Vinaya Pitaka (1): The Analysis of Monks’ Rules (Bhikkhu-vibhanga)

by I. B. Horner | 2014 | 345,334 words | ISBN-13: 9781921842160

The English translation of the Bhikkhu-vibhanga: the first part of the Suttavibhanga, which itself is the first book of the Pali Vinaya Pitaka, one of the three major ‘baskets’ of Therevada canonical literature. It is a collection of rules for Buddhist monks. The English translation of the Vinaya-pitaka (first part, bhikkhu-vibhanga) contains many...

Some structural changes have been made. I have introduced a fuller and more informative set of headings, which were lacking in some portions of Horner’s text, notably the Khandhakas. The detailed headings are based on those found in the Mahāsaṅgīti Pali edition used on SuttaCentral. These mostly break the text at obvious places, which usually, though not always, correspond to breaks of some kind in Horner’s edition, such as section numbers, spaces in the text, or notes on the end of sections. Occasionally, however, the breaks in the Mahāsaṅgīti break impose theselves on the text, forcing new paragraph breaks, as for example at the very beginning of the discourse on the eight wonderful qualities of the ocean (Kd.19.1.3); in Horner’s text the Buddha’s speech starts in the same paragraph as the introductory statement, whereas in the Mahāsaṅgīti edition the Buddha’s speech begins after a new heading.

In a few cases the Mahāsaṅgīti headings spell out the text in more detail, exposing the highly compressed form of Horner’s text in such instances. While this might seem to add a certain disjointedness to the text, as seen for example in Kd.11.11.1, it has the advantage of revealing with greater clarity the extreme formalism of the text’s structure.

In addition, the structure in a few cases has been adapted. Most importantly, the Khandhakas are now treated as such, rather than the artificial division of “Mahāvagga” and “Cullavagga”, which exist only as conveniences for the manuscript editions, and which have no counterparts in other Vinayas.

Two of Horner’s chapters in the Parivāra have been divided: her Chapter IV has become Prv.4 and Prv.5, and her Chapter VII has become Prv.8 and Prv.9. The numbering of other Chapters has been adjusted accordingly, and I have made minor changes to some of the wording so that the text remains comprehensible. This numbering is used in the Mahāsaṅgīti Pali edition used on SuttaCentral, and Horner’s extensive discussions of the problems with her numbering (see BD.6.xiii), which she based on Oldenberg’s Pali text, make it clear that the Mahāsaṅgīti numbering is preferrable. Table 2 contains a list of the changed numbering for the Parivāra chapters.

Table 2: Changes in numbering for Parivāra Chapters
Horner SuttaCentral
1 1
2 2
3 3
4 4 and 5
5 6
6 7
7 8 and 9
8 10
9 11
10 12
11 13
12 14
13 15
14 16
15 17
16 18
17 19
18 20
19 21

Many of the verses have been reformatted; in such cases I have merely tried to present Horner’s wording in a clear manner, and have not tried to match the verses line by line with the Pali. In one or two cases—notably the lengthy passage at Kd.1.15.6—text mistakenly treated as prose has been formatted as verse (without changing the text).

In some cases, such as the Ekuttara of the Parivāra, I have treated the text as a list for clarity.