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) 27

Bu-NP.27.1.1 BD.2.145 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. At that time a certain man, going off on a journey,[1] said to his wife:

“Weighing[2] yarn, give it to a certain weaver; getting him to weave robe-material, take care of it; when I come back I will present[3] master Upananda[4] with robe-material.”

A certain monk, as he was going for alms, heard this man as he was speaking thus. Then this monk approached the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, and having approached he spoke thus to the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans:

“You, reverend Upananda, are of great merit,[5] for at a certain place a certain man, going off on a journey, said to his wife: ‘Weighing yarn … I will present master Upananda with robe-material.’”

“Sir, he is my supporter,” he said. For this very weaver was the supporter of the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans. Then the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, approached this weaver, and having approached he spoke thus to the weaver:

“Sir, this robe-material is being specially woven for me; make it long and wide and rough,[6] make it evenly BD.2.146 woven[7] and well woven[8] and well scraped[9] and well combed.”[10]

“Honoured sir, having weighed this yarn, they gave it to me, saying, ‘Weave robe-material with this yarn.’ Honoured sir, I am not able to make it long or wide or rough, Vin.3.258 but I am able, honoured sir, to make it evenly woven and well woven and well scraped and well combed.”

“You, if you please, sir, make it long and wide and rough; there will not come to be a shortage[11] of this yarn.”

Then that weaver, as soon as the yarn had been brought,[12] setting it up on the loom, went up to that woman, and having gone up he said to that woman: “The master wants yarn.”

“Were not you, master, told by me: ‘Weave robe-material with that yarn’?”

“It is true that I, lady, was told by you: ‘Weave robe-material with this yarn’; but master Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, said to me: ‘You, if you please, sir, make it long and wide and rough; there will not come to be a shortage of this yarn.’”

Then that woman gave a second time[13] just as much yarn as she had given at first. Then the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, heard it said that “The man is come back from his journey.” Then the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, approached BD.2.147 that man’s dwelling and having approached he sat down on the appointed seat. Then that man approached the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, and having approached and greeted the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, that man said to his wife: “Is that robe-material woven?”

“Yes, master, that robe-material is woven.”

“Bring it, I will present master Upananda with robe-material.” Then that woman bringing that robe-material and giving it to her husband, told him this matter. Then that man, giving that robe-material to the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, have great desires, they are not contented; it is not easy to present them with robe-material. How can master Upananda, before being invited by me, going up to a householder’s weavers, put forward a consideration with regard to robe-material?”[14]

Monks heard that man who … spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, before being invited, going up to a householder’s weavers, put forward a consideration with regard to robe-material?” Then these monks told this matter to the lord.

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Upananda, before being invited, going up to a householder’s weavers, put forward a consideration with regard to robe-material?”

“It is true, lord,” he said.

“Is he a relation of yours, Upananda, or not a relation?”

“He is not a relation, lord.”

“Foolish man, one who is not a relation does not know what is suitable or what is unsuitable, or what is right or what is wrong for one who is not a relation. Thus will you, foolish man, before being invited, Vin.3.259 BD.2.148 going up to a householder’s weavers, put forward a consideration with regard to robe-material. It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

A man or a woman householder who is not a relation may cause robe-material to be woven by weavers for a monk. Then if that monk, before being invited, going up to the weavers, should put forward a consideration with regard to the robe-material, saying: ‘Now sirs, this robe-material is being specially woven for me. Make it long and wide and rough, and make it evenly woven and well woven and well scraped and well combed. If you do so we could give the venerable ones[15] something or other in addition.’[16] And if the monk, speaking thus, should give something or other in addition, even as little as the contents of a begging-bowl,[17] there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.”


Bu-NP.27.2.1 For a monk[18] means: for the good of a monk, making a monk an object, being desirous of presenting to a monk.

A man 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.

A householder means: he who lives in a house.

A woman householder means: she who lives in a house.

By weavers means: by weavers.[19]

Robe-material means: any one robe-material of the six (kinds of) robe-material including the least one fit for assignment.[20]

BD.2.149 May cause to be woven means: causes to be woven.

If that monk means: the particular monk for whom the robe-material is being woven.

Before being invited means: before it was said (to him): ‘What kind of robe-material do you want, honoured sir? What kind of robe-material shall I have woven for you?’

Going up to the weavers means: going to the house, approaching (them) anywhere.

Should put forward a consideration with regard to the robe-material means: he says: ‘Now sirs, this robe-material is being specially woven for me. Make it long and wide and rough, and make it evenly woven and well woven and well scraped and well combed. If you do so we could give the venerable ones something or other in addition.’

And if the monk, speaking thus, should give something or other in addition, even as little as the contents of a begging-bowl means: the contents of a begging-bowl are called conjey and rice[21] and Vin.3.260 solid food and a lump of chunam[22] and a tooth-pick and unwoven thread, and he even speaks dhamma.[23]

If according to what he says, he makes it long or wide or rough, there is an offence of wrong-doing in the action. It is to be forfeited on acquisition. It should be forfeited to … an individual. And thus, monks, should it be forfeited: ‘Honoured sirs, before I was invited (to take) this robe-material, approaching the weavers of a householder who is not a relation, I put forward a consideration with regard to the robe-material; 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 robe to the venerable one.’

BD.2.150 If, before being invited, going up to the weavers of a householder, thinking that he is not a relation when he is not a relation, he puts forward a consideration with regard to robe-material, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If, being in doubt as to whether he is not a relation, before being invited, going up to the weavers of a householder, he puts forward a consideration with regard to robe-material, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If, before being invited, going up to the weavers of a householder, thinking that he is a relation when he is not a relation, he puts forward a consideration with regard to robe-material, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. If he thinks that he is not a relation when he is a relation, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether he is a relation, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he is a relation when he is a relation, there is no offence.

There is no offence if it belongs to relations; if they are invited; if it is for another; if it is by means of his own property; if desirous of having costly (robe-material) woven he has (robe-material) costing little woven; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

pavāsaṃ gacchanto.

2.

dhārayitva ti tuletvā, Vin-a.727. Tuleti is to weigh.

3.

acchādeti, see above, BD.2.53, n.2.

5.

Same thing said to Upananda at Vin.1.300 and Vin.3.215, Vin.3.217 (BD.2.53, BD.2.58, above).

6.

Here “soft,” the opposite of “rough,” is omitted. Cf. above, BD.2.56.

7.

suvīta. Vin-a.727, sabbaṭṭhanesu samaṃ katvā, making it level (or even) everywhere.

8.

suppavāyita. Vin-a.727, sabbaṭṭhānesu samam katvā tante pasāritaṃ, making it level everywhere, it is stretched on a loom. Really suppavāyita is a synonym for suvīta.

9.

suvilekhita. Vin-a.727 says lekhaniyā suṭṭhu vilikhitaṃ. Perhaps it means that the yarn is well scraped so as to remove any rough bits, but the meaning of lekhanī is doubtful.

10.

suvitacchita. Vin-a.727 says, kocchena suṭṭhu vitacchitaṃ suviniddhotan ti attho. Pali-English Dictionary gives “well-carded” for suvitacchita. Koccha is a comb.

11.

paṭibaddhan ti vekallaṃ. Vin-a.727–728, perhaps “a refusal, a holding back, an obstruction with regard to.”

12.

yathābhataṃ suttaṃ. See meanings of yathābhataṃ in Pali-English Dictionary.

13.

pacchā, afterwards.

14.

Cf. above, BD.2.53.

15.

āyasmantānaṃ. Polite, perhaps here cajoling, form of address. Cf. above, BD.2.54.

16.

Anupadajjeyyāma.

17.

piṇḍapātamattaṃ; piṇḍapāta is the alms-food, but enough was usually received for the daily meal to fill a begging-bowl. See Old Commentary, below.

18.

For the remainder of this Nissaggiya cf. Bu-NP.8.2.

19.

tantavāyehī ti pesakārehi, cf. above, BD.2.143.

20.

Cf. above, BD.2.40, BD.2.48, BD.2.140.

21.

bhatta; cf. Vin.4.129. More usually bhojaniya is combined with, the next, khādaniya.

22.

This and the next two occur together at Vin.3.241, Vin.3.266; Vin.4.154.

23.

Vin-a.728, “he gives dhamma-talk”—i.e., perhaps a blessing, good words—for as the text shows, a monk can give things of the mind (dhamma-dāna, the best of gifts, AN.i.91) besides material things.

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