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...

One of the features of our text is that it incorporates semantic markup. This is especially beneficial in the Vinaya, which has such a detailed and technical structure. Thus rules are marked “rule”, terms defined as “term”, definitions as “gloss”, and so on. Some of this semantic markup is visible in the text, but not all. You can see, for example, that rules are bold, definitions are green, mnemonic verses are grey-on-grey, and so on. I tried to maintain a balance between readability and clarity of structure. Thus there is much semantic information that is hidden, but which can be exposed by a simple change to the CSS; they may also be used for delimiting searches and the like. Note that the addition of semantic tags is not complete. Here is a list of the semantic tags that we use.

Semantic markup
Matter concerning nuns.
Formal acts of the Sangha and other codified statements spoken in the midst of the Sangha.
Jātaka type material.
Sutta type material.
Any class of rule.
A rule subsumed under another rule.
An allowance by the Buddha.
Mnemonic summary, usually in verse form.
Word or phrase to be defined.
Definition of such a word or phrase.
Author, editor, or translator of a secondary source.
Title of an article in a journal, etc. Note that we do not use “article” for this to avoid conflicting with the HTML5 “article” tag.
Title of a book.
Title of an academic journal. These are usually spelled out in full.
Material added to the text by the translator. Usually consists of instructions for expanding abbreviated text.
Words of homage.

Much more can, and should, be done in this area, such as clearly marking all background stories, and so on. We hope to produce a more fully marked up edition in the future, but this will wait for further revisions of the translation by Ven. Brahmali.