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) 12

Bu-NP.12.1.1 BD.2.74 … at Vesālī in the Great Grove in the Hall of the Peaked Roof. At that time the group of six monks had a rug[1] made of pure black sheep’s[2] wool. People, engaged in touring the dwelling-place, seeing them … spread it about, saying: “How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, have a rug made of pure black sheep’s wool, like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses?” Monks heard these people who … spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can the group of six monks have a rug made of pure black sheep’s wool?” Then these monks told this matter to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, had a rug made of pure black sheep’s wool?”

“It is true, lord,” they said.

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How can you, foolish men, have a rug made of pure black sheep’s wool? It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should cause a rug to be made of pure black sheep’s wool, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.”


Bu-NP.12.2.1 BD.2.75 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

Black means: there are two (kinds of) black: black by nature or dyed black.

A rug means: it is made “having spread,” not woven. Vin.3.226

Should cause to be made means: if he makes it or causes it to be made, there is an offence of wrong-doing in the action. It is to be forfeited … to an individual. And thus, monks, should it be forfeited: … ‘… this rug which I, honoured sirs, had made of pure black sheep’s wool …’ … if he is the first wrong-doer.[3]

Footnotes and references:

1.

santhata, see above, BD.2.71, n.4.

2.

eḷaka, a ram, a wild goat, according to Pali-English Dictionary and Childers. Eḍaka (Sanskrit) is a kind of sheep, a ram, a wild goat, according to Monier-Williams. Aja is certainly a goat. The compound aj-eḷaka sometimes occurs, as at DN.i.5, seeming to mean the goats and the sheep. In India, the goat and the sheep closely resemble one another: the tails of the former stick up, those of the latter hang down; but the colour and texture of their hair, or wool (loma), are similar.

3.

Cf. Bu-NP.11.