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 6, Chapter 1

1. Now at that time the Blessed Buddha[1] was staying at Rājagaha in the Veḷuvana, in the Kalandaka Nivāpa[2]. And at that time no permission had been given to the Bhikkhus by the Blessed One with respect to dwellings. So the Bhikkhus dwelt now here, now there—in the woods, at the foot of trees, on hill-sides, in grottoes, in mountain caves, in cemeteries, in forests, in open plains, and in heaps of straw. And at early morn they came in from this place or from that place—from the woods (&c., as before) decorous in their walking and turning, in their looking on or looking round, in stretching out their arms or in drawing them back, with eyes cast down, and dignified in deportment[3].

2. Now at that time the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha went at early morn to his garden. And the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha saw those Bhikkhus coming in from this place and from that place, from the woods (&c., as in § 1, down to the end), and on seeing them he took pleasure therein[4]. And the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha went up to those Bhikkhus, and said to them:

'If, Sirs, I were to have dwellings erected for you, would you take up your abode in those dwellings?'

'Not so, O householder. Dwellings have not been allowed by the Blessed One.'

'Then, Sirs, ask the Blessed One about it, and let me know.'

'Very well, O householder,' said they, in assent to the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha. And they went up to the Blessed One, and saluted him, and took their seats on one side. And when they were so seated, they said to the Blessed One:

'The Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha, Lord, wishes to have dwellings erected for us. What, Lord, should be done?'

Then the Blessed One, on that occasion and in that connection, when he had delivered a religious discourse, addressed the Bhikkhus, and said:

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, abodes of five kinds—Vihāras, Aḍḍhayogas, storied dwellings, attics, caves[5].'

3. Then those Bhikkhus went up to the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha, and said to him: 'The Blessed One, Sir, has allowed us dwellings; do, therefore, what seemeth to thee good.' And the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha had sixty dwelling-places put up in one day.

4. And when the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha had completed those sixty dwelling-places, he went up to the place where the Blessed One was, and [invited him and the Bhikkhu Saṃgha for the morrow's meal; and so on, as usual[6], down to the time when, after the meal, the Seṭṭhi] said to the Blessed One:

I have had, Lord, these sixty dwelling-places made for the sake of merit, and for the sake of heaven. What am I to do, Lord, with respect to them?'

Then, O householder, dedicate[7] these sixty dwelling-places to the Saṃgha of the four directions, whether now present, or hereafter to arrive.'

'Even so, Lord!' said the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha, in assent to the Blessed One, and he dedicated those sixty dwelling-places to the use of the Saṃgha of the four directions whether present or to come[8].'

5. Then the Blessed One gave thanks to the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha in these verses[9]:

'1. Cold he wards off and heat, so also beasts of prey,
And creeping things and gnats, and rains in the wet season.
And when the dreaded heated winds arise, they are kept off.

2. To give Vihāras to the Saṃgha, wherein in safety and in peace
To meditate and think at ease, the Buddha calls the best of gifts.
3. Let then the able man, regarding his own weal,
Have pleasant monasteries built, and lodge there learned men[10].
4. Let him with cheerful mind give food to them, and drink,
Raiment, and dwelling-places, to the upright in heart.
5. Then shall they preach to him the Truth—The Truth dispelling every grief
Which Truth when here that man perceives He sins no more, and dies away[11]!'

And when the Blessed One had given thanks to the Seṭṭhi of Rājagaha in these verses, he rose from his seat, and departed thence.

Footnotes and references:


Our readers will have noticed that the phrase at the beginning of each Khandhaka is 'the Blessed Buddha,' and not merely 'the Blessed One.' It recurs besides only in the constantly-repeated paragraph 'The Blessed Buddha rebuked them, saying, &c.' (see, for instance, Cullavagga I, 1, 2, where the connection is given in full).


Compare the note on Mahāvagga III, 1, 1.


So also Mahāvagga I, 23, 2, and frequently in the Suttas.


So also of Bimbisāra in the Jātaka Commentary, I, 66.


Buddhaghosa's note on these pañca lenāni has already been given in our note above, Mahāvagga I, 30, 4.


See, for instance, Mahāvagga VI, 30, or Cullavagga V, 27.


Literally, 'establish' (paṭiṭṭhāpehi).


This formula of dedication has been constantly found in rock-inscriptions in India and Ceylon over the ancient cave-dwellings of Buddhist hermits. See Rh. D. in the 'Indian Antiquary' for May, 1872.


The following verses recur below at VI, 9, 2; and also in that connection in the Jātaka Commentary, I, 93.


This verse forms the subject of one of the 'Questions of Milinda' (ed. Trenckner, p. 211).


The above verses may have stood originally in a different con-text from that in which they have been handed down, as the opening phrase sītaṃ paṭihanti would be more intelligible if the word vihāro occurred in the immediately preceding clause.

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