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) 19

Bu-NP.19.1.1 BD.2.106 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six monks engaged in[1] various transactions in which gold and silver was used.[2] People … spread it about saying:

“How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, engage in various transactions in which gold and silver is used, 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 this group of six monks engage in various transactions in which gold and silver is used?” Then these monks told this matter to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, engaged in various transactions in which gold and silver is used?”

“It is true, lord,” they said.

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How can you, foolish men, engage in various transactions in which gold and silver is used? 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 engage in various transactions in which gold and silver is used, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.”


Bu-NP.19.2.1 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

BD.2.107 Various means: shaped[3] and unshaped and (partly) shaped, (partly) unshaped.

Shaped means: intended (as an ornament) for the head, intended (as an ornament) for the neck, intended (as an ornament) for the hand, intended (as an ornament) for the foot, intended (as an ornament) for the hips.

Unshaped means: it is called shaped in a mass.[4]

(Partly) shaped, (partly) unshaped means: both of these. Vin.3.240

Gold and silver[5] means: what is the colour of the teacher,[6] the kahāpaṇa, the māsaka of copper, the māsaka of wood, the māsaka of lac, used in business.[7]

Should engage in means: if he gets shaped in exchange for shaped, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he gets unshaped in exchange for shaped, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he gets (partly) shaped, (partly) unshaped in exchange for shaped, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he gets shaped in exchange for unshaped … If he gets unshaped in exchange for unshaped … If he gets (partly) shaped, (partly) unshaped in exchange for unshaped … If he gets shaped in exchange for (partly) shaped, (partly) unshaped … If he gets unshaped in exchange for (partly) shaped, (partly) unshaped … If he gets (partly) shaped, (partly) unshaped in exchange for (partly) shaped, (partly) unshaped, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. It is to be forfeited in the midst of the Order. And thus, monks, should it be forfeited: That monk, 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, BD.2.108 engaged in various transactions in which gold and silver are used; this is to be forfeited by me. I forfeit it to the Order.’ Having forfeited it, the offence should be confessed. The offence should be acknowledged by an experienced, competent monk. If an attendant of a monastery or a lay-follower comes there … See Bu-NP.18.2; instead of: except by the one who accepted gold and silver … and accepts gold and silver read: except by the one who got gold and silver in exchange … and gets gold and silver in exchange … If he thinks that it is gold and silver when it is not gold and silver, (and) gets gold and silver in exchange, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not gold and silver, (and) gets gold and silver in exchange, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that it is not gold and silver when it is not gold and silver, (and) gets gold and silver in exchange, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that it is gold and silver when it is not gold and silver, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not gold and silver, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is not gold and silver when it is not gold and silver, there is no offence.

There is no offence if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.[8]

Footnotes and references:

1.

samāpajjati, or “came into,” see BD.1.201, n.3.

2.

rūpiya-saṃvohāra, which Vin-a.696 explains as jātarūparajata-panvattana, (involving) the exchange of gold and silver. On rūpiya, jātarūpa and rajata, see above, BD.2.100, n.2.

3.

kata. This means made up into some definite object, an earring or another ornament, for instance, as opposed to akata, unshaped—i.e., still a ghana, a (shapeless) mass.

4.

ghanakata.

5.

rūpiya.

6.

satthuvaṇṇa, see above, BD.2.100, n.2.

7.

This definition of rūpiya covers those of jātarūpa and rajata at Vin.3.238, thus giving the impression that rūpiya is a generic term for jātarūpa and rajata. See above, BD.2.100, n.2.

8.

This is the only anāpatti paragraph in the thirty Nissaggiyas where nothing more than these two invariable exemptions are given.

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