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) 12

Bu-Pc.12.1.1 BD.2.230 … at Kosambī in Ghosita’s monastery. Now at that time the venerable Channa, having indulged in bad habits,[1] being examined for an offence[2] in the midst of the Order, shelved the question(s) by (asking) others,[3] saying, “Who has committed? What has he committed? On what ground has he committed? How has he committed? What do you say? Why do you say (it)?” Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can the venerable Channa, being examined for an offence in the midst of the Order, shelve the question(s) by (asking) others, saying: ‘Who has committed … Why do you say (it)?’ … “It is true, lord,” he said.

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

“How can you, foolish man, being examined for an offence in the midst of the Order … saying, ‘… Why do you say (it)?’? Vin.4.36 … It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …” and having rebuked him and given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

“Well then, monks, let the Order bring a charge of evasion[4] against the monk, Channa. And thus, monks, should he be charged: the Order should be informed BD.2.231 by an experienced, competent monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. This monk, Channa, being examined for an offence in the midst of the Order, shelved the question(s) by (asking) others. If it seems right to the Order, the Order should bring a charge of evasion against the monk, Channa. This is the motion. Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. This monk, Channa … by (asking) others. The Order brings a charge of evasion against the monk, Channa. If the bringing of a charge of evasion against the monk, Channa, seems right to the venerable ones, let them be silent; if it does not seem right, they should speak. A charge of evasion is brought by the Order against the monk, Channa, and it is right … So do I understand.’

Then the lord having rebuked the venerable Channa in many a figure for his difficulty in maintaining himself … “… And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

“In evasion,[5] there is an offence of expiation.”

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


Bu-Pc.12.2.1 Now at that time the venerable Channa, being examined for an offence in the midst of the Order, thinking, “Shelving the question(s) by (asking) others, I will fall into an offence,” (so) having become silent, he vexed[6] the Order. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can the venerable Channa, being examined for an offence in the midst of the Order, having become silent, vex the Order?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Chaiina, being examined for an offence in the midst of the Order, having become silent, vexed the Order?”

“It is true, lord,” he said.

BD.2.232 The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked him, saying:

“How can you, foolish man … vex the Order? It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …” and having rebuked him and given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

“Well then, monks, let the Order bring a charge of vexing[7] against the monk, Channa. And thus, monks … as above in Bu-Pc.12.1.1; instead of evasion read vexing; instead of shelving the question(s) by (asking) others read having become silent, he vexes the Order … should this rule of training be set forth:

In evasion, in vexing, there is an offence of expiation.[8] Vin.4.37


Bu-Pc.12.3.1 Evasion means: being examined in the midst of the Order on an example[9] or for an offence, not wishing to speak of it, not wishing to bring it forward,[10] he shelves the questions by (asking) others, saying: ‘Who has committed? What has he committed? On what ground has he committed? How has he committed? What do you say? Why do you say (it)?’—this means evasion.

Vexing means: being examined in the midst of the Order on an example or for an offence, not wishing to speak of it, not wishing to bring it forward, having become silent, he vexes the Order—this means vexing.

If he is not being charged with evasion (but) is being examined in the midst of the Order on an example or for an offence, (and) not wishing to speak of it, not wishing to bring it forward, he shelves the question(s) by (asking) others, saying: ‘Who has committed? … Why do you say (it)?’ there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is not being charged with vexing (but) is BD.2.233 being examined … not wishing to speak of it, not wishing to bring it forward, having become silent, he vexes the Order, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is being charged with evasion (and) is being examined … he shelves the question(s) by (asking) others, saying: ‘… Why do you say (it)?’, there is an offence of expiation. If he is being charged with vexing (and) is being examined … having become silent, he vexes the Order, there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.12.3.2 If he thinks that it is a legally valid act when it is a legally valid act, in evasion, in vexing, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is a legally valid act, in evasion, in vexing, there is an offence of expiation. If he thinks that it is not a legally valid act[11] when it is a legally valid act, in evasion, in vexing, there is an offence of expiation. If he thinks that it is a legally valid act when it is not a legally valid act, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not a legally valid act, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is not a legally valid act when it is not a legally valid act, there is no offence.[12]


Bu-Pc.12.3.3 There is no offence if, not knowing, he asks; if, being ill, he does not speak; if, thinking: ‘Quarrel or dispute or strife or contention will come to be for the Order,’ he does not speak; if, thinking: ‘There will come to be schism in the Order or dissension in the Order,’[13] he does not speak; if, thinking: ‘He will carry out an (official) act[14] according to what is not the rule,[15] or by BD.2.234 an incomplete congregation,[16] or against one who is not suitable for an (official) act,’[17] he does not speak; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Second

Footnotes and references:

1.

As at BD.1.309. Cf. Channa at Vin.2.292, DN.ii.154.

2.

At Vin.2.88, when monks charge a monk with failure in conduct, ācāravipatti, there is a legal question arising out of censure.

3.

aññen’ aññaṃ paṭicarati; cf. above, BD.2.164.

4.

aññavādakaṃ ropetu. Aññavādaka is the person who prevaricates, who evades the issue by talking about something else, “who prefers to talk about something else, shuffling and evading the thing in question” (Critical Pali Dictionary). Verbal evasion only is meant, see Old Commentary.

5.

aññavādake.

6.

tuṇhibhūto saṅghaṃ viheseti. Vin-a.770 says that vihesaka, vexing, is a name for becoming silent.

7.

vihesakaṃ ropetu.

8.

aññavādake vihesake pācittiyaṃ. Vin-a.770 says that in the two-fold matter there is a twofold pācittiya.

9.

vatthusmiṃ; cf. vatthu + āpatti above, BD.2.222.

10.

na ugghāṭetukāma.

11.

adhammakamma, explained at Vin.1.317.

13.

Cf. Vin.4.128, Vin.4.153, Vin.4.217. Saṅghabheda and saṅgharāji discussed at Vin.2.303; referred to at Vb-a.428.

14.

Six kinds of kamma, official acts, given at Vin.1.317.

15.

adhammena. Cf. Vin.1.115, where it is allowed to protest against an (official) act that is being conducted according to what is not the rule.

16.

vaggena, by a section only of the Order, not all the members being present. Cf. Vin.1.108, Vin.1.111; also below, BD.2.269, and Vin.4.126.

17.

na kammārahā. Cf. Vin.4.126, Vin.4.152, Vin.4.153; Vin.5.221.

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