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) 7

BD.1.266 Bu-Ss.7.1.1 … at Kosambī in Ghosita’s Park.[1] At that time a householder, the supporter[2] of the venerable Channa,[3] said to the venerable Channa:

“Do find out a site for a vihāra,[4] honoured sir. I will have a vihāra built for the master.”

Then the venerable Channa, clearing a site for the vihāra, had a tree cut down that was used as a shrine,[5] revered by village, revered by little town, revered by town, revered by the country-side, revered by the kingdom. People became vexed, annoyed, angry, saying: “How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, have a tree cut down that is used as a shrine Vin.3.156 revered by village … revered by the kingdom? The recluses, sons of the Sakyans, are depriving a one-facultied thing[6] of life.” The monks heard these people who were vexed, annoyed, angry. Those who were modest monks became vexed, annoyed, angry and said:

BD.1.267 “How can the venerable Channa have a tree cut down that was used as a shrine, revered by village … revered by the kingdom?” Then these monks told this matter to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, Channa, that you had a tree cut down that was used as a shrine, revered by village … revered by the kingdom?”

“It is true, lord,” he said.

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked him, saying:

“How can you, foolish man, have a tree cut down that was used as a shrine, revered by village … revered by the kingdom? For, foolish man, in a tree are people having consciousness as living beings. This is not, foolish man, for the benefit of unbelievers … Thus, monks, this course of training should be set forth:

If there is a monk building a large[7] vihāra for his own advantage, having a benefactor, monks should be brought for marking out a site. A site should be marked out by these monks, not involving destruction, with an open space round it. If a monk should build a large vihāra on a site involving destruction, not with an open space round it, or if he should not bring monks to mark out a site, there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.


Bu-Ss.7.2.1 Large means: it is called a vihāra having a benefactor.[8]

Vihāra means: it is smeared inside or it is smeared outside or it is smeared inside and outside.[9]

BD.1.268 Building means: building or causing to be built.

Having a benefactor means: a certain person is the benefactor: a woman or a man or a householder or one who has gone forth.[10]

For his own advantage means: for his own good.[11]

Monks should be brought for marking out a site means: that monk building a vihāra, clearing the site for a vihārasee Bu-Ss.6.2.2 … should say: ‘I, honoured sirs, am desirous of building a large vihāra, having a benefactor, for my own advantage; honoured sirs, I beg the Order to inspect the site for a vihāra this is called having an open space round it.

Large means: it is called a vihāra having a benefector.

Vihāra means: it is smeared inside or it is smeared outside or it is smeared inside and outside.

Should build means: he builds or he causes to be built.

If he should not bring monks to mark out the site means: not having caused the site for a vihāra to be marked out by a vote following directly upon the motion, he builds or causes to be built, Vin.3.157 in each operation there is an offence of wrong-doing. If one lump (of plaster) is (still) to come, there is a grave offence; when that lump has come there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.[12]

Offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order means: … on account of this it is called an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.


Bu-Ss.7.3.1 If a monk builds a vihāra, the site not having been marked out, involving destruction, not with an open space round it … see Bu-Ss.6.3.1. The sections which contain “exceeding the measure” and “to (the right) measure” are not repeated here … the site having been marked out, involving no destruction, with an open space round it, there is no offence.


BD.1.269 Bu-Ss.7.3.2 A monk commanded: “Build a vihāra for me.” They built a vihāra for him, the site not having been marked out, involving destruction, not with an open space round it … the site not having been marked out, not involving destruction, with an open space round it, there is no offence.


Bu-Ss.7.3.3 A monk having commanded: “Build a vihāra for me,” went away. And he did not command: “Let there be marking out of the site, and let it not involve destruction, and let it have an open space round it.” They built a vihāra for him, the site not having been marked out, involving destruction, not with an open space round it … the site having been marked out, not involving destruction, with an open space round it, there is no offence.


Bu-Ss.7.3.4 A monk having commanded: “Build a vihāra for me,” went away. And he commanded: “Let there be marking out of the site, and not involving destruction, and with an open space round it.” They built the vihāra for him, the site not having been marked out, involving destruction, not with an open space round it. He heard and said: “They say that a vihāra was built for me, the site not having been marked out, involving destruction, not with an open space round it.” If this monk should go himself … there is no offence.


Bu-Ss.7.3.5 A monk having commanded: “Build a vihāra for me,” went away. And he commanded: “Let there be marking out of the site, and let it not involve destruction, and let there be an open space round it.” They built a vihāra for him, the site not having been marked out, involving destruction, not with an open space round it. For the builders there are three offences of wrong-doing … the site marked out, not involving destruction, with an open space round it, there is no offence.


Bu-Ss.7.3.6 A monk having commanded: “Build a vihāra for me,” went away. They built a vihāra for him, the site BD.1.270 not having been marked out, involving destruction, not with an open space round it. If he comes back there (and finds that it is) imperfectly executed … the site having been marked out, not involving destruction, with an open space round it, there is no offence.


Bu-Ss.7.3.7 If he finishes by himself what was imperfectly executed by himself … = Bu-Ss.6.3.15Bu-Ss.6.3.16 … if he is a beginner.

Told is the Seventh Offence entailing a Formal Meeting of the Order: that of building a vihāra

Footnotes and references:

1.

Vin-a.574, “it was made, they say, by Ghosita, the great merchant.”

2.

Vin-a.574, “at the time of the bodhisatta Channa was his supporter.”

3.

Cf. Vin.2.21ff.; at Vin.2.88, he took the side of the nuns in a quarrel with the monks; at Vin.2.290 the brahmadaṇḍa penalty was laid on him, but he attained arahanship (DN.ii.154). Cf. also Vin.4.35f., Vin.4.47, Vin.4.113, Vin.4.141 and below, BD.1.309.

4.

Vin-a.574, “not a whole vihāra, but one dwelling-place.” Vihāra originally was probably rather more than “cell,” and “cell” would most likely have been called pariveṇa, a monk’s cell, cf. Vinaya Texts iii.109, and above, BD.1.119.

5.

Vin-a.575 explains cetiya by cittikata. This is from citti-karoti, to honour, to esteem. Vin-a.575 further says that “a cetiya is for the sake of honouring: the term is used of those worthy of worship of sacred places. Cetiya means the honoured (or revered or selected) tree, it is a tree used (as a place) for honouring.” See above, BD.1.243, n.4, and BD.1.247, n.2.

6.

With body-sensibility—i.e., sense of touch.

7.

Mahallaka, here not in the usual sense of “full of years,” but = mahantabhāvo … pamāṇmahantāya mahallakaṃ … atthadassanatthaṃ mahallako nāma, Vin-a.575. But see Old Commentary’s definition below. Cf. Vin.2.166, where a vihāra is also called mahallaka.

8.

Because then it can be made to the size of the approved measure, apparently meaning not smaller than this.

9.

Cf. above, BD.1.254, where hut, kuṭī, is defined in these same terms. Ullittālitta, which I have rendered “smeared inside and outside,” also occurs at AN.i.101 = MN.iii.61, in the simile of the (wise and foolish) non-inflammable and inflammable house with gabled roofs.

10.

Cf. above, BD.1.254.

11.

Cf. above, BD.1.254.

12.

Cf. above, BD.1.258.