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) 20

BD.2.109 Bu-NP.20.1.1 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at the time the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, came to be skilled[1] in robe-making. He, making an outer cloak of cloth rags,[2] making it well-dyed, well-worked, clothed himself in it. Then a certain wandering student,[3] having clothed himself in a costly cloth,[4] approached the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, and having approached the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, he said: Vin.3.241

“Your reverence, this outer cloak of yours is beautiful, give it to me for (this) cloth.”

“Find out about it,[5] your reverence,” he said.

“Yes, your reverence, I know (about it).”

“Very well, then, your reverence,” he said and gave (it to him).

Then that wandering student, clothing himself in that outer cloak, went to the wandering students’ monastery.[6] The wandering students spoke thus to BD.2.110 this wandering student: “This outer cloak of yours is beautiful, your reverence. Where did you get it?”

“It was in exchange for my cloth, your reverences.”

“But, your reverence, this outer cloak will do[7] for you for some time (only). That cloth was better for you.”

Then that wandering student, thinking: “What the wandering students said is true. This outer cloak will do for me for some time (only). That cloth was better for me,” approached the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, and having approached he spoke thus to the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans: “Your reverence, here is your outer cloak, give the cloth to me.”

“But, your reverence, did I not say to you, ‘Find out about it’? I will not give it,” he said.

Then that wandering student … spread it about, saying: “Even householders give back to a householder if he regrets[8]; but why will one who has gone forth not give back to one who has gone forth?”

Monks heard that wandering student who … spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, engage in bartering[9] together with a wandering student?” Then these monks told this matter to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Upananda, engaged in bartering together with a wandering student?”

“It is true, lord,” he said.

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

“How can you, foolish man, engage in bartering together with a wandering student? It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … BD.2.111 And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should engage in various kinds of bartering, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.”[10]


Bu-NP.20.2.1 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

Various means: the requisites of robes, alms-food, lodgings, medicine for the sick, and even a lump of chunam and a toothpick and unwoven thread.[11]

Should engage in … bartering means: if he transgresses,[12] saying: ‘Give this for that, take this for that, barter this for that, get this in exchange for that,’[13] there is an offence of wrong-doing. Inasmuch as it is bartered—one’s own goods gone to the hands of another, another’s goods gone to one’s own hands—it is to be forfeited. It should be forfeited … Vin.3.242 to an individual. And thus, monks, should it be forfeited: ‘I, honoured sirs, engaged in various kinds of bartering; this is to be forfeited by me. I forfeit it to the Order.’‘… the Order should give back … let the venerable ones give back … I will give back (these goods) to the venerable one.’

If he thinks that it is bartering when it is bartering, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.[14] If he is in doubt as to whether it is bartering, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that it is not bartering when it is bartering, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that it is bartering when it is not bartering, there BD.2.112 is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not bartering, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is not bartering when it is not bartering, there is no offence.

There is no offence if he asks the value, points it out to one who makes it legally allowable,[15] saying: ‘This is ours, and we want this and that’; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.


The Second Division: that on Silk

This is its key:

Two portions on silk and pure, for six years, a rug,
And two on (sheep’s) wool, on taking, both the various kinds.[16]

Footnotes and references:

1.

paṭṭho, to be read throughout as paddha, also said of Upananda at Vin.3.210, of Udāyin at Vin.4.60. See Vin-a.665.

2.

paṭa-pilotikā, cf. SN.ii.219.

3.

paribbājaka, a wanderer, wandering student, wandering teacher. See Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, pp.141ff..; B.M. Barua, Pre-Buddhistic Indian Philosophy, p.192, and Dictionary of Pali Proper Names.

4.

paṭa, or cloak or garment.

5.

jānāhi. I think that the point of this injunction must be that when the wandering student wished to exchange the garments again (see just below), Upananda refused to do so because he was not going to be “taken in,” and get back the outer cloak which he had managed to barter with the student. For, according to Buddhaghosa (Vin-a.699), his outer cloak was dubbala (worn).

6.

Special places were given for the accommodation of the wanderers, where they could meet with one another and enter into discussions during their travels. Also, like the Sakyaputtiyas, they did not go on tour during the three months of the rains.

7.

bhavissati.

8.

vippaṭisāri. Here it means if he regrets what he has bartered and wants it back again.

9.

kayavikkaya, or “buying and selling.” Cetāpeti, to get in exchange, and parivatteti, to exchange or barter (cf. above, BD.2.60, BD.2.67, where the one is defined by the other), also imply a bartering. Here there was no buying and selling, only an exchange of articles.

10.

At DN.i.5 it is said that an ordinary man might say of Gotama, in speaking praise of him, that he refrains from kayavikkaya, bartering.

11.

= below, BD.2.161 = Vin.4.154 in definition of lābho. The last three items occur again below, BD.2.149.

12.

ajjhācarati; cf. BD.1.202, n.3.

13.

Cf. below, BD.2.135.

14.

There must, I think, be a clause omitted: ‘and engages in bartering.’ Otherwise there is no sense in the offence.

15.

A kappiyakāraka makes a thing allowable by giving it. Vin-a.701, “saying, ‘my utensils are valuable, give your bowl to another.’”

16.

I.e., rūpiyasaṃvohāra (Bu-NP.19), and kayavikkaya (Bu-NP.20). In the former there was not bartering, but payment in some kind of medium of exchange; in the latter there was exchange and barter, giving and taking.

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