Vinaya Pitaka (1): Bhikkhu-vibhanga (the analysis of Monks’ rules)

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) 4

Bu-Pc.4.1.1 BD.2.190 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time, the group of six monks made lay-followers speak dhamma line by line[1]; the lay-followers were disrespectful, not deferential towards the monks, they did not live in harmony.[2] Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can this group of six monks make lay-followers speak dhamma line by line? The lay-followers are disrespectful … they do not live in harmony.”

Then these monks told this matter to the lord …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, made lay-followers speak dhamma line by line, (and that) lay-followers … in harmony?”

“It is true, lord.” The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying:

“How can you, foolish men, make lay-followers speak dhamma line by line, (so that) lay-followers … in harmony? 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:

Whatever monk should make one who is not ordained speak dhamma line by line, there is an offence of expiation.”

Bu-Pc.4.2.1 BD.2.191 Not ordained means: setting aside monk and nun, the rest are called not ordained. Vin.4.15

A line, the next line, every syllable, the next phrase. A line[3] means: starting together they end together.[4] The next line[5] means: starting singly they end together.[6] Every syllable[7] means: saying “form is impermanent” (rūpaṃ aniccaṃ) he drops .[8] The next phrase[9] means: while saying “form is impermanent,” he[10] utters the sound, “feelings are impermanent.” Whatever is line and whatever is next line and whatever is every syllable and whatever is next phrase, all this means dhamma line by line.

Dhamma means: spoken by the enlightened one,[11] spoken by disciples,[12] spoken to holy men,[13] spoken by BD.2.192 devatās,[14] connected with the goal,[15] connected with dhamma.[16]

Should make speak[17] means: he makes (him) speak by line, for every line there is an offence of expiation. He makes (him) speak by syllable, for every syllable there is an offence of expiation.

Bu-Pc.4.2.2 If he thinks that he is not ordained when he is not ordained (and) makes him speak dhamma line by line, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether he is not ordained (and) makes him speak dhamma line by line, there is an offence of expiation. If he thinks that he is ordained when he is not ordained (and) makes him speak dhamma line by line, there is an offence of expiation. If he thinks that he is not ordained when he is ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether he is ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he is ordained when he is ordained, there is no offence.

Bu-Pc.4.2.3 There is no offence in making (him) recite it together,[18] in studying it together,[19] if while speaking he drops a BD.2.193 phrase[20] usually familiar,[21] if he drops it while expounding,[22] if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Fourth

Footnotes and references:


padaso. Vin-a.741, padaṃ = koṭṭhāsaṃ. Commentary also calls pada a fourth part of a verse (gāthāpada), the others being anupada, anvakkhara, anuvyañjana. Cf. MN-a.1.2, where is given the number of padas and akkharas of which Majjhima is said to consist; see W.A. de Silva, Catalogue of Palm Leaf Manuscripts, i.xx., who also says, “eight letters (akkhara) are a Pada, four Pada, a Gāthā.”


Cf. AN.iii.14.


pada, see above, BD.2.190, n.1.


ekato paṭṭhapetvā ekato osāpenti. Vin-a.741 says that beginning every line together with a novice, so it is ended together.


anupada. Vin-a.741 says dutiyapada. Vin-a.’s assumption is that a thera and a novice are reciting a verse, Dhp.1 being cited.


pāṭekkaṃ paṭṭhapetvā ekato osāpenti. A thera says the first line alone and a novice says the second line together with him, Vin-a.741.


anvakkhara. On akkhara see BD.1.132, n.1. Vin-a.741 says, anvakkharan ti ekekaṃ akkharaṃ.


run ti opāteti, he drops run. Pali-English Dictionary gives “sound-particle” for run. Cf. Ja.1.418, sā run ti saddaṃ akāsi. Variant readings of text are ruppaṃ, rūpaṃ; of Vin-a., . The Sinhalese version of Vinaya reads, rūpan ti osāpeti, he ends at rūpaṃ; he thus drops (opāteti) aniccaṃ, which is not the same as dropping a single syllable out of one word, and which seems to be the offence.


anubyañjana. The offence here is for a thera and a novice to say “form” and “feelings” simultaneously, instead of the latter waiting to begin his line until the former has finished his.


The novice, see Vin-a.741–742.


Vin-a.742 says, “the whole Vinayapiṭaka, Abhidhammapiṭaka, Dhammapada, Cariyapiṭaka, Udāna, Itivuttaka, Jātaka, Suttanipāta, Vimānavatthu, Petavatthu, the Brahmajālā and other Suttas.”


Vin-a.742 says, “spoken by disciples belonging to the fourfold congregation: the Anaṅgaṇa, Sammādiṭṭhi, Anumāna, Cūḷavedalla, Mahāvedalla Suttas and others,” all Majjhima Suttas. MN-a.2.67 records that the ancients call the Anumāna the Bhikkhupātimokkha.


Isibhāsita. Vin-a.742 says, “spoken to wanderers outside (the Sakyaputtiya Orders): the whole of the Paribbājakavagga,” in the Majjhima.


Vin-a.742 says, “spoken by (or with) devas: the Devatāsaṃyutta, Devaputtasaṃyutta, Mārasaṃyutta, Brahmasaṃyutta, Sakkasaṃyutta,” of the Saṃyuttanikāya.


atthupasaṃhito ti aṭṭhakathānissito; so Vin-a.742, meaning apparently what is connected with the Commentary—a far cry from attha as originally the goal, the aim, the thing sought.


dhammupasaṃhito ti pāḷinissito; so Vin-a.742, thus identifying dhamma with the text. This definition of dhamma occurs again below, BD.2.206. Again not the earlier meaning of dhamma.


Below, BD.2.206, where same explanation is given for deseyya, should teach. According to Vin-a.742Vin-a.743 it is an offence to speak line by line any matter included at the three Councils; also various suttas, named, but not so included; and various other compilations, enumerated, and called abuddhavacana.


Vin-a.743, if taking an exposition with an unordained person, he speaks it with him.


With one who is not ordained, so Vin-a.743.


Text, gandha; Vin-a.743 gantha with variant reading gaṇṭha.


Vin-a.743 says that “if the half-line of a verse does not come (to him), but the rest comes, this is called yebhuyyena paguṇagantho.”


I.e., a sutta, so Vin-a.744.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: