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....

1. Now at that time the Blessed One was staying at Sāvatthi, in Anātha Piṇḍika's Ārāma.

Now at that time incoming Bhikkhus entered the Ārāma with their sandals on[1], or with sunshades held up over them[2], or with their heads muffled up[3], or with their upper robe carried in a bundle on their heads[4]; and they washed their feet in the drinking-water; and they did not salute resident Bhikkhus senior to them, nor ask them where they (the incomers) should sleep.

And a certain incoming Bhikkhu undid the bolt[5] of an unoccupied room (Vihāra), and opened the door[6], and so entered by force; and a snake fell on to his back from the lintel above[7], and he was terrified, and made an outcry[8].

The Bhikkhus, running up, asked him why he did so. He told them that matter. Then those Bhikkhus who were moderate in their desires were vexed and indignant, and murmured, saying, 'How can incoming Bhikkhus enter the Ārāma . . . .? (&c., as before, down to) . . . . where they should sleep[9].'

They told the matter to the Blessed One (&c., as usual, I, 1, 2, 3, down to) he addressed the Bhikkhus, and said, 'Therefore, O Bhikkhus, do I establish a rule of conduct for incoming Bhikkhus, according to which they ought to behave.

2. 'An incoming Bhikkhu, O Bhikkhus, when he knows he is about to enter an Ārāma, ought to take off his sandals, turn them upside down[10], beat them (to get the dust) off, take them (up again) in his hand, put down his sunshade, uncover his head, arrange his upper robe on his back[11], and then carefully and slowly enter the Ārāma.

'When he enters the Ārāma he ought to notice where the resident Bhikkhus are gone to; and whithersoever they are gone—whether to the service hall, or to the portico (maṇḍapa), or to the foot of a tree—thither he ought to go, and laying his bowl on one side, and his robe on one side, he ought to take a suitable seat, and sit down.

'He ought to ask as to the drinking-water, and the water for washing[12], which is appropriated to the one use, and which to the other. If he has need of drinking-water, he ought to fetch it and drink. If he has need of water for washing, he ought to fetch it, and wash his feet. In washing his feet he ought to pour the water over them with one hand, and wash them with the other; he ought not to pour the water over them and wash them with one and the same hand.

'He ought to ask for the cloths with which sandals are cleaned, and clean his sandals. In cleaning his sandals he ought first to wipe them with a dry cloth, and afterwards with a wet cloth: and then he ought to wash the cloths, and lay them on one side[13].

'If the resident Bhikkhu be senior, he ought to be saluted; if junior, he ought to be made to salute (the incomer). The incomer ought to ask as to the lodging-place, which has fallen (to his lot)[14], and whether it is occupied or unoccupied. He ought to ask as to lawful and unlawful resorts[15], and as to what families have been officially declared to be in want[16].

[17]'He ought to ask as to the retiring-places, (where they are), and as to the drinking-water, and as to the water for washing, and as to the staves for walking with, and as to the place for the conferences of the Saṃgha, (and as to) the time at which he ought to enter (it) and at which he ought to leave it.

3. 'If the Vihāra be unoccupied, he ought to knock at the door, then to wait a minute, then to undo the bolt, and open the door, and then, still standing outside, to look within.

'If that Vihāra is covered with dust[18], or the beds or chairs are piled one upon another, and the bedding put in a heap on the top of them[19],—then if he can do so he ought to clean up the Vihāra.[20] And when cleaning the Vihāra, he ought to take the floor matting out and put it down on one side, and the supports of the bedsteads[21], and the bolsters[22] and pillows, and the mat which is used as a seat. Putting the bedsteads and chairs down on to the ground, and carefully avoiding scratching (the floor with them) or knocking them up against (the door-posts), he ought to take them outside the door, and put them down on one side. The spittoon and the board to lean up against[23] ought to be taken out, and put down on one side[24].

'If the Vihāra is covered with cobwebs, they should first be removed with a cloth[25]. The casements should be dusted, especially in the corners and joints.

'If the wall which had been plastered and red-washed, or the floor which had been laid (with earth) and black-washed[26], has become dirty in the corners[27], they should be wiped down with a duster[28] that has been first wetted and wrung out. If the floor has not been so prepared, it should be sprinkled over with water and swept[29], lest the Vihāra should be spoilt[30] by dust. The sweepings should be gathered together, and cast aside.

4. 'The floor coverings[31] should be dried in the sun, cleaned, beaten to get the dust out, taken back, and spread out again in the place to which they belonged[32]. The supports of the bed should be dried in the sun, dusted, taken back, and put in the place to which they belonged. The bed (mañca) and the chairs (pīṭha) should be aired in the sun, cleaned, beaten to get the dust out, turned upside down, taken back, carefully avoiding scratching them against the floor, or knocking them up against the door-posts, and then put in the place to which they belonged[33]. The bolsters and pillows, and the mats used as seats, should be aired in the sun, cleaned; beaten to get the dust out, ṭaken back, and put in the place to which they belonged. The spittoon, and the board for leaning up against, should be put in the sun, dusted, taken back, and put in the place to which they belonged.

[34]5. '(Then the incoming Bhikkhu) should put away his bowl and his robe. In putting away his bowl, he should hold it in one hand while he feels under the bed or the chair with the other, and then put it away; and he should not put it on a part of the floor which has been left bare. In putting away his robe, he should hold it in one hand while he feels along the bamboo or the rope used for hanging robes on with the other; and then hang it up with the border turned away from him, and the fold turned towards him.

[35] 'If the winds, bearing dust with them[36], blow from the East, West, North, or South, the window spaces[37] on the side in question should be closed up (with shutters or lattices). If it is cold weather, the lattices should be opened by day, and closed by night: if it is hot weather, they should be closed by day, and opened by night.

[38]'If the cell, or the store-room, or the refectory, or the room where the fire is kept, or the privy, is covered with dust, it should be swept out. If there is no drinking-water, or water for washing, they should be provided. If there is no water in the rinsing-pot[39], water should be poured into it.

'This, O Bhikkhus, is the rule of conduct for incoming Bhikkhus, according to which they ought to behave.'

Footnotes and references:


That this was a sign of disrespect is clear from Mahāvagga V. 12, and the 61st and 62nd Sekhiyas.


See our discussion of the sunshade question in the note on Cullavagga V, 23, 2.


Oguṇṭhitā. See the 23rd and the 67th Sekhiyas.


Sīse katvā. Compare VIII, 6, 3.


Ghaṭikā. This word is discussed at Cullavagga V, 14, 3.


Such an act has been already guarded against by the rule laid down at the end of Cullavagga V, 9. 5, where the same expression is made use of.


Upari-piṭṭhito. On piṭṭha (which we should possibly read here), as the lintel of a door, see our note above at Cullavagga V, 14, 3. It recurs immediately below, VIII, I, 3.


Vissaraṃ akāsi. As Childers, sub voce, expresses doubt as to the meaning of this word, it may be well to note that this phrase occurs above, Cullavagga V, 10, 2 and VI, 3, 4, and also in the Bhikkhunī-vibhaṅga, Pācittiya LX, and always in the sense here given. The meaning of the allied idiom, vissaro me bhavissati, might be just doubtful as used in a peculiar connection at Bhikkhunī-vibhaṅga, Pārājika I, 1, and Saṃghādisesa III, 3, were it not clear from ibid., Pācittiya LXXXVI, that it means simply 'there will be an outcry against me.'


The form of this speech bears very clear testimony to the artificial way in which these introductory stories are put together, for the speech does not arise out of the story. Similar instances are not infrequent. See VIII, 5, I.


Nīcaṃ katvā. So also at VIII, 6, 2. The word is used below and at Mahāvagga I, 25, II and 15 of a bedstead and chair, and below, VIII, 4, 4, of a bowl when it is being washed.


See the note below on VIII, 8, 2.


On these expressions, compare the note above on Cullavagga IV, 4, 4 (at the end), and Cullavagga VIII, 2, 5 = Mahāvagga I, 25, 19.


These cloths (colakaṃ) are not specially permitted anywhere in the Khandhakas, as cloths for wiping the face and feet are in Mahāvagga VIII, 18, and Cullavagga VI, 19, respectively. The word is used for 'duster' below, VIII, 2, 3, and for 'tinder' at Milinda Pañha, p. 53.


See the rules as to the division of lodging-places according to the number of applicants at Cullavagga VI, 21, 2, and especially VI, II, 3.


Gocaro agocaro. There were some places or families to which the Bhikkhus of a particular residence were not allowed to resort for alms. See the rule as to 'turning down the bowl' with respect to a person at Cullavagga V, 20.


Sekha-sammatāni kulāni. See the note on the 3rd Pāṭidesaniya.


All the following expressions have occurred together at Cullavagga IV, 4, 4, where an example is given of the course of proceeding here laid down. And they are repeated below, VIII, 2, 2.


Uklāpo. Compare Cullavagga VI, 3, 9, and below, § 5.


This was the way in which a Bhikkhu, on going away from it was to leave his Vihāra. See below, VIII, 3, 2, and on the details of the terms used, see our note below on VIII, 1, 4.


The rest of this section is repeated in full below, VIII, 7, 2.


Paṭipādakā. Doubtless the same as forms part of the āhacca-mañca mentioned in the 18th Pācittiya and above, VI, 2, 5.


Bhisi. See the note on Mahāvagga VIII, 13.


Apassena-phalakaṃ. See the note on Cullavagga VI, 20, 2.


All the expressions in this sentence and the next are the same as those used in a similar connection at Mahāvagga I, 25, 15.


Ullokā. See the note at Cullavagga VI, 2, 7, according to which our rendering at Mahāvagga I, 25, 15 should be corrected.


On this mode of preparing walls and floors, see the notes above on Cullavagga VI, 20.


Kaṇṇakitā. See our note above on Cullavagga V, II, 3. The translation of our present passage at Mahāvagga I, 25, 15, must be corrected accordingly.


Colaka. See the note on this word in last section.


Sammajjati is to sweep (not to scrub), as is apparent from Mahāvagga VI, 34, I.


Ūhaññi. So also at Mahāvagga I, 25, 15. At Mahāvagga I, 49, 4, we should have rendered 'defiled their beds' instead of 'threw their bedding about,' correcting uhananti of the text there into ūhadanti. Ūhan (originally 'to throw up,' 'raise,' &c.) seems, like samūhan, to have acquired the meaning of to destroy, injure, spoil. From this meaning of spoiling, ūhan evidently came to be used for, or confounded in the MS. with, ūhad, 'to defile (with excrement).' So the phrase 'ūhananti pi ummihanti pi' (at Mahāvagga I, 49, 4) exactly corresponds in meaning to 'omuttenti pi ūhadayanti pi' in Dhammapada, p. 283. There are other passages showing the same confusion. (1) The gerund, ūhacca, which occurs in Jātaka II, p. 71 ('idāni kho (ahan) taṃ ūhacca'), is explained by the commentator to mean 'vaccan te sīse katva.' (2) ūhanti, in Gātaka II, p. 73 ('aggihuttañ ca ūhanti, tena bhinnā kamaṇḍalūti'), must mean the same and be = ūhadeti. For the monkey here referred to is said to have been guilty of the following dirty trick:--'kuṇḍikā bhindati, aggisālāya vaccaṃ karoti.' (3) mutteti ohaneti at Cariyā Piṭaka II, 5, 4, represents uccāra-pasāvam katvā at Jātaka II, 385. In the first of these passages uhacca may well be a copyist's blunder, arising from the similarity of the words, for uhajja. Dr. Morris, to whom we owe the comparison of these passages and the suggested emendation of Mahāvagga I, 49, 4, is rather of opinion that the words were confounded by the writers. For it is not an uncommon thing to find two words, not very remote in form or meaning, confounded together. It is well known that the English word livelihood properly and originally meant 'liveliness,' and has only afterwards replaced the earlier livelode, to which the sense of livelihood properly belongs. And something of this kind must have occurred, he thinks„in Pāli in the use of ūhan for it had. The past participle ūhata occurs at Cullavagga VIII, 10, 3.


Bhummattharaṇaṃ; usually, no doubt, matting of various kinds, but occasionally also skins or rugs of the kinds specially allowed by VI, 14, 2.


Yathābhāgaṃ. The use of this word here constitutes the only variation between our passage and that in the Mahāvagga I, 25 = below, VIII, 7, 2, where it is replaced by yathāṭṭhāne or yathāpaññattaṃ.


This passage throws a welcome light on the meaning of mañca and pīṭha: for as they were to be beaten to get the dust out, it is clear that they were upholstered. The mañca, or bed, must have been a wooden framework, stuffed (probably with cotton), covered at the top with cotton cloth, and made underneath and at the sides of wood. It had no legs fixed to it, but was supported on movable tressels--the paṭipādakā. When using it, the sleeper covered it with a mat, or a cotton sheet, and had over him a coverlet of some kind; and these articles, which he would also use if he slept on the ground, constituted, together with the bolster and pillows, the senāsanaṃ or bedding,--that is, in the more special and limited use of that term (as, for instance, above, § 3, and perhaps below, 7, 1). In its larger sense the same word is used, putting the part for the whole, for the whole sleeping apparatus, and is nearly equivalent to seyyāyo (so, for instance, in VI, 11 and 12, and below, VIII, 2, I; 6, 2 and perhaps VIII, 7, 1; whereas the latter term is used in the same connection at VI, 6, and VI, II, 3). Sayana, in VI, 8, is a generic term including bed, couch, sofa, and divan, but probably with special reference to these three latter things used in the day-time.


The following paragraph occurs, word for word, at Mahāvagga I, 25, II, and below, VIII, 7, 2.


The following paragraph is the same as Mahāvagga I, 25,18.


Sarajā vātā. These are the well-known hot winds (like the sand-bearing simoom that blows from North Africa over Italy), against which modern residents endeavour to protect themselves by the use of 'tats.'


There were, of course, no windows in our modern sense, but only spaces left in the wall to admit light and air, and covered by lattices of three kinds allowed by VI, 2, 2.


The following paragraph is the same as Mahāvagga I, 25, 19, and part of it is repeated below, VIII, 10, 3.


Ācamana-kumbhi. This formed part of the sanitary apparatus for use in the privy. See above, Mahāvagga V, 8, 3, and below, Cullavagga VIII, 9 and 10.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: