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. At that time many ignorant, unlearned Bhikkus who travelled to the (four) quarters (of the world) did not ask leave of their ācariyas and upajjhāyas (when going away).

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'In case, O Bhikkhus, there are many ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus who travel to the (four) quarters without asking leave of their ācariyas and upajjhāyas; such Bhikkhus ought to be asked by their ācariyas and upajjhāyas: "Where will you go? with whom will you go?" If those ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus name other ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus, their ācariyas and upajjhāyas ought not to allow them (to go); if they allow them, they commit a dukkaṭa offence. If those ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus go without the permission of their ācariyas and upajjhāyas, they commit a dukkaṭa offence.

2. 'In case, O Bhikkhus, there dwell in a certain residence many ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus who neither know Uposatha, nor the Uposatha service, nor the Pātimokkha, nor the recital of the Pātimokkha: now there arrives (at that place) another Bhikkhu who is erudite, who has studied the āgamas (i.e. the collections of Suttas), who knows the Dhamma, the Vinaya, the mātikā[1], who is wise, learned, intelligent, modest, conscientious[2], anxious for training; let those Bhikkhus, O Bhikkus, kindly receive that Bhikkhu, let them show attention to him, exchange (friendly) words with him, provide him with powder, clay[3], a tooth-cleanser, and water to rinse his mouth with. If they do not receive him kindly, or show no attention to him, or do not exchange (friendly) words with him, or do not provide him with powder, clay, a tooth-cleanser, and water to rinse his mouth with, they commit a dukkaṭa offence.

3. 'In case, O Bhikkhus, there dwell in a certain residence on the day of Uposatha many ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus who neither know Uposatha . . . nor the recital of the Pātimokkha; let those Bhikkhus, O Bhikkhus, instantly send one Bhikkhu to the neighbouring residence (of Bhikkhus, saying), "Go, friend, and come back when you have learnt the Pātimokkha abridged or in its full extent." If they succeed in this way, well and good. If they do not succeed, those Bhikkhus, O Bhikkhus, ought all to go to a residence where they (the Bhikkhus there) know Uposatha or the Uposatha service or the Pātimokkha or the recital of the Pātimokkha. If they do not go, they commit a dukkaṭa offence.

4. 'In case, O Bhikkhus, many ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus keep vassa[4] in a certain residence who neither know, &c.[5] If they succeed in this way, well and good. If they do not succeed, they ought to send away one Bhikkhu for seven days' time (saying), "Go, friend, and come back when you have learnt the Pātimokkha abridged or in its full extent." If they succeed in this way, well and good. If they do not succeed, those Bhikkhus, O Bhikkhus, ought not to keep vassa in that residence. If they do, they commit a dukkaṭa offence.'

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Enumerations of terms indicating the different cases that come under a Vinaya rule or a dogmatical proposition are called mātikā; for instance, in discussing the first pārājika rule the Vibhaṅga gives the following mātikāpadāni: tisso itthiyo manussitthi amanussitthi tiracchānagatitthi, tayo ubhatovyañjanakā manussubhatovyañjanako amanussubh. tiracchānagatubh., &c. Most of the works belonging to the Abhidhamma Piṭaka are based on and opened by such mātikā lists.

[2]:

Or 'scrupulous,' in good sense.

[3]:

See I, 25, 12, with our note.

[4]:

See III, 1 seq.

[5]:

See § 3.

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