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) 32

Bu-Pc.32.1.1 BD.2.306 … at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove at the squirrels’ feeding-place. Now at that time[1] Devadatta, gain and honour lost,[2] ate with his friends, having asked and asked[3] among households. People … spread it about, saying:

“How can the recluses, sons of the Sakyans, eat, having asked and asked among households? Who is not fond of well-cooked things? Who does not like sweet things?”[4]

Monks heard these people who … spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can Devadatta eat with his friends, having asked and asked among households?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Devadatta, ate with your friends, having asked and asked among households?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish man, eat with your friends, having asked and asked among households? It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

BD.2.307 In a group-meal,[5] there is an offence of expiation.”

And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord. Vin.4.72


Bu-Pc.32.2.1 Now at that time people invited ill monks to a meal. The monks, being scrupulous, did not consent, saying: “A group-meal is forbidden by the lord.” They told this matter to the lord. Then the lord on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

“I allow you, monks, when a monk is ill to eat a group-meal. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

In a group-meal, except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. In this case a right time is a time of illness; this is a right time in this case.”

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


Bu-Pc.32.3.1 Now at that time people, at the time of giving robes, having prepared a meal with the robes, invited monks, saying: “Having offered food, we will clothe (you) with robes.” The monks, being scrupulous, did not consent, saying: “A group-meal is forbidden by the lord.” BD.2.308 Little robe-material accrued (to them).[6] They told this matter to the lord. He said:

“I allow you, monks, at a time of giving robes, to eat a group-meal.[7] And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

In a group-meal, except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. In this case a right time is a time of illness, a time of giving robes; this is a right time in this case.”

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


Bu-Pc.32.4.1 Now at that time people, at the (time of) making robes,[8] invited monks to a meal. The monks, being scrupulous, did not consent, saying: “A group-meal is forbidden by the lord.” They told this matter to the lord. He said:

“I allow you, monks, at a time of making robes, to eat a group-meal. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

In a group-meal, except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. In this case a right time is a time of illness, a time of giving robes, a time of making robes; this is a right time in this case.”

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


Bu-Pc.32.5.1 Now at one time monks Vin.4.73 were going on a journey together with (some) men. Then these monks said to these men:

“Sirs, wait a moment, we will go for alms-food.” These said:

“Honoured sirs, eat just here.” The monks, being BD.2.309 scrupulous, did not accept (food), saying: “A group-meal is forbidden by the lord.” They told this matter to the lord. He said:

“I allow you, monks, at a time of going on a journey, to eat a group-meal. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

In a group-meal, except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. In this case a right time is a time of illness, a time of giving robes, a time of making robes, a time of going on a journey; this is a right time in this case.”

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


Bu-Pc.32.6.1 Now at that time monks were going in a boat together with (some) men. Then these monks said to these men:

“Sirs, take us to the bank for a moment, we will go for alms-food.” These said:

“Honoured sirs, eat just here.” The monks, being scrupulous, did not accept (food), saying: “A group-meal is forbidden by the lord.” …

“I allow you, monks, at a time of being embarked in a boat, to eat a group-meal. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

In a group-meal, except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. In this case a right time is a time of illness, a time of giving robes, a time of making robes, a time of going on a journey, a time of being embarked in a boat; this is a right time in this case.”

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


Bu-Pc.32.7.1 Now at that time, monks having spent the rains in (various) districts,[9] came to Rājagaha to see the lord. People, having seen the monks from various parts of BD.2.310 the country,[10] invited them to a meal. The monks, being scrupulous, did not consent.

“I allow you, monks, to eat a group-meal when there is a great scarcity.[11] And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

In a group-meal, except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. In this case a right time is a time of illness … a time of embarking in a boat, when there is a great scarcity; this is a right time in this case.”

And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord. Vin.4.74


Bu-Pc.32.8.1 Now at one time a blood-relation of King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha had gone forth among the Naked Ascetics. Then that Naked Ascetic approached King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha, and having approached, he spoke thus to King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha:

“I, sire, wish to make a meal for all heretics.”[12]

“If, you, honoured sir, would first entertain the Order of monks with the enlightened one at their head, you might do this.”

Then that Naked Ascetic sent a messenger to the monks, saying:

“Let the monks consent to (take) a meal with me on the morrow.”

The monks, being scrupulous, did not consent, saying: “A group-meal is forbidden by the lord.” Then that Naked Ascetic approached the lord, and having approached he exchanged friendly greetings with the lord, and having exchanged greetings of friendliness BD.2.311 and courtesy, he stood at a respectful distance. As he was standing at a respectful distance, that Naked Ascetic spoke thus to the lord:

“The revered Gotama is gone forth; I, too, am gone forth. One who has gone forth is worthy to accept the alms-food of one who has gone forth. Let the revered Gotama consent to (take) a meal with me on the morrow together with the Order of monks.”

The lord consented by becoming silent. Then that Naked Ascetic, having obtained the lord’s consent, departed. Then the lord, on that occasion, in that connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

“I allow you, monks, to eat a group-meal at a meal-time of recluses.[13] And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

In a group-meal, except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. In this case, a right time is a time of illness, a time of giving robes, a time of making robes, a time of going on a journey, a time of being embarked in a boat, when there is a great scarcity, a meal-time of recluses; this is a right time in this case.”


Bu-Pc.32.9.1 Group-meal means: when four monks eat, invited to any one meal of the five (kinds of) meals, this is called a group-meal.

Except at a right time means: setting a right time to one side.

Time of illness means: even when the feet become split[14]; this means that at a time of illness (a group-meal) may be eaten.

Time of giving robes means: the last month of the rainy season when the kaṭhina cloth is not (formally) BD.2.312 made, the five months when the kaṭhina cloth is (formally) made[15]; this means that at the time of giving robes (a group-meal) may be eaten.

Time of making robes means: when the robes are being made; this means that at the time of making robes (a group-meal) may be eaten. Vin.4.75

Time of going on a journey means: if he thinks: “I will go for half a yojana,” (a group-meal) may be eaten, it may be eaten by him going out, it may be eaten by him coming in.[16]

Time of being embarked in a boat means: if he thinks: “I will embark in a boat,” (a group-meal) may be eaten, it may be eaten by him embarking, it may be eaten by him disembarking.

A great scarcity means: when two or three monks, walking for alms-food, keep themselves going, (but) when a fourth has come they do not keep themselves going; this means that when there is a great scarcity (a group-meal) may be eaten.

Meal-time of recluses means: whoever makes a meal, being one who has attained (to the stage of) a wanderer,[17] this means that at the meal-time of recluses (a group-meal) may be eaten.

If, except at the right time, he accepts (food), thinking, “I will eat,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.32.9.2 If he thinks that it is a group-meal when it is a group-meal, (and) eats, except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is a group-meal … If he thinks that it is not a group-meal when it is a group-meal … offence of expiation. If he thinks that it is a group-meal when it is not a group-meal, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not a group-meal, BD.2.313 there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is not a group-meal when it is not a group-meal, there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.32.9.3 There is no offence if it is at a right time; if two or three eat together[18]; if having walked one by one for alms, they eat having assembled together; if it is the regular supply of food; if it is food (allowed by) ticket[19]; if it is (food given) on a day of the waxing or waning of the moon,[20] if it is (given) on an Observance day,[21] if BD.2.314 it is (given) on the day after an Observance day[22]; setting aside the five (kinds of) meals, there is no offence in (eating) any other[23]; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Second

Footnotes and references:

1.

Cf. Vin.2.196. Vinaya Texts iii.250, n.2, referring to this pācittiya, says that it is “a rule the previous existence of which is implied in the decision given here”—i.e., that (not more than) three monks shall eat a group meal at people’s houses. Whoever does so shall be dealt with yathādhamma, according to the rule—this means Bu-Pc.32.

2.

pahīnalābhasakkāra. Even Ajātasattu turned against him, when Devadatta, attempting to murder the Buddha, had a fierce elephant let loose on the road by which Gotama was to travel. See Vin-a.811. Whole story told Vin.2.184ff.

3.

viññāpetvā viññāpetvā.

4.

= below, BD.2.341.

5.

gaṇabhojane, group- or party-meal. Two to four monks constitute a gaṇa, group. See Old Commentary, below, and Vin-a.812. Vinaya Texts i.38, Vinaya Texts ii.151, “in a body”—i.e., a meal taken in a body, a group, instead of singly. At Vin.2.196 one of the three reasons why monks may not eat in a body is kulānuddayā, compassion for households. Unrestricted, obviously they might become too heavy a burden. But at Vin.1.254 a group-meal is allowable after the making of the kaṭhina cloth. Gaṇabhojana, paraṃparabhojana (Bu-Pc.33) and (an)atirittabhojana (Bu-Pc.35) form the subject of a controverted point at Kv.552. At Vism.67 one of the advantages of being a piṇḍapātika, almsman, living more or less on scraps, is said to be that such a monk will not fall into the offences, contained in this section of the Vinaya, of eating a group-meal or an out-of-turn meal.

6.

uppajjati. Vin-a.811 says, “Not taking the meal they did not give robes, therefore little accrued.” Cf. below, BD.2.318, BD.2.364. Here Vinaya Texts i.38, n.4, says this exception was “simply to guard against the stock of robes falling short.” Cf. Vinaya Texts ii.150, n.1.

7.

Cf. Vin.1.254.

8.

cīvarakārake. Here samaya is omitted; it is inserted in the “allowance” and in the “rule,” cīvarakārasamaya, below.

9.

Disā.

10.

nānāverajjake, or various provinces, different kingdoms. Cf. AN.iii.263.

11.

mahāsamaye. See Old Commentary below, and Vin-a.813. Four Monks may not beg, but when a great scarcity comes, this rule is waived, otherwise it might be impossible for all to get a meal. Samaya also means both time and concourse; for the latter, cf. Mahāsamayasuttanta of DN.

12.

sabbapāsaṇḍikabhatta.

13.

Samaṇabhattasamaya. Samaṇa is a member of a permanent body, either belonging to Gotama’s Order, saddhammika, or to another ascetic-body, aññatitthiya.

14.

pādāpi phālitā honti, so that a monk cannot go to a village for alms, Vin-a.812. Not an uncommon complaint among people who usually go barefoot.

15.

= below, BD.2.366. Cf. above, BD.2.5, BD.2.26, for atthata kaṭhina.

16.

Cf. below, BD.2.405.

17.

paribbājakasamāpanna. Vin-a.813 says this is a certain one among co-religionists and members of other sects. For definition of paribbājaka, see Vin.4.92, Vin.4.285.

18.

Vin-a.814 distinguishes five groups of four persons: (1) those not invited, where one of those invited does not come, but someone else arrives and receives food: no offence; (2) those going for alms, where one does not accept the invitation but receives his share as he is going to the village: no offence; (3) those not ordained, when monks are invited with a probationer: no offence; (4) those sending out their bowls, where one going away sends out his bowl: no offence; (5) those who are ill, where monks are invited with one who is ill: no offence for the ill one.

19.

salākabhatta. At times when alms-food was short, food-tickets were issued (salākāvutta) by a monk in charge of the meals—a kind of steward. See, e.g., BD.1.11, BD.1.26, BD.1.151. This and the next three terms occur at Vin.1.58, Vin.1.96; Vin.2.175. At Vin.1.58 = Vin.1.96 these four kinds of meals, together with those derived from three other sources, are called “extra allowances,” while at Vism.66 it is said that the almsman, piṇḍapātika (one who follows an ascetic practice), should not accept fourteen kinds of meals, including food given by ticket and the next three kinds, as above. At Vin.2.175, at a time when Rājagaha was short of alms-food, Gotama allows the monks to obtain food in each of these (seven) ways. This and the next (as pakkhikabhatta) occur also at Ja.2.209f.

20.

pakkhikaṃ. Cf. Vism.66, translated at Path of Purity i.75, “on the day of the waxing or waning of the month”; this emphasises the lunar control of such givings rather better than does the “each fortnight” of Vinaya Texts i.173, or the “during a fortnight” of Vinaya Texts iii.220. See Vinaya Texts iii.220, n.6, and Pali-English Dictionary. A fortnight, however, was one half of the lunar month: the light, moonlit half, or the dark, moonless half. Pakkhikaṃ means food given any day once a fortnight, while the next two expressions each refer to a particular day in the fortnight.

21.

uposathikaṃ, the last day of each fortnight—i.e., either the full moon day or the dark moon day. Uposathika is a fasting day for the lay people, but monks recite the Pātimokkha then, therefore it is a day to be observed or kept. Months are calculated from uposathika. As it is the last day of each fortnight, the day after it is the beginning of a month.

22.

pāṭipadikaṃ. Path of Purity i.75 has “on the first day of the moonlit fortnight”—i.e., at the beginning of a month, full moon to new moon or new moon to full moon.

23.

Cf. above, BD.2.299, BD.2.305.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: