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) 26

Bu-Pc.26.1.1 BD.2.285 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the venerable Udāyin[1] became skilled[2] in making robes. Vin.4.61 A certain nun[3] approached the venerable Udāyin, and having approached she spoke thus to the venerable Udāyin:

“Honoured sir, it were good if the master sewed a robe for me.”

Then the venerable Udāyin, having sewed a robe for this nun, having made it well dyed, well worked, having raised[4] up a bold design[5] in the middle, having folded it up,[6] laid it aside. Then that nun approached the venerable Udāyin, and having approached she spoke thus to the venerable Udāyin:

“Where, honoured sir, is that robe?”

“Come, sister, having taken this robe as it was folded up, having laid it aside, when the Order of nuns comes for exhortation, then, having put on this robe, come at the back of the Order of nuns.”

BD.2.286 Then that nun, having taken this robe as it was folded up, when the Order of nuns came for exhortation, then, having put on this robe, she came at the back of the Order of nuns. People … spread it about, saying:

“How little these nuns fear blame, they are sly, they have no shame,[7] inasmuch as they raise up a bold design on a robe.”

Nuns spoke thus: “Whose work is this?”

“Master Udāyin’s,” she said.

“A thing like this should not adorn these who have little fear of blame, who are sly, who have no shame. Is it not master Udāyin’s?” they said.

Then the nuns told this matter to the monks. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can the venerable Udāyin sew a robe for a nun?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Udāyin, sewed a robe for a nun?”

“It is true, lord.”

“Is she a relation of yours, Udāyin, or not a relation?”

“She is not a relation, lord,” he said.

“Foolish man, one who is not a relation does not know what is suitable or what is unsuitable, or what is pleasing or what is unpleasing for a woman who is not a relation. How can you, foolish man, sew a robe for a nun who is not a relation? It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should sew or should cause a robe to be sewn for a nun who is not a relation, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bu-Pc.26.2.1 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

Not a relation means: one who is not related on the BD.2.287 mother’s side or on the father’s side back through seven generations.[8]

Nun means: one ordained by both Orders.[9]

A robe means: any one robe of the six (kinds of) robes.[10] Vin.4.62

Should sew means: if he himself sews, in each insertion of the awl[11] there is an offence of expiation.

Should cause to be sewn means: if he commands another, there is an offence of expiation. When once commanded, if he sews much, there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.26.2.2 If he thinks that she is not a relation when she is not a relation, (and) sews or causes a robe to be sewn, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether she is not a relation … If he thinks that she is a relation when she is not a relation … there is an offence of expiation. If he sews or causes a robe to be sewn for one ordained by one (Order only), there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that she is not a relation when she is a relation there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether she is a relation, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that she is a relation when she is a relation, there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.26.2.3 There is no offence if she is a relation; if he sews or causes another requisite to be sewn, except a robe; if she is a female probationer, a female novice; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.[12]

The Sixth

Footnotes and references:

1.

Vin-a.804 calls him Lāḷudāyi. See Dictionary of Pali Proper Names.

2.

paṭṭha. Above, BD.2.109, same thing said of Upananda. Cf. also above, BD.2.42.

3.

Vin-a.804 says she was his former wife.

4.

vuṭṭhāpetvā, variant reading samuṭṭhāpetvā.

5.

paṭibhānacitta. Vin-a.804 says paṭibhānacittan ti attano paṭibhaṇena, katacittaṃ, so kira cīvaraṃ rajitvā tassa majjhe nānāvaṇṇehi vippakatamethunaṃ itthipurisarūpaṃ akāsi, which seems to mean a design (or painting, citta) made by his own wit (or ingenuity, intelligence). They say that he, dyeing the robe-material, made in the middle, with various colours, the form of a woman and a man in interrupted intercourse (so Pali-English Dictionary for vippakatamethuna). Cf. Vin.2.151, where the group of six monks had “imaginative drawings (paṭibhānacitta) painted on their vihāras, figures of men and figures of women” (Vinaya Texts iii.172, q.v., n.3). Paṭibhānacitta occurs again as being in a cittāgāra, picture-gallery, at Vin.4.298.

6.

saṃharitvā. Cf. Vin.1.46; Vin.2.117, Vin.2.150.

8.

Cf. above, BD.2.31, BD.2.47.

9.

Cf. above, BD.2.32, BD.2.40.

10.

Cf. below, BD.2.407. Vin-a.804 and Vin-a.863 say this means that which he is able to put on, to dress in, using the verbs nivāsetuṃ and pārupituṃ, which refer to the inner robe and to the upper robe and outer cloak; see above, BD.2.32, n.2, n.3. Vin-a.863 expressly says that the robe which is the least one fit for assignment is not meant (at Vin.4.120); presumably it is not meant here either.

11.

ārāpathe.

12.

Cf. above, BD.2.284.

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