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 21

1. Now when the Blessed One had remained at Āḷavī as long as he thought fit, he set out on his journey towards Rājagaha. And proceeding straight on, he arrived in due course at Rājagaha. And there, at Rājagaha, the Blessed One stayed at the Veḷuvana in the Kalandaka Nivāpa.

Now at that time there was a scarcity of food at Rājagaha[1]. The people were unable to provide food for the (whole) Saṃgha and they were desirous of providing food[2] (to be sent to the Vihāra) for the use of a special Bhikkhu (designated by the donor)[3] or for special Bhikkhus invited (by the donor in his own house)[4] or for (single Bhikkhus) appointed by ticket (issued by the Saṃgha)[5], or of providing food during a fortnight[6], or on Uposatha days (that is, on the last days of each fortnight) or on the first days of each fortnight.

They told this matter to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, each of three ways of obtaining food.'

Now at that time the Chabbaggiya Bhikkhus having received good food for themselves, gave over the worse food (which they had also received) to the other Bhikkhus.

They told this matter to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to appoint as apportioner of rations[7] a Bhikkhu who is possessed of the following five qualifications—(&c., as in IV, 9, down to the end of the Kammavācā):

Now the Bhikkhus who were apportioners of rations, thought: 'How then are the rations to be apportioned?'

They told this matter to the Blessed One.

'I allow you. O Bhikkhus, to apportion them by arranging the food in small heaps, and fastening tickets or marks upon them[8].'

2. Now at that time the Saṃgha had no distributor of lodging-places—no overseer of stores—no receiver of robes—no distributor of robes, of congey, or of fruits—and no distributor of dry foods, and through not being distributed it went bad.

They told each of these matters[9] to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to appoint as distributor of lodging-places, &c., a Bhikkhu who has (&c., as in § 1, down to the end of the Kammavācā, inserting throughout the appropriate variations in the fifth qualification).

3. Now at that time articles of trifling value had accumulated in the storehouse of the Saṃgha.

They told this matter to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to appoint as disposer of trifles a Bhikkhu who has (&c., as before, down to the end of the Kammavācā). Each separate needle, and pair of scissors, and pair of sandals, and girdle, and pair of braces, and filtering cloth, and regulation strainer[10], and plait[11], and half-plait[11], and gusset[11], and half-gusset[11], and binding[12], and braiding[12], is to be given away. If the Saṃgha has any ghee, or oil, or honey, or molasses, he is to give it away for personal consumption only, and if it be wanted, he is to give it a second and a third time[13].' Now at that time the Saṃgha had no receiver of under-garments[14], or of bowls,—no superintendent of those who kept the grounds in order (the Ārāmikas), and the Ārāmikas not being looked after, the necessary work was not done,—no superintendent of sāmaṇeras, and the sāmaṇeras not being looked after did not perform their duties.

They told each of these matters to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to appoint as receiver of under-garments, &c., a Bhikkhu who has (&c., as before, down to the end of the Kammavācā).'


End of the Sixth Khandhaka, on Sleeping Arrangements, &c,

Footnotes and references:


Other special rules for times of scarcity will be found at Mahāvagga VI, 17, 7; 18, 4; 19, 2; 20, 4 (repealed for times of plenty in VI, 32). Compare also Pārājika IV, 1, 1.


The above modes of receiving food (instead of collecting in a bowl morsels of food given in alms) are the dispensations allowed by Mahāvagga I, 30, 4.


Uddesa-bhattaṃ cātuṃ. Compare the story of Upananda at Mahāvagga VI, 19, I.


Nimantanaṃ kātuṃ. The word is only used in this special technical sense. Compare the whole story of Culla-panthaka at Jātaka I, 116, and especially the last line.


Salāka-bhattaṃ cātuṃ. See especially above, Cullavagga IV, 9; IV, to.


Pakkhikaṃ cātuṃ. Both Childers sub voce and Frankfurter ('Pali Handbook,' p. 165), in interpreting the passage at Mahāvagga I, 30, 4, take this to mean a feast given on the eighth day of the month. But pakṣa is the half-month. The expression much more probably means, therefore, to provide food either during the whole of a half-month for one or more specially invited Bhikkhus, or for a larger number on any one day of the half-month to be chosen by the Saṃgha.


Compare above, Cullavagga IV, 4, 1.


Buddhaghosa says, Salākāya vā paṭikāya vā upanibandhitvā opuñchitvā uddisitun ti vacanato rukkhasāramayāya salākāya vā veḷuvilivatālapaṇṇādinayāya paṭikāya vā asukassa nāma salākabhattan ti evaṃ akkharāni upanibandhitvā pacchiyaṃ vā cīvarabhoge vā katvā sabbā salākāyo omuñchitvā [sic] punappunaṃ heṭṭhā-vasena āḷoletvā . . . dātabbā.


There is another officer (āsana-paññāpaka) mentioned at Cullavagga XII, 2, 7, whose omission from the list here is worthy of notice.


Dhamma-karako. See V, 13, I.


On these words, see Mahāvagga VIII, 12, 2.


On these two words, see Mahāvagga VIII, 1, 5.


These things were to be used only as medicines, according to Mahāvagga VI, 1, 1-5, where butter is also added. That would be under the charge of the distributor of dry foods (§ 2), as if kept it would go bad. According to VI, 15, 10, none of these five kinds of medicine were to be kept for a period exceeding seven days, but that was a rule that was not very probable to be strictly followed.


Sāṭiya; no doubt the same as is spelt elsewhere sāṭikā or sāṭakā, and is used for such purposes as bathing in.

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