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...

Translator’s Introduction

BD.2.v This volume of the Book of the Discipline covers Oldenberg’s edition of the Vinayapiṭaka, vol.3, p.195, to vol.4, p.124, and thus comprises the thirty Nissaggiya rules and sixty of the ninety-two Pācittiya rules laid down for monks.

The actual rules, sikkhāpada, of the Pali Pātimokkha are accessible to English readers in Rhys Davids and Oldenberg’s translation,[1] and translations even earlier.[2] They have also all been set out in full by B.C. Law,[3] while E.J. Thomas[4] has given some in their entirety and has summarised others, classifying these, under their appropriate sections, where affinities are visible. This is the first translation into English of these sikkhāpadas complete with their attendant material.

It has been truly and helpfully observed by the editors of Vinaya Texts[5] that “inside each class (of offence) the sequence of the clauses[6] follows no invariable rule. Sometimes offences of a related character are placed together in groups, but sometimes those which would naturally come together are found scattered in quite different parts of the same class.” In addition, as Oldenberg has pointed out,[7] “it not infrequently happens that a rule refers to the one immediately preceding it.”

A considerable amount of work having been done on the Pātimokkha, it will be better in this Introduction not to enlarge upon rules, grouping of rules or sporadic appearance of rules, but to confine myself mainly to various findings arising from a study of the auxiliary material—stories, Old Commentary and anāpatti (no offence) clauses—surrounding each rule.

Some of these Pātimokkha rules, when read in conjunction with their attendant material, testify that, although the legal decree and the penalty for its infringement may be the culminating point, there was also a softening influence at work. For the not altogether infrequent anujānāmi (“I allow”) allowances, always put into the mouth of Gotama, tend to counteract any too great stringency, inexpediency or lack of clarity on the side of which the sikkhāpada, as first framed, may have erred.

Doubtless the sikkhāpadas, if isolated from their surrounding matter and viewed either as extracts from this or as the foundations on which it was later reared,[8] may be said to amount to not much more than a series of prohibitions. But on those occasions when an anujānāmi is present in the auxiliary material, then anujānāmi and sikkhāpada, allowance and rule, taken in association as they are intended to be, produce a balance, a middle way between the two extremes of uncompromising legal ordinance and unchecked laxity of behaviour. On such occasions the anujānāmi pulls against the rule, and appears as an event potent in its effect on the character of the rule, no less than on the history of its formulation.

The Nissaggiyas and Pācittiyas are arranged on the same general plan that the Suttavibhaṅga follows throughout. This comprises a story leading up to the formulation of a rule, sikkhāpada, which is laid down together with the penalty for breaking it. In some cases there follow one or more other stories showing that it was advisable to remodel the rule, and at whose conclusion the amended version of the rule is given. Next comes the Old Commentary or Padabhājaniya, BD.2.vii defining the words of the rule; then cases where the penalty for breaking the rule or some lighter (never heavier) penalty is incurred; and finally, a list of cases which entail no offence against the rule.

The Nissaggiya Group

Each of the thirty Nissaggiya rules for monks has, as the penalty for breaking it, expiation of the offence, Pācittiya, involving forfeiture, Nissaggiya. This penalty is stated in the words Nissaggiyaṃ Pācittiyaṃ, “(an offence) involving forfeiture, to be expiated.” The forfeiture enjoined is that in respect of which the offence had been committed, for example a robe or bowl or rug. These rules are concerned both with behaviour as such and with the wrongful acquisition or unsuitable usage of things.

The form of expiation enjoined by the Old Commentary is confession[9] of the offence of wrongful acquisition. From internal evidence, Pācittiya is a (minor) offence to be confessed, āpatti desetabbā, a statement common to all the Nissaggiyas. But etymologically the word Pācittiya has nothing to do with confession. I have therefore kept to the more literal translation,[10] and have rendered it “offence of expiation” throughout, and the two words Nissaggiya Pācittiya as “offence of expiation involving forfeiture.” According to the Old Commentary, “having forfeited (the article), the offence should be confessed.” Thus the act of forfeiture should precede the expiation or confession. I will say something more below about the method in which forfeiture should be made.[11]

In history, the place at which an event is said to have taken place is often of some importance. It is well known that Gotama spent the greater part of his teaching life at Sāvatthi and his last years at Vesālī. It is worth recalling, for the evidence contributed, that Sāvatthi, BD.2.viii with an overwhelming majority, is given as the locus of twenty-two Nissaggiyas, Rājagaha of three, Vesālī and Kapilavatthu each of two, Āḷavī of one.

As many as sixteen Nissaggiya rules for monks are concerned with robes, and fall into two groups, Bu-NP.1Bu-NP.10, Bu-NP.24Bu-NP.29; five with rugs (santhata), Bu-NP.11Bu-NP.15; two with sheep’s wool, Bu-NP.16, Bu-NP.17; three with gold and silver and bartering, Bu-NP.18Bu-NP.20; two with bowls, Bu-NP.21, Bu-NP.22; one with medicine, Bu-NP.23; and the last one, Bu-NP.30, is against a monk appropriating for his own use benefits intended for the Order. There are, moreover, a few cross-sections. For example, in the matter of exchange of robes (Bu-NP.5), in the matter of washing, dyeing and beating robes (Bu-NP.4, and in the matter of washing, dyeing and beating sheep’s wool (Bu-NP.17), the correct behaviour for a monk to observe towards a nun also comes under legislation; and in two of the rules connected with making rugs, sheep’s wool is also the subject of legal attention.

Oddly, there is no Nissaggiya concerned with either lodgings or bedding, senāsana, or with almsfood, piṇdapāta, which with robes and medicine are regarded as a monk’s four indispensable requisites. There are offences regarding these which had to be confessed, and which occur in the Pācittiya section of the Pātimokkha, but evidently there are no types of offences where lodgings and almsfood had to be forfeited, in addition to their wrongful acquisition or usage being confessed.

About half the rules were formulated because the monks acquired something by means considered un-becoming, tiresome or inconvenient: they asked for too much, they pressed potential donors, for example as to the quality of the robe-material they particularly desired. The remaining half were formulated because monks did various things or used various articles in ways thought unsuitable: they had an unnecessary amount of robes or bowls, they laid aside their robes for too long, they made nuns wash their robes or their sheep’s wool for them, and they carried sheep’s wool so far that the laity made fun of them.

BD.2.ix The formulation of the majority, namely of sixteen Nissaggiya rules, resulted, so it is recorded, from criticisms made of a monk or monks by the laity; eight from criticisms made by modest monks, three from those made by nuns, two from those made by Ānanda, and one from those made by a wanderer. With the exception of Ānanda, who complained for the sake of the Order, and not because he himself had been specially inconvenienced, these various classes of critics put forward their complaints because they personally had been in some way adversely affected by the monks’ behaviour. Thus there is a parallelism between the sources of criticism and the sections of society annoyed. Once Gotama is recorded to have heard of troublesome behaviour direct from Mahāpajāpatī while he was talking to her (Bu-NP.17), and once he came upon signs of it himself (Bu-NP.17). Four times a new rule is framed in place of one already existing, for occasions afterwards arose which showed that its scrupulous observance resulted in unfair situations.

It will be seen that the number of Nissaggiya rules formulated according to this reckoning is thirty-six. This means that six times the rule as originally framed had to be altered: four times, as mentioned above, in accordance with circumstances that had not been foreseen when it was first set forth (Bu-NP.1, Bu-NP.2, Bu-NP.14, Bu-NP.21), and twice when close adherence to the rule as first drafted is shown to result in occurrences so unsuitable as to provoke complaints and criticism (Bu-NP.5, Bu-NP.6).

These Nissaggiyas where the rule had to be altered, although never more than once, thus contain two stories, one leading up to the first, and the other to the second version of the rule. The second version must be taken to annul the validity of the first. This however had to remain in the text for the sake of historical interest, and as to some extent explanatory of the force and wisdom of the second version. Had it been omitted, the incidents showing its shortcomings and its need for revision could not have been used as testimony that BD.2.x such shortcomings were remediable and such revision necessary and reasonable.

In these six Nissaggiyas where a rule is formulated twice, the first version is always followed by the phrase, “And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord.” There is no instance of this phrase occurring either after the second formulation of the rule, or in any of the remaining twenty-four Nissaggiyas where the rule is framed once only.

Yet in the text of the Vinaya is every rule, whether it had to be revised or not, and every amended rule, ascribed to Gotama. The formula so very definitely attributing “to the lord” only those rules that had to be altered is to my mind somewhat inexplicable. It is not peculiar to the Nissaggiyas, but occurs throughout the Vibhaṅga. It is possible that the occurrence of this phrase points to some comparatively old stratum in the Suttavibhaṅga, where only those rules, so pointedly said to have been laid down “by the lord,” were genuinely prescribed by him; but that then there came a case, perhaps before, perhaps after his death, which made it clear that a revision and a more exact delimitation of the rule already formulated was wanted in the interests of reason, decency or justice.

Such revision may then in fact have been made, not by the founder, but by one of his followers or by the saṅgha. Or a decision may have been taken at the final recension of the “texts” to attribute all rules to the lord, so as to invest them with his authority. Even so, the mystery remains why this phrase, “And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord,” was appended only to those rules which, as the history of the Order shows, had to be altered, and not to those whose original version has been able to stand and operate down the centuries.

It is something more than coincidence, and looks like adherence to some thought-out pattern, that in the six Nissaggiyas where a rule is twice formulated there should occur, after its first formulation, this phrase ascribing its setting forth “to the lord,” and before its second BD.2.xi formulation an anujānāmi, an “allowance.” In each case the anujānāmi occurs in the talk which, before the rule was revised, is reputed to have been given by Gotama to monks. Its effect is not to tighten but to mitigate the force and application of the rule as first drawn up. An anujānāmi however also occurs in five of the remaining twenty-four Nissaggiyas (Bu-NP.3, Bu-NP.15, Bu-NP.22, Bu-NP.28, Bu-NP.29), not immediately before, but some way before the rule, here of course formulated only once.

In the Nissaggiya group of rules, there occurs the formulation of four dukkaṭa offences, those of wrong-doing. Each of these is ascribed to Gotama. Many others appear in the material placed after the Old Commentary, but it is not said of these that he was the author.

Most rare it is to find, as in Bu-NP.1 and Bu-NP.21, which have several other points in common, a short story leading up to the drafting of an offence of wrong-doing placed after the anāpatti (no offence) clauses.[12] As would be expected, the story and the offence are pertinent to the matter in hand.

In Bu-NP.6 the anujānāmi, which is unusually long, ends, exceptionally for the Nissaggiya section, in the formulation of a dukkaṭa offence. It immediately precedes the second drafting of the rule.

In Bu-NP.22, which because of some peculiarities that it contains I shall discuss more fully below, the first story introduces, not a Nissaggiya Pācittiya offence, but one of wrong-doing.

The occurrence of dukkaṭa offences in Bu-NP.6 and Bu-NP.22 before the final formulation of the rule, no less than their ascription to the lord, should correct the impression given at Vinaya Texts i.xxv that the term dukkaṭa “occurs only in … the latest portion of the Piṭaka,” that is in “the Notes giving the exceptions to, and the extensions of the Rule in the Pātimokkha” (Vinaya Texts i.xix), which are always placed after the Old Commentary.

BD.2.xii As a general rule, the Padabhājaniya states that forfeiture and confession were to be made to an Order, that is to any part of the whole Order, five monks or more,[13] living within one boundary, sīmā, or within one residence, āvāsa; or to a group, gaṇa[14] of monks, that is to a group of from two to four monks; or to an individual monk. When the article had been forfeited and the offence confessed, the offence was to be acknowledged, in the first two instances, by “an experienced, competent monk”; in the third by the monk to whom the forfeiture and confession had been made. The forfeited article was then to be given back to the monk who, having acquired it wrongfully, had forfeited it.

The value of the Nissaggiya Pācittiya type of penalty was, I think, in the eyes of the framer or framers of the Pātimokkha rules, its deterrent effect on the commission of further similar offences, and its redemptive power for each particular offender. It was apparently held that an offence whose penalty was of this nature was annulled by confessing it and having it acknowledged, combined with this hardly more than symbolic act of forfeiting the article wrongfully acquired. This involved some formality, but evidently the offence was not considered bad enough to warrant the offender’s permanent loss of the goods he had obtained improperly.

Thus it is only true that “rules were required to prevent his (i.e., a monk’s) acquiring a store of property,”[15] on the assumption that these rules were deterrent and preventive and not retributive and revengeful. More important is it perhaps to realise that, behind this statutory limiting of possessions, there was the conviction that greed, craving, thirst, taṇhā, themselves undesirable, produced further undesirable states of mind.

It is true that any great emphasis on the monastic ideal, any clear expression of it, is lacking in the Vinaya, and is to be found almost exclusively in the Suttapiṭaka.

BD.2.xiii The rules were probably, like the Rule of St. Benedict, to help the beginners, the backsliders, in their struggle towards “the lofty heights of virtue” and wisdom. Yet there is one notable occasion, in Bu-NP.17, when we are reminded of the end, the ideal, the thing sought, to which the Vinaya rules must be held to constitute a means of realisation. This is when the lord is shown as asking Mahāpajāpatī whether the nuns are “zealous, ardent, with a self that is striving,” a triad of words belonging to Sutta material. To which she answers that while monks make them wash their sheep’s wool for them, it is impossible for nuns to attend to “the higher morality, the higher thought, the higher wisdom,” also a Sutta triad.

Conquest in this age-old struggle on the part of certain women to escape the ties of domesticity so as to seek the “further shore” is happily expressed in verses ascribed to Sumaṅgala’s mother:[16]

“O woman well set free! how free am I,
How thoroughly free from kitchen drudgery!
Me stained and squalid ’mong my cooking-pots,
My brutal husband ranked as even less
Than the sunshades he sits and weaves away.”

Yet although references to the need for ideals and their value, and for man’s inner spiritual and mental training and the means of attaining these, may be, practically absent from the Vinaya, there is no doubt that its legal and somewhat austere character is based on a high and mature standard of morality, justice and common sense.

There are three exceptions to the Nissaggiyas’ customary insistence on the return of the forfeited article to the monk who had come by it unlawfully, and had forfeited it, only to be given it back again. And there are three exceptions to their usual instruction that forfeiture and confession are to be made to an Order or to a group or to an individual monk. The same three BD.2.xiv Nissaggiyas, Bu-NP.18, Bu-NP.19, Bu-NP.22 share both these irregularities.

Bu-NP.18 and Bu-NP.19 are both concerned with gold and silver, called jātarūparajata[17] in the one case, and rūpiya in the other. The Old Commentary on these Nissaggiyas requires a monk who has picked up gold and silver (Bu-NP.18), or who has entered into various transactions in which they are used (Bu-NP.19), to make forfeiture in the midst of the Order, saṅghamajjhe. It does not give the usual alternatives of forfeiting to a group or an individual. That these commodities may not be forfeited to either of these parties is precluded by the rule of Bu-NP.18 itself, for this lays it down as an offence for a monk to have gold and silver in his possession. The saṅgha is more impersonal, and is, when need arises, a body of monks in their official character, with the functions of discharging legal and juridical business and of carrying out formal acts.

But although the saṅgha may receive the forfeited gold and silver, it may neither retain them nor return them to the monk who forfeited them. It must either hand them over to some lay person, asking him to bring medicines in exchange, or, failing this, the Order must appoint from among its number a “silver-remover,” rūpiyachaḍḍaka, whose office it is to dispose of whatever mediums of exchange rūpiya and jātarūparajata denote.

Of the various objects with which the rules of the Nissaggiyas are concerned, gold and silver are the only ones which a monk might in no circumstances have in his possession. Clearly he had access to them, for his association with the laity was but little restricted.

Similarly Bu-NP.22, besides precluding forfeiture and confession to either a group or an individual, also debars the return of the forfeited article, here a bowl, to the monk who forfeited it. But he is to be given another bowl in its place. This is unique in the Nissaggiyas. It is also unique to find given in the rule itself the method of forfeiture. This is otherwise invariably BD.2.xv and solely, found in the Old Commentary. Here the method of forfeiture enjoined in the rule appears again, though in more detailed form, in the Old Commentary.

The sikkhāpada of Bu-NP.22, after stating that a monk who, getting another new bowl in exchange for a bowl mended in less than five places, incurs an offence, proceeds to say: “That bowl must be forfeited by that (offending) monk to a bhikkhuparisā (company, assembly, congregation of monks). And whatever is the last bowl (pattapariyanta) belonging to that company of monks, it should be given to that monk, with the words, ‘Monk, this is a bowl for you; it should be kept until it breaks.’”

It is interesting to find that the new bowl got in exchange for the mended bowl is subject to forfeiture only to the Order. This suggests that bowls were regarded at some time as more especially communal property than were robes,[18] or the other objects in regard to which a monk might commit an offence involving forfeiture. Yet in Bu-NP.21, an extra bowl, if it had been used for more than ten days, might be forfeited either to an Order or to a group or to an individual. Nevertheless the injunction which occurs at the end of the sikkhāpada of Bu-NP.22reveals a closer concern for communal ownership and property than do the other Nissaggiya sikkhāpadas. In these others, although the Order, or a section of it, may receive the forfeited article, it also, with the exception of Bu-NP.18 and Bu-NP.19, returns it, the community as a whole assuming no further responsibility.

At the end of Bu-NP.21, it is said that failure to give back a bowl that had been forfeited entails a dukkaṭa offence.[19] Yet in Bu-NP.22 it appears BD.2.xvi that a bowl on being forfeited becomes an extra bowl for a company of monks and is absorbed into their stock of bowls. The result of an Order’s obtaining an additional bowl in this way is that all its members are liable to profit. For their bowls, on the accretion of this extra one, may all be shuffled round. But this is not to be done haphazard. The rule has given concise directions for the right procedure, and these are followed and expanded at some length by the Old Commentary.

There is a still further way in which Bu-NP.22 is unique among the Nissaggiyas. It contains three stories instead of, as is normal, one, or, as in six cases, two. This means that a chain of three connected circumstances have arisen, each of which demands jurisdiction. The curious thing is, that the first, story does not end with the formulation of a Nissaggiya Pācittiya offence, but with that of an offence of wrong-doing. This is to the effect that a monk must not ask for a bowl. But monks observed this precept too scrupulously. Lay people complained that, by receiving almsfood into their hands, they resembled members of other sects. So Gotama, it is said, made an “allowance” moderating the dukkaṭa rule, and permitting monks to ask for a bowl when theirs were broken or destroyed. But because the six monks abused this privilege, the Nissaggiya Pācittiya rule was formulated.

I have dwelt on Bu-NP.22 at some length, for I think that, even as there are some grounds for holding that Bu-Ss.12 may represent some specially ancient fragment of the Pātimokkha,[20] so likewise may this Nissaggiya.

In the first place, the term bhikkhuparisā, because it merely indicates an assembly, a company of monks, may belong to those earlier days before Gotama’s followers were fully organised into a saṅgha, bound by the same observances and obligations, the same rules and (formal) acts, and living in the same communion.

BD.2.xvii It is possible that, in such a context, bhikkhu did not mean all that at some time it came to mean. Secondly, the mention of this “company of monks” as the recipient body of a forfeited bowl may point to a time when communal ownership was more actual than nominal. Thirdly, the need for stating, in the Nissaggiya Pācittiya rule itself, that the article wrongfully acquired must be forfeited, suggests that this-rule antedates the other Nissaggiyas, and belongs to a time when forfeiture was new as a penalty, and when therefore the method of carrying it out had to be plainly stated. Fourthly, one might suppose that the first story in this Nissaggiya purports to be recounting unsuitable behaviour in an early follower of Gotama. For the early followers, it may be presumed, entering from a more urgent sense of religion, committed less serious offences than the later, and hence incurred lighter penalties.

The appointment of two officials is mentioned in the Nissaggiyas, that of silver-remover (Bu-NP.18) and that of assigner of bowls (Bu-NP.22). The duty of both is to deal with the results of offences, and not with the distribution of articles, such as robes and lodgings, lawfully acquired. Appointments of officials were not of one officer for the whole saṅgha, but of an officer for any of those lesser sections of it which, dwelling within one boundary or residence, were, to the not negligible confusion of later historians, also called saṅgha. Even so, we do not know whether each of these saṅghas always appointed every possible official, ready to function—and a not inconsiderable number are named throughout the Vinaya—or if only those were appointed when occasion demanded their service. Nor do we know whether an official, once appointed, held his post permanently or temporarily.

I think it fairly safe to presume the latter. Monks travelled a great deal on the one hand, and on the other had to spend the three or four months of the rains in one residence with other monks. Had two permanent office-bearers met, and a case within their orbit arisen, a ruling would have been necessary as to which one, BD.2.xviii such as the senior or the one first arrived, was to deal with the situation. But there is no record of any such event.

It seems more likely, and the internal evidence, such as it is, points this way, that the authorised procedure for appointing the officials was prescribed as the need for this or that official was felt. Thus a similar appointment could be correctly made if and when future need arose. But if there was, for example, no occasion for a silver-remover or an assigner of bowls, which could only be because no monk had acquired gold and silver or a new bowl in exchange for one mended in less than five places, then there was no obligation to appoint a monk to fill either of these offices.

The procedure for the appointment of the officials is in each case much the same; and they have to be “agreed upon” by the entire Order affected. This well illustrates the democratic nature of the monastic institution. Two other “agreements of the monks,” bhikkhusammuti, are described in the Nissaggiyas (Bu-NP.2, Bu-NP.14), and again the responsibility for making the required agreement is shown to be vested in the whole organism, and not in any one of its members.

Some English translations of Pali words and phrases appear to have become almost traditional by now, and hence attract little critical attention. Such a phrase is “pattacīvaraṃ ādāya,” “taking the bowl and robe.” It is the occurrence of this phrase in Bu-NP.5, together with the mention of various sorts of robes, that has raised the question of which robe it is that is here referred to in the phrase.

Dialogues of the Buddha ii.162, n.1, describes the three usual robes of a monk as the inner one worn in the residence, the upper robe put on before a monk left the monastery and went out to a village, and the outer cloak carried, and put on near the outskirts of the village. If this is a correct interpretation—and it is the one generally accepted—the phrase pubbaṇhasamayaṃ nivāsetvā would appear to mean, “having dressed in the morning in the BD.2.xix upper robe.” This implies that the monk will already have put on his inner robe to wear in the residence, if indeed he had not slept in it, but later put on his upper robe with a view to going on his almsround. Again, the phrase pattacīvaramṃ ādāya, which as a rule immediately follows this other one, would in effect mean, “taking the outer cloak and the bowl.” I think it possible however that if the cīvara of this phrase did at some time come to refer exclusively to the saṅghāṭi, the outer cloak, it may not always have done so. For it is hard to see the sense that such an interpretation could make in Bu-NP.5, as I hope to show. On the other hand, the occurrence of the phrase here may be due to some later editorial addition to the story.

The nun Uppalavaṇṇā is elsewhere in the Vinaya[21] the focus of an alteration in the rules on jungle-dwelling for nuns. Here too another episode in her life, as this is recorded in Bu-NP.5, is the centre round which turn some intricate questions with regard to robes.

According to this Nissaggiya, Uppalavaṇṇā, in the stereotyped phrase, “having dressed in the morning and taking her bowl and robe,” pubbaṇhasamayaṃ nivāsetvā pattacīvaraṃ ādāya, had gone to Sāvatthī for almsfood. She had then used her upper robe, uttarāsaṅga, to tie up some meat. She next gave her inner robe, antaravāsaka, to the monk Udāyin, although protesting that it was her last, her fifth robe, idañ ca me antimaṃ pañcimaṃ cīvaraṃ. And finally it is said that on her return to the nunnery, the nuns receiving from her her bowl and robe, pattacīvaraṃ paṭiganhaṇtiyo, asked her where her inner robe was.

The question is, which of the five robes allowable to a nun did she set out “taking,” and which did the nuns “receive” from her when she came back to the nunnery?

The five robes of a nun, mentioned also at Vin.4.218, Vin.4.282, are named at Vin.2.272 as the three usual robes worn also by monks, with the addition of the vest or bodice, saṃkacchika, and the bathing-cloth, and BD.2.xx it is said that these should be pointed out to women wishing to receive the upasampadā. At Vin.4.345 it is laid down as an offence of expiation for a nun to enter a village without her bodice, that is without having this on under her inner robe. Buddhaghosa at Vin-a.663 assumes that Uppalavaṇṇā had on her bodice, for he says, “dressed in (nivattha) her bodice, and showing only the palms of her hands … she went away,” that is from Udāyin. We know that she had had her upper robe, and suspect that it was accounted for by the phrase, “having dressed in the morning.” Likewise, on account of the phrase, “taking her bowl and robe,” she should have had her outer cloak with her. But had she in fact had this, surely she would have put it on. Yet in the narrative of her meeting with Udāyin, there is no suggestion that she was either carrying it or wearing it.

Either therefore “having dressed in the morning” refers to putting on the inner robe, and “taking the bowl and robe” to the upper robe, and not to the saṅghāṭi, the outer cloak; or this latter phrase is some later interpolation.

Now at Vin.1.298 it is a dukkaṭa offence to enter a village wearing only the inner and the upper robes, that is without the outer cloak. This rule, be it noticed, was made in reference to monks, and I do not think that it applies to nuns.[22] For at Vin.4.281 it is a Pācittiya offence for nuns, having laid aside the cīvara, here certainly the outer cloak, to go into the country for more than five days with only the inner and the upper robes. Therefore if, at the time to which Bu-NP.5 purports to refer, a nun did not have to go into a village on her morning almsround taking her outer BD.2.xxi cloak, Uppalavaṇṇā may have “taken” merely her upper robe. She would then have returned to the nunnery dressed only in her bodice, as Buddhaghosa seems to imply.

With the growing disparagement of nakedness in monks and nuns,[23] the robe the nuns “received” from her would hardly have been her bodice. Besides, this “receiving” of a bowl and robe from an incoming monk or nun came to be but a recognised, standardised act. It would thus appear possible that the discrepancy which exists may be attributable to a later interpolation of the phrase which denotes this act of respect done to a monk or nun on coming back to the residence.

If we allow that the phrase pattacīvaraṃ ādāya, of the beginning of the story, betrays neither the marks of interpolation nor of accredited meaning, but signifies taking the upper robe, then we are almost forced to see the phrase pattacīvaraṃ paṭigaṇhantiyo, towards the conclusion of the story, as some additional matter. For if the course of the story is carefully followed, it is impossible to identify these two cīvara the one with the other.

Thus an explanation of the discrepancy between whatever robes it was that these phrases are intended to signify is that this Nissaggiya has suffered some careless “editorial” gloss or glosses. The point itself may be small and of no particular importance. But every instance of perceptible “curling and combing”[24] of the texts must make us the more alive to the possibility of their patchwork nature, their composite “authorship,” to their gradual alterations and additions, and probably to their losses too.

Having taken an instance of the translation of a frequent phrase, whose latent reference has been perhaps too little questioned, and hence too easily regarded as uniformly specific, I turn now to a word, santhata, and BD.2.xxii the verb, santharati (= saṃ + stṛ), of which it is the past participle. In this case it is owing to the comparative infrequency of these two words that their latent reference has been too little questioned on the one hand, but on the other not fully perceived to be specific.

In Bu-NP.11Bu-NP.15, santhata occurs as a neuter noun,[25] meaning a rug or mat.[26] Because there are other words for rug, mat, carpet, ground-covering, sheet and so on, the problem before us is to find the differentiating feature peculiar to the kind of rug called santhata, the particular characteristic in virtue of which it was so named. For neither the Old Commentary nor Buddhaghosa describes the finished article; they concentrate instead on the process of making it. The result of the process is what in the text of the introductory stories and the sikkhāpadas is called a santhata.

The Old Commentary is very terse, but, by exclusion, informative: santhata means, what comes to be made having spread, not woven, santharitvā kataṃ hoti avāyimaṃ. Thus santharitvā in this definition needs some word to be supplied as its object, such as one representing the material used in making the article by this process known as santharati. Buddhaghosa, at Vin-a.684, describes the technique of what the Old Commentary, in defining santhata, calls santharitvā, by saying, “it is made having spread (santharitvā) silk[27] filaments (aṃsu) one upon the other on a level piece of ground, having poured boiled rice (or corn) and so on over the silk filaments.”

This then is the kind of process meant by santhata, BD.2.xxiii and it is the only one described It seems that the basic material of which the article was being made was spread out in layers, in strata all running the same way, and not cross-wise so as to be woven, and that it was then somehow welded together by pouring boiling rice over it. The result of this operation was a santhata, a thing made by this process.

Childers defines the cognate noun, santhāra, as “layer, stratum”; and there are passages in the Vinaya and the Suttas[28] where santharati, used largely in connection with preparing a council-hall, must mean to spread or to strew most probably in layers, by a spreading method, of layering. This, at all events, is the view held by the commentator[29] who describes the arrangement of covering the ground with cow-dung, scents, coloured, mats, fleecy rugs, and skins of various animals, all one above (upari) the other. It is unfortunate that the commentator, in thus defining santharitvā, more than once uses the word itself. In spite of this, the description is of inestimable help in arriving at a fuller understanding of what santharati implies.

If my hypothesis is correct, the cognate verb attharati (= ā + stṛ) would denote the simpler act of spreading, covering, laying out, but not in layers, and as it were once only or one thing only, such as cloth (Vin.1.254ff.) or a bridge (Ja.i.199). It would then follow that santharati, when used with reference to spreading a couch or chair or mattress or stool,[30] must mean not simply the act of putting out the couch or chair unurnished, but converting it into something fit to sit on or lie on. This could be done by spreading on it or under it different coverings, in layers: the sheet, pacuttharaṇa, the ground-covering, bhummattharaṇa, for example. These coverings would in no way be held together as though woven, but would be spread one on top of the other.

For the translation of santhata in Bu-NP.11Bu-NP.15 BD.2.xxiv I have chosen “rug” in preference to “mat,” because it seems desirable to convey the impression that a santhata was something that could both be sat on and also worn wrapped round the body. The Old Commentary on Bu-NP.15 defines purāṇa-santhata, an old, used or soiled santhata, in exactly the same terms as it uses to define purāṇa-cīvara, an old, used or soiled robe. Of both it says that they mean, “dressed in it once, put on once,” using for this the words nivāseti and pārupati, which usually refer to the complete dressing in the monk’s three robes. Buddhaghosa defines these words, “dressed in” and “put on,” as “sat on” and “lain on” (Vin-a.687). Yet on the very same page he speaks of a santhata “counting as a fourth robe.”

But for Buddhaghosa apparently these two definitions are not impossible of reconciliation. For in his exegesis on Bu-NP.4 he says (Vin-a.660) that a robe is called “old” (i.e., dressed in it once, put on once) if a monk lies on it, using it as a pillow. Thus a robe, meant to be worn, could also on occasion be used to lie on.

As the Vinaya itself provides no evidence as to what exactly santhata means, whether it is a rug or a mat, although it describes the process by which it is made, I have followed the commentator in regarding the article as something that could either be sat on or worn. “Rug” rather more accurately than “mat” seems to cover these two usages which, by the time of Buddhaghosa at any rate, appear to have grown into the meaning of santhata.

The nisīdana-santhata of Bu-NP.15 is not a species of santhata, but of nisīdana, and is a piece of cloth to sit upon (nisīdana) made with the addition of part of an old santhata. A nisīdana was so called if it had a border.[31] But the reason why a border came to be allowed, together with its correct measurements, is given at Vin.4.170f., and has nothing to do with the need to add part of a santhata to a nisīdana.

BD.2.xxv The Pācittiya Group (Nos. 1–60)

A curious feature of the Pācittiyas is that the Old Commentary on these rules nowhere explains what is meant by Pācittiya, the offence which gives its name to this whole section. It is from the phrase āpatti desetabbā, occurring in the Vibhaṅga on each Nissaggiya, that we infer that Pācittiya is an offence to be confessed; and even as forfeiture and confession are to be made to an Order or to a group or to an individual, so we may conclude that the same holds good when the offence is one whose penalty is merely that of expiation, of confession unaccompanied by forfeiture.

By and large each Pācittiya is composed on the same general lines as the other classes of rules in the Sutta Vibhaṅga: introductory story, rule, sometimes another story, even more than one, with the amended version or versions of the rule, Old Commentary, other exegetical material, and a list of no offences against the rule. There are, as in the Nissaggiyas, irregularities and variations from this customary pattern. These cannot be analysed until the translation of the ninety-two Pācittiyas is complete, and even then it will be doubtful whether they will throw any light on “the comparative age of any different parts of the Pātimokkha.”[32]

One thing however we can do now, and it is not altogether unimportant. We can correct the misapprehension into which the editors of Vinaya Texts fell, and which I,[33] among others,[34] have hitherto followed too uncritically. For it is not quite the case that the Old Commentary is a “word for word commentary upon”[35] each of these rules, although undoubtedly it is nearly so. Setting aside the occasions where words are defined by themselves, but nevertheless defined, there yet remain a few distinct but notable lapses and BD.2.xxvi omissions, some words of a rule not being commented upon at all. There is no attempt in the Old Commentary to explain “water (that) contains life” (Bu-Pc.20), “monk arrived first” (Bu-Pc.16), or “in destruction of” (vegetable growth) (Bu-Pc.11), although in the last case the paragraph following the Old Commentary’s definition of “vegetable growth” leads us to suppose that “destruction” means cutting, breaking and cooking.

Sāvatthī, again with a large majority, is said to be the locus of thirty-nine of these sixty Pācittiyas, Rājagaha of six, Kosambī of five, Vesālī and Āḷavī each of four, Kapilavatthu of two and Suṃsumāragiri of one. The total of sixty-one is accounted for by the fact that, in Bu-Pc.5, the first version of the rule is reputed to have been formulated when Gotama was at Āḷavī, and the second when he had moved on from there to Kosambī.

The critics, as a result of whose complaints Pācittiya rules for monks were made or revised, are thirty-five times shown to have been the “modest monks,” fifteen times “people,” manussa, to which must be added the criticism of a lay-woman (Bu-Pc.7, both stories), of a man (Bu-Pc.45), of a poor workman (Bu-Pc.33), of Mahānāma Sakka (Bu-Pc.47), and of hirelings of the king (Bu-Pc.58). Four times the nuns complain, once the titthiyas, once a brahmin, once upāsakā, lay-followers.

These last, also, upon one occasion (Bu-Pc.41) are recorded to have told Gotama how monks might avoid bringing discredit on themselves from members of other sects; he laid down a rule in accordance with their representations. Once King Pasenadi thought of a device by which Gotama might know that monks had been behaving indecorously (Bu-Pc.53). Five times, it appears, Gotama discovered by direct observation or by questioning that legislation was required. By a too fastidious adherence to a rule, it is on several occasions demonstrated to be unsatisfactory, and is revised.

Thus the total number of rules appearing in these BD.2.xxvii Pācittiyas is greater than sixty. It is not uniformly the case, as in the Nissaggiya section, that when a rule is amended, it is amended once only. At least three of these sixty Pācittiyas provide evidence of a long struggle to get the rule right. In Bu-Pc.32 the rule on a group-meal, gaṇabhojana, revised seven times, results finally in seven legalised exceptions being allowed to the offence, as it otherwise remains, of eating in a group. To the ruling on paraṃparabhojana (Bu-Pc.33), eating meals out of the turns in which they have been offered, four exceptions are sanctioned. Thirdly, six exceptions are made to the rule that a monk should not bathe at intervals of less than half a month (Bu-Pc.57).

A consideration of the reasons leading to the exceptions made to these, as to several other rules, reveals something of the care and vigilance needed for the smooth running of the Buddhist cenobium, impinging as it did on various elements and aspects of the society of the day. The laity were, on the one hand, not to be drained of their resources, on the other, not to be refused when they offered food, as this might result in wounding their spirit of generosity, in dashing their hope of merit, and in the loss to monks of the robe-material which the laity, at the right time of year, gave to members of the Orders with meals. Nor were the laity to be kept waiting. At least I think that that, as much as the discourtesy of refusing the offer, made to monks who were travelling, to “eat just here,” and which looks as if the lay-people were willing to provide the meal, is at the root of two exceptions, made at Bu-Pc.33.5. For there are various times in Nissaggiya and Pācittiya when lay-people are recorded to be annoyed with monks for keeping them waiting.

At Bu-Pc.33.4 it is obvious that the assigning to another monk of a meal that is expected later is a device for overcoming the rudeness, otherwise involved, of refusing food that is actually being offered. Nor, so it emerges, is it polite to refuse an invitation given to BD.2.xxviii a meal by a wanderer, a paribbājaka-samāpanna. A naked ascetic, ājīvaka, had, as is stated, on Bimbisāra’s advice, asked the monks to a meal with him, but they had refused (Bu-Pc.32.8).

Incidentally this story reveals the necessity for keeping the friendship of the kings, on whom the success of the Order largely depended. They did much to set the fashion in faith. I have mentioned Pasenadi’s device for letting the lord know, but without himself speaking to him, that he had seen monks, arahans at that, sporting in the water. Mallikā, his queen, was of the opinion either that there was no rule against this, or that these monks did not know about it. Apparently her first surmise was right. The third mention of a king in these sixty Pācittiyas is again of Bimbisāra. Because monks, by bathing until after dark, kept him waiting his turn, for it appears that he did not wish to disturb them, a rule, severe compared with its cause, was formulated forbidding monks to bathe at intervals of less than half a month (Bu-Pc.57). But this proved deleterious to robes and lodgings. For in the hot weather, the fever weather, at a time of wind and rain, when making repairs or going on a journey, monks lay down to rest with their limbs damp from rain or sweat. And the restriction on bathing was uncomfortable for those who were ill. This is a rule whose various adjustments are the direct outcome of a tropical climate.

I think that the growing needs of the monks, as expressed for example in the exceptions to Bu-Pc.57, and also in the acquisition of more and more accessories, recounted principally in the Mahāvagga, does not necessarily indicate soft-living and greed on their part, but a desire to keep what they had properly and cleanly, to use it as efficiently as possible, and to keep themselves in a good state of health, for this was regarded as an essential basis for leading the higher life. Four great, perpetual and destructive enemies against which man has to fight in India are the heat of the sun, the damp of the rains, the strength of the winds blowing up dust and dirt, and the persistent ravages of insects. When BD.2.xxix the Vinaya has been exhaustively studied, I believe it may as often as not be found that the desire and its sanction to acquire various objects in order to preserve others, or to lessen by making exceptions the constraint of some rules, will prove to be attributable to one or other of these forces of nature.

Illness, though not gone into in detail, is however kept in mind by the constant allusion to provisions made for the comfort of ill monks. Such provisions are usually contained in a sikkhāpada, or an anujānāmi, or both. The permission to bathe more often than once a fortnight is a case in point. Again, a monk, if ill, is allowed to eat more than one meal in succession at a public rest-house (Bu-Pc.31), to kindle a fire for warming himself (Bu-Pc.56), and a nun who is ill may receive exhortation from a monk in the nunnery instead of going to the monk’s quarters (Bu-Pc.23).

Of these sixty Pācittiya rules for monks, fifteen are devoted to rules for eating, Bu-Pc.29, Bu-Pc.31Bu-Pc.43, Bu-Pc.46. None occur in Bu-Pc.61Bu-Pc.92. Since therefore all the Pācittiya ordinances falling under this head are contained in this volume, it is possible to allude to various points arising from them here; I have already drawn attention to some. Rules concerned with the exhortation of nuns are arranged exclusively in Bu-Pc.21Bu-Pc.24, but as I have discussed these elsewhere,[36] I shall not do so again now. Rules regarding the army and, to all intents and purposes, robes come only within this volume. Other rules cannot be so profitably discussed until the Pācittiya translation is completed.

In these rules, which cannot always be fully understood unless read in conjunction alike with their introductory stories, the Old Commentary and the anāpatti clauses, much diverse and interesting material comes to light. It would be a long and delicate business to investigate all the ramifications, and to connect these with those other parts of the Vinaya to which they sometimes seem to refer. Merely to take two random examples from Bu-Pc.47. For understanding the definition of “time of giving robes” (= Bu-Pc.32), acquaintance with, for example, Kd.7 is necessary. Again the fact that there is “no offence” if a monk is going to the nuns’ quarters presupposes at least a knowledge of the Pācittiyas concerned with the exhortation of nuns.

The rules on eating are important for monks, for taking nothing but food given in alms involved a three-fold maintenance of a correct attitude: towards the laity, towards members of other sects, and towards fellow monks. The same applies to robes, where also a monk’s behaviour towards a nun has to be taken into account. It might indeed be said that a monk’s attitude towards eating and robes epitomises his whole attitude towards the society of the day.

The Pācittiyas on meals and eating would provide material for an extensive essay. I have already referred to the group-meal and the out-of-turn meal,[37] that is to two ways in which, leaving aside the exceptions, a meal might not be eaten. Here I shall do no more than note down some of the more outstanding words for various kinds of meals, that is for classes of food named. Notes will be found appended to these words where they appear in the text.

  1. The five kinds of meals, pañca bhojanāni, given in the Old Commentary on Bu-Pc.35 as rice-gruel, food made with flour, barley, fish, meat, and mentioned in the anāpatti clauses of Bu-Pc.29, Bu-Pc.31Bu-Pc.33, are used in the Old Commentary on Bu-Pc.35 to define “soft food,” bhojaniya.
  2. “Solid food” is defined by exclusion. In Bu-Pc.35 it is everything except the five soft foods and food that may be eaten during a watch of the night, during seven days and during life. These last three categories seem to refer solely to medicines. In Bu-Pc.41 solid food is everything but the five soft foods and water for cleansing the teeth.
  3. BD.2.xxxi Five other classes of food are given in the anāpatti clauses of Bu-Pc.32, Bu-Pc.33, dependent on how and when given: the regular supply of food, that allowed by ticket, that given on a day of the waxing or waning of the moon, on an observance day, and on the day after this.
  4. Comparing the Old Commentary on Bu-Pc.35 and Bu-Pc.42, it appears that yāgu, conjey, ranks neither as a solid food nor as a soft food.
  5. In Bu-Pc.39 the five standard medicines, and meat and fish (two of the soft foods) with milk and curds are called “sumptuous foods,” paṇītabhojanāni.
  6. Solid food or soft food that is not left over, anatiritta, and solid or soft food that is left over, atiritta, are mentioned in Bu-Pc.35.

There is nothing very special to say about the Pācittiya rules for robes. These receive a large share of legislation in the Nissaggiyas, and are given comparatively scant attention in the Pācittiyas. Their rules constitute two small groups: Bu-Pc.25, Bu-Pc.26, Bu-Pc.58Bu-Pc.60; again, but not in this volume, Bu-Pc.79 and Bu-Pc.92.

A monk incurs an offence of expiation if he gives a robe to a nun who is not a relation, except in exchange (Bu-Pc.25 and cf. Bu-NP.5). This rule was the outcome of generosity on a monk’s part, not of greed. The first draft had to be revised because nuns were affronted that monks would not even exchange robes with them. Again, an offence is incurred:

  1. if a monk sews a robe for a nun who is not a relation (Bu-Pc.26)—the result of Udāyin’s obscene design on a nun’s robe;
  2. if he does not use one of the three prescribed modes of disfiguring a new robe, apparently so as to be able to recognise it (Bu-Pc.58, and whose anāpatti clauses should be read in conjunction with Vin.1.254, Vin.1.255);
  3. if he uses a robe after having assigned it to a member of any of the five classes of his co-religionists (Bu-Pc.59), for clearly these must be able to rely on an assignment; and
  4. if he hides a robe or a bowl or various other BD.2.xxxii specified requisites belonging to another monk (Bu-Pc.60).

Bu-Pc.81 should be compared with Bu-Pc.59. Bu-Pc.92 declares it an offence for a monk to have a robe made, up to the measure of a Sugata’s robe, or larger. It will be noticed that Bu-Pc.25 and Bu-Pc.59 provide evidence that a monk had power to dispose of a robe in his possession, either by exchange or assignment, a point which wars against the view that the Order was the owner of the robes, even after they had been allotted or assigned to individual monks.

A set of three Pācittiya rules (Bu-Pc.48Bu-Pc.50) came to be laid down for the conduct to be observed by monks in regard to an army. There is no blinking of facts, no pretence of ignoring the existence of armies as part of the structure of worldly life, either here or in various Sutta passages. Moreover, from the many military similes used to describe a man’s (puggala, as at AN.iii.91ff.) or a monk’s (as at AN.i.184, AN.ii.116, AN.ii.170, AN.ii.202) successful mental purification and victorious spiritual battles, it is clear that fighting by kings, chieftains and soldiers, though never frankly condoned as in the Gītā, was yet on the whole not roundly censured. Two Sutta passages should however be specially remarked, the one in the Saṃyutta,[38] depicting the utter futility of war, for it settles nothing, does not stop the deed from rolling on; the other in the Dhammapada,[39] violently contrasting the use of force with the exercise of dhamma. Dhamma—conscience, duty, the moral “ought,” the disciplinary rules, the body of teaching, and it has meant all of these—is arrayed against brute force. There is no doubt as to which is found the more fitting and the more admirable.

Even had not the intentional taking of life ranked as a Pārājika offence, there was yet the moral sīla, or principle, binding a monk to refrain from onslaught on creatures, and binding the laity too, but only on the fortnightly uposatha days. Thus, clearly, fighting by BD.2.xxxiii monks was condemned, and Buddhist monks could not become soldiers. In this respect they differ widely from the Western monk of the Middle Ages, who saw nothing incongruous in taking up arms.

Further, as these Pācittiyas show, a monk’s dealings with an army were, though not forbidden outright, reduced to the minimum. For, contrary to the view sometimes put forward that Gotama and his followers were breakers of homes, it is apparent here as elsewhere in the canon that his relations were by no means inaccessible to a man once he had turned monk.

In Bu-Pc.48, a monk is allowed to go and see an army fighting, if there is sufficient reason. This exception is a generalisation from the particular instance of a monk’s wish to visit a sick relation who was in the army. But, having gone to the army, a monk is not to stay there for more than three nights (Bu-Pc.49), nor while there to witness manoeuvres: sham fights, troops in array, the massing of the army, reviews (Bu-Pc.50). This is a group where the later “rule refers to the one immediately preceding it.”[40]

In all of these manoeuvres the four “wings” of an army might participate: the elephants each requiring twelve men, the horses each with three men, the chariots each with four men, the infantry with (bows and) arrows.

In the Jātakas there is not infrequent reference to this fourfold composition of an army. But that it should be set down in considerable detail in the Old Commentary may be ascribed to the determination that, given lucid explanations, the monks should be in no doubt as to what was an army or part of one.

In each of these three monastic rules connected with an army, it is recorded that the laity, apparently a little stung by jealousy, complain of the monks’ conduct. They realise that it is because of their own poor acquirement (alābha dulladdhaṃ of good deeds) in the past that, in the present, they are brought into contact with fighting forces. The implication seems to be that for BD.2.xxxiv a monk this should not be necessary or inevitable: being a monk he should be beyond the desire to witness fighting, real or sham, both because his karma in this respect should be worn away, and for fear lest he should engender a new bad karma for the future. In general terms it may be said that there is no offence if a monk sees an army or a conflict through no fault of his own, and not having gone of set purpose to see either the one or the other.

In their Introduction to Vinaya Texts[41] Rhys Davids and Oldenberg have drawn attention to a curious irregularity in the method of framing some of the Pācittiya rules. In referring to the Pācittiyas and the apparent “effort to arrange the offences in groups (vagga) of ten,” they raise the question of the three cases in which “we find regulations formulated with the utmost brevity (the offences being merely expressed by a locative case dependent upon Pācittiyaṃ) at the commencement of such a vagga.” And they go on to say, “It seems to us, at least in the present state of our knowledge, quite impossible to draw any conclusions from such peculiarities as to the comparative age of any different parts of the Pātimokkha.” Now since all the Pācittiyas referred to fall within this volume, I will attempt to discuss them, but without necessarily, since “the present state of our knowledge” is still defective, trying to arrive at any conclusion.[42]

They are Bu-Pc.1Bu-Pc.3, Bu-Pc.11Bu-Pc.13, Bu-Pc.51Bu-Pc.54. Any attempt to trace a cause for the peculiar way in which the rule in each of these Pācittiyas is framed must depend to some extent upon the nature of the material found within these same Pācittiyas. Nothing as yet can be suggested as to why they stand at the beginning of their respective vaggas. I would only point out, BD.2.xxxv first, that in the Bhikkhunī-Vibhaṅga there is one Pācittiya, Bu-Pc.4, which is of this same brief type, but it does not head a vagga; and secondly, that the Bhikkhu-Pācittiyas Bu-Pc.72, Bu-Pc.73, although not of the brief type yet conform to it to the extent that, after some introductory material included in the rule and leading up to the formulation of the offence, the offence itself is expressed by a locative case dependent on Pācittiyaṃ. These two rules do not head their division, and its first rule is framed in the normal manner.

Leaving Pācittiyas Bu-Pc.72, Bu-Pc.73 and Bhikkhunī-Pācittiya Bi-Pc.4 to one side, I will now summarise such outstanding features as are evinced by the three groups of rules which are “formulated with the utmost brevity,” together with their attendant material.

  1. In Bu-Pc.1, Bu-Pc.2, Bu-Pc.3 (repeating Bu-Pc.2), Bu-Pc.11, Bu-Pc.54, not only is the key-word or words (sometimes there are two) of the rule defined, but also the words used in such a definition are themselves defined. The definition of these words I believe not to belong to the original Old Commentary, but to a revised version of it. This is not however a point peculiar to these five Pācittiyas; for Bu-Pj.4 and Bu-Pc.10 also define the words used in the definition of the words of the rule. To my mind such supplementary definitions portray a synthesis of thought, based on knowledge, which is far from primitive or tentative. Again, the very material of the rule of Bu-Pc.11, that it is an offence to destroy vegetable growth, may be compared with that of Bu-Pc.10 and Bu-Pc.20, where it is an offence to dig the soil or to sprinkle water containing life. The sole purpose of all these three Pācittiyas is to preserve from harm creatures that are one-facultied. In this respect then Bu-Pc.11 is not unique or peculiar. It may in addition be suitably compared with Bu-Pc.10, as much for the similarity of guiding principle as for the defining of words used in definition.

    The words used to define the definitions of the key-word of Bu-Pc.2 and Bu-Pc.3 do not seem wholly contrived for monastic purposes. Why should “crafts,” for example, be classified as “high and low” and then catalogued?

    BD.2.xxxvi It was impossible for monks to follow any of the crafts mentioned. Such painstaking analysis of all the ten ways in which “insulting speech” and “slander” might be made seems to point to later days when classification and analysis had come to be in vogue.

  2. I suppose that in the introductory story of Bu-Pc.2, the group of six monks when they jeered at the well-behaved monks about five out of ten things—birth, name, clan, work, craft—must have had in mind the social position and the occupation held by these while they were still “in the world.” For all such considerations should count as nothing once a man had become a monk. The offence was summarised as one of “insulting speech,” and not as one of probing into matters whose importance to monks should be infinitesimal. Nor can one say of Gotama’s Order that, as time went on, such considerations came to be of account, or that the richer and better-born entrants came to hold the more influential positions. This has never been the case. The influence of the members has always depended on their mental and spiritual attainments alone, or on some gift of character. This backward view, if such it is meant to be, into a monk’s past is unique in the Pācittiyas. But yet I cannot see that it affords any data for the comparative age of this Pācittiya.

  3. Bu-Pc.2 has a reference to lekhā. If this is writing, which, partly owing to the paucity of references alike to it and to writing-materials, is assumed to be an art of later discovery, then a clue is at once established for a comparatively late date of this Pācittiya, or at any rate of a portion of it; or to writing being less a “later discovery” than is hitherto assumed.

