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 7, Chapter 2

Then Devadatta folded up his sleeping-mat, and set out, fully bowled and robed, for Rājagaha; and in due course he arrived at Rājagaha. Then he laid aside his own form, and took upon himself the form of a child clad in a girdle of snakes, and appeared on the lap of prince Ajātasattu[2]. Then was prince Ajātasattu terrified, and startled, and anxious, and alarmed.

And Devadatta said to prince Ajātasattu, 'Are you afraid of me, O prince?'

'Yes, I am. Who are you?'

'I am Devadatta.'

'If you, Sir, are really the worthy Devadatta, be good enough to appear in your own shape.'

Then Devadatta, laying aside the form of the child, appeared there before prince Ajātasattu with his inner and outer robes on, and with his bowl in his hand. And prince Ajātasattu was well pleased with Devadatta by reason of this marvel of Iddhi, and morning and evening he used to go in five hundred chariots to wait upon him, and food was brought and laid before him in five hundred dishes.

Then there arose in Devadatta's mind, possessed and vanquished by gain and hospitality and fame[3], some such thought as this: 'It is I who ought to lead the Bhikkhu-saṃgha.' And as the idea rose up within him, (that moment) was Devadatta deprived of that his power of Iddhi.

2. Nov at that time a Koliyan, by name Kakudha, who had been (as Bhikkhu) the attendant on Moggallāna, had just died, and had appeared again in a certain spiritual body[4], possessed of a personality as large as two or three of the common rice-fields of a Māgadha village, and yet so constituted[5] that he was not in the way either of himself or of others[6]. And this celestial being, Kakudha, went to the venerable Moggallāna, and bowed down before him, and took his stand on one side. And so standing, he told the venerable Moggallāna [of the thought that had arisen in Devadatta's mind, and of the result thereof]. And when he had told him, he bowed down before the venerable Moggallāna, and keeping him on his right side as he passed him, he vanished away.

And the venerable Moggallāna went to the place where the Blessed One was, and told him [the whole matter][7].

'What then, Moggallāna, have you so penetrated the mind of that celestial being Kakudha, that you know that whatsoever he speaks, that will be accordingly, and not otherwise[8]?'

'I have, Lord.'

'Keep that saying, Moggallāna, secret; keep that saying secret. Even now that foolish man will himself make himself known.

3[9]. 'There are, Moggallāna, these five kinds of teachers now existing in the world. What are the five?

'In the first place, Moggallāna, there is one kind of teacher whose conduct not being pure, he yet gives out that he is a person of pure conduct, one whose conduct is pure, and innocent, and without stain. His disciples know that that is so, but they think, "If we announce the fact to the laity, he will not like it. And how can we conduct ourselves towards him in a way that is displeasing to him? And besides he is honoured with gifts of the requisite clothing, food, lodging, and medicine for the sick. He will sooner or later become known by that which he himself will do." Such a teacher, Moggallāna, do his disciples protect in respect of his own conduct. And being as he is, he expects[10] to be protected by his disciples in respect of his own conduct.

4. 'Again, Moggallāna,' &c. [as before, putting successively 'mode of livelihood,' 'preaching of the Dhamma,' 'system of exposition,' &c., 'insight arising from knowledge,' 'for 'conduct']. 'These, Moggallāna, are the five kinds of teachers now existing in the world. But I being pure in conduct, mode of livelihood, preaching of the Dhamma, system of exposition, and insight arising from knowledge, give out that I am so, that I am pure, innocent, and without stain in all these things. And neither do my disciples protect me in respect of my own conduct, nor do I expect them to do so.'

5. Now when the Blessed One had remained at Kosambī as long as he thought fit, he set out on his journey towards Rājagaha. And journeying straight on, he arrived in due course at Rājagaha; and there, at Rājagaha, he stayed at the Veḷuvana in the Kalandaka Nivāpa. And a number of Bhikkhus went to the Blessed One, and bowed down before him, and took their seats on one side., And when so seated, they said to the Blessed One: 'Prince Ajātasattu is in the habit of going morning and evening with five hundred carts to wait upon Devadatta, and food is brought and laid before him in five hundred dishes.'

'Envy not, O Bhikkhus, the gain and hospitality and fame of Devadatta. So long, O Bhikkhus, as Ajātasattu [so waits upon him and gives him alms] so long may we expect Devadatta not to prosper, but to decline in virtuous qualities[11]. Just, O Bhikkhus, as if you were to burst a gall (bladder)[12] before the nose of a fierce dog, the dog would thereby become so much the fiercer, just so long, O Bhikkhus (&c., as before). To his own hurt, O Bhikkhus, has this gain, hospitality, and fame come to Devadatta, to his own destruction. Just, O Bhikkhus, as a plantain, or a bamboo, or a reed gives fruit to its own hurt and its own destruction[13], just so to his own hurt (&c., as before). Just as a young she-mule conceives to her own hurt and her own destruction[14], just so, O Bhikkhus, to his own hurt has this gain, &c., come to Devadatta.

'Its fruit destroys the plantain-tree; its fruit the bamboo and the reed.

'Honour destroys the evil man, just as its foal destroys the young she-mule.'


Here endeth the First Portion for Recitation.

Footnotes and references:


In the text, for kin nu read kaṃ nu.


This taking upon oneself another shape is not one of the powers of Iddhi included in the first list referred to at note 5, p. 230.


Compare Mahāvagga V, 1, 22, on this expression. Also below, § 5.


Aññataraṃ manomayaṃ kāyaṃ upapanno. Perhaps 'in a mode of existence in which his body was changeable at will.' (See Childers, sub voce manomayo.)


Attabhāvo. See IX, 1, 3.


Vyābādheti. He could occupy the same space as other beings without incommoding them. The word occurs in the same sense in the passage quoted from Buddhaghosa in Rh. D.'s note 1 on the Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta V, 10, but originally occurring in the Aṅguttara Nikāya.


The last paragraph is here repeated in the text.


On the use here of cetasā ceto paricca, compare Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta I, 16, 17.


The following two sections are repeated below, VII, 3, 10, to all the Bhikkhus.


Paccāsiṃsati. Perhaps this word here means 'he requires, needs.'


This phrase runs in the same mould as the one so constantly repeated at the commencement of the Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta (I, §§ 4-11).


Pittaṃ bhindeyyuṃ. Literally, 'should break a gall.'


These three plants die after producing fruit.


Because she would die if she did. On assatarī, compare above, VI, 4, 3, and our note there.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: