Vinaya Pitaka (1): The Analysis of Monks’ Rules (Bhikkhu-vibhanga)

by I. B. Horner | 2014 | 345,334 words | ISBN-13: 9781921842160

The English translation of the Bhikkhu-vibhanga: the first part of the Suttavibhanga, which itself is the first book of the Pali Vinaya Pitaka, one of the three major ‘baskets’ of Therevada canonical literature. It is a collection of rules for Buddhist monks. The English translation of the Vinaya-pitaka (first part, bhikkhu-vibhanga) contains many...

Monks’ Forfeiture (Nissaggiya) 2

BD.2.12 Bu-NP.2.1.1 At one time the enlightened one, the lord, was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. At that time monks, entrusting robes to the hands of (other) monks, set out on a tour of the country with (only) an inner and an upper robe[1]; these robes, deposited for a long time, became soiled[2]; the monks dried them in the sun. The venerable Ānanda, as he was engaged in touring the lodgings, saw these monks drying these robes in the sun. Seeing these monks he came up to them, and having come up he said to these monks:

“Your reverences, whose are these robes that are soiled?” Then these monks told this matter to the venerable Ānanda. The venerable Ānanda looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can the monks, entrusting robes to the hands of (other) monks, set out on a tour of the country with (only) an inner and an upper robe?”[3] Then the venerable Ānanda told this matter to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that monks, entrusting robes to the hands of (other) monks, set out on a tour of the country with (only) an inner and an upper robe?”

BD.2.13 “It is true, lord,” they said.

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

“How, monks, can these foolish men, having entrusted robes to the hands of (other) monks, set out on a tour of the country with (only) an inner and an upper robe? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

“When the robe-material is settled, when a monk’s kaṭhina (privileges) have been removed, if this monk should be away, separated from his three robes,[4] even for one night, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.”[5]

And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord.


Bu-NP.2.2.1 At that time a certain monk became ill in Kosambī. Relations sent a messenger to this monk, saying: “Let the revered sir[6] come, we will nurse (him).” The BD.2.14 monks said: “Go, your reverence, relations will nurse you.” He said:

“Your reverences, a rule of training laid down by the lord is that one should not be away, separated from the three robes; but I am ill, I am not able to set out taking the three robes. I Vin.3.199 will not go.”

They told this matter to the lord. Then the lord, on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

“I allow you, monks, to give a monk who is ill the agreement (to be regarded) as not away, separated from the three robes.[7] And thus, monks, should it be given: That monk who is ill, approaching the Order, arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, honouring the feet of the senior monks, sitting down on his haunches, saluting with joined palms, should speak thus: ‘I, honoured sirs, am ill, I am not able to set out taking the three robes. Thus I, honoured sirs, request the Order for the agreement (to be regarded) as not away, separated from the three robes.’ A second time it should be requested, a third time it should be requested. The Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. This monk so and so is ill, he is not able to set out taking the three robes. He requests the Order for the agreement (to be regarded) as not away, separated from the three robes. If it seems right to the Order, let the Order give this monk so and so the agreement (to be regarded) as not away, separated from the three robes. This is the motion. Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to BD.2.15 me … the three robes. The Order gives the monk so and so the agreement (to be regarded) as not away, separated from the three robes. If the giving to the monk so and so of the agreement (to be regarded) as not away, separated from the three robes, is pleasing to the venerable ones, let them be silent; if it is not pleasing, they should speak. Agreement (to be regarded) as not away, separated from the three robes, is given by the Order to the monk so and so, and it is pleasing to the venerable ones; therefore they are silent, so do I understand this.’ And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

When the robe-material is settled, when a monk’s kaṭhina (privileges) have been removed, if this monk should be away, separated from the three robes, even for one night, except on the agreement of the monks,[8] there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.”


Bu-NP.2.3.1 When the robe-material is settled means: the robe-material is made up for a monk, or lost or destroyed or burnt, or an expectation of robe-material is disappointed.[9]

When the kaṭhina (privileges) have been removed means: they come to be removed because of a certain one of eight grounds, or they come to be removed before the time by the Order.[10]

If this monk should be away, separated from the three robes, even for one night means: without the outer cloak, or without the upper robe, or without the inner robe.

Except on the agreement of the monks means: setting aside the agreement of the monks.

There is an offence involving forfeiture means: it is to be forfeited at sunrise; it should be forfeited to the Order, or to a group, or to an individual. And thus, monks, should it be forfeited … Vin.3.200 ‘Honoured sirs, these three robes were away, separated from me BD.2.16 for a night, without the agreement of the monks (and) are to be forfeited. I forfeit them to the Order …’ ‘… should give back … let the venerable ones give back … I will give back this robe to the venerable one.’


Bu-NP.2.3.2 A village having one precinct,[11] various precincts, a dwelling having one precinct, various precincts; a stable[12] having one precinct, various precincts; a watch-tower[13] having one precinct, various precincts; a quadrangular building[14] having one precinct, various precincts; a long house[15] having one precinct, various precincts; a mansion[16] having one precinct, various precincts; a boat BD.2.17 having one precinct, various precincts; a caravan having one precinct, various precincts; a field having one precinct, various precincts; a threshing-floor[17] having one precinct, various precincts; a monastery[18] having one precinct, various precincts; a dwelling-place[19] having one precinct, various precincts; the foot of a tree having one precinct, various precincts; an open space having one precinct, various precincts.


Bu-NP.2.3.3 A village having one precinct means: a village comes to be for one family[20] and is enclosed[21]: laying aside the robe within the village, he should remain[22] within the village. It is not enclosed[23]: he should remain in the same house[24] as that in which the robe was laid aside, BD.2.18 or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.[25]

A village comes to be for various families,[26] and is enclosed: he should remain in the same house as that in which the robe was laid aside—either in the hall or at the entrance[27]—or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand. Or if, going to the hall, laying aside the robe within a reach of the hand, either he should remain in the hall or at the entrance, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand. The robe being laid aside in the hall, he should either remain in the hall or at the entrance, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand. It is not enclosed: he should remain in the same house as that in which the robe was laid aside, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.4 A dwelling comes to be for one family, and is enclosed; there are various rooms, various inner rooms[28]: laying aside the robe within the dwelling, he should remain within the dwelling. It is not enclosed: he should remain in the same room as that in which the robe was laid aside, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.

A dwelling comes to be for various families, it is enclosed and there are various rooms, various inner rooms: he should remain in the same room as that in BD.2.19 which the robe was laid aside, or at the main entrance,[29] or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand. It is not enclosed: he should remain in the same room as that in which the robe was laid aside, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.5 A stable comes to be for one family, and is enclosed; there are various rooms, various inner rooms: Vin.3.201 laying aside the robe within the stable, he should remain within the stable. It is not enclosed: … See Bu-NP.2.3.4 … A stable comes to be for various families … It is not enclosed … or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.6 A watch tower comes to be for one family: laying aside the robe within the watch-tower, he should remain within the watch-tower. A watch-tower comes to be for various families; there are various rooms, various inner rooms; he should remain in the same inner room as that in which the robe was laid aside or at the main entrance, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.7 A quadrangular building comes to be for one family: laying aside the robe within the quadrangular building See Bu-NP.2.3.6 … A quadrangular building comes to be for various families … from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.8 A long house comes to be for one family: laying aside the robe within the long house. … A long house comes to be for various families … from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.9 A mansion comes to be for one family: laying aside the robe within the mansion. … A mansion comes to be for various families … from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.10 BD.2.20 A boat comes to be for one family: laying aside the robe within the boat. … A boat comes to be for various families; there are various rooms, various inner rooms[30]; he should remain in the same inner room as that in which the robe was laid aside, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.11 A caravan comes to be for one family: laying aside the robe in the caravan, seven abbhantaras[31] should not be removed before or behind, an abbhantara should not be removed from the side. A caravan comes to be for various families: laying aside a robe in the caravan, it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.12 A field comes to be for one family, and is enclosed: laying aside the robe within the field, he should remain within the field. It is not enclosed: it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.[32] A field comes to be for various families, and is enclosed. Laying aside the robe within the field, he should either remain at the main entrance, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.[33] It is not enclosed: it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.13 A threshing-floor comes to be for one family, and is enclosed: laying aside the robe on the threshing-floor, he should remain on the threshing-floor. It is not enclosed: it should not be removed from the reach of the hand. A threshing-floor comes to be for various families, and is enclosed: laying aside the robe on the BD.2.21 threshing-floor, he should either remain at the gate, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.14 A monastery comes to be for one family, and is enclosed.[34]See Bu-NP.2.3.13 … It is not enclosed. … A monastery comes to be for various families: … It is not enclosed; it should not be removed from the reach of the hand. Vin.3.202


Bu-NP.2.3.15 A dwelling-place comes to be for one family, and is enclosed: laying aside the robe within the dwelling-place, he should remain within the dwelling-place. It is not enclosed: he should remain in the same dwelling-place as that in which the robe was laid aside, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand. A dwelling-place comes to be for various families, and is enclosed: he should remain in the same dwelling-place as that in which the robe was laid aside for at the main entrance, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand. It is not enclosed: he should remain in the same dwelling-place as that in which the robe was laid aside, or it should not be removed from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.16 A foot of a tree comes to be for one family: laying aside the robe in the shade, if he spreads it entirely in the shade at the time of mid-day, he must remain in the shade.[35] A foot of a tree comes to be for various families; it must not be removed from the reach of the hand.


Bu-NP.2.3.17 An open space having one precinct means: in a jungle where there are no villages,[36] the same precinct is seven BD.2.22 abbhantaras all round[37]; beyond that there are different precincts.[38]


Bu-NP.2.3.18 If he thinks that he is away, separated when he is away, separated, except on the agreement of the monks, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he is in doubt as to whether he is away, separated, except on the agreement of the monks, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that he is not away, separated, when he is away, separated, except on the agreement of the monks, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that it is taken away[39] when it is not taken BD.2.23 away … If he thinks that it is bestowed when it is not bestowed … If he thinks that it is lost when it is not lost … If he thinks that it is destroyed when it is not destroyed … If he thinks that it is burnt when it is not burnt … If he thinks that it is stolen when it is not stolen, except on the agreement of the monks, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. Not forfeiting the robe which had to be forfeited, if he makes use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he is away, separated, when he is not away, separated, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether he is not away, separated, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he is not away, separated, when he is not away, separated, there is no offence.


Bu-NP.2.3.19 There is no offence if before sunrise[40] it is taken away, bestowed, lost, destroyed, burnt; if they tear it from him; if they take it on trust[41]; if there is the agreement of the monks,[42] if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.[43]

Footnotes and references:

1.

That is with the antaravāsaka, the inner robe, and the uttarāsaṅga, the upper robe or garment. The two together are called santaruttarai.e., sa-antar’-uttara, the inner one with the upper one. They did not wear the outer cloak, Vin-a.652. For notes on the three robes see above, BD.2.1, n.2. This rule is in opposition to the previous one, where monks wore more than the prescribed number of robes; here they wear less than the right number. See also Bi-Pc.24.

2.

Vin-a.651, “having black and white circles on the places which had been touched by the perspiration.”

3.

At Vin.1.298 Ānanda himself, though through thoughtlessness, entered a village without his outer cloak.

4.

ticīvarena vippavaseyya. Cf. Vin.2.123, where it is a dukkaṭa, offence for a monk to be separated from his nisīdana, piece of cloth for sitting on, for four months.

5.

At Vin.1.254 the five privileges allowable to monks after the ceremonial making of the kaṭhina-cloth, atthatakaṭhina, include one called asamādānacāra, translated, at Vinaya Texts ii.151, in accordance with Buddhaghosa’s explanation, as “going for alms without wearing the usual set of three robes,” a relaxation of the above rule. At Vin.1.298 it is a dukkaṭa offence for a monk to enter a village wearing (only) his inner and upper robes. But because Ānanda thoughtlessly did so on one occasion, the lord is reputed to have put forward five reasons for laying aside the outer cloak, five (identical) reasons for laying aside the upper and inner robes, and five (partly identical and partly different) reasons for laying aside the cloth for the rains. It is not said which reason covered Ānanda’s lapse. When monks are staying in lodgings in the jungles they are allowed to lay aside one of the three robes in a house; but then it came about that if they are away from that robe for more than six nights, there is an offence; see Bu-NP.29.

6.

bhaddanto, an honorific title. Cf. below, BD.2.80, where an ill monk is allowed to travel without a rug, santhata, if he has the agreement of the Order as to the rug.

7.

ticīvarena avippāvasasammutiṃ. This means that by convention, by agreement among other monks, the one who is ill is regarded as not separated from his three robes, although in fact he is separated from them and goes away without them. On account of this agreement, sammuti, the separation, being regarded as no separation, does not count as an offence. Cf. also sammuti at, e.g., Bu-NP.14; Vin.1.283f. The government is by democracy, for the monks agree among themselves. At Vin.1.298 the illness of a monk is one of the reasons “allowed” for his laying aside his outer cloak. See Vin.1.109f. for agreement to, and removal of, ticīvarena avippavāsa in connection with sīmā, boundary.

8.

Cf. rule in Bu-NP.29.

11.

ekupacāra; cf. Vin.3.46, gāmupacāra.

12.

uddosita; Vin-a.654 explained, yānādīnaṃ bhaṇḍānaṃ sālā, a room for such implements as waggons, etc.

13.

aṭṭa; Vin-a.654 explained, “it is made with bricks for warding off hostile kings, and thick walls, and is four or five storeys high.” Cf. Vb-a.366.

14.

māla (or māḷa). Cf. Vin.1.140; DN.i.2; Snp.p.104. Snp-a.447 calls maṇḍalamālaṃ, a mandapaṃ, or pavilion. At Vibhaṅga 251 this and the preceding building (aṭṭa) and the following one (pāsāda) are included in the definition of senāsana, lodgings. Vin-a.654 says that māla is ekakūṭasaṅgahīto caturassapāsādo, a quadrangular building comprised under one roof. Vb-a.366 quotes this definition, while saying that māla is like an eating-hall, a pavilion. This and the next two, pāsāda and hammiya, occur, as māla, pāsāya, hammiya at Āyaraṃgasutta 2.7.1, and are translated by Jacobi in Jaina Sūtras 1.105 as loft, platform, roof. See his note on māla, loc. cit. But from the Commentary, it seems that māla and pāsāda are two different styles of houses, the one square, the other long, while hammiya is a larger type of house.

15.

pāsādo ti dīghapāsādo, Vin-a.654. Pāsāda has also been defined as the big buildings of kings; cf. below, BD.2.130, the pāsāda of King Bimbisāra. If a pāsāda type of building is built by other people, then it is called a hammiya.

16.

hammiya. See above, n.4. Vin-a.654 calls it muṇḍacchadanapāsādo, a “long house” under a bare roof. This appears to be a house with what we should nowadays call a “sun-roof”—i.e., all the rooms have ceilings, so that they are covered in; but over the whole or part of the uppermost rooms, although there are ceilings, there is no further outside roofing. This means that one can walk on the upper side of the ceiling with no roof over one. Vinaya Texts i.173, n.1, says that pāsāda “is a long storeyed mansion (or, the whole of an upper storey). Hammiya is a Pāsāda, which has an upper chamber placed on the topmost storey.”
At Vin.2.154 five kinds of roof (chadana) are given: of tiles (or bricks), stones, plaster, tiṇa-grass, palm-leaves. At Vin.2.146 hammiya is given with vihāra, aḍḍhayoga, pāsāda and guhā as the five leṇāni, abodes, allowed to monks, while at Vin.1.58, Vin.1.96 these are called “extra allowances,” to dwelling at the foot of a tree; Vin.1.239 names these five abodes as paccantima vihāra kappiya-bhumi, “outside building as a kappiyabhūmi” (Vinaya Texts ii.119) where the country people may keep and cook their stores; and at Vin.1.284 the Order is allowed to agree upon any one of these that it desires as a storeroom for robe-material. At Vin.2.152 hammiya occurs as one of the three inner chambers, gabbha, allowed to monks. Hammiya-gabbha is translated at Vinaya Texts iii.173 as “chambers on an upper storey,” with quote from the Commentary in n.5: hammiya-gabbho ti ākāsatale kuṭāgāragabbho mudaṇḍacchadanagabbho vā. Vinaya Texts i.173, n.1, quotes Buddhaghosa’s definition on Vin.1.58: hammiyan ti upariākāsatale patiṭṭhitakūṭāgāro pāsādo yeva.

17.

karaṇa; here, in dhaññakaraṇa, seems to mean preparing the doing. Vin-a.654 explains by khala, corn ready for threshing, or the threshing-floor.

18.

Vin-a.654, “a flower-park or an orchard.”

19.

vihāra.

20.

Vin-a.652, “it is the village of one ruler or headman.”

21.

Vin-a.652, “it is enclosed by a wall or by a fence or by a ditch.”

22.

vatthabbaṃ. In this meaning cf. Vin.2.8. Vin-a.652, “he ought to wait in a place of his own choosing within the village until the sun rises.”

23.

Vin-a.652, “it is shown by this that there are various precincts to this same village.”

24.

Vin-a.652, “the definition of a house is that, it is the dwelling of one family, etc.”

25.

hatthapāsa. Vin-a.652 says that the robe should not be moved for more than two and a half linear measures—i.e., ratana. Cf. Vb-a.343, dve vidatthiyo ratanaṃ. A vidatthi is a span of twelve fingers’ breadth. Cf. also Vin.3.149. Vin-a.652 proceeds, “having gone beyond this measure, if the monk by psychic potency waits in the air until the sun rises, there is an offence involving forfeiture.” Hatthapāsa, a reach of the hand, arm’s length, is a technical term, always used in the Vinaya to denote a distance of two and a half cubits around oneself.

26.

Vin-a.652, “it is a village belonging to various rulers and headmen, like Vesālī and Kusināra, etc.”

27.

dvāramūle = nagaradvārassa samīpe, Vin-a.652.

28.

There is not much difference between gabbha, “room,” and ovāraka, “inner room,” but the latter is usually a bedroom, sleeping-apartment.

29.

Vin-a.654, dvāramūle = gharadvāramūle.

30.

Cf. the “ocean-going ship” of AN.iv.127 = SN.iii.155, and the one at Ja.5.75 which took five hundred passengers. Thus the Indians at the time of the compilation of these works were not apparently ignorant of quite large-scale shipbuilding.

31.

abbhantara also at Vin.1.111. Vin-a.654 says, “here one abbhantara is twenty-eight hands.” See Introduction, p.50.

32.

Vin-a.654, “of the field.”

33.

Variant readings at Vin.3.276 suggest some difficulty, even as though there were some omission.

34.

At Vin.2.154 monks were allowed to enclose their ārāmas (monasteries) with bamboo fences, thorn fences and ditches.

35.

The area is that to which the mid-day shadow spreads. People used to live at the foot of trees. Mūla, foot, is literally root.

36.

Cf. definition of “jungle” at Vin.3.46, Vin.3.51.

37.

= Vin.1.111. Vin-a.655 says, “standing in the middle there are seven abbhantaras extending to all quarters; sitting in the middle he guards the robe put down on the boundary of the eastern or western quarter. But if at the time of sunrise he goes as much as a hair’s breadth to the eastern quarter, the robe is to be forfeited in the western quarter. But at the time of uposatha, beginning with the monks sitting at the outer circle of the congregation, the boundary of the seven abbhantaras should be removed, so that the boundary increases to the size to which the Order increases.”

38.

Thus, in order to be in the same precinct as the robe, he has to be within seven abbhantaras of it.

39.

Meaning doubtful. Paccuddhaṭa seems = paṭi + uddhaṭa or uddhaṭa, from uddharati. Cf. above, BD.2.5, BD.2.15, ubbhatasmiṃ kaṭhine, and BD.2.6, n.5. Cf. below, Bu-NP.2.3.20 anto aruṇe paccuddharati; also BD.2.159; and Vin.4.121f., apaccuddhāraka (said of a robe).
If, in this clause, the noun that governs paccuddhaṭa had been mentioned, the meaning of the verb would have been clearer. I think that it means “taken away” on the analogy of ubbhata, and that “robe” is the understood subject; see Vin-a.657. Thus paccuddhaṭa comes into line with the other past participles, vissajjita, naṭṭha, etc., whose subject here, as often elsewhere, is to be taken as “robe.” A robe that is taken away means, as do these other verbs (see also “no offence” paragraph), that a monk is no longer responsible for it. Secondly, there is the suggestion that a-paccu-ddhaṭa means “not (formally) given”; see Critical Pali Dictionary. In this context, the noun to be supplied could also be “the agreement,” for paccu-ddharati does not appear to be a verb used for giving or distributing robes to monks; and in this case the monk had his robe and was asking permission to be away from it. But if we were to read “the agreement is taken away,” we should still have to explain paccuddharati in the “no offence” paragraph, and the point would then arise, could monks, or did they, rescind an agreement once they had given it? Thirdly, the kaṭhina privileges might be the subject of paccuddhaṭa, paccuddharati, for their removal has been mentioned as a condition in the rule: it is an offence to be absent from the robes if the privileges are removed. Hence there could only be “no offence” if they are not removed, whereas the reverse is stated to be the case. Moreover, ubbhata, not paccuddhaṭa, is the normal way of speaking of the kaṭhina privileges that are removed.

40.

anto aruṇe = anto-aruṇagga, “the time before sunset,” so Critical Pali Dictionary.

41.

Cf. Bu-NP.1, Bu-NP.3, Bu-NP.21 (“broken” = Vin.4.245), Bu-NP.27, Bu-NP.29.

42.

All these clauses show that in some way the monk’s responsibility for the robe had gone.

43.

Cf. below, BD.2.159.