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) 24

Bu-NP.24.1.1 BD.2.134 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a cloth for the rains[1] came to be allowed to monks by the lord.[2] The group of six monks, saying: “A cloth for the rains is allowed by the lord,” looked about beforehand for robe-material as cloths for the rains, (and) making them beforehand, they put them on, (but going) naked because the cloths for the rains were old, they let their bodies get wet with the rain. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six monks look about beforehand for robe-material as cloths for the rains, (and) making them beforehand put them on, (but) because the cloths for the rains are old, (going) naked,[3] let their bodies get wet with the rain?” BD.2.135 Then these monks told this matter to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, looking about beforehand for robe-material as cloths for the rains, (and) making them beforehand put them on, (but) because the cloths for the rains were old, (going) naked, you let your bodies get wet with the rain?”

“It is true, lord,” they said.

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

“How can you, foolish men, looking about before-hand for robe-material as cloths for the rains, (and) making them beforehand put them on, (but) because the cloths for the rains were old, (going) naked, let your bodies get wet with the rain? It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

If he thinks, ‘A month of the hot weather remains,’ robe-material as a cloth for the rains should be looked about for by that monk. If he thinks, ‘Half a month of the hot weather remains,’ making it, Vin.3.253 it should be put on. If he thinks, ‘More than a month of the hot weather remains,’ and should look about for robe-material as a cloth for the rains; if he thinks, ‘More than half a month of the hot weather remains,’ and making it, should put it on, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.”


Bu-NP.24.2.1 If he thinks, ‘A month of the hot weather remains,’ robe-material as a cloth for the rains should be looked about for by that monk means: having approached those people who formerly gave robe material as cloths for the rains, he may speak to them thus: ‘It is the time for robe-material as cloths for the rains, it is the season for robe-material as cloths for the rains, and other people are giving robe-material as cloths for the rains.’ He should not say, ‘Give me robe-material as a cloth for the rains, bring me robe-material as a cloth for the rains, barter[4] robe-material for me as a cloth for the BD.2.136 rains, get in exchange robe-material for me as a cloth for the rains.’

If he thinks, ‘Half a month of the hot weather remains,’ making it, it should be put on means: making it in the half month of the hot weather remaining, it should be put on.

If he thinks, ‘More than a month of the hot weather remains’ means: if he looks about for robe-material as a cloth for the rains while over a month of the hot weather remains,[5] there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.

If he thinks, ‘More than half a month of the hot weather remains,’ making it he puts it on while more than half a month of the hot weather remains, it is to be forfeited. It should be forfeited to … an individual. And thus, monks, should it be forfeited: ‘Honoured sirs, this robe-material as a cloth for the rains was looked about for by me while more than a month of the hot weather remained; making it, it was put on[6] while more than half a month of the hot weather remained; it 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 cloth for the rains to the venerable one.’

If he thinks that more than a month of the hot weather remains when there is more, and looks about for robe-material as a cloth for the rains, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he is in doubt as to whether more than a month of the hot weather remains, and looks about for robe-material as a cloth for the rains, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that less than a month of the hot weather remains when there is more, and looks about for robe-material as a cloth for the rains, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that more than half a month of the hot weather remains when there is more, (and) making it, BD.2.137 puts it on, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he is in doubt as to whether more than half a month of the hot weather remains, (and) making it, puts it on, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that less than half a month of the hot weather remains when there is more, (and) making it, puts it on, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If (going) naked, although there is a cloth for the rains, he lets his body get wet with the rain, there is an offence of wrong-doing.[7] If he thinks that more than a month of the hot weather remains when there is less, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether less than a month of the hot weather remains, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that less than a month of the hot weather remains when there is less, there is no offence. If he thinks that more than half a month of the hot weather remains when there is less, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether less than half a month of the hot weather remains, Vin.3.254 there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that less than half a month of the hot weather remains when there is less, there is no offence.

There is no offence if, thinking, ‘A month of the hot weather remains,’ he looks about for robe-material as a cloth for the rains; if, thinking, ‘Half a month of the hot weather remains,’ making it, he puts it on; if, thinking, ‘Less than a month of the hot weather remains,’ he looks about for robe-material as a cloth for the rains; if, thinking, ‘Less than half a month of the hot weather remains,’ making it, he puts it on; if the cloth for the rains that has been looked for is worn out during the rains[8]; if the cloth for the rains that has BD.2.138 been put on is worn out during the rains; washing them, they should be laid aside, they should be put on (again) at the right season. (There is no offence) if the robe-material is stolen,[9] if the robe-material is destroyed,[10] if there are accidents; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

vassikasāṭikā. These are cloth garments used instead of the robes, for these had been found to become wet and heavy during the rains, Vin.1.253. At Vin.2.177 we get sāṭiya- (= sāṭika-) gāhāpaka, translated at Vinaya Texts iii.223 “receiver of under-garments.” But gāhāpaka is “assigner,” see above, BD.2.122, n.1. Udakasāṭika occurs at e.g. Vin.1.294, Vin.4.278–279, meaning bathing-cloths (for nuns). This was not a cloth that was put on on top of or under the robes, but was worn instead of them. In the same way the vassikasāṭikā were worn by monks to save the robes and the discomfort of wearing wet robes. At Vin.4.172 the group of six monks had their vassikasāṭikā made to an unsuitable measure. The right measure was therefore prescribed, and was to be in length six spans of the accepted length, in breadth two and a half spans. As editor of Vinaya Texts ii.225, note (q.v.) observes: “this is just enough to go round the loins from the waist half down to the knee.” At Vin.4.173 vassikasāṭikā are defined as “for the four months of the rains,” while at Vin.1.297 it is allowed to allot cloths for the rains during the four months of the rains, after that time to assign them.

2.

Vin.1.294; the giving of vassikasāṭikā was one of the eight boons conferred upon Visākhā.

3.

Cf. above, BD.2.45, where monks complained of monks going naked.

4.

parivattetha. Cf. above, BD.2.60, BD.2.67, BD.2.111.

5.

atirekamāse sese gimhāne.

6.

paridahita here replaces a past participle of nivāseti, otherwise used in this story.

7.

Cf. above, BD.2.45, n.3.

8.

vassaṃ ukkaḍḍhiyyati. Vin-a.721 gives khepetvā khepeti perhaps meaning “to cause to waste.” Ukkaḍḍhiyyati is perhaps “worn out,” cf. karṣita, from √kṛṣ, one of whose meanings is given as “worn out” in Monier-Williams’ Dictionary. Avakarṣati (ava-kṛṣ) can also mean “to take off.” Kshāpayati given by Monier-Williams as “to destroy, ruin, make an end of, finish.”

9.

acchinnacīvarassā ti etaṃ vassikasāṭikam sandhāya vuttaṃ, Vin-a.723. It might be stolen by thieves when the monks were bathing.

10.

naṭṭhacīvara, see above, BD.2.47, BD.2.48.

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