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’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 3

Vin.4.12BD.2.186 Bu-Pc.3.1.1 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six monks brought slander[1] against monks for quarrelling, for disputing, for engaging in contention[2]; hearing of this they were proclaimed for that and this dissension; hearing of that they were proclaimed[3] for this and that dissension, so that quarrels that had not arisen arose, and also quarrels that had arisen rolled on for becoming more, for expansion. Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can this group of six monks bring slander against monks for quarrelling, (so that) hearing of this … they were proclaimed … for expansion.”

Then these monks told this matter to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, brought slander against monks for quarrelling, (so that) hearing of this … they were proclaimed … for expansion?”

“It is true, lord,” they said.

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

“How can you, foolish men, bring slander against monks for quarrelling, (so that) hearing of this … they were proclaimed … for expansion. It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased, nor for increase in those who are pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

In slander by monks,[4] there is an offence of expiation.”


Bu-Pc.3.2.1 BD.2.187 Slander means: slander comes to be in two ways: making dear[5] or desiring dissension.

One brings slander in ten ways: on account of birth[6] and on account of name and on account of clan and on account of work and on account of craft and on account of disease and on account of distinguishing mark and on account of passion and on account of attainment and on account of mode of address.

Birth means[7]: there are two (kinds of) birth: low birth and high birth. Low birth means: birth as (a member of) a despised class, birth as a bamboo-plaiter, birth as a hunter, birth as a cartwright, birth as a refuse-scavenger—this means low birth. High birth means: birth as a noble, birth as a brahmin—this means high birth … Mode of address means: there are two modes of address: low mode of address and high mode of address. Low mode of address means: he says, “You are a camel …” … by calling him male and female—this means low mode Vin.4.13 of address. High mode of address means: he says, “You are learned … a good bourn is to be expected for you”—this means high mode of address.


Bu-Pc.3.2.2 One who is ordained, hearing of one who is ordained, brings a slander against the one who is ordained, saying: “So and so calls him ‘a (member of a) despised class,[8] a bamboo-plaiter, a hunter, a cartwright, a refuse-scavenger,’” for each sentence there is an offence of expiation.

One who is ordained, hearing of one who is ordained, brings a slander against the one who is ordained, saying: “So and so calls him ‘a noble, a brahmin’” … “So and so calls him ‘an Avakaṇṇaka, a Javakaṇṇaka, a Dhaniṭṭhaka, a Saviṭṭhaka, a Kulavaḍḍhaka’” … saying: “So and so calls him ‘a camel, a ram, an ox, BD.2.188 an ass, an animal, one (destined) for a state of woe, a good bourn is not for him, but a bad bourn is to be expected for him’,” … saying: “So and so calls him ‘learned, experienced, wise, clever, a speaker of dhamma, a bad bourn is not for him, but a good bourn is to be expected for him,’” for each sentence there is an offence of expiation.

One who is ordained, hearing of one who is ordained, brings a slander against the one who is ordained, saying: “So and so says that ‘there are here some (members of a) despised class, bamboo-plaiters, hunters, cart-wrights, refuse-scavengers,’ he does not say anything else, he says just this,” for each sentence there is an offence of wrong-doing.

One who is ordained … brings a slander against the one who is ordained, saying: “So and so says that ‘there are here some nobles, brahmins,’ he does not say anything else, he says just this” … “So and so says that, ‘There are here some learned, experienced, wise, clever people, speakers of dhamma, there is no bad bourn for these, but a good bourn is to be expected for these,’ he does not say anything else, he just says this,” for each sentence there is an offence of wrong-doing.

One who is ordained … brings a slander against the one who is ordained, saying: “So and so says, ‘What now if these are (members of a) despised class, bamboo-plaiters, hunters, cartwrights, refuse-scavengers?’ he does not say anything else, he says just this” … “So and so says, ‘What now if these are learned, experienced, wise, clever people, speakers of dhamma?’ He does not say anything else, he says just this,” for each sentence there is an offence of wrong-doing.

One who is ordained … brings a slander against the one who is ordained, saying: “So and so says, ‘We are (members of a) despised class’” … So and so says, ‘We are not learned, experienced, wise, clever people, speakers of dhamma, a bad bourn is not for us, but a good bourn is to be expected for us,’ he does not BD.2.189 Vin.4.14 say anything else, he says just this,” for each sentence there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Bu-Pc.3.2.3 If one who is ordained, hearing of one who is ordained, brings a slander against the one who is ordained, for each sentence there is an offence of expiation. If one who is ordained, hearing of one who is ordained, brings a slander against one who is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If one who is ordained, hearing of one who is not ordained, brings a slander against one who is ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If one who is ordained, hearing of one who is not ordained, brings a slander against the one who is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Bu-Pc.3.2.4 There is no offence if he is not making dear, if he is not desiring dissension, if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.


The Third

Footnotes and references:

1.

pesuññaṃ upasaṃharanti.

2.

These three words are defined at Vin.4.150 as “engaging in legal questions,” so it may be supposed that the “quarrels,” etc., were of a doctrinal rather than of a personal nature.

3.

akkhāyanti.

4.

bhikkhupesuññe.

5.

piyakamyassa. Vin-a.740, “he says, ‘Thus will I become dear to him,’ desiring to be dear himself.”

6.

Cf. above, BD.2.171; here ablative is used throughout.

7.

For the rest of this pācittiya, cf. Bu-Pc.2.

8.

For this passage, cf. above, BD.2.178f.

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