, what is right and what is wrong?'

4. 'There are eighteen things, Sāriputta, by which you may conclude that a Bhikkhu is wrong according to the Dhamma. In case, Sāriputta, a Bhikkhu declares what is not Dhamma to be Dhamma, or declares what is Dhamma not to be Dhamma, or declares what is not Vinaya to be Vinaya, or declares what is Vinaya not to be Vinaya, or declares what has not been taught and spoken by the Tathāgata to have been taught and spoken by the Tathāgata, or declares something taught and spoken by the Tathāgata not to have been taught and spoken by the Tathāgata, or declares what has not been practised by the Tathāgata to have been practised by the Tathāgata, or declares something practised by the Tathāgata not to have been practised by the Tathāgata, or declares what has not been ordained by the Tathāgata to have been ordained by the Tathāgata, or declares something ordained by the Tathāgata not to have been ordained by the Tathāgata, or declares what is no offence to be an offence, or declares an offence to be no offence, or declares a slight offence to be a grievous offence, or declares a grievous offence to be a slight offence, or declares (a rule regarding) an offence to which there is an exception to be without an exception, or declares (a rule regarding) an offence to which there is no exception to admit of exceptions[2], or declares a grave offence[3] to be a not grave offence, or declares an offence that is not grave to be a grave offence,—these are the eighteen things, Sāriputta, by which you may conclude that a Bhikkhu is wrong according to the Dhamma.

5. 'And there are eighteen things, Sāriputta, by which you may conclude that a Bhikkhu is right according to the Dhamma. In case, Sāriputta, a Bhikkhu declares what is not Dhamma to be not Dhamma, or declares what is Dhamma to be Dhamma (&c., down to:), or declares a grave offence to be a grave offence, or declares an offence that is not grave to be not grave,—these are the eighteen things, Sāriputta, by which you may conclude that a Bhikkhu is right according to the Dhamma.'

6. And the venerable Mahāmoggallāna heard (&c., as in § 3—5)—and the venerable Mahākassapa heard, &c.—and the venerable Mahākaccāna heard, &c.—and the venerable Mahākoṭṭhita[4] heard, &c.—and the venerable Mahākappina heard, &c.—and the venerable Mahācunda heard, &c.—and the venerable Anuruddha heard, &c.—and the venerable Revata heard, &c.—and the venerable Upāli heard, &c.—and the venerable Ānanda heard, &c.—and the venerable Rāhula heard (&c., as above).

7. And Mahāpajāpati Gotamī heard: 'Those litigious, contentious, quarrelsome, disputatious Bhikkhus of Kosambī, the constant raisers of questions before the Saṃgha, are coming to Sāvatthi.' And Mahāpajāpati Gotamī went to the place where the Blessed One was; having approached him and respectfully saluted the Blessed One, she stationed herself near him. Standing near him Mahāpajāpati Gotamī said to the Blessed One: 'Lord, those litigious, contentious (&c., down to:) are coming to Sāvatthi. How am I to behave, Lord, towards those Bhikkhus?'

'Well, Gotamī, hear the Dhamma on both sides. When you have heard the Dhamma on both sides, then accept the opinion and the belief and the doctrine and the cause of those Bhikkhus who are right according to the Dhamma; and whatever the Bhikkhunīsaṃgha has to apply for to the Bhikkhusaṃgha[5], for all that you must apply to the party of those who are right.'

8. And Anātha-piṇḍika the householder heard (&c., as in 3, down to:). 'How am I to behave, Lord, towards those Bhikkhus?'

'Well, householder, bestow gifts on both sides; having bestowed gifts on both sides, hear the Dhamma on both sides. When you have heard the Dhamma on both sides, then accept the opinion and the belief and the doctrine and the cause of those Bhikkhus who are right according to the Dhamma.'

9. And Visākhā Migāramātā heard, &c.[6]

10. And the Bhikkhus of Kosambī in due course came to Sāvatthi. And the venerable Sāriputta went to the place where the Blessed One was; having approached him and respectfully saluted the Blessed One, he sat down near him. Sitting near him the venerable Sāriputta said to the Blessed One: 'Lord, those litigious, contentious, quarrelsome, disputatious Bhikkhus of Kosambī, the constant raisers of questions before the Saṃgha, have arrived at Sāvatthi. How are we, Lord, to arrange the dwelling-places of those Bhikkhus?'

'Well, Sāriputta, assign separate dwelling-places to them.'

'And if there be no separate dwelling-places, what are we to do then, Lord?'

'Then, Sāriputta, you must separate (some dwelling-places from the rest) and then assign them (to those Bhikkhus). But in no wise, Sāriputta, do I say that the dwelling-place of a senior Bhikkhu must be taken from him. He who does that, commits a dukkaṭa offence.'

'And how are we to act, Lord, regarding (the distribution of) material gifts[7]?'

'Material gifts, Sāriputta, must be distributed among all in equal parts.'

11. And that Bhikkhu against whom expulsion had been pronounced, pondering over both Dhamma and Vinaya, came to the following conclusion: 'This is an offence; this is not no offence. I am an offender; I am not offenceless. I am expelled; I am not un-expelled. The sentence by which I have been expelled is lawful, unobjectionable, and valid.' Then that expelled Bhikkhu went to the expelled Bhikkhu's partisans; having approached them, he said to the partisans of the expelled Bhikkhu: 'This is an offence, friends; this is not no offence, &c. Come now, my venerable brethren, and restore me.'

12. Then the partisans of that expelled Bhikkhu took with them the expelled Bhikkhu, and went to the place where the Blessed One was; having approached him and respectfully saluted the Blessed One, they sat down near him. Sitting near him those Bhikkhus said to the Blessed One: 'Lord, this Bhikkhu, against whom expulsion has been pronounced, says, "This is an offence, friends (&c., down to:) and restore me." What are we to do here, Lord?'

This is an offence, O Bhikkhus; this is not no offence. This Bhikkhu is an offender; this Bhikkhu is not offenceless. This Bhikkhu is expelled; he is not unexpelled; the sentence by which he has been expelled is lawful, unobjectionable, and valid. But since this Bhikkhu, O Bhikkhus, having committed an offence, and having been sentenced to expulsion, sees (his offence), restore now that Bhikkhu, O Bhikkhus.'

13. And the partisans of that expelled Bhikkhu, having restored that expelled Bhikkhu, went to the Bhikkhus who had sentenced him to expulsion; having approached them, they said to the Bhikkhus who had pronounced that sentence: 'As regards that matter, friends, which gave origin to altercations among the Saṃgha, to contentions, discord, quarrels, divisions among the Saṃgha, to disunion among the Saṃgha, to separations among the Saṃgha, to schisms among the Saṃgha,—that Bhikkhu (who was concerned in that matter), having committed an offence, and having been sentenced to expulsion, has seen (his offence) and has been restored. Come, friends, let us declare now the re-establishment of concord among the Saṃgha in order to bring that matter to an end.'

Then the Bhikkhus who had pronounced that sentence of expulsion, went to the place where the Blessed One was; having approached him and respectfully saluted the Blessed One, they sat down near him; sitting near him those Bhikkhus said to the Blessed One: 'Lord, those partisans of the expelled Bhikkhu have said to us: "As regards that matter (&c., down to:) in order to bring that matter to an end." What are we to do here, Lord?'

14. 'Since this Bhikkhu, O Bhikkhus, having committed an offence, and having been sentenced to expulsion, has seen (his offence) and has been re-stored, let the Saṃgha, O Bhikkhus, declare the re-establishment of concord in order to bring that matter to an end. And this declaration is to be performed in this way: Let all brethren assemble together, both the sick and the healthy; no one is allowed to send his declaration of khaṇḍa[8] (and to stay away). When you have assembled, let a learned, competent Bhikkhu proclaim the following ñatti before the Saṃgha: "Let the Saṃgha, reverend Sirs, hear me. As regards that matter which gave origin to altercations among the Saṃgha, to contentions, discord, quarrels, divisions among the Saṃgha, to disunion among the Saṃgha, to separations among the Saṃgha, to schisms among the Saṃgha,—that Bhikkhu (concerned in that matter), having committed an offence, and having been sentenced to expulsion, has seen (his offence) and has been restored. If the Saṃgha is ready, let the Saṃgha declare the re-establishment of concord in order to bring that matter to an end. This is the ñatti. Let the Saṃgha, reverend Sirs, hear me (&c.[9], down to:) the re-establishment of concord, in order to bring that matter to an end, has been declared by the Saṃgha; the division that existed among the Saṃgha has been settled; the disunion that existed among the Saṃgha has been settled. The Saṃgha is in favour (of this declaration); therefore you are silent; thus I understand." Then let the Saṃgha hold Uposatha and proclaim the Pātimokkha.'

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Ubbāḷha; see Jātaka I, 300, and Mahāvagga III, 9, 1.

[2]:

Our translation of sāvasesa and anavasesa is entirely conjectural. By the exceptions alluded to here we believe that such clauses must be understood as, for instance, in the sixth Nissaggiya Rule the words: 'Except at the right season;--here the right season means when the Bhikkhu has been robbed of his robe, or when his robe has been destroyed. This is the right season in this connection.'

[3]:

The term 'Duṭṭhullā āpatti' is used also in the ninth Pācittiya Rule, and the Old Commentary there states that by 'grave offences' those belonging to the Pārājika and Saṃghādisesa classes are understood.

[4]:

The name of this Thera is spelt in the MSS. Mahākoṭṭhita and Mahākoṭṭhita. In the Northern Buddhist works he is called Mahākauṣṭhilya. In the Lalita Vistara (p. 1, ed. Calc.) Kauṇḍilya is a misprint.

[5]:

See Cullavagga X, 1, 4, and the 59th Pācittiya Rule in the Bhikkhunī-pātimokkha.

[6]:

As in § 8. Instead of 'Well, householder,' read 'Well, Visākhā.'

[7]:

Such as food, robes, &c.

[8]:

See II, 23.

[9]:

Here follows the repetition of the ñatti and the other solemn formulas belonging to a ñattidutiya kamma in the usual way.

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