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) 9

BD.1.288 Bu-Ss.9.1.1 … at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove at the squirrels’ feeding-place. At that time as the monks who were the followers of Mettiya and Bhummaja were descending from the slope of the Vulture’s Peak, they saw a he-goat copulating with a nanny-goat; Vin.3.167 seeing them they said: “Look here, your reverences, let us call this he-goat Dabba, the Mallian, and this nanny-goat Mettiyā, the nun; thus we will express it: ‘Formerly, your reverences, we spoke to Dabba, the Mallian, about what was heard, but now we have ourselves seen him sinning with the nun Mettiyā.” These gave that he-goat the name of Dabba, the Mallian, and called that nanny-goat Mettiyā, the nun.

These told the monks: “Formerly, your reverences, we spoke to Dabba, the Mallian, about what was heard, but now we ourselves have seen him sinning with Mettiyā, the nun.”

The monks said: “Your reverences, do not speak like that; the venerable Dabba, the Mallian, would not do that.”

Then these monks told this matter to the lord. The lord, on that occasion, in that connection, having had the Order of monks convened, asked the venerable Dabba, the Mallian:

“Do you remember,[1] Dabba, to have done as these monks say?”

“Lord, the lord knows with regard to me,” he said.

A second time, the lord … a third time the lord said to the venerable Dabba, the Mallian … “knows with regard to me,” he said.

BD.1.289 “Do not, Dabba, …” … “… how much more when I was awake.” he said.

Then the lord addressed the monks: “Because of this, monks, you should put questions to these monks.” Having spoken thus, the lord rising up from his seat, entered the vihāra.


Bu-Ss.9.1.2 Then these monks put questions[2] to the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka. These, being questioned by the monks, told this matter to the monks.

“Did you not defame the venerable Dabba, the Mallian, your reverences, with a charge of falling into defeat, taking up some point as a pretext in a legal question really belonging to something else?”

“It is so, your reverences,” they said.

Then those who were modest monks became annoyed, vexed and angry, and said: “How can the monks who are followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka defame the venerable Dabba, the Mallian, with … to something else?”

Then these monks told this matter to the lord. He said: “Is it true as is said, that you, monks, defamed Dabba, the Mallian, with … to something else?”

“It is true, lord,” they said.

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How can you, foolish men, defame Dabba, the Mallian, with … to something else? Foolish men, it is not for the benefit of unbelievers … And thus, monks, this course of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk, malignant, malicious and ill-tempered, Vin.3.168 should defame a monk with a charge involving defeat, taking up some point as a pretext in a legal question really belonging to something else, saying: ‘Thus perhaps may I drive him away from BD.1.290 this Brahma-life’; then, if afterwards, he, being pressed or not being pressed, the legal question turning out to belong to something different, if the monk confesses his malice and (confesses) having taken up some point as a pretext: it is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.”


Bu-Ss.9.2.1 Whatever means: = Bu-Ss.8.2 … is angry.


Bu-Ss.9.2.2 In a legal question really belonging to something else means: either it is an offence of a different kind or it is a legal question of a different kind.

How is a legal question connected with a different kind of legal question? The legal question arising out of disputes may belong to something different: to a legal question arising out of censure, to a legal question arising out of transgressions, to a legal question arising out of obligations. A legal question arising out of censure … a legal question arising out of transgressions … a legal question arising out of obligations may belong to something different: to a legal question arising out of disputes, to a legal question arising out of transgressions, to a legal question arising out of obligations. Thus a legal question may belong to a different legal question.

How is a legal question connected with a legal question? A question arising out of disputes is connected with a question arising out of disputes. A question arising out of censure is connected with a question arising out of censure. A question arising out of transgression may be connected with a question arising out of transgression, or it may be connected with something else. How is a question arising out of transgression connected with something other than a question arising out of transgression? An offence involving defeat through sexual intercourse may belong to something else: to an offence involving defeat through taking something that was not given, to an offence involving BD.1.291 defeat through taking up human form, to an offence involving defeat through claiming states of further-men. An offence involving defeat through taking something that was not given … an offence involving defeat through taking up human form … an offence involving defeat through claiming states of further-men may belong to something else: to an offence involving defeat through sexual intercourse, to an offence involving defeat through taking something that was not given, to an offence involving defeat through taking up human form. Thus a question arising out of transgression may belong to something other than a question arising out of transgression. And how can a question arising out of transgression belong to a question arising out of transgression? An offence involving defeat through sexual intercourse may belong to an offence involving defeat through sexual intercourse … an offence involving defeat through claiming states of further-men may belong to an offence involving defeat through claiming states of further-men. Thus does a question arising out of transgression belong to a question arising out of transgression. A question arising out of obligations may belong to a question arising out of obligations. Thus may a legal question belong to a legal question.


Bu-Ss.9.2.3 Taking up some point as a pretext.[3] A pretext means that there are ten pretexts: Vin.3.169 the pretext of birth, the pretext of name, the pretext of family, the pretext of characteristic, the pretext of offence, the pretext of a bowl, the pretext of a robe, the pretext of a teacher, the pretext of a preceptor, the precept of lodgings.

