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) 17

Bu-NP.17.1.1 BD.2.94 … among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan monastery.[1] At that time the group of six monks had sheep’s wool Vin.3.235 washed and dyed and combed by nuns. The nuns, through washing, dyeing, combing the sheep’s wool, neglected[2] the exposition, the interrogation, the higher morality, the higher thought, the higher insight.[3] Then Mahāpajāpatī the Gotamid approached the lord, and having approached, greeting the lord, she stood at a respectful distance. As she was standing at a respectful distance, the lord spoke thus to Mahāpajāpatī the Gotamid:

Gotami, I hope that the nuns are zealous, ardent, (with) a self that is striving?”[4]

BD.2.95 “Whence, lord, is there zeal in the nuns? The masters, the group of six monks, have sheep’s wool washed and dyed and combed by nuns. The nuns … neglect the exposition, the interrogation, the higher morality, the higher thought, the higher insight.”

Then the lord … gladdened Mahāpajāpatī the Gotamid with dhamma-talk. Then Mahāpajāpatī the Gotamid … gladdened by the lord with dhamma-talk, greeting the lord, departed keeping her right side towards him. Then the lord, in this connection, on this occasion, having had the Order of monks convened, asked the group of six monks:

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, had sheep’s wool washed and dyed and combed by nuns?”

“It is true, lord,” they said.

“Were they relations of yours, monks, or not relations?”

“They were not relations, lord,” they said.

“Foolish men, those who are not relations do not know what is suitable or what is unsuitable, or what is pleasant or what is unpleasant to those who are not relations. Thus you, foolish men, will have sheep’s wool washed and dyed and combed by nuns who are not relations? 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 have sheep’s wool washed or dyed or combed by a nun who is not a relation, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.”[5]


Bu-NP.17.2.1 Whatever[6] means: he who …

Monk means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

BD.2.96 (A nun) who is not a relation means: one who is not related on the mother’s side or on the father’s side back through seven generations.

Nun means: one ordained by both Orders.

Wash means: he gives an order—there is an offence of wrong-doing. If washed, it is to be forfeited.[7]

Dye means: he gives an order—there is an offence of wrong-doing. If dyed, it is to be forfeited.

Comb means: he gives an order—there is an offence of wrong-doing. If combed Vin.3.236 it is to be forfeited. It should be forfeited … to an individual. And thus, monks, should it be forfeited: ‘Honoured sirs, this sheep’s wool, caused by me to be washed by a nun who is not a relation, is to be forfeited. I forfeit it to the Order.’‘… the Order should give back … let the venerable ones give back … I will give back this sheep’s wool to the venerable one.’

If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her wash sheep’s wool, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her wash, makes her dye sheep’s wool, there is an offence of wrong-doing together with an offence involving forfeiture. If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her wash, makes her comb sheep’s wool, there is an offence of wrong-doing together with an offence involving forfeiture. If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her wash, makes her dye, makes her comb sheep’s wool, there are two offences of wrong-doing together with an offence involving forfeiture.

If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her dye sheep’s wool, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he BD.2.97 thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her dye, makes her comb sheep’s wool, there is an offence of wrong-doing together with an offence involving forfeiture. If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her dye, makes her wash sheep’s wool, there is an offence of wrong-doing together with an offence involving forfeiture. If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her dye, makes her comb, makes her wash sheep’s wool, there are two offences of wrong-doing together with an offence involving forfeiture.

If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her comb sheep’s wool, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her comb, makes her wash sheep’s wool, there is an offence of wrong-doing together with an offence involving forfeiture. If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her comb, makes her dye sheep’s wool, there is an offence of wrong-doing together with an offence involving forfeiture. If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is not a relation and makes her comb, makes her wash, makes her dye sheep’s wool, there are two offences of wrong-doing together with an offence involving forfeiture.

If he is in doubt as to whether a woman is not a relation … If he thinks that a woman is a relation when she is not a relation … If he makes her wash another’s sheep’s wool, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he makes a woman who has been ordained by one (Order only) wash it, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that a woman is not a relation when she is a relation, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether a woman is a relation, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that a woman is a relation when she is a relation, there is no offence.

There is no offence if a female relation is washing it BD.2.98 when a woman assistant who is not a relation is (helping); if she washes it unasked; if he makes her wash unused goods tied up in a bundle[8]; if it is (washed) by a female probationer, by a female novice; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.[9]

Footnotes and references:

1.

Besides the Nigrodhārāma at Kapilavatthu, there was another at Rājagaha, mentioned, e.g., at DN.ii.116. Dictionary of Pali Proper Names says that the one at Kapilavathu was given to the Order by a Sakyan named Nigrodha. If the evidence for this were stronger, it would have been translated “Nigrodha’s monastery.”

2.

Cf. Vin.1.190, where these same five items are again connected with riñcati, to neglect.

3.

adhisīla, adhicitta, adhipañña, given at DN.iii.219 as the “three trainings.” The descriptions given at AN.i.235 and of adhicittam-anuyutta at AN.i.254ff. to my mind make it quite clear that adhi- points to the higher states of morality, thought and insight, and therefore should not be translated, as would also be possible, by “as to” morality, etc. E.M. Hare, at GS.3.310, translates “further virtue, further thought, further insight.” Moreover the exposition and the interrogation were not “as to” morality, thought and insight. The exposition (uddesa) was the recital of the Pātimokkha rules, and the interrogation (paripuccha) was the asking of all present at the fortnightly recitals if they had seen, heard or suspected any offence.

4.

pahitatta. I take this translation from Mrs. Rhys Davids’s The Birth of Indian Psychology and its Development in Buddhism, p.347, “the self bedriven”; p.350, “the man who is pahittatto, he who has the self that has striven.” The commentarial exegesis is usually, if not always, pesitatta, the self expunged, an exegesis in line with the editors’ desire for cessation and waning of the individual self. They were wrongly, though possibly deliberately, deriving pahitatta from pahiṇati, to send, instead of from padahati, to strive.

5.

Cf. Bu-NP.4, which is referred to under the name of purāṇa-cīvarasikkhāpada at Vin-a.689.

6.

From here to end of this Nissaggiya, cf. Bu-NP.4.2.2.

7.

In the plural, since animals’ hair or wool, lomāni, is thought of as a plural in Pali.

8.

Cf. above, BD.2.93, on katabhaṇḍa.

9.

Cf. above, BD.2.34.

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