Vinaya (3): The Cullavagga

by T. W. Rhys Davids | 1881 | 137,074 words

The Cullavagga (part of the Vinaya collection) includes accounts of the First and Second Buddhist Councils as well as the establishment of the community of Buddhist nuns. The Cullavagga also elaborates on the etiquette and duties of Bhikkhus....

Cullavagga, Khandaka 5, Chapter 13

1. Now at that time the water as they went along could not be drunk without breaking the rules[1], as they had no strainers.

They told this matter to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, the use of a strainer.' The little cloth (that was used for a strainer) was not sufficient (to filter enough water for the whole party).

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, the use of a strainer fixed on to a ladle[2]'.'

Still the little cloth was not sufficient for the purpose.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, the use of a regulation water-pot[3]'

2. Now at that time two Bhikkhus were travelling along the high-road in the Kosala country. One of the Bhikkhus was guilty of some transgression. The other one said to him, 'Do not, my friend, do such a thing. It is not becoming.' The first one bore a grudge against him[4]. Afterwards the other Bhikkhu, being tormented with thirst, said to the Bhikkhu who bore the grudge, 'Give me, friend, your strainer. I am going to drink some water.' The Bhikkhu who bore the grudge would not give it to him. The other Bhikkhu died of thirst[5]. Then that Bhikkhu, when he had arrived at the Ārāma, told this matter to the Bhikkhus.

'What then, Sir? when asked for your strainer, would you not lend it?'

'It is even so, Sirs.'

Those Bhikkhus who were moderate were annoyed and vexed, and murmured, saying, 'How can a Bhikkhu, when asked for his strainer, refuse to lend it?' And they told this matter to the Blessed One.

Then the Blessed One on that occasion and in that connection (&c., as usual, see for instance in Cullavagga I, 1, 2, down to) addressed the Bhikkhus, and said:

'A Bhikkhu who is on a journey is not, O Bhikkhus, to refuse to lend his strainer, when he is asked for it. Whosoever does so, shall be guilty of a dukkaṭa. And (a Bhikkhu who is) not provided with a strainer, O Bhikkhus, is not to undertake a journey. Whosoever does so, shall be guilty of a dukkaṭa. If there be no strainer nor regulation water-pot, the corner of the upper robe is to be adopted[6] for the purpose of straining before drinking.'

3. Now the Blessed One, journeying straight on, arrived in due course at Vesālī. And there at Vesālī the Blessed One lodged in the Mahāvana, in the Kūṭāgāra Hall.

Now at that time the Bhikkhus were engaged in building[7]; and the strainer did not act[8]. They told this matter to the Blessed One.

'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of a double strainer[9].'

The double strainer did not act.

'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of a filter[10].'

Now at that time the Bhikkhus were troubled[11] by mosquitoes.

They told this matter to the Blessed One.

'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of mosquito curtains[12].'

Footnotes and references:


The rule, that is, against destroying the life of living things.


Kaṭacchu-parissāvanaṃ nāma tīsu daṇḍakesu vinandhitvā kataṃ (B.).


Dhamma-karakaṃ. Doubtless a water-pot with a strainer so fixed into it that a quantity of water could be filtered quickly. The word occurs at Mahāvaṃsa, p. 90, and below, VI, 21, 3.


So tasmiṃ upanandhi. The Introductory Story in the Sutta-vibhaṅga on the 36th Pācittiya is, so far, word for word the same as this section. Buddhaghosa there explains upanandhi by janita-upanāho. See vol. iv, p. 359, of H.O.'s edition of the Vinaya Piṭaka. The Introductory Story to the 31st Jātaka is also based on a similar incident, and there the corresponding expression is vivādaṃ akaṃsu. (Fausböll's Jātaka, vol. i, p. 198.)


In the Jātaka commentary this tragic result of the refusal is absent. The Bhikkhu who has no strainer merely drinks without straining. (Rh. D.'s 'Buddhist Birth Stories,' vol. i, p. 278.)


Adhiṭṭhātabbo, that is, the Bhikkhu is to determine in his mind that that part of his robe is a strainer for the time.


Navakammaṃ karonti. On the use of this and allied idioms, see Jātaka I, 92, line 22; Cullavagga I, 18, 1, VI, 5, 2; Bhikkhunī-vibhaṅga, Pārājika I, 1; Indian Antiquary XI, 29; Senart's Kaccāyana, p. 189.


Na sammati, which is curious. For 'did not suffice,' the standing expression would be na ppahoti.


Daṇḍa-parissāvanaṃ. Apparently a long box, both ends of which strain the water, which is poured into the middle by means of a pipe (daṇḍaka). Buddhaghosa says, Daṇḍa-parisāvanan ti (sic; only one s) rajanakānaṃ khāra-parisāvanaṃ viya catusu pādesu baddha-niseṇikāya sāṭakaṃ bandhitvā majjhe daṇḍake udakaṃ āsiñcitabbaṃ. Tam ubhohi koṭṭhāsehi pūretvā parisāvati. Compare daṇḍa-satthakaṃ and daṇḍa-kathinaṃ, above, V, 11, 1, 3.


Ottharakaṃ nāma yaṃ udake ottharitvā ghaṭakena udakaṃ gaṇhanti. Taṃ hi catusu daṇḍakesu vetthaṃ bandhitvā sabbe pariyante udakato mocetvā majjhe ottharitvā ghaṭena udakaṃ gaṇhanti (B.).


Ubbāḷhā. See Mahāvagga III, 9, 1-4, and Jātaka I, 300.


Makasa-kuṭikā ti cīvara-kuṭikā (B.). Literally, a 'mosquito hut,' the walls of which are to be of cloth.

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