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) 5

Bu-Pc.5.1.1 BD.2.194 … at Āḷavī in the chief shrine at Āḷavī.[1] Now at that time lay-followers came to the monastery for the sake of hearing dhamma. When dhamma had been spoken, the monks who were elders went to their own dwelling-place,[2] (but) the monks who were novices lay down in a sleeping-place[3] just there in the attendance hall[4] together with the lay-followers, careless, thoughtless, naked, mumbling,[5] snoring.[6] The lay-followers[7] looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can the revered sirs lie down in a sleeping-place careless, thoughtless, naked, mumbling, snoring?”

Monks heard these lay-followers who looked down upon, criticised, spread it about. Those who were modest monks looked down upon, Vin.4.16 criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can these monks lie down in a sleeping-place with one who is not ordained?”

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

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that monks lay down in a sleeping-place with one who is not ordained?”

BD.2.195 “It is true, lord,” they said.

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

“How, monks, can these foolish men lie down in a sleeping-place with one who is not ordained? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

“Whatever monk should lie down in a sleeping-place with one who is not ordained, there is an offence of expiation.”

And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord.


Bu-Pc.5.2.1 Then the lord,[8] having stayed at Āḷavī for as long as he found suitable, set out on tour for Kosambī. Going along on tour, he arrived in due course at Kosambī. The lord stayed there at Kosambī in the Badarikā monastery.[9] Monks spoke thus to the venerable Rāhula:

“Reverend Rāhula, a rule of training laid down by the lord says that there should be no lying down in a sleeping-place with one who is not ordained. Reverend Rāhula, find a sleeping-place.”[10]

Then the venerable Rāhula, not obtaining a sleeping-place, lay down in a privy. Then the lord, getting up in the night towards morning, approached this privy, and having approached, he coughed and the venerable Rāhula also coughed.

“Who is here?” he said.

“It is I, lord, Rahula,” he said.

“Why are you sitting there, Rahula?”

Then the venerable Rahula told this matter to the BD.2.196 lord. Then the lord in this connection, on this occasion, having given reasoned talk,[11] addressed the monks, saying:

“I allow you, monks, to lie down in a sleeping-place with one who is not ordained for two or three nights. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should lie down in a sleeping-place with one who is not ordained for more than two or three nights, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bu-Pc.5.3.1 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

Not ordained means: setting aside monk, the rest are called not ordained.[12]

More than two or three nights means: exceeding two or three nights. Vin.4.17

With means: together with.

Sleeping-place[13] means: if it is fully covered,[14] if it is fully closed round, if it is partially covered, if it is partially closed round.

Should lie down in a sleeping-place means: if at sunset on the fourth day a monk lies down[15] while one who is not ordained is lying down, there is an offence of expiation. If one who is not ordained lies down while a monk is lying down,[16] there is an offence of expiation. Or if both lie down, there is an offence of expiation. If getting up, they lie down again, there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.5.3.2 BD.2.197 If he thinks that one is not ordained when he is not ordained (and) lies down in a sleeping-place for more than two or three nights, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether one is not ordained (and) lies down in a sleeping-place for more than two or three nights, there is an offence of expiation. If he thinks that one is ordained when he is not ordained (and) lies down in a sleeping-place for more than two or three nights, there is an offence of expiation. If it is half covered, half closed round, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that one is not ordained when he is ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether one is ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that one is ordained when he is ordained, there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.5.3.3 There is no offence if he stays for two or three nights; if he stays for less than two or three nights; if having stayed for two nights, departing before dawn on the third night, he stays again[17]; if it is fully covered (but) not fully closed round; if it is fully closed round (but) not fully covered; if it is partially uncovered, partially not closed round; if the monk sits down while one who is not ordained is lying down; if one who is not ordained sits down while the monk is lying down; or if both sit down; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.


The Fifth

Footnotes and references:

1.

See BD.1.247, for Āḷavī; and Ja.1.160, for this story.

2.

yathāvihāra.

3.

seyyaṃ kappeti. It is clear from Old Commentary below that seyyā is to be taken as a separate word; hence I have added “in a sleeping-place.” There is the verb nipajjati, to lie down, but not necessarily in a recognised sleeping-place.

4.

upaṭṭhānasālā. Monks and laymen can stay here for a night. The upaṭṭhānasālā means a hall where help and support is given, food and so on, by the dāyakas or benefactors, for the monks who come from outside. It is like the dānasālā, of the present day in Ceylon.

5.

vikūjamānā, which Vin-a.744 paraphrases as vippalapamānā.

6.

kākacchamānā, which Vin-a.744 says is like making the noise of a crow, in the nose, emitting senseless noises. Also at AN.iii.299.

7.

I.e., the first-mentioned ones, Vin-a.744.

8.

Again, cf. Ja.1.160Ja.1.161, where this story is given in greater detail. The sudden appearance of Rāhula in the Vinaya version gives the appearance of material left out.

9.

One of the four establishments for the Order at Kosambī.

10.

According to Ja.1.161, before this rule was laid down, the monks had always welcomed Rāhula as though the place were his own. But from the day that it was laid down they would not give him a resting-place, for fear of transgressing.

11.

At Ja.1.161, Sāriputta is reprimanded by the lord, because if he did not know about Rāhula, what would he know about other youths? But in the Vinaya version Rāhula, judging by the prefix āyasmā to his name, is considered as ordained. It was not therefore that ordained monks should not lie down with him, but that he should not lie down with unordained persons.

12.

Cf. above, BD.2.191, where we get “setting aside monk and nun.”

13.

seyyā. In the rule only the phrase seyyaṃ kappeyya occurs; this is explained next. Another definition of seyyā, occurs below, BD.2.244.

14.

I.e., by a roof.

15.

nipajjati.

16.

bhikkhu nipanne, variant readings given at Vin.4.355.

17.

Cf. below, BD.2.378.