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....

1. Then the Blessed One, after having dwelt at Codanāvatthu as long as he thought fit, went back again to Rājagaha. At that time the people asked the Bhikkhus who went about for alms: 'What day of the half month is this, reverend Sirs?' The Bhikkus replied: 'We do not know, friends.' The people were annoyed, murmured, and became angry: 'Those Sakyaputtiya Samaṇas do not even know how to count (the days of) the half month; what good things else will they know?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

“I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that you learn how to count (the days of) the half month.”

2. Now the Bhikkhus thought: 'Who ought to learn to count (the days of) the half month?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

“I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that you learn all of you to count (the days of) the half month.”

3. At that time the people asked the Bhikkhus who went about for alms: 'How many Bhikkhus are there, reverend Sirs?' The Bhikkhus replied: 'We do not know, friends.' The people were annoyed, murmured, and became angry: 'Those Sakyaputtiya Samaṇas do not even know each other; what good things else will they know?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

“I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that you count the Bhikkhus.”

4. Now the Bhikkhus thought: 'At what time ought we to count the Bhikkhus?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

“I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that you count (the Bhikkhus) on the day of Uposatha, either by way of (counting the single) troops (of which the assembly is composed)[1], or that you take (each of you) a ticket (and count those tickets).”

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

This appears to be the meaning of gaṇamaggena gaṇetuṃ; Buddhaghosa has no note on this passage.

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