  4. Bu-Pc.1 contains a long and sophisticated analysis of the way in which an offence of expiation is incurred by the three and the seven ways of telling a conscious lie. This may be compared with the beginning of a similar analysis in Bu-Pj.4[43] of the incurment of an offence involving defeat by the three and the seven BD.2.xxxvii ways of telling a conscious lie. The passage in Bu-Pj.4 as it goes on is paralleled by a passage in Bu-Pc.8. In both Bu-Pj.4 on the one hand and Bu-Pc.1 and Bu-Pc.8 on the other, this analysis with its very different style and terminology consorts strangely with the more archaic language and the more direct modes of thought that we usually associate with the Vinaya.

  5. Bu-Pc.2 and Bu-Pc.51 contain material belonging to Jātaka stories—but so does Bu-Pc.5.

  6. As already noted, there is the failure of the Old Commentary on Bu-Pc.11 to explain one of the two key-words of the rule: “in destruction of,” pātabyatāya.

  7. Bu-Pc.12, with its mention in the introductory story of Channa, who, having indulged in bad habits, anācāraṃ ācaritvā, was being examined for an offence in the midst of the Order, to my mind brings the whole question of monastic disciplinary regulation a step later in time. For it points to a period when formal proceedings had been constituted, when faults were examined, not merely expiated by confession, and when there was an apparatus for dealing with, among many other transgressions, questions of failure in habit or conduct, ācāravipatti. These are set out in detail in Kd.14. This Pācittiya, in striking contrast to Bu-Ss.12, where again the same fault is imputed to Channa, seems to have been compiled in full cognisance of these later legal proceedings.

  8. Bu-Pc.13 appears to be recording an event later in time than that recorded in Bu-Ss.8. In this latter, Dabba the Mallian is appointed, so it is said, to the double office of assigning lodgings and distributing meals. Between this and the compilation of the Pācittiya some time must have elapsed, since in the Pācittiya he is being accused of acting out of favouritism. The Old Commentary mentions a number of offices tenable by members of the Order, showing that it knew of the creation of these. It does not mention all. So far we know little of the chronology of these offices, but it is unlikely that they were formed during the earliest days of the Sakyan venture.

  9. BD.2.xxxviii Now, in Bu-Pj.3, the gist of the offence lies in intentionally depriving a person of life. The case is cited, in the stories given after the formulation of the rule, of one monk tickling another, who laughed so much that he died. It is here not said openly that this constitutes an offence, merely that it is not one involving defeat, because his death was not caused intentionally. Either some need to clarify the nature of this offence must have grown up, for in Bu-Pc.52 the same story is recounted and entails an offence of expiation; or the nature of the offence was decided contemporaneously with the Pārājika story, but, being Pācittiya, was reserved for the Pācittiya group of rules and offences. If this is the case here, it is otherwise with Bu-Pj.2. For this now and again states that an offence of deliberate lying may not be such as to constitute an offence of defeat, although it may be one involving expiation (Vin.3.59, Vin.3.66).

  10. Bu-Pc.53 seems to offer little data as to its comparative age. It is unusual, however, in that no verbal reports of unsuitable behaviour are recorded to reach the lord. The framing of the rule is made to depend upon Pasenadi’s belief that his “device” will arouse the required suspicions in Gotama’s mind.

  11. The rule framed in Bu-Pc.54, that “in disrespect there is an offence of expiation,” is not unique. Three times a similar Pācittiya offence is laid down at Vin.1.176, in connection with the elaborate arrangements made there for holding the Pavarana ceremony. Such Pācittiyas are therefore part and parcel of large-scale administration and regulation, such as could only be undertaken when the Order was comparatively advanced in age and stability. But who can say whether the rule at Bu-Pc.54 is based on these other anādariye pācittiyas, or they on it, or whether they are independent? All one can say is that it is not at all necessary to suppose that the bad habits that again Channa is recorded to have indulged in had anything to do with preparations for the Pavāraṇā.

    BD.2.xxxix For a long list of “bad habits,” quite unconnected with this, is given at Bu-Ss.13.

If the evidence of the Pācittiyas which are briefly stated and stand at the head of three only out of the eight divisions of which the Pācittiya section is composed, appears to be on the side of their comparative lateness, it must be not forgotten that the remaining Pācittiyas have never been subjected to any kind of critical examination. When this has been undertaken, it may be found that some of them also, although their rules are framed in the more normal manner, show similar or different signs of comparatively late construction. What I have done here is no more than to indicate possible lines which historical inquiry into the comparative age of different parts of the Vinaya might follow.

In discussing these “brief” Pācittiyas, I have had occasion to mention the overlapping of Pārājika and Pācittiya material. I have cited Bu-Pj.4 and Bu-Pc.8, and these are also seen to work in with one another in a still further fashion. In the former it is an offence involving defeat for a monk, out of undue estimate for himself, to boast that he has attained some state of “further-men,” when this is not a fact, abhūta. In the latter it is an offence of expiation for a monk to speak of attaining such a state to anyone not ordained, even though it be a fact, bhūta. In both cases the introductory story is identical up to this point, although Bu-Pj.4, before the final draft of the rule, adds material not appearing in Bu-Pc.8. This same long story with the two endings may in fact be the record of no more than one event, some monks averring that they had told a lie, others maintaining that they had told the truth. If so, Bu-Pj.4 and Bu-Pc.8 would belong to precisely the same date, suggesting that the two cases were legislated for simultaneously, although the two findings were relegated to different but appropriate parts of the Pātimokkha.

Judging by the great length of Bu-Pj.4, and the number of cases adduced and legislated for, the topic BD.2.xl was one that was at some time of immense importance.[44] It is not therefore surprising that it figures also in the Pācittiya section. It suggests, as does the substance of no other rules at all, the spiritual value attached to a man becoming something more and greater than he was before.

There are still further occasions when the contents of this volume refer to different portions of the Vinaya or are referred to by it. Under the latter heading come also certain allusions which are generally wrapped up in the phrase, yathādhammo kāretabbo, he should be dealt with according to the rule—that is, according to some Nissaggiya or Pācittiya rule. This indicates that such a rule had been formulated before that portion of the Vinaya referring to it had been compiled. I have drawn attention, in the notes, to any references that I have found in the contents of this volume to or from other parts of the Vinaya.

Another Pācittiya which betrays the marks of some later accretion is Bu-Pc.29. In it there is a list of eleven persons who, for a householder, were elders, therā, and whom he invited to a meal. It is an interesting list. It contains the names of nine out of the ten to twelve men whom Mrs. Rhys Davids considers were at the beginning of his ministry “clustering about the Leader in the Vinaya.”[45] Two therefore look like intruders into this early company: Upāli, “the Vinaya expert”[46]—but expert only on the assumption that by his day the discipline had had time to grow into some coherent form; and Rahula, the founder’s son. He was probably not among his father’s followers from the very beginning of his teaching, and was never a particularly satisfactory monk, although several earnest discourses were addressed to him.[47]

BD.2.xli Members of Other Sects.—This volume contains some interesting details about the titthiyas, especially, as is natural, regarding ways in which their life and that of the Sakyan followers might overlap.

  1. In Bu-NP.22, people, jumping from the particular to the general, complained that the recluses, sons of the Sakyans, went about for almsfood to be put into their hands, like members of other sects.

  2. In Bu-NP.6, monks coming “naked as they were” to Sāvatthī were mistaken by their co-religionists for ājīvaka, Naked Ascetics.[48]

  3. In Bu-Pc.1, Hatthaka, a monk, having been outwitted in an argument by members of other sects, titthiyas, resorted to unworthy methods in order to confound them. The titthiyas complained, and not in vain, for the modest monks heard them and asked Hatthaka if there was truth in what they had been saying. He seems to have been very cross, saying that somehow the titthiyas should be worsted. But the modest monks were not impressed by this declaration, and told the incident to the lord. The result was what is now the first Pācittiya rule. This story merely confirms what is well known: that monks and titthiyas debated together, and that, whatever individual monks might do or think, the considered opinion of the saṅgha was that titthiyas should not be treated contemptuously.

  4. Bu-Pc.32.8 supplies various items of interest. To begin with there is the ājīvaka who wanted to provide “a meal for all heretics,” sabbapasaṇḍika-bhatta. This shows that he thought of those who were not of his sect, although they were following a life of religion, as “heretics”; at the same time he wished to honour them by entertaining them. In accordance with this view, or so it seems, the ājīvaka was advised by King Bimbisāra, a relation of his, first of all to invite Gotama and his monks. He sent a messenger to the monks, but they refused the invitation, for at that time a group-meal of this nature had not been allowed. The BD.2.xlii naked ascetic then approached Gotama, whom he greeted in an amicable and friendly way, and argued that one who is gone forth, pabbajita, is fit or worthy, arahati, to accept the alms of another who is gone forth. Gotama then, as recorded, accepted, and allowed the monks to eat a group-meal at the meal-time of recluses, samaṇa-bhatta-samaya. Here, as not infrequently, the terms of the rule are wider than the terms used in the story leading up to its formulation. Samaṇa was a word of very general application, covering ājīvaka, as well as members of all other diverse and “heretical” sects. In the Old Commentary, samaṇa is defined as paribbājaka-samāpanna, literally one who has attained to being a wanderer. Paribbājaka[49] was, like samaṇa, a word of tremendous range, although it did not, for members of Gotama’s Order themselves, include “monk” or “nun.” For,

  5. In Bu-Pc.41 (= Vin.4.285, and cf. Vin.4.224), wanderer and female wanderer are, taking their definitions in conjunction, explained as, “setting aside monk and novice, nun, female probationer and female novice, whoever (else) has attained to being a (male or female) wanderer.” It is only regrettable that the definition contains the word to be defined. In this portion of the Old Commentary too, Naked Ascetic, here and also in the rule, called acelaka,[50] although he figured in the story as an ājīvaka, is defined as “whoever, naked, has attained to being a wanderer.” This definition should be compared with that of samaṇa in Bu-Pc.32.

  6. Bu-Pc.41 further tells that a monk gave almsfood, BD.2.xliii at a distribution of food, to an ājīvaka. All that the ājīvaka seems to have done by way of thanks was to tell his fellow sectarians that the food was obtained by him from a muṇḍagahapatika belonging to Gotama, the recluse, samaṇa. This curious term, possibly unique to this context, is clearly one of contempt. It means literally “little shaven householder” and would seem to imply that the ājivakas despised the monks for their less austere way of living, and were not above having a sly dig at their more indulgent tendencies.

    People who heard what the ājīvaka had said are recorded to advise the lord not to let monks, whom they call ayya, masters, give with their own hands to titthiyas, since these want to bring discredit on the Buddha, the dhamma and the Order.

    Three points emerge from this episode with the lay-people. First, that ājivakas did not live, any more than did monks, either in seclusion from the “world” or from members of other sects, including Gotama’s. Secondly, that the lay-people appear to have come to the conclusion that their representations to the lord must include more than the one sect of the ājivakas, and they therefore say titthiyas, a term of broader application. Thirdly, that the odd intrusion of the later “triad of Buddhism” may suggest that this passage belongs to a comparatively late date, but that then, with the increasing popularity of Gotama’s Order, relations between Sakyan monks and followers of other sects were becoming somewhat strained.

    This Pācittiya, rich in its references to members of other sects, contains yet one more. Gotama is reputed to tell Ānanda to give what surplus there is of the Order’s solid food to “those who eat scraps,” broken meats, or remains of food, vighāsāda. Ānanda, always showing a touching regard for women, chose as the recipients some female wanderers, paribbājikā. Here then is contributory evidence that wanderers were eaters of scraps, of food not otherwise wanted, and that they did not object to receiving this from Gotama’s religious followers.

  7. BD.2.xliv In Bu-NP.20 a wanderer, paribbājaka, is recorded to barter his costly cloth for Upananda’s outer cloak, but when he wanted to exchange the articles again Upananda refused. The wanderer complained, basing his argument on the life of the world: because householders give out of compassion to another householder, should not one who has gone forth, pabbajita, give to one who has gone forth? The resemblance to the ājīvaka’s reasoning in Bu-Pc.32.8 cited above is quite remarkable. Upananda is rebuked both by other monks and by Gotama for bartering with a wanderer. The wanderer’s park or monastery, ārāma, is mentioned.[51]

Sakyaputta.—In this volume there are two monks who have appended to their name the epithet Sakyaputta. These are Upananda Sakyaputta, to whom there are frequent references—e.g., Bu-NP.6, Bu-NP.8Bu-NP.10, Bu-NP.18, Bu-NP.20, Bu-NP.25, Bu-NP.27, Bu-Pc.9, Bu-Pc.42Bu-Pc.46, Bu-Pc.59, and Hatthaka Sakyaputta, Bu-Pc.1. This epithet, which I have translated as “son of the Sakyans,” was presumably given to distinguish these men from others bearing the same name. Neither Upananda nor Hatthaka was an ornament to the Order, and thus the epithet will not have been conferred in recognition of any special ability on his part. It indicated primarily that they were Sakyans, born into the Sakyan clan or tribe, gotta. But it did more than this. It implied, not only that the men so described were of Sakyan descent and themselves Sakyans, but that they were also members of the religious sect known by its contemporaries as the Sakyaputta sect, its adherents being called sakyaputtiyas.

For Sakyans who were not monks are called, when there was need to differentiate them from others of the same name, not Sakyaputta, but Sakka. A good example is Mahānāma Sakka (Bu-Pc.47 and, e.g., AN.i.26, AN.i.276), a brother of Anuruddha and cousin of BD.2.xlv Gotama. There does not seem to have been any other notable Anuruddha contemporary with this brother of Mahānāma’s, and so there was no occasion to append Sakka to his name. There were however other Mahānāmas,[52] hence the suffix Sakka for the one of Sakyan descent.

I hold it essential to translate the putta in Sakyaputta. Yet in saying that a Sakyan who had become a follower of Gotama’s was called Sakyaputta if his own name was not sufficiently distinctive, I do not in the least wish to suggest anything mystical or comparable to the Hindu “twice born.” No more is meant than the recording of the case of a Sakyan who had become a follower of the Sakyaputta sect, or, after the Order had been fully constituted, a monk in Gotama’s Order. In this way, the force of putta in Sakyaputta is double-edged. It indicates at one and the same time a man’s birth as Sakyan and his calling as religious. Moreover, the fact is emphasised that the sectarian or monastic body which he has entered is one founded by his kinsman, a member of his own clan, Gotama Sakyaputta, as he is called by members of other sects,[53] and by Assaji, recently become a follower.[54]

In its beginnings, the sect founded by Gotama, and which afterwards turned into an “Order,”[55] was largely entered and maintained by his relations. I therefore think it advisable, in order to keep before the mind the Sakyan and not merely Gotamic influences on the origin of the monastic institution, to translate the Sakya part of the compound Sakyaputta as “of the Sakyans,” using the plural. The same will apply to Sakyaputtiyo, “sons of the Sakyans,” a name frequently given to Gotama’s followers, whether they were of the Sakyan clan or not. By their calling, and not on account of their birth, these had become “sons” of the Sakyan leader, BD.2.xlvi Sakyamuni,[56] and of his Sakyan co-workers and co-founders.[57]

There is a commentarial support for taking the Sakya of the compound as a plural. For Vin-a.735 defines Sakyaputta as sakyānaṃ putto, “son of the Sakyans,” sakyānaṃ being a genitive plural.

It is perhaps not always necessary, although I hold it to be correct, to insert “son,” putta, in translations of various compounds, such as devaputta (e.g., AN.i.278, Hatthaka devaputta) and Mallaputta (e.g., Dabba Mallaputta, Vin.3.158, Vin.4.37), it being sufficient to read merely a, or the, deva, and a, or the, Mallian.

But when a person can only be distinguished from others bearing the same name by calling him “so and so, the son of so and so,” as Upasena Vaṅgantaputta,[58] then the putta part of the name must be translated. For he was not Upasena Vanganta, but Upasena, Vanganta’s son. The great exception to this is Sāriputta, where, for English translators and readers, putta seems to have become an integral part of his name, since it is never translated as “the son of (Rūpa-)Sarī.”

As putta sometimes forms part of a name, so also does mātā, pitā, dhītā, mother, father, daughter. For example, there are Sigalamata, Nakulamata, Visakha Migārāmata, Nakulapita, Suppavasa Koliyadhita. Now Nakulamata and Nakulapita have, in the Pali canon, no other names. They must therefore be translated as “Nakula’s mother” and “Nakula’s father.” I think it as necessary to translate putta where it means a “son” in a life of religion, as it is to translate mātā, pitā, dhītā and again putta where no such reference is intended.

There are further the terms ayya and ayyaputta; BD.2.xlvii these cannot mean exactly the same thing. The former is “master” and the latter “little master,” something like our “son of the house,” the young gentleman. Again there is seṭṭhi and seṭṭhiputta. The former is variously translated as banker, merchant, great merchant, treasurer. A difference in standing is, I hold, intended by seṭṭhiputta (see Bu-NP.6), and should be shown in translations. A seṭṭhiputta is a young merchant, literally a son of a merchant, but he is not yet the head of the firm, for his description as putta means that his father is still alive. It would not be actually wrong to translate seṭṭhiputta as “merchant,” since he is one by occupation, but the full significance implicit in putta can only be brought out by regarding the word as pithy, not as pleonastic. In the same way I think that the intended implication of putta, when the poor workman addresses Kirapatika, in Bu-Pc.33, as ayyaputta, is that this employer, although paying the wages, was not the head of his business because his father was still living.

Dhammī kathā and dhamma.—I have translated dhammī kathā often as “reasoned talk,” sometimes as “talk on dhamma.” In so doing, I have been guided mainly by the context. I hold that in the phrase, “then the lord on this occasion, in this connection, having given dhammī kathā, addressed the monks, saying,” the lord is not supposed to have given them talk on dhamma, on material now found chiefly in the Suttas. I think it more probable that he was engaged in explaining to the monks such circumstances as had arisen since the first framing of a rule, and telling them why he thought its alteration justifiable. He would thus have been reasoning out the situation with them, marshalling the arguments bearing on the case.

Similarly, Gotama is sometimes shown, for example in Bu-NP.3 and Bu-Pc.58, as questioning monks or hearing reports about their conduct. Then, it is said, “having given dhammī kathā,” he framed a rule so that, given certain circumstances, they need not behave in BD.2.xlviii that particular way again. In this connection Bu-Pc.58 is interesting, for it asserts that the dhammī kathā given was “on what is befitting, on what is suitable.” These words, (an-)anulomika and (an-)anucchavika, do not properly belong to Sutta but to Vinaya material. When they occur in the Suttas,[59] it seems uniformly the case that they are used in connection with the discipline of monks or other samaṇas.

On the other hand, when it is said, for example in Bu-Pc.6, that Anuruddha roused and delighted the woman dhammiyā kathāya, it would be a mistake to think that he was explaining to her the need for making or altering a rule. The context in no way suggests this; it suggests that he had given her an inspiring talk in virtue of which she became a lay-adherent.

Again, to take from among many other instances of it, the phrase as it stands in Bu-Pc.21. From the context it may be inferred that Gotama gave the nuns some lofty discourse to recompense their disappointment for “the merely inferior talk on dhamma,” parittañ ñeva dhammiṃ kathaṃ katvā, given them by the group of six monks in place of the exhortation.[60]

Lest it be thought that in the Nissaggiyas and these Pācittiyas the phrase dhammī kathā supplants dhamma, it will be wise to draw attention to some of the passages where this great word occurs. In Bu-Pc.4, the group of six monks are found making lay-followers speak dhamma line by line. This was made an offence. The Old Commentary on this Pācittiya, as well as that on Bu-Pc.7, by its choice of words for defining dhamma, makes it clear that dhamma as the teaching, as discourses, as great sayings, as connected with the goal, attha, was being considered; and neither dhamma as dhammī kathā, reasoned talk germane to the matter in hand, nor dhamma as pāḷi, the text, as it is explained BD.2.xlvix in Buddhaghosa’s commentary.[61] Bu-Pc.7 traces the evolution of the circumstances in which it became permissible for a monk to teach dhamma, dhammaṃ deseti, to women. Bu-Pc.5 confines itself to mentioning that lay-followers listened to dhamma spoken by, bhāsita, monks who were elders. This would be in accordance with part of the definition given by the Old Commentary on Bu-Pc.4 and Bu-Pc.7, that dhamma is what is spoken by disciples.

Dhamma, for the reason stated in the Introduction to BD.1, I have left untranslated.[62]

Ārāma; vihāra.—I have usually translated ārāma, not as “park,” but as “monastery”; and vihāra as “dwelling-place.”[63] The Vinaya depicts monastic life at a fairly advanced stage, and it is reasonable to assume that the many words connected with the monks’ lodgings had attained definite meanings reflecting the habits and customs induced by their way of living.

Ārāmas were doubtless originally places for enjoyment, parks. Many were handed over by rich benefactors to the Order as it grew and its increasing numbers called for larger and more fixed settlements. Ārāmas thus became monasteries, places made use of by monks, and intended solely for this purpose.