The pretext of birth means: A noble is seen committing[4] a matter involving defeat; seeing another noble[5] he reprimands him, saying: “A noble is seen by me; you are one who has committed[6] a matter involving defeat, BD.1.292 you are not a (true) recluse, you are not a (true) son of the Sakyans; there is no (holding) the observance-day (ceremony) with you, or the ceremony at the termination of the rains, or the ceremony performed by a chapter of monks”—for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.[7]

A brahmin is seen … a merchant is seen … a low-caste man is seen … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

The pretext of name means: one who is a Buddharakkhita is seen … one who is a Dhammarakkhita is seen … one who is a Saṅgharakkhita is seen committing a matter involving defeat; seeing another Saṅgharakkhita … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

The pretext of family means: a Gotama is seen … a Moggallāna is seen … a Kaccāna is seen … a Vāsiṭṭha is seen committing an offence involving defeat; seeing another Vāsiṭṭha … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

The pretext of characteristic means: a tall man is seen … a short man is seen … a dark man is seen … a fair man is seen committing an offence involving defeat … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

The pretext of an offence means: one is seen committing a slight offence, and if he reprimands him for a matter involving defeat, saying: “You are not a (true) recluse …” … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

The pretext of a bowl means: one carrying a copper bowl is seen … one carrying a bowl of hide[8] is seen … one carrying a cracked bowl[9] is seen committing a matter involving defeat … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

BD.1.293 The pretext of a robe means: one wearing robes taken from the dust-heap is seen … one wearing householders’ robes is seen committing a matter involving defeat … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

The pretext of a teacher means: the pupil of such and such a one is seen committing a matter involving defeat … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

The pretext of a preceptor means: the novice of such and such a one is seen committing a matter involving defeat … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

The pretext of lodgings means: a dweller in such and such lodgings is seen Vin.3.170 committing a matter involving defeat … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.


Bu-Ss.9.2.4 With a charge involving defeat means: one of the four … = Bu-Ss.8.2 … a question arising out of obligations.

Taking up some point as a pretext means: taking up a certain pretext among these pretexts.

If the monk confesses his malice means: = Bu-Ss.8.2 … because of this it is called an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.


Bu-Ss.9.3.1 A monk is seen committing an offence which entails a formal meeting of the Order; in the offence which entails a formal meeting of the Order there is a wrong view as to an offence which entails a formal meeting of the Order. If he reprimands him for a matter involving defeat, saying: “You are not a (true) recluse … nor a ceremony performed by a chapter of monks,” thus it is connected with a different kind of offence and a pretext is taken up: for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

A monk is seen committing an offence which entails a formal meeting of the Order; in the offence which BD.1.294 entails a formal meeting of the Order there is the wrong view that it is a grave offence … there is the wrong view that it is an offence requiring expiation … there is the wrong view that it is an offence which ought to be confessed … there is the wrong view that it is an offence of wrong-doing … there is the wrong view that it is an offence of evil speech. If he reprimands him … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

A monk is seen committing a grave offence … an offence requiring expiation … an offence which ought to be confessed … an offence of wrong-doing … an offence of evil speech; in the evil speech there is a wrong view of evil speech. If he reprimands him … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

A monk is seen committing an offence of evil speech; there is the wrong view that in the offence of evil speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order; there is the wrong view that in the evil speech there is a grave offence, an offence requiring expiation, an offence which ought to be confessed, an offence of wrong-doing. If he reprimands him … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

Beginning severally, the series, with this exception, should be put together.

Bu-Ss.9.3.2 A monk is seen committing an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order; in the offence which entails a formal meeting of the Order there is a wrong view as to an offence which entails a formal meeting of the Order. If he causes him to be reprimanded for an offence involving defeat, saying: “You are not a (true) recluse … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

A monk is seen committing an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order; in the offence which entails a formal meeting of the Order there is a wrong view BD.1.295 that it is a grave offence … a wrong view that it is an offence of evil speech … a monk is seen committing an offence of evil speech … there is a wrong view that it is an offence of wrong-doing. If he causes him to be reprimanded … for each speech there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.


Bu-Ss.9.3.3 There is no offence if, thinking what is true,[10] he reprimands him or causes him to be reprimanded, if he is out of his mind, if he is a beginner.

Told[11] is the Ninth Offence entailing a Formal Meeting of the Order

Footnotes and references:

1.

Cf. above, BD.1.280.

2.

Vin-a.598, “Where did you see Dabba with Mettiyā? … at what time? … where were you going then? … Who knows you were at that time in the Bamboo Grove? …”

3.

Lesa.

4.

Ajjhāpajjanta.

5.

Vin-a.601, who was a monk, he seizes the pretext of his khattiya birth.

6.

Ajjhāpanna.

7.

Cf. above, BD.1.283.

8.

Vin-a.602, sāṭakapatta, “like the copper bowl it is well-turned, of beautiful hide, glossy, of black colour (literally bee-coloured), it is called a clay bowl.”

9.

Vin-a.602, “it was an ordinary clay bowl.”

10.

Tathāsaññi, cf. tathāgata, the “truth-finder.”

11.

Samatta, instead of the more usual niṭṭhita.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: