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 the blessed Buddha dwelt at Sāvatthi, in the Jetavana, the garden of Anāthapiṇḍika. At that time a number of Bhikkhus, companions and friends of each other, entered upon Vassa in a certain district of the Kosala country. Now those Bhikkhus thought: 'What shall we do in order that we may keep Vassa well, in unity, and in concord, and without quarrel, and that we may not suffer from want of food?'
2. Then those Bhikkhus thought: 'If we do not speak to or converse with each other, if he who comes back first from the village, from his alms-pilgrimage, prepares seats, gets water for washing the feet, a foot-stool, and a towel, cleans the slop-basin and gets it ready, and puts there (water to) drink and food,—
3. 'And if he who comes back last from the village, from his alms-pilgrimage, eats, if there is any food left (from the dinner of the other Bhikkhus) and if he desires to do so; and if he does not desire (to eat), throws it away at a place free from grass, or pours it away into water in which no living things are; puts away the water for washing the feet, the foot-stool, and the towel; cleans the slop-basin and puts it away, puts the water and the food away, and sweeps the dining-room,—
4. 'And if he, who sees a water-pot, or a bowl for food, or a vessel for evacuations, empty and void, puts it (into its proper place), and if he is not able to do so single-handed, calls some one else and puts it away with their united effort without uttering a word on that account,—thus shall we keep Vassa well, in unity, and in concord, and without quarrel, and not suffer from want of food.'
5-7. And those Bhikkhus did not speak to or converse with each other. He who came back from the village from his alms-pilgrimage first, prepared seats (&c., as above, § 4, down to) without uttering a word on that account.
8. Now it is the custom of the Bhikkhus who have finished their Vassa residence, to go to see the Blessed One. Thus those Bhikkhus, when they had finished their Vassa residence and when the three months (of Vassa) had elapsed, set their places of rest in order, took their alms-bowls and robes, and went on their way to Sāvatthi. Wandering from place to place, they came to Sāvatthi, to the Jetavana, the garden of Anāthapiṇḍika, to the Blessed One; having approached the Blessed One and respectfully saluted him, they sat down near him.
9. Now it is the custom of the blessed Buddhas to exchange greeting with incoming Bhikkhus. 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 kept Vassa well, in unity, and in concord, and without quarrel? and have you not suffered from want of food?'
“Things go tolerably well with us, Lord; we get enough, Lord, wherewith to support ourselves; we have kept Vassa well, in unity, in concord, and without quarrel; and have not suffered from want of food.”
10. The Tathāgatas sometimes ask about what they know; sometimes they do not ask about what they know. They understand the right time when to ask, and they understand the right time when not to ask. The Tathāgatas put questions full of sense, not void of sense; to what is void of sense the bridge is pulled down for the Tathāgatas. For two purposes the blessed Buddhas put questions to the Bhikkhus, when they intend to preach the doctrine. or when they intend to institute a rule of conduct to their disciples.
11. And the Blessed One said to those Bhikkhus: 'In what way, O Bhikkhus, have you kept Vassa well, in unity, and in concord, and without quarrel, and not suffered from want of food?'
“We have entered upon Vassa, Lord, a number of Bhikkhus, companions and friends of each other. in a certain district of the Kosala country. Now, Lord, we thought: "What shall we do (&c., as in § 1)?" Then we thought, Lord: "If we do not speak (&c., as in §§ 2-4)." Thus, Lord, we did not speak to or converse with each other (&c., down to:) without uttering a word on that account. In that way, Lord, we have kept Vassa well, in unity, and in concord, and without quarrel; and have not suffered from want of food.”
12. Then the Blessed One thus addressed the Bhikkhus: 'Indeed, O Bhikkhus, these foolish men who profess to have kept Vassa well, have kept it badly; indeed, O Bhikkhus, these foolish men who profess to have kept Vassa well, have kept it like a herd of cattle; indeed have kept it like a herd of rams; indeed have kept it like a company of indolent people. How can these foolish persons, O Bhikkhus, take upon themselves the vow of silence, as the Titthiyas do?
13. 'This will not do, O Bhikkhus, for converting the unconverted (&c., as in Book III, chapter 14, § 3).' And when he bad rebuked them and delivered a religious discourse, he thus addressed the Bhikkhus:
'Let no one, O Bhikkhus, take upon himself the vow of silence, as the Titthiyas do. He who does, I commits a dukkaṭa offence.
'I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that the Bhikkhus, when they have finished their Vassa residence, hold Pavāraṇā with each other in these three ways: by what has been seen, or by what has been heard, or by what is suspected. Hence it will result that you live in accord with each other, that you atone for the offences (you have committed), and that you keep the rules of discipline before your eyes.
14. 'And you ought, O Bhikkhus, to hold Pavāraṇā in this way:
'Let a learned, competent Bhikkhu proclaim the following ñatti before the Saṃgha: "Let the Saṃgha, reverend Sirs, hear me. To-day is the Pavāraṇā day. If the Saṃgha is ready, let the Saṃgha hold Pavāraṇā."
'Then let the senior Bhikkhu adjust his upper robe so as to cover one shoulder, sit down squatting, raise his joined hands, and say: "I pronounce my Pavāraṇā, friends, before the Saṃgha, by what has been seen, or by what has been heard, or by what is suspected; may you speak to me, Sirs, out of compassion towards me; if I see (an offence), I will atone for it. And for the second time, &c. And for the third time I pronounce my Pavāraṇā (&c., down to) if I see (an offence), I will atone for it."
“Then let (each) younger Bhikkhu adjust his upper robe . . . . (&c.)”
Footnotes and references:
See the note on I, 6, 11.
We are not quite sure of the meaning of the compounds hattha-vikāreha and hattha-vitaṅghakena. Buddhaghosa says merely hatthavilaṅghakenā 'ti hatthukkhepakena.
For this whole passage, compare Cullavagga VIII, 5, 3. The single actions which these Bhikkhus do, are quite correct, except that they keep silence during the whole time of Vassa, and especially at the end of it, for which time Buddha, on this occasion, prescribes the Pavāraṇā ceremony.
Literally, invite each other; i.e. every Bhikkhu present invites his companions to tell him if they believe him guilty of an offence, having seen that offence, or having heard of it, or suspecting it.
I.e. I invite the Saṃgha to charge me with any offence they think me guilty of, which they have seen, or heard of, or which they suspect.
As in the preceding sentence, except that the younger Bhikkhus do not address the Saṃgha,' 'Friends,' but, 'Reverend Sirs.'