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) 23

Bu-NP.23.1.1 BD.2.126 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery.[1] Now at that time the venerable Pilindavaccha,[2] desiring to make a cave,[3] had a (mountain) slope cleared near Rājagaha. Then King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha approached the venerable Pilindavaccha, and having approached and greeted the venerable Pilindavaccha, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha spoke thus to the venerable Pilindavaccha:

“What, honoured sir, is the elder having made?”

“Sire, desiring to make a cave, I am having a (mountain) slope cleared,” he said.

“Honoured sir, does the master require an attendant for the monastery?”

“Sire, an attendant for a monastery is not prescribed by the lord.”

“Well, honoured sir, asking the lord, you must tell him of me.”

“Very well, Sire,” the venerable Pilindavaccha answered King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha.

Then the venerable Pilindavaccha taught, roused and gladdened King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha with dhamma-talk. And when King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha had been taught, roused and gladdened with dhamma-talk by the venerable Pilindavaccha, rising up from his seat, greeting the venerable Pilindavaccha, he departed, keeping his right side towards him.

Then the venerable Pilindavaccha sent a messenger to the lord, to say: “Lord, King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha desires to present an attendant for a monastery. BD.2.127 Now, lord, what line of conduct is to be followed?”

Then the lord, on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying: “Monks, I allow an attendant for a monastery.”

Then a second time did King Vin.3.249 Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha approach the venerable Pilindavaccha, and having approached and greeted the venerable Pilindavaccha, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha spoke thus to the venerable Pilindavaccha:

“Honoured sir, has the lord prescribed an attendant for a monastery?”

“Yes, Sire,” he said.

“Well, honoured sir, I will give the master an attendant for the monastery.”

Then King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha, promising the venerable Pilindavaccha an attendant for the monastery, forgetting (but) remembering after a time, addressed a chief minister who was concerned with all the affairs,[4] saying: “My good man,[5] has that attendant for the monastery whom I promised, been given to the master?”

“Your Majesty,[6] an attendant for the monastery has not been given to the master.”

“My good man, how long is it since it was considered?”

“Then that chief minister, counting up the days, spoke thus to King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha: “It is five hundred days,[7] your Majesty.”

“Well then, give five hundred attendants for the monastery to the master.”

“Very well, your Majesty,” and the chief minister, replying thus to King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha, made over to the venerable Pilindavaccha five hundred attendants for the monastery, and a distinct village BD.2.128 established itself. They even called it “The Village of the Monastery Attendants,”[8] and they called it Pilinda Village.[9]


Bu-NP.23.1.2 Now at that time the venerable Pilindavaccha came to be dependent (for alms) on the families in this village. Then the venerable Pilindavaccha, dressing in the morning, taking his bowl and robe, entered Pilinda Village for alms-food. Now at that time there came to be a festival in this village; young girls[10] wearing ornaments, adorned with garlands, were celebrating it. Then the venerable Pilindavaccha, as he was going about in Pilinda Village on continuous alms-begging, came up to the dwelling of a certain attendant of the monastery, and having come up he sat down on the appointed seat. Now at that time, the daughter of the monastery attendant’s wife, seeing other little girls wearing ornaments, adorned with garlands, cried and said: “Give me a garland, give me an ornament.”

Then the venerable Pilindavaccha said to that monastery attendant’s wife: “Why is this little girl crying?”

“Honoured sir, this little girl is crying because, having seen other little girls wearing ornaments, adorned with garlands, she says: ‘Give me a garland, give me an ornament.’ Whence is there a garland for us who are poor, whence is there an ornament?”

Then the venerable Pilindavaccha, taking a roll of grass,[11] said to that monastery attendant’s wife: “Now BD.2.129 set[12] this roll of grass on this little girl’s head.” Then that monastery attendant’s wife, taking that roll of grass, set it on the little girl’s head; it became a golden chaplet,[13] beautiful, Vin.3.250 good to look upon, charming; there was no golden chaplet like it in the women’s quarters of the king. People said to King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha:

“Your Majesty, in the house of a certain monastery attendant there is a golden chaplet, beautiful, good to look upon, charming; there is no golden chaplet like it in the women’s quarters of your Majesty. As he is poor, where (could he have got it) from? Undoubtedly it was taken by theft.”

Then King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha had that monastery attendant’s family imprisoned. A second time did the venerable Pilindavaccha, dressing in the morning, taking his bowl and robe, enter Pilinda Village for alms-food. As he was going about in Pilinda Village on continuous alms-begging, he came up to that monastery attendant’s dwelling, and having come up, he asked the neighbours: “Where has this monastery attendant’s family gone?”

“Honoured sir, they have been imprisoned by the king on account of that golden chaplet,” they said.


Bu-NP.23.1.3 Then the venerable Pilindavaccha went up to the residence of King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha, and having gone up he sat down on the appointed seat. Then King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha approached the venerable Pilindavaccha, and having approached and greeted the venerable Pilindavaccha, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, the venerable Pilindavaccha said to King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha: “How is it, BD.2.130 Sire, that the monastery attendant’s family is imprisoned?”

“Honoured sir, in that monastery attendant’s house there was a golden chaplet, beautiful, good to look upon, charming; there is no golden chaplet like it in our women’s quarters. Where (could he have got it) from, as he is poor? Undoubtedly it was taken by theft.”

Then the venerable Pilindavaccha exercised volitional force,[14] and said: “The palace[15] of King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha is golden,” and it became made all of gold.[16] He said: “Now, Sire, from where have you got so much gold?”

Saying, “I understand, honoured sir, this is the master’s majesty of psychic potency,” he set free the monastery attendant’s family. People, delighted, full of satisfaction because they heard that a state of further-men, a wonder of psychic potency had been shown by master Pilindavaccha to the king and his retinue, presented the five kinds of medicine to the venerable Pilindavaccha, that is to say ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, molasses. Now the venerable Pilindavaccha was customarily a receiver,[17] so when he received the five kinds of medicine he gave them away among his company. And his company came to live in abundance; whatever they received, filling pots and pitchers, they put them away, and filling water-strainers and bags, they hung them up[18] in the windows. These (pots, etc.) were leaking,[19] and the dwelling-places became beset and BD.2.131 overrun[20] by rats. Vin.3.251 People seeing (this) as they were engaged in touring the dwelling-places, looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, are storing up goods indoors,[21] like King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha.” Monks heard these people who … spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can monks strive after abundance such as this?” Then these monks told this matter to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that monks strive after abundance such as this?”

“It is true, lord,” they said.

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

“Monks, how can these foolish men strive after abundance such as this? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:[22]

Those medicines which may be partaken of[23] by ill monks, that is to say, ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, molasses: accepting these, they may be used as a store for at most seven days. For him who exceeds that (period), there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.[24]


Bu-NP.23.2.1 Those medicines which are partaken of by ill monks means: ghee[25] is called ghee from cows or ghee from BD.2.132she-goats or ghee from buffaloes; ghee from those whose meat is suitable. Fresh butter means: fresh butter from just these. Oil means: sesamum oil, oil of mustard seeds, oil containing honey,[26] oil of the castor-oil plant, oil from tallow.[27] Honey means: honey of bees.[28] Molasses means: what is produced from sugar-cane.

Accepting these, they may be used as a store for at most seven days means: they may be used for seven days at the maximum.

For him who exceeds that (period) there is an offence involving forfeiture means: it is to be forfeited on the eighth day at sunrise. It should be forfeited to … an individual. And thus, monks, should it be forfeited: ‘Honoured sirs, seven days having elapsed, this medicine of mine is to be forfeited. I forfeit it to the Order.’‘… the Order should give back … let the venerable ones give back … May I give back this medicine to the venerable one?’

If he thinks that seven days have elapsed when they have elapsed, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he is in doubt as to whether the seven days have elapsed, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that the seven days have elapsed when they have not elapsed, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that it is allotted[29] when it is not allotted, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that it is bestowed when it is not bestowed … If he thinks that it is lost when it is not lost … If he thinks that it is destroyed when it is not destroyed … Vin.3.252 If he thinks that it is burnt when it is not burnt, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If BD.2.133 he thinks that it is stolen when it is not stolen, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.

Acquiring something that has been forfeited,[30] it must not be made use of for bodily enjoyment,[31] it must not be consumed, it may be done into[32] a lamp or black colour,[33] it may be made use of by another monk for bodily enjoyment, it must not be consumed (by him). If he thinks that the seven days have not elapsed when they have elapsed, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether the seven days have not elapsed, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that the seven days have not elapsed when they have not elapsed, there is no offence.

There is no offence if within seven days it is allotted, bestowed, lost, destroyed, burnt; if they tear it from them; if they take it on trust; if it is sacrificed, renounced, given up[34] to one who is not ordained; if one devoid of longing,[35] giving (and) acquiring, makes use of it; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

2.

Cf. BD.1.112.

3.

leṇa.

4.

sabbatthaka mahāmatta.

5.

bhaṇe.

6.

deva.

7.

“five hundred,” of course, only means “many, several.”

8.

Ārāmikagamaka.

9.

Pilindagāmaka.

10.

dārikā, with variant reading dārakā. Oldenberg at Vin.3.278, referring to this passage and to the one immediately following, says, ‘I think we ought to read dārakā, dārake.’ See also his notes at Vin.3.382. I think, however, that it is not necessary to take the reading dārakā. The point probably is that the daughter of the monastery attendant’s wife was jealous of “other little girls,” rather than of the children in general.

11.

tiṇaṇḍupakan ti tiṇacumbaṭakaṃ, Vin-a.709. This is the circular roll or coil of grass (or cloth) which Indians put on the head when they are carrying baskets, water-vessels, etc., on the head. One type of wife, Vin.3.139, is called obhatacumbaṭa, one from whom the pad (for the burdens she carries on her head) is taken. At Ja.1.208 we get the word cumbaṭakalaha, a quarrel about a head-pad.

12.

paṭimuñca. Buddhaghosa at Vin-a.709 says paṭimuñcī ti ṭhapesi.

13.

suvaṇṇamālā; Vin-a.709 says a chaplet of golden lotuses.

14.

adhimucci = adhiṭṭhāsi, Vin-a.709. Critical Pali Dictionary, under both adhimuccati and adhitiṭṭhati gives “to make a (magical) act of volition.” Literally hyper-released, hyper-persisted. Cf. BD.1.128, n.3.

15.

pāsāda, see above, BD.2.16, n.5.

16.

Mentioned at Kv.608.

17.

lābhin. He usually got plenty of alms-food, etc., and so did not need the extra amount.

18.

laggeti, or perhaps “packed.” Cf. Vin.2.152, where monks thavikāyo laggenti, hung up or packed up their bags at the foot of beds and chairs.

19.

olīnavilīnāni tiṭṭhanti, were sticking and melting, hence they let through their contents, and hence there came to be rats. The Colombo and Siamese editions of Vin-a read heṭṭhā ca abhato-passtsu ca gaḷitāni, leaking through the bottom and the sides.

20.

okiṇṇavikiṇṇā.

21.

antokoṭṭhāgārikā. At Ja.3.364, mahicchā ime samaṇā anto°.

22.

At Vin.1.209 instead of this paragraph read, “having rebuked them and given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:”

23.

paṭisāyaniyānī ti paṭisāyitabbāni paribhuñjitabbānī ti attho, Vin-a.710.

24.

Vin.1.209, “exceeding that (time) is a matter to.be dealt with according to the rule.” From beginning of Bu-NP.23 to here = Vin.1.206–209. Cf. Bu-Pc.38 for rule against eating food that has been stored. The Gandharajātaka (Ja.3.363) was told in reference to this rule.
Beginning with the above rule, the order of the Nissaggiyas which follow is different in the Pali, Sanskrit and Chinese texts. See Le Prātimoksasūtra des Sarvāstivāddins, ed. Finot, J.Bu-As, Nov–Dec, 2013, p.39 (= 499).

25.

= Vin.4.88, to “sugar-cane,” below.

26.

madhukatela, or “of the honey-tree,” madhuka being the tree Bassia latifolia. Madhukapuppharasa, not allowed at Vin.1.246; translated at Vinaya Texts ii.133 “liquorice-juice.”

27.

vasā. At Vin-a.714 five kinds of vasā are given: that from bears, fish, alligators, pigs, donkeys.

28.

makkhikāmadhu. The bee is called madhumakkhikā.

29.

This and the next five cases = Vin.3.197, Vin.3.262, except that avikappita, assigned, does not occur above. For adhiṭṭhita see above, BD.2.7, n.1.

30.

nissaṭṭha, cf. above, BD.2.8.

31.

Such as anointing the limbs.

32.

upanetabbaṃ, from upa +√nī, to bring to.

33.

kālavaṇṇe. Exact significance unknown, but with padīpa (lamp) is another use for oil, since Vin-a.718 uses the verb makkheti.

34.

At Vin.3.96 and MN.i.37 catto vanto mutto pahīno. Vin-a.719, “if the medicine is sacrificed, renounced, given up for the sake of one’s mind, the mind is sacrificed, renounced, given up, then the man is called devoid of longing as to his mind; it means, thus being devoid of longing, giving to a sāmaṇera (novice).”

35.

anapekkha.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: