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) 3

Bu-NP.3.1.1 BD.2.24 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. At that time a robe[1] accrued to[2] a certain monk not at the right time.[3] The robe, as they made it, did not suffice for him. Then Vin.3.203 that monk, pulling out that robe, smoothed it again and again.[4] The lord, as he was engaged in touring the lodgings, saw this monk pulling out this robe and smoothing it again and again, and seeing him he approached this monk, and having approached he said to this monk:

“Why, monk, do you, pulling out this robe, smooth it again and again?”

“Lord, this robe which accrued to me not at the right time, as they made it does not suffice for me, therefore do I, pulling out this robe, smooth it again and again.”

“But, monk, is there for you an expectation of a robe?”[5]

“There is, lord,” he said.

Then the lord on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

“Monks, I allow you, having accepted a robe not at the right time, to lay it aside in the expectation of a robe.”[6]


Bu-NP.3.1.2 BD.2.25 Then monks said: “It is allowed by the lord, if a robe has been accepted not at the right time, to lay it aside in the expectation of a robe.” These, accepting robes not at the right time, laid them aside for more than a month. These robes, tied up in bundles, remained on a bamboo for hanging up robes.[7] Then the venerable Ānanda, as he was engaged in touring the lodgings, saw these robes tied up in bundles that remained on the bamboo for hanging up robes. Seeing them, he addressed the monks thus:

“Your reverences, whose are these robes, tied up in bundles, that remain on the bamboo for hanging up robes?”

“Your reverence, they are our robes, given not at the right time, that are laid aside in the expectation of robes.”

“But for how long, your reverences, have these robes been laid aside?”

“For more than a month, your reverence,” they said. Then the venerable Ānanda looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can these monks, having accepted robe-material not at the right time, lay it aside for more than a month?”

Then the venerable Ānanda told this matter to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that monks having accepted robe-material not at the right time, laid it aside for more than a month?” “It is true, lord,” they said.

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

“How, monks, can these foolish men, having accepted robe-material not at the right time, lay it aside for more than a month? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus also, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

When the robe-material is settled, when a monk’s BD.2.26 kaṭhina (privileges) have been removed, if robe-material should accrue to the monk not at the right time, it may be accepted by that monk if he so wish. Having accepted it, it should be made up quickly. But if it is not sufficient for him, that robe-material may be laid aside by that monk for a month at most, should he have any expectation that the deficiency may be supplied.[8] If he should lay it aside for longer than that, even with the expectation (of the deficiency being supplied), there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.Vin.3.204


Bu-NP.3.2.1 When the robe-material is settled means: See Bu-NP.2.3 … or they are removed before the time by the Order.

If robe-material (should accrue) not at the right time means: some that has accrued during the eleven months[9] when the kaṭhina cloth is not (formally) made[10]; some that has accrued during the seven months when the kaṭhina cloth is (formally) made, even a gift (of material) offered[11] at the right time; this means robe-material (accruing) not at the right time.

BD.2.27 Should accrue means: should accrue from the Order or from a group or from a relation or from a friend, or as rag-robes, or by means of his own property.[12]

If he so wish means: himself desiring, it may be accepted.

Having accepted it, it should be made up quickly means: it should be made up within ten days.

But if it is not sufficient for him means: if it is not enough to be worn.

That robe-material may be laid aside by that monk for a month at most[13] means: it may be laid aside for a month at the maximum.[14]

That the deficiency may be supplied means: for the sake of supplying the deficiency.

Any expectation means: there is expectation from the Order or from a group or from a relation or from a friend, or as to rag-robes, or by means of his own property.[15]


Bu-NP.3.2.2 If he should lay it aside for longer than that, even with the expectation (of the deficiency being supplied) means: if a robe that was expected accrues on the very day that the first robe[16] accrues, he should have it made up within ten days. … If a robe that was expected accrues two days … three days … four days … five days … six days … seven days … eight days … nine days … ten days after the first robe accrues, he should have it made up within ten days. If a robe that was expected accrues eleven days … twelve days … thirteen days … fourteen days … fifteen days … sixteen days … seventeen days … eighteen BD.2.28 days … nineteen days … twenty days after the first robe accrues, he should have it made up within ten days … twenty-one days after the first robe accrues, he should have it made up within nine days … twenty-two … twenty-three … twenty-four … twenty-five … twenty-six days after the first robe accrues, he should have it made up within four days. If a robe that was expected accrues twenty-seven … twenty-eight … twenty-nine days … he should have it made up within one day. If a robe that was expected accrues thirty days after the first robe accrues, on that same day it should be allotted, assigned, bestowed. But should it not be allotted or assigned or bestowed, it is to be forfeited on the thirty-first day at sunrise; Vin.3.205 it should be forfeited to the Order, or to a group, or to an individual. And thus, monks, should it be forfeited: … ‘This robe, honoured sirs, (given) not at the right time, is to be forfeited by me, the month having elapsed. I forfeit it to the Order.’‘The Order should give back … let the venerable ones give back … I will give back this robe to the venerable one.’


Bu-NP.3.2.3 If the robe that was expected accrues but is different from the first robe that has accrued, and there are some nights over,[17] it should not be caused to be made up unwillingly.[18] If he thinks that a month has elapsed when it has elapsed, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he is in doubt as to whether a month has elapsed … If he does not think that a month has elapsed when it has elapsed … If he thinks that one is allotted when it is not allotted … If he thinks that one is assigned when it is not assigned BD.2.29 … If he thinks that one is bestowed when it is not bestowed … If he thinks that one is lost when it is not lost … If he thinks that one is destroyed when it is not destroyed … If he thinks that one is burnt when it is not burnt … If he thinks that one is stolen when it is not stolen, 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 a month has elapsed when it has not elapsed, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether a month has not elapsed, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that a month has not elapsed when it has not elapsed, there is no offence.


Bu-NP.3.2.4 There is no offence if within a month it is allotted, assigned, bestowed, lost, destroyed, burnt, if they tear it from him, if they take it on trust; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.[19]

Footnotes and references:

1.

cīvara means both the made-up robe and the robe-material or robe-cloth.

2.

uppannaṃ hoti. Cf. above, BD.2.4, n.3; below, BD.2.90, BD.2.99.

3.

akalacīvara. Also at Vin.4.245, Vin.4.246, Vin.4.284, Vin.4.287.

4.

Vin-a.658, “thinking, if one gets rid of the creases, it will be big (enough for me), sprinkling it with water, treading upon it with his feet, pulling it out with his hands and taking it up, he rubbed it across his back … but dried by the sun, it (i.e., the robe-material) became as small as before, so he did this again.”

5.

cīvarapaccāsā. Cf. cīvarāsā at Vin.1.259ff., and bhattapaccāsā at Vin.4.77.

6.

Cf. Bu-NP.2, where monks are not allowed to wear extra robes.

7.

cīvaravaṃsa, with cīvararajju allowed at Vin.1.286, Vin.2.121. Cf. below, BD.2.152.

8.

Literally “for the completion of,” pāripūriyā.

9.

Vin-a.658, “setting aside one last month of the rainy season (kattika), there remain eleven months.”

10.

atthata, from attharati, literally “to spread out.” Not however, to be taken literally here, but as the ceremony of making the robes at the end of the rains. See Vinaya Texts ii.148 note for very interesting remarks on distributing the robes, and above, BD.2.5, n.1.
These curious expressions, “during the eleven, during the seven months,” mean, I think, that, in the case of the eleven, the kaṭhina cloth is only distributed in the month following the termination of the rains; therefore there would be eleven months when it is not made. In the case of the seven months, it is probably meant that no making of robes takes place during the rains, but that in unusual circumstances robe-material might be given to a monk during the remaining seven months of the year. Vin-a.658 says that the four months of the rainy season (kattika) are in the winter; thus setting aside five months (i.e., these, with the one remaining over after “eleven months”), there remain seven. Cf. Vin-a.729. Cf. above, BD.2.5, n.3; below, BD.2.154, n.3.

11.

ādissa; Vin-a.658, uddisitvā.

12.

Cf. below, BD.2.91.

13.

pārāmaṃ … paramatā.

14.

pārāmaṃ … paramatā.

15.

Vin-a.658, “on a certain day the Order or a group will receive robes, and there will be a robe for me; … a robe has been ordered for me by my relations, by a friend; when these come they will give the robes. … I will get a robe from the dust-heap, … by my own property, meaning cotton threads, etc.” This last must mean that if he has the means of sewing the robes together, he may do so. Cf. below, BD.2.91.

16.

mūlacīvara, as opposed to paccāsā-cīvara, the robe that was expected (Vin-a.659).

17.

I.e., the month not being finished (Vin-a.659).

18.

akāma. Vin-a.659, “if the first robe is soft and the robe that was expected is coarse and it is impossible to mix them, and there are nights, though not a month, remaining, the robe should not be caused to be made up unwillingly. But taking another robe that was expected, this should be made up after an interval, and the robe that was expected should be assigned as a cloth used for water-strainers.”

19.

Cf. Bu-NP.1, Bu-NP.2, Bu-NP.28, Bu-NP.29; and Bu-NP.21 = Vin.4.245 (“broken” instead of “burnt”).

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