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) 9

Bu-Pc.9.1.1 BD.2.219 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, came to be making a quarrel with the group of six monks. He, having fallen into the offence of intentional emission of semen,[1] begged the Order for probation on account of this offence. The Order granted him probation on account of this offence. At that time a certain guild at Sāvatthī had food for the Order. He, being under probation, sat down in the refectory at the end of a seat. The group of six monks said to these lay-followers:

“Your reverences, this venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, an esteemed dependent of yours, is eating the gift of faith with the very same hand as that which he used to emit semen. He, Vin.4.31 falling into the offence of intentional emission, begged the Order for probation on account of that offence. The Order granted him probation on account of that offence, so that being under probation, he is sitting at the end of a seat.”

Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can this group of six monks speak of a very bad offence[2] of a monk to one who is not ordained?”

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, spoke of a very bad offence of a monk to one who is not ordained?”

“It is true, lord.”

BD.2.220 The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying:

“How can you, foolish men, speak of a monk’s very bad offence to one who is not ordained? It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should speak of a monk’s very bad offence to one who is not ordained, except on the agreement of the monks,[3] there is an offence of expiation.”


Bu-Pc.9.2.1 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

Of a monk’s means: of another monk’s.

Very bad offence means: both the four involving defeat and the thirteen involving a formal meeting of the Order.[4]

Not ordained means: setting aside monk and nun, the rest are called not ordained.[5]

Should speak of means: should speak of to a woman or to a man or to one who leads the household life[6] or to one who has gone forth.

Except on the agreement of the monks means: setting aside the agreement of the monks.

There is agreement of the monks limited to offences,[7] not limited to families; there is agreement of the monks limited to families, not limited to offences; there is agreement of the monks limited to offences and limited to families; there is agreement of the monks neither limited to offences nor limited to families.

Limited to offences means: if he says: “he should be spoken to concerning just those offences,”[8] offences come to be taken up.[9]

Limited to families means: if he says: “he should be BD.2.221 spoken to among just those families,” families come to be taken up.

Limited to offences and limited to families means: if he says: “he should be spoken to concerning just those offences among just those families,” offences come to be taken up and families come to be taken up.

Neither limited to offences nor limited to families means: there come to be offences that are not taken up and there come to be families that are not taken up.

In “limited to offences,” if setting aside those offences which come to be offences that are not taken up, he speaks about other offences, there is an offence of expiation. In “limited to families,” if setting aside those families which come to be families that are not taken up, Vin.4.32 he speaks among other families, there is an offence of expiation. In “limited to offences and limited to families,” if setting aside those offences which come to be offences that are taken up, and if setting aside those families which come to be families that are taken up, he speaks about other offences among other families, there is an offence of expiation. In “neither limited to offences nor limited to families,” there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.9.2.2 If he thinks that it is a very bad offence when it is a very bad offence (and) tells one who is not ordained, except on the agreement of the monks, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is a very bad offence (and) tells one who is not ordained, except on the agreement of the monks, there is an offence of expiation. If he thinks that it is not a very bad offence when it is a very bad offence (and) tells one who is not ordained, except on the agreement of the monks, there is an offence of expiation. If he tells of an offence that is not very bad, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he tells one who is not ordained of a transgression[10] which is very bad or which is not very BD.2.222 bad, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is a very bad offence when it is not a very bad offence, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not a very bad offence, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is not a very bad offence when it is not a very bad offence there is an offence of wrong-doing.[11]


Bu-Pc.9.2.3 There is no offence if he speaks of an example but not of an offence; if he speaks of an offence but not of an example[12]; if there is the agreement of the monks; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Ninth

Footnotes and references:

2.

duṭṭhullā āpatti. Old Commentary shows that duṭṭhulla means here something more general than “lewd” (Vin.3.128, Vin.3.191–192; BD.1.215, BD.1.336–337). Vinaya Texts i.33 has “grave offence,” but I am keeping this as a technical term for thullaccaya. Cf. Kv.163.

3.

Cf. above, BD.2.15, BD.2.157.

5.

Cf. above, BD.2.191, BD.2.211.

6.

gahaṭṭha.

7.

āpattipariyantā. Cf. Vin.2.58, āpattipariyantaṃ na jānāti, rattipariyantaṃ na jānāti; translated at Vinaya Texts ii.416 “he was not aware of the degree of the offences and was not aware of the duration of the times.” Cf. below, BD.2.371, bhesajjapariyantā and rattipariyantā.

8.

ettakāhi āpattīhi.

9.

āpattiyo pariggahitāyo.

10.

ajjhācāra. Examples are given at Vin.3.121 (coming into physical contact with a woman), Vin.3.128 (offending a woman by lewd speech); see BD.1.202, n.3. At Vinaya Texts i.184 ajjhācāra is taken to be transgression in conduct, consisting in offences against the minor rules of the Pātimokkha. Vin.1.172 is cited in support of this, for here failures in good behaviour, ācāravipatti, are said to be grave offences, those of expiation, those of confession, those of wrong-doing and those of wrong speech. This is what Vin-a.754 must be referring to when it says that “beginning with five rules, a transgression is called very bad; the rest are not very bad.”

11.

This should surely read anāpatti.

12.

According to Vin-a.754 if he names some transgression done by someone, there is no offence; likewise if he merely mentions an offence into which a monk has fallen, beginning with a Pārājika and going down to one of wrong speech, there is no offence. But if he names the type of offence and gives an example of it, such as saying, ‘This (monk) has fallen into an offence involving a formal meeting of the Order, for having emitted impurely,’ there is an offence for bringing forward (ghaṭetvā) the offence together with an example of it. The word translated as “example” is vatthu, matter, substance.

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