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) 11

BD.1.304 Bu-Ss.11.1.1 … at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove at the squirrels’ feeding-place. At that time Devadatta proceeded to a schism in the Order, a breaking of the concord. The monks spoke thus: “Devadatta is not one who speaks dhamma, Devadatta is not one who speaks Vinaya.[1] How can this Devadatta proceed with a schism in the Order, with a breaking of the concord?” Having spoken thus, Kokālika, Kaṭamorakatissa, and the son of the lady Khaṇḍā and Samuddadatta[2] said to these monks:

“Do not speak thus, venerable ones; Vin.3.175 Devadatta is one who speaks dhamma, Devadatta is one who speaks vinaya, and Devadatta having adopted[3] our desire and objective, gives expression to them; he knows that what he says for us[4] seems also good to us.”

Then those who were modest monks were … angry, and said: “How can these monks become those throwing in their lot with[5] and taking part in[6] Devadatta’s proceeding for a schism in the Order?” Then these monks told this matter to the lord.

“Is it true as they say, monks, that (these) monks are those who are throwing in their lot with and taking part in Devadatta’s proceeding for a schism in the Order?”

BD.1.305 “It is true, lord”, they said.

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How, monks, can these foolish men become those to throw in their lot with, to take part in Devadatta’s proceeding for a schism in the Order? It is not, monks, for the benefit of unbelievers … Thus, monks, this course of training should be set forth:

If a monk has monks: one or two or three, who throw in their lot with him or take his part, and if these should speak thus: ‘Do not, venerable ones, say anything against this monk; this monk is one who speaks dhamma, this monk is one who speaks Vinaya; and this monk, adopting our desire and objective, gives expression to them; he knows that what he says for us seems also good to us.’ These monks should be spoken to thus by monks: ‘Do not, venerable ones, speak thus. This monk is not one who speaks dhamma, this monk is not one who speaks Vinaya. Please do not let a schism in the Order seem good to the venerable ones; let the venerable ones be at one with the Order, for the Order being harmonious and on friendly terms, not quarrelsome, dwells comfortably under one rule.’ If these monks having been spoken to by the monks should persist, then these monks should be admonished up to three times by these monks in a body, for giving up their course. If these, having been admonished up to three times, should give it up, that is good; if they should not give it up, that is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.


Bu-Ss.11.2.1 If a monk means: if a schismatic monk.

Has monks means: has other monks.

Throw in their lot with means: he is one having that view, that allegiance, that objective; and these are those having that view, that allegiance, that objective.[7]

Take his part means: these are standing for his sort, his faction.

BD.1.306 One or two or three means: there are one or two or three.

If these should speak thus means: “Do not, venerable ones, speak against this monk. This monk is one who speaks dhamma, and this monk is one who speaks Vinaya, and this monk is one who having adopted our desire and allegiance, Vin.3.176 gives expression to them. He knows that what he says for us seems also good to us.”

These monks means: these monks who throw in their lot with.

By monks means: by other monks who see, and who hear. These should say: “Do not, venerable ones, speak thus. This monk is not one who speaks dhamma, and this monk is not one who speaks Vinaya. Please do not let a schism in the Order seem good to the venerable ones. Let the venerable ones be at one with the Order; for the Order being harmonious and on friendly terms, not quarrelsome, dwells comfortably under one rule.” A second time they should say … A third time they should say … if they give it up, that is good; if they do not give it up, it is an offence of wrong-doing.

These monks, having pulled them into the middle of the Order, should say: “Do not, venerable ones, speak thus. He is not … under one rule.” A second time they should say … a third time they should say … if they give up their course it is good; if they do not give it up there is an offence of wrong-doing.

These monks should be admonished means: Thus, monks, they should be admonished … the Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk: “Let the Order hear me, honoured sirs. Such and such monks, having thrown in their lot with such and such a monk, are taking his side in a proceeding for making a schism in the Order. These do not give up this course. If it is the right time for the Order, let the Order as a body admonish such and such monks about giving up this course. This is the motion. Honoured sirs, let the Order hear me: such and such monks … not give up the course. The Order as a body admonishes such and such monks about giving up this course. If BD.1.307 it seems good to the venerable ones to admonish such and such monks for giving up this course, you should be silent; if it does not seem good to you, you should speak. A second time I proclaim this matter. A third time I proclaim this matter … you should speak. Let the Order as a body admonish such and such monks for giving up this course. It seems good to the Order … Thus do I understand.”

According to the motion there is an offence of wrong-doing; according to two resolutions there are grave offences; at the end of the resolution there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order. If they are committing an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order, the offence of wrong-doing according to the motion and the grave offences according to the two resolutions, subside.[8]

Two or three should be admonished together; further than that[9] they should not be admonished.

An offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order means: … because of that it is called an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order. Vin.3.177


Bu-Ss.11.3.1 Thinking a legally valid act to be a legally valid act, they do not give it up, there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order. Being in doubt as to whether it is a legally valid act, they do not give it up, there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order. Thinking an act which is not legally valid to be an act which is legally valid, they do not give it up, there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order. Thinking an act which is legally valid to be an act which is not a legally valid act, is an offence of wrong-doing. Being in doubt as to whether it is not a legally valid act, is an offence of wrong-doing. Not thinking an act which is legally valid to be an act which is not legally valid, is an offence of wrong-doing.[10]


Bu-Ss.11.3.2 BD.1.308 It is not an offence if they have not been admonished, if they give it up, if they are mad, out of their minds, in pain, beginners.[11]

Told is the Eleventh Offence entailing a Formal Meeting of the Order: that of siding in with a schism

Footnotes and references:

1.

At DN.iii.135 these words occur in a kind of definition of “Tathāgata.”

2.

The same monks as in Bu-Ss.10, above.

3.

ādāya, literally having taken.

4.

jānāti no bhāsati, Vin-a.611, he knows our desires, and so on.

5.

anuvattaka, Vin-a.611, “those following him by taking up (his) opinions, pleasures, approvals.”

6.

vaggavādaka. “They speak words not on the side of unanimity,” Vin-a.611.

7.

Cf. above, BD.1.163, and DN.i.187; MN.i.487.

8.

= above, BD.1.302; below, BD.1.313, BD.1.327.

9.

taduttari.

10.

= above, BD.1.302; below, BD.1.313, BD.1.327.

11.

Cf. above, BD.1.303; below, BD.1.313, BD.1.327.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: