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’ Undetermined (Aniyata) 1

BD.1.330 Bu-An.1.1.1 At one time the enlightened one, the lord, was staying at Sāvatthī in Anāthapiṇḍika’s park in the Jeta Grove. At that time the venerable Udāyin was dependent on families in Sāvatthī and approached many families. Now at that time the young girl of a family who was supporting the venerable Udāyin had been given (in marriage) to a boy of a certain family. Then the venerable Udāyin, getting up early and taking his bowl and robe; approached that family, and having approached them he asked the people:

“Where is (the girl) called so and so?” They said:

“Honoured sir, she was given to a boy of a certain family.” Now this family supported the venerable Udāyin. Then the venerable Udāyin approached this family, and having approached them he asked the people:

“Where is (the girl) called so and so?” They said:

“Master, she is sitting in the inner room.”

Then the venerable Udāyin approached this girl, and having approached her, he sat down together with that girl, a man and a woman, in a secret place on a secluded, convenient seat,[1] conversing at the right time, speaking dhamma at the right time.[2]

Now at that time Visākhā, Migāra’s mother, had many children and many grandchildren.[3] The children were BD.1.331 healthy and the grandchildren were healthy and she was considered to be auspicious.[4] People used to regale Visākhā first at sacrifices, festivals[5] and feasts.[6] So Visākhā, being invited, went to that family. Visākhā saw the venerable Udāyin sitting together with that girl, a man and a woman,[7] in a secret place on a secluded, convenient seat. Seeing this, she said to the venerable Udāyin:

“This is not proper, honoured sir, it is not suitable that the master should sit together with women-folk, a man and a woman, in a secret place on a secluded, convenient seat. Vin.3.188 Although, honoured sir, the master has no desire for that thing,[8] unbelieving people are difficult to convince.”[9]

But the venerable Udāyin took no heed after he had been spoken to thus by Visākhā. Then Visākhā, when she had departed, told this matter to the monks. Those who were modest monks became annoyed, vexed, angry and said:

“How can the venerable Udāyin sit together with womenfolk, a man and a woman, in a secret place on a secluded, convenient seat?” And these monks told this matter to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, Udāyin, that you sat together with womenfolk, a man and a woman, in a secret place on a secluded, convenient seat?”

“It is true, lord,” he said.

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked him, saying: “How can you, foolish man, sit together with womenfolk, a man with a woman, in a secret place on a secluded, convenient seat? It is not, foolish man, for the benefit of unbelievers … And thus, monks, this course of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should sit down together with a BD.1.332 woman, the one with the other, in a secret place on a secluded, convenient seat, and if a trustworthy[10] woman lay-follower seeing him should speak concerning a certain one of three matters: either one involving defeat,[11] or one entailing a formal meeting of the Order,[12] or one involving expiation,[13] and the monk himself acknowledging that he was sitting down, should be dealt with according to a certain one of three matters: as to whether it is one involving defeat, or as to whether it is one entailing a formal meeting of the Order, or as to whether it is one involving expiation. Or that monk should be dealt with according to what that trustworthy woman lay-follower should say. This is an undetermined matter.”[14]


Bu-An.1.2.1 Whatever means: he who …

Monk means: this is how monk is to be understood in this sense.

Woman means: a human woman, not a female yakkha, not a female departed one, not a female animal, even a girl born on this very day, much more an older one.[15]

Together with means: together.[16]

A man with a woman[17] means: there is a monk and also a woman.

A secret place means: secret from the eye, secret from the ear. Secret from the eye means: if covering the eye or raising the eyebrow or raising the head he is unable to see. Secret from the ear means: he is unable to hear ordinary speech.

A secluded seat means: it is secluded by a wall built of wattle and daub, or by a door or Vin.3.189 by a screen or by a screen wall or by a tree or by a pillar or by a sack or it is concealed by anything whatever.[18]

BD.1.333 Convenient means: it is possible to indulge in sexual intercourse.

Should sit down means: when the woman is sitting the monk is sitting or lying close to her; when the monk is sitting the woman is sitting or lying close to him; both are sitting, or both are lying.

Trustworthy means: (a woman who) has attained the fruit,[19] one who possesses complete understanding,[20] one who has learned the teaching.

Female lay-follower means: one going to the enlightened one for refuge, one going to dhamma for refuge, one going to the Order for refuge.

Seeing means: seeing.[21]


Bu-An.1.2.2 Should speak concerning a certain one of three matters: either one involving defeat, or one entailing a formal meeting of the Order, or one involving expiation, and the monk himself acknowledging that he was sitting down, should be dealt with according to a certain one of three matters: as to whether it is one involving defeat, or as to whether it is one entailing a formal meeting of the Order, or as to whether it is one involving expiation. Or that monk should be dealt with according to what that trustworthy woman lay-follower should say.

If she should say this: “The master was seen by me sitting and indulging in sexual intercourse with a woman,” and if he acknowledges this, he should be dealt with for an offence.

If she should say this: “The master was seen by me sitting and indulging in sexual intercourse with a woman,” and if he should say this: “It is true that I was sitting but I was not indulging in sexual intercourse,” he should be dealt with for sitting down.

If she should say this: “The master was seen by me sitting and indulging in sexual intercourse with a woman,” and if he should say this: “I was not sitting BD.1.334 but I was lying down,” he should be dealt with for lying down.

If she should say this: “The master was seen by me sitting and indulging in sexual intercourse with a woman,” and if he should say this: “I was not sitting but I was standing,” he is not to be dealt with.

If she should say this: “The master was seen by me lying down and indulging in sexual intercourse with a woman,” if he acknowledges this, he should be dealt with for an offence.

If she should say this: “The master was seen … with a woman,” and he should say this: “It is true that I was lying down but I was not indulging in sexual intercourse,” he should be dealt with for lying down.

If she should say this: “The master … with a woman,” and if he should say this: “I was not lying down but I was sitting,” he should be dealt with for sitting down.

If she should say this: “The master … Vin.3.190 with a woman,” and he should say this: “I was not lying down but I was standing,” he should not be dealt with.

If she should say this: “The master was seen by me sitting together with a woman and indulging in physical contact,” and if he acknowledges this he should be dealt with for an offence … “It is true that I was sitting, but I did not indulge in physical contact,” he should be dealt withfor sitting down … “I was not sitting, but I was lying down,” he should be dealt with for lying down … “I was not sitting but I was standing,” he should not be dealt with.

If she should say this: “The master was seen by me lying down together with a woman and indulging in physical contact,” and if he acknowledges this he should be dealt with for an offence … “It is true that I was lying down, but I did not indulge in physical contact,” he should be dealt with for lying down … “I was not lying down but I was sitting down” … “I was not lying down, I was standing,” he should not be dealt with.

If she should say this: “The master was seen by me sitting together with a woman, the one with the other, in a secret place on a secluded seat suitable (for sexual intercourse),” and if he acknowledges this he should be dealt with for sitting down … “I was not sitting down, but I was lying down,” he should be dealt with for lying down … “I was not sitting down, I was standing,” he should not be dealt with.

If she should say this: “The master was seen by me lying down … on a secluded seat suitable (for sexual intercourse),” BD.1.335 and if he acknowledges this he should be dealt with for lying down … “I was not lying down, I was sitting down,” lie should be dealt with for sitting down … “I was not lying down, I was standing,” he should not be dealt with.

Undetermined means: not determined as to whether it involves defeat, or formal meeting of the Order, or expiation.


Bu-An.1.3.1 He acknowledges going,[22] he acknowledges sitting down, he acknowledges an offence,[23] he should be dealt with for an offence.[24] He acknowledges going, he does not acknowledge sitting down, but he acknowledges an offence, he should be dealt with for an offence. He acknowledges going, he acknowledges sitting down, but he does not acknowledge an offence, he should be dealt with for sitting down. He acknowledges going, he does not acknowledge sitting down and he does not acknowledge an offence, he should not be dealt with. He does not acknowledge going, but he acknowledges sitting down and he acknowledges an offence, he should be dealt with for an offence. He does not acknowledge going, he does not acknowledge sitting down, Vin.3.191 but he acknowledges an offence, he should be dealt with for an offence. He does not acknowledge going, but he acknowledges sitting down, though he does not acknowledge an offence, he should be dealt with for sitting down. He does not acknowledge going, he does not acknowledge sitting down, he does not acknowledge an offence, he should not be dealt with.

Told is the First Undetermined Offence

Footnotes and references:

1.

Old Commentary, see below, BD.1.333, and Vin-a.631 explain that this means a seat where “it is possible to indulge in sexual intercourse.”

2.

Vin-a.631, “talking for a time when anyone comes and goes in their presence, then he says: ‘You should perform a seeming observance-day, you should give food to be distributed by ticket.’”

3.

Vin-a.631, “they say that she had ten sons and ten daughters … and that her sons and her daughters each had twenty children, so that in addition to her own, she had four hundred children.”

4.

Abhimaṅgalasammatā.

5.

Vin-a.631, “The blessings of leading the bride to one’s own home and away from her own home”—i.e., wedding feasts.

6.

Feasts at the beginning and at the end of the rains.

7.

Eko ekāya.

8.

Tena dhammena.

9.

I.e., that he and the woman were on purely platonic terms.

10.

Vin-a.632, “one who has attained the fruit of stream-entry.”

11.

The First Defeat.

12.

The second Formal Meeting.

14.

It depends upon circumstances.

15.

= above, BD.1.202.

16.

= above, BD.1.202.

17.

Literally one (masculine) with one (feminine).

19.

Of stream-attainment, Vin-a.632.

20.

Vin-a.632, “one who has penetrated the four truths.”

21.

disvā ti passitvā.

22.

Vin-a.633, “saying: ‘I am going to a secret place for the sake of sitting down.’”

23.

Vin-a.633, “a certain offence among the three ”—i.e., either a pārājika or a saṅghādisesa or a pācittiya.

24.

Vin-a.633, āpattiyā kārelabbo, “he should be dealt with according to which of the three he acknowledges.”