Vihāras too, as the monks increased in number, changed their character. The word had at some time stood for something much like an isolated pariveṇa, or cell, but it came to imply a row of cells, or individual dwelling-places, connected by a verandah, pamukha.[64]

It is curious and disappointing that the definition of vihāra in Bu-Pc.19 and at Vin.3.156 is so unenlightening. Neither is the word explained where other comparable terms are briefly defined in Bu-Pj.2.[65]

H. Kern[66] has to my mind given an acceptable, though short, account of ārāma, vihāra, pariveṇa and kuṭī (hut); BD.2.l and S. Dutt has a learned and illuminating chapter[67] on the development, interrelation and use of these quarters for monks, together with the function and character of such other words denoting habitations for monks as sīmā, boundary, limit; āvāsa, residence, settlement, colony; and senāsana, lodgings, bedding, “seats.” S. Dutt shows, in this chapter, that as “the communal life of the Bhikkhus came to gravitate more and more towards a coenobium,” largely “brought about by the institutions of Vassa,” the rains-retreat, so there developed the means and the rules for communal, as against eremitical, dwelling.

Ekamantaṃ.—The literal meaning of this is “at one side.” The word constantly occurs in the phrases, “he, or she, stood, or sat down at one side.” This implies respect accorded to a superior. In order to bring out this aspect of ekamantaṃ, of the respectful attitude adopted by laity towards monks, by monks to senior monks or to wiser monks, I have translated the word as “at a respectful distance.” In so doing, I am following the Commentaries. These enumerate six wrong ways of sitting, nisajjadosa,[68] such as would bring discomfort and inconvenience to a person worthy of consideration and honour. The only reason why I prefer my translation to the more literal one is that it better emphasises a particular point in the manners of the day; and also when we hear of lay-people sitting down or standing by monks “at a respectful distance,” one more piece of evidence, however small, testifying to the esteem in which monks were held by the laity, is forced to contribute its weight.

Abbhantara.—This is a linear measure, mentioned below on BD.2.20, BD.2.22, and which I have left untranslated for fear lest an English rendering should give a false impression.[69] Buddhaghosa’s Commentary[70] remarks that “here one abbhantara is twenty-eight hands (hattha)”; the Critical Pali Dictionary says no more than that it is “a certain measure of length.” The Vibhaṅga Commentary does not include abbhantara among its graded linear measurements at all.[71] In Moggallāna’s scheme of measures of length,[72] although given at the very end of the scheme and looking like an afterthought, we find that twenty-eight ratanas equal one abbhantara. Rhys Davids,[73] following this scheme, describes ratana as “(cubit, forearm) = hattha = kukku,” and says that hattha “is the usual word.”[74] The Saṃyutta Commentary explains kukku by hattha.[75] As it is very likely that these measurements varied with time and locality, in trying to establish the length of a Vinaya abbhantara it will be best to consider the hattha, twenty-eight of which were held to compose an abbhantara, according to Vinaya interpretations.

We find hattha defined in the Old Commentary[76] as “from the elbow as far as the tip of the nail,” which means that hattha, taken as a measure of length, would comprise the hand together with the forearm.[77] Even so, there is yet some vagueness, for the tips of the nails are not all the same distance from the elbow. We are thus left with not an exact measurement. Rhys Davids however suggested that “to the end of the little finger only is meant,”[78] apparently on the grounds that because the span, vidatthi, is the basis of computation for the ratana, two vidatthi making one ratana, and because vidatthi is “the name for the ordinary span to the end of the fourth or little finger” from the end of the thumb, therefore the hattha, which is equivalent to the ratana measure, would be from the elbow as far as the nail of the little finger. This provides a straight line for measurement, and the distance is about fifteen inches. One abbhantara, if taken as equal to twenty-eight hatthas, would therefore correspond to roughly BD.2.lii thirty-five feet. The “staff” in Bu-Sk.58 (Vin.4.200), that had to measure “four hands,” would be about five feet in length.

In conclusion, I very gratefully acknowledge my debt to Mrs. Rhys Davids for her unflagging interest in the preparation of this volume, and for kindly reading the proofs. Two revered theras of Colombo, the Venerable Rambukwella Siddhartha and the Venerable S.P. Vajirañāṇa, have given me much valuable assistance with monastic practice and Vinaya terminology.

To these in particular, and also to other friends and acquaintances in Ceylon, too numerous to mention, I would tender my warm thanks in recognition of conversations that were as instructive as they were stimulating. I am also indebted to the editor for his kind permission to reprint in this Introduction, part of an article published in 1939 in the Vesak Number of the Ceylon Daily News.

I. B. Horner

Manchester, 1940.

Footnotes and references:


Vinaya Texts i.1ff., Sacred Books of the East XIII.


Dickson, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1876; Gogerly, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1862; R. Spence Hardy, Eastern Monachism, 1850, in various chapters.


A History of Pali Literature i.50ff., based on Vinaya Texts i.1ff.


A History of Buddhist Thought, 16ff.


Vinaya Texts i.xiv.


I.e., rule, ordinance, sutta, dhamma, clause or article.




Cf. S. Dutt, Early Buddhist Monachism, p.104ff.


See below, BD.2.3, n.4.


Below, BD.2.xii.


Similarly at Bi-NP.1.


Sizes of a saṅgha, order, are given at Vin.1.319.


In the Old Commentary, the phrase sambahulā bhikkhū also occurs, and appears often to be a synonym for gaṇa. See below, BD.2.7, BD.2.8.


E.J. Thomas, A History of Buddhist Thought, p.19.




On these terms see below, BD.2.100, n.2.


On a monk’s death, his robes did not necessarily return to the Order. He could bequeath them to the monk who had nursed him or to a pupil. Moreover, robe-material might be presented to individual monks, if the laity so wished. See Bu-NP.8, Bu-NP.9, Bu-NP.10.


Cf. end of Bu-NP.1, where same offence incurred by failure to give back a robe.


It is too facilely said by some writers that the Vinaya for nuns is a mere copy of that for monks—e.g., H. Kern, A Manual of Indian Buddhism, p.86; though it is probable that the Pātimokkha of the nuns was “modelled on” that of the monks; Cf. E.J. Thomas, A History of Indian Thought, 15, n.1; M. Winternitz, A History of Indian Literature ii.24, speaking of it as “a similar code compiled later for the nuns”; Miss D. Bhagvat, Early Buddhist Jurisprudence, p.18, as a “mere imitation of the former”—i.e., the Bhikkhu-Pātimokkha.


A phrase I borrow from Mrs. Rhys Davids, “Poems by Monks and Nuns”, Review of Religion, January, 1940, p.129.


See e.g. DN.ii.160, Snp.401, Snp.668; also the stock-phrase, dhamani-santhata-gatta, having the limbs strewn with veins. As a noun, santhata occurs only once elsewhere, Vv.63,5.


Pali-English Dictionary, B.C. Law, A History of Pali Literature i.53, “rug or mat”; E.J. Thomas, A History of Buddhist Thought, p.19, “rug.” Vinaya Texts i.24 translates “rug or mat” and “rug”; Huber, Journal Asiatique, 1913, p.497, “couverture”; Vidyabhusana, So-sor-thar-pa, p.20, “mat.”


“Silk” is not essential to the argument. This part of the Commentary is referring to Bu-NP.11, where monks thought of making santhata mixed with silk. In Bu-NP.12Bu-NP.14 they were made of wool.


Vin.1.227; DN.ii.84,DN.iii.208; Ud.8.6; MN.i.354.


MN-a.iii.18; Ud-a.409.


See below, BD.2.238f.


Vinaya Texts i.xiv.


S. Dutt, Early Buddhist Monachism, 91; M. Winternitz, A History of Indian Literature, ii.24.


Vinaya Texts i.xv.


Women under Primitive Buddhism, p.126ff.


Above, BD.2.xxvii.




Dhp.256, Dhp.257.




Vinaya Texts i.xiv.


There are also the seven concluding Pācittiyas, Bu-Pc.86Bu-Pc.92, where the offence of expiation involves, not Nissaggiya, forfeiture, but some other penalty in respect of an article made of the wrong material or to the wrong measure.


Sakya, p.127. For further information on these early followers see Gotama the Man, Ch.6, and Sakya, Ch.7.


Sakya, p.352.


MN.61, MN.62, MN.147.


Literally, “Men of the Livelihood”, Buddhist India, p.143.


The account of paribbājakā at Buddhist India, p.141, has not been superseded.


He who is without a cloth, cela. Jacobi, Jaina Sūtras,–xxxi, says that “the Buddhists denote by Acelaka the followers of Makkhali Gosāla and his two predecessors, Kisa Samkicca and Nanda Vaccha, and have preserved an account of their religious practices in the MN.36.” Jacobi draws attention to the identity of the rules for the acelakas and the Jains. Gosāla’s views are set forth at DN.i.53. Dialogues of the Buddha i.71, n.1, calls his followers ājīvaka. B.M. Barua, The Ajīvakas, Pt.1, p.13, summarises the position thus: “Both the Jaina and Buddhist records agree in speaking of Gosāla as a leader of the Ājivaka sect… They also agree in calling the Ājivakas naked ascetics (acelakas).”


See Buddhist India, p.142.


See Dictionary of Pali Proper Names


E.g., Vin.3.1.


Vin.1.41. Assaji is recorded to refer to Gotama as mahāsamaṇo Sakyaputto Sakyakulā pabbajito, the great recluse, the son of the Sakyans, gone forth from a Sakyan family.


See S. Dutt,Early Buddhist Monachism, Ch.3.


E.J. Thomas, Life of Buddha, p.1, n.1, “Śākyamuni, ‘the sage of the Śakyas’”; A History of Buddhist Thought, p.150, “Śākyamuni, ‘the recluse of the Śākyas’”; S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, i.351, “Śākyamuni, the sage of the Śākyas.”


Mrs. Rhys Davids, Gotama the Man, p.89ff.; Sakya, p.115ff.; and cf. Unknown Co-founders of Buddhism, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1927, p.193ff.


See below, BD.2.83.


E.g., AN.i.106, AN.ii.27, AN.iii.116; MN.i.477; It.103; Snp.385.


Cf. MN.iii.270, where Mahāpajāpatī is shown asking Gotama for exhortation, for instruction, for dhammikathā, “talk on dhamma,” for the nuns.


For Buddhaghosa’s interpretations of the words used in defining dhamma, see Vin-a.742, and below, BD.2.191.


For notes on these terms, see below, BD.2.2, BD.2.46.


See BD.1.83.


A Manual of Indian Buddhism, p.80ff.


Early Buddhist Monachism, Ch.5.


See below, BD.2.42, n.5.






Abhidhānappadīpikā 194–197.


Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon, p.15.


Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon, p.15, n.2.




Cf. Vin-a.533.


Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon, p.15, p.17.