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) 33

Bu-Pc.33.1.1 BD.2.315 … at Vesālī in the Great Grove in the hall of the Gabled Roof. Now at that time in Vesālī a succession of meals of sumptuous foods came to be arranged.[1] Then it occurred to a certain poor workman: “This[2] will not be inferior, in that these people duly prepare a meal. What now if I were to prepare a meal?” Then that poor workman approached Kirapatika,[3] and having approached, he said to Kirapatika:

“I, master,[4] want Vin.4.76 to prepare a meal for the Order of monks with the enlightened one at the head. Give me a wage.”

Now Kirapatika had faith and was virtuous. Then Kirapatika gave more than a wage[5] to this poor work-man. Then the poor workman went up to the lord, and having gone up, having greeted the lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, the poor workman spoke thus to the lord:

“Lord, may the lord, together with the Order of monks, consent to a meal with me tomorrow.”

“But, sir, do find out, the Order of monks is large.”

“Lord, let the Order of monks be large. Many are the jujube fruits[6] prepared by me, the things to be BD.2.316 drunk[7] will be perfect on account of the juice of the jujube fruits.”[8]

The lord consented by becoming silent. Then that poor workman, having obtained the lord’s consent, having risen up from the seat, having greeted the lord, departed, keeping his right side towards him. Monks heard it said:

“The Order of monks, with the enlightened one at the head, is invited for tomorrow by a poor workman. The things to be drunk will be perfect on account of the juice of jujube fruits.” These ate, walking for alms that morning. People heard it said: “The Order of monks, with the enlightened one at the head, is invited by, the poor workman.” These conveyed much solid food and soft food for the poor workman. Then that poor workman, at the end of that night, having had sumptuous solid food and soft food prepared, had the time announced to the lord, saying: “Lord, it is time, the meal is ready.” Then the lord, dressing in the morning, taking his bowl and robe, approached the poor workman’s dwelling, and having approached he sat down on the appointed seat together with the Order of monks. Then that poor workman served the monks in a refectory. The monks spoke thus:

“Sir, give a little, give a little, sir.” He said: “Do not you, honoured sirs, accept so very little saying, ‘This is a poor workman.’ Much solid food and soft food was prepared for me. Honoured sirs, accept as much as you please.”

“Sir, it is not for this reason that we accept so very little, but we ate, having walked for alms this morning; that is why we are accepting so very little.”

BD.2.317 Then that poor workman looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can the revered sirs, invited by me, eat elsewhere?[9] Yet am I not competent[10] to give as much as they please?”

Monks heard this poor workman who … Vin.4.77 spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can these monks, invited somewhere, eat elsewhere?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the monks, invited somewhere, ate elsewhere?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can these foolish men … eat elsewhere? It is not, monks … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

In an out-of-turn meal,[11] there is an offence of expiation.

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


Bu-Pc.33.2.1 BD.2.318 Now at that time a certain monk became ill. A monk, taking alms-food, went up to that monk, and having gone up he spoke thus to that monk: “Eat, your reverence.”

“Very well, your reverence, but there is for me the expectation of a meal.”

Alms-food was conveyed to that monk in the evening. That monk did not eat as much as expected. 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 an out-of-turn meal. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

In an out-of-turn 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.33.3.1 At that time people, at the time of giving robes, having had a meal prepared together with the robes, invited monks, saying: “Having offered food, we will present (you) with robes.” The monks, being scrupulous, did not consent, saying: “It is forbidden by the lord to eat an out-of-turn meal.” … See Bu-Pc.32.3, Bu-Pc.32.4 … “… should be set forth:

In an out-of-turn 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.[12]

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


Bu-Pc.33.4.1Then the lord, dressing in the morning, taking his bowl Vin.4.78 and robe, with the venerable Ānanda as his attendant,[13] came up to a certain household, and having BD.2.319 come up he sat down on the appointed seat. Then these people gave a meal to the lord and to the venerable Ānanda. The venerable Ānanda, being scrupulous, did not accept (it).

“Take it, Ānanda,” he said.

“Very well, lord, (but) there is for me the expectation of a meal.”

“Well now, Ānanda, having assigned it (to another), take (this food).”

Then the, lord, on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

“I allow you, monks, having assigned (food to another), to eat an out-of-turn meal. And thus, monks, should it be assigned: ‘I will give the meal that I am expecting to so and so.’”[14]


Bu-Pc.33.5.1 An out-of-turn meal means: invited to any one meal of the five (kinds of) meals, having set this to one side, if he eats any one other meal of the five (kinds of) meals, this means an out-of-turn meal.

Except at a right time means: setting aside a right time.

Time of illness means: sitting in one seat he is not able to eat as much as he pleases: this means that at a time of illness (an out-of-turn meal) may be eaten.

Time of giving robes means: Time of making robes means: see Bu-Pc.32.

If, except at a right time, he accepts (food), saying: “I will eat …” see Bu-Pc.32.9.1 … If he thinks that it is not an out-of-turn meal when it is not an out-of-turn meal there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.33.5.2 There is no offence if it is at a right time; if he eats, having assigned (a meal); if he eats two or three invitations BD.2.320 together[15]; if he eats the invitations in succession[16]; if invited by a whole village he eats anywhere in that village; if invited by a whole guild he eats anywhere in that guild; if being invited, he speaks saying: “I will take alms-food”[17]; if it is the regular supply of food; if it is food (allowed by) ticket; if it is (food given) on a day of the waxing or waning of the moon; if it is (given) on an Observance day; if it is (given) on the day after an Observance day; setting aside the five (kinds of) meals, there is no offence in (eating) any other; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.[18]

The Third

Footnotes and references:

1.

Vesāliyaṃ paṇītānaṃ bhattānam bhattapaṭipāṭi adhiṭṭhitā hoti. Cf. Vin.1.248, Kusinārāyam … hoti, translated Vinaya Texts ii.138, “a succession had been fixed, in which the inhabitants of Kusināra should each in succession provide food for the Saṅgha.”

2.

Vin-a.816, this teaching or this gift to the Order.

3.

A clansman (kulaputta) named Kira, evidently influential (patika), giving out work and paying wages monthly, by the season, by the year, Vin-a.817. Mentioned nowhere but here, I believe.

4.

ayyaputta.

5.

abbhatireka vetana.

6.

badara.

7.

peyya.

8.

badaramissena. Vin-a.817 explains by badarasāḷavena. According to Pali-English Dictionary, badaramissa is “mixture or addition of the juice of the jujube fruits,” while it says that sāḷava is “perhaps a kind of salad.” At Atthasālinī 320 lapila, cf. lambila, bitter or astringent, is defined as badarasāḷava-kapiṭṭhasāḷavadi, the s° of the jujube, the s° of the wood-apple is astringent.

9.

Cf. Vin.3.66, where monks accepted lodgings elsewhere, thus annoying their would-be host, who also refers to them as bhaddantā.

10.

na cāhaṃ paṭibalo. Oldenberg, Vin.4.359, says: “The ‘na’ appears not to be correct.” It is only correct if the sentence is interrogative, na ca = but not.

11.

paraṃparabhojane. Vinaya Texts i.38, “there is pācittiya in taking food in turn,” with note (q.v.) to say, “that is, in picking and choosing with regard to food, or in regard to different invitations. The Bhikkhus were to eat straight on whatever was given, and to accept invitations in the order in which they were received.” Pali-English Dictionary gives phrase as “taking food in succession,” successive feeding. Gogerly, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1862, p.445, gets the gist of the notion without literal accuracy: “If a priest eat his ordinary meal when under an invitation to dine, except on allowed occasions, it is Pachittiyan.” Also Dickson, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1876, p.112: “A sin is committed when a priest takes food in any other order than that in which it is offered to him.” Huber, J. Bu-As., Nov–Dec, 1913, does not attempt a translation. Path of Purity 1.76 calls it “a meal subsequent to the acceptance of a previous one.” This kind of meal should not be accepted by the piṇḍapātika, almsman; see above, BD.2.307, n.1.

12.

Cf. above, BD.2.308; below, BD.2.365.

14.

Either to one who is present, or if he sees no one, then he should assign it to one person among the five kinds of his co-religionists. Vin-a.817.

15.

Vin-a.817, two or three families invite him, and he puts the food into one bowl, eats it in one place.

16.

nimantanapaṭipāṭiya bhuñjati. This must mean in the order in which they are given.

17.

Vin-a.819, “I do not require your meal.”

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