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...

Monks’ Formal Meeting (Saṅghādisesa) 4

BD.1.222 Bu-Ss.4.1.1 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s park. At that time the venerable Udāyin was dependent on families, and approached many families. Now at that time there was a certain woman who was a widow, beautiful, good to look upon, lovely. Then the venerable Udāyin, rising early and taking his robe and bowl, came up to this woman’s dwelling Vin.3.132 and having come up he sat down on the appointed seat. Then this woman approached the venerable Udāyin, and having approached she greeted the venerable Udāyin and sat down to one side. As she was sitting to one side the venerable Udāyin rejoiced, pleased, gladdened, delighted this woman with talk on dhamma. Then this woman having been … delighted with talk on dhamma by the venerable Udāyin, said to the venerable Udāyin:

“Do say, honoured sir, what (will be) of use[1]; we are able to give to the master, that is to say, the requisites of robes, alms-food, lodgings and medicine for the sick.”

“It is not hard, sister, for us to come by those things, that is to say, the requisites of robes, alms-food, lodgings, medicine for the sick. Give[2] what is hard for us to come by.”

“What is that, honoured sir?”

“Sexual intercourse,” he said.

“(Will it be) of use,[3] honoured sir,” she said.

“(It will be) of use, sister.”

“Come, honoured sir,” she said, and entering into an inner room, taking off her cloak, she lay back on the BD.1.223 couch. Then the venerable Udāyin approached this woman, and having approached her he said:

“Who could touch this evil-smelling wretch[4]?” and he departed spitting.[5]

Then this woman became annoyed, vexed, angry and said:

“These recluses, sons of the Sakyans[6] are shameless, of low morality, liars. And they pretend to be those walking by dhamma, walking by right, leading the Brahma-life, speaking truth, virtuous, of good conduct. Among these there is no recluseship, among these there is no brahminhood. Perished is recluseship among these, perished is brahminhood among these. Where is recluseship among these? Where is brahminhood among these? Fallen from recluseship are these, fallen from brahminhood are these. How can this recluse Udāyin, having himself begged me for sexual intercourse, say: ‘Who could touch this evil-smelling wretch’ and depart spitting? What is bad in me? What is evil-smelling in me? In what am I inferior to whom?”[7]

Other women became annoyed, vexed, angry and said: “These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, are shameless … How can this recluse Udāyin, having himself begged this (woman) for sexual intercourse, say: ‘Who could touch this evil-smelling wretch?’ and depart spitting? What is bad in her? What is evil-smelling in her? In what is she inferior to whom?”


Bu-Ss.4.1.2 The monks heard these women who were annoyed, vexed and angry. Those who were modest monks became annoyed, vexed, angry and said:

BD.1.224 “How can this venerable Udāyin speak in praise of ministering to sense-pleasures for self[8] in the presence of women-folk?”

Then these monks told this matter to the lord. Then the lord for this reason, on this occasion, having had the Order of monks convened, Vin.3.133 questioned the venerable Udāyin, saying:

“Is it true as is said that you, Udāyin, spoke in praise of ministering to sense-pleasures for self in the presence of women-folk?”

“It is true, lord,” he said.

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked him saying:

“It is not right, foolish man, it is not becoming, it is not suitable, it is not worthy of a recluse, it is out of place, it is not to be done. How can you, foolish man, speak in praise of ministering to sense-pleasures for self in the presence of women-folk? Foolish man, is not dhamma preached by me in various ways for the stilling of passion … the allaying of the flames of sense-pleasures declared? It is not, foolish man, for the benefit of unbelievers …Thus, monks, this course of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk, affected by desire,[9] with perverted heart,[10] should speak in praise of ministering to sense-pleasures for self in the presence of women-folk, saying: ‘Sister, this is the highest kind of ministration: that a woman[11] should minister to one like me, virtuous, of BD.1.225 good conduct, leading the Brahma-life, in this fashion’[12]—meaning with what is connected with sexual intercourse—that is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.”


Bu-Ss.4.2.1 Whatever means: see Bu-Ss.3.2… competent to know … what is lewd and what is not lewd.

In the presence of women-folk means: in the neighbourhood of women-folk, near women-folk.

Sense-pleasures for self means: sense-pleasures for self,[13] for the sake of self, desiring for self, ministering to self.

This highest means: this highest, this best, this foremost, this utmost, this most excellent.

She[14] means: a noble woman,[15] a brahmin woman, a merchant-class woman, a low-caste woman.[16]

One like me means: a noble man, a brahmin, a merchant-class man, a low-caste man.

Virtuous means: refraining from onslaught on creatures, refraining from taking what is not given, refraining from lying.[17]

Leading the Brahma-life means: refraining from sexual intercourse.[18]

Of good conduct means: he is of good conduct in respect of this virtue and in respect of this Brahma-life.

BD.1.226 In this fashion means: with regard to sexual intercourse.

Should minister to means: should give pleasure to.

Connected with unchastity means: connected with unchastity.[19]

A formal meeting of the Order means: … because of this it is called a formal meeting of the Order. Vin.3.134


Bu-Ss.4.3.1 If there is a woman, if he is infatuated thinking her to be a woman, and if the monk speaks in praise, in the woman’s presence, of ministering to sense-pleasures for self, it is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

If there are two women, if … thinking they are two women … there are two offences … a formal meeting of the Order.

If there are a woman and an eunuch, if … thinking them both to be women … there is an offence of wrong-doing with an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.


Bu-Ss.4.3.2 There is no offence if he speaks, saying: “Support[20] (us) with the requisites of robes, alms-food, lodgings, medicine for the sick,” if he is mad, if he is a beginner.[21]

Bu-Ss.4.4.1 How can a barren woman?
(How) can I get a son, and be dear?
How can I be charming?
What may I give? With what shall I support (you)?
How can I go to a good bourn?

At one time a certain barren woman said to a monk dependent on (her) family: “How could I, honoured sir, bear (a child)?”

BD.1.227 “For this, sister, give the highest gift.”

“What is the highest gift, honoured sir?” she said.

“Sexual intercourse,” he said.

He was remorseful … “… a formal meeting of the Order.”


Bu-Ss.4.4.2 At one time a certain fertile woman said to a monk dependent on (her) family: “How could I, honoured sir, get a son?”

“For this, sister, give the highest gift … “… a formal meeting of the Order.”


Bu-Ss.4.4.3 At one time a certain woman said to a monk dependent on (her) family: “How could I, honoured sir, be dear to (my) husband?” … “How could I, honoured sir, be charming?”

“For this, sister, give the highest gift ”… “… a formal meeting of the Order.”


Bu-Ss.4.4.4 At one time a certain woman said to a monk dependent on (her) family:

“What, honoured sir, may I give to the master?”

“The highest gift, sister,” he said.

“What is the highest gift, honoured sir?”

“Sexual intercourse,” he said. He was remorseful … “… of the Order.”


Bu-Ss.4.4.5 At one time a certain woman said to a monk dependent on (her) family:

“With what can I, honoured sir, support the master?”

“With the highest gift, sister,” he said.

“What is the highest gift, honoured sir?” she said … “… formal meeting of the Order.”


Bu-Ss.4.4.6 At one time a certain woman said to a monk dependent on (her) family:

BD.1.228 “How can I go to a good bourn, honoured sir?”

“For this, sister, give the highest gift.”

“What is the highest gift, honoured sir?” she said … “… formal meeting of the Order.”

Told is the Fourth offence entailing a Formal Meeting of the Order

Footnotes and references:

1.

Yena attho. Cf. Vin.3.210 for the same expression.

2.

Dehi. The use of the imperative in such a connection is a very grave thing.

3.

Attho, to balance yena attho above (?).

4.

It is curious that vasala is in the masculine or neuter, but it obviously refers to the woman. Buddhaghosa sees it as a masculine here, Vin-a.551.

5.

Niṭṭhuhitvā ti kheḷaṃ pātetvā, Vin-a.551; cf. Pv-a.80, kheḷan ti nuṭṭhubhanaṃ. Cf. Vin.1.271 where the seṭṭhi’s wife spat out (nuṭṭhuhitvā) ghee into a spittoon. Cf. also Ja.1.459. Forms of this verb are niṭṭhubhati, nuṭṭhubhati and niṭṭhuhati.

6.

As above, BD.1.125, BD.1.200.

7.

Kassāhaṃ kena hāyāmi. Vin-a.551, “with regard to treasure, jewelry or beauty, to what other women am I inferior? Who is better than I am?”

8.

Attahāmapāricariyāya, Vin-a.551 says, methunadhammasamkhā-tena kāmena pāricariyā kāmapāricariyā, attano atthāya kāmapāri-cariyā attakāmapāricariyā. This passage is quoted at Vv-a.11, where atta° cariyāya is called gāmadhamme—i.e., low states, those belonging to the village. Note that the term attakāma could be used also with religious significance: see Mrs. Rhys Davids, Buddhism (Home University Library), second edition, p.81, and cf. GS.2.21, “he to whom the self is dear,” and KS.i.102, “the soul-lover.” See also attakāmarūpa at Vin.1.350 = MN.i.205 = MN.iii.155. MN-a.2.236 and Old Commentary below give two quite different interpretations of attakāma, the one giving the higher and the other the lower meaning.

9.

Cf. above, BD.1.201, BD.1.215.

10.

Cf. above, BD.1.201, BD.1.215.

11.

, whoever, feminine.

12.

Etena dhammena. It might also mean “according to this dhamma” (teaching), but that it does not here is apparent from the Old Commentary’s exegesis below.

13.

Attakāman ti attano kāmam.

14.

, translated above “a woman.”

15.

Vin-a.552, “if it is said, ‘I am a noble man, you are a noble woman, a noble woman is worthy to give to a noble man, because they are of the same caste,’ it is not a saṅghādisesa offence. But if you say, ‘I am a noble man … you are worthy to give me sexual intercourse,’ because you are speaking of things connected with unchastity, there is a saṅghādisesa offence.”

16.

Showing that the four castes were by now recognised.

17.

Corresponding to the first three Pārājika offences, with the addition of refraining from lying. Deliberate lying has appeared as a pācittiya offence and as a pārājika offence.

18.

Corresponding to the first three Pārājika offences, with the addition of refraining from lying. Deliberate lying has appeared as a pācittiya offence and as a pārājika offence.

19.

Cf. above, BD.1.216.

20.

upaṭṭhaha, imperative of upaṭṭhahati, from upa + √sthā.

21.

Vin-a.552 again says that Udāyin was the beginner, and therefore there was no offence for him.