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) 37

Bu-Pc.37.1.1 BD.2.335 … at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove at the squirrels’ feeding-place. Now at that time, in Rājagaha there came to be a festival on a mountain-top.[1] The group of seventeen monks went to see the festival on the mountain-top. People, seeing the group of seventeen monks, having bathed, having anointed themselves, having offered (them) (food), gave solid food. The group of seventeen monks, taking the solid food, having gone to the monastery, said to the group of six monks:

“Take, your reverences, eat solid food.”

“Where did your reverences obtain solid food?” they said.

The group of seventeen monks told this matter to the group of six monks.

“Then do you, your reverences, eat a meal at the wrong time?”[2]

“Yes, your reverences.”

The group of six monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can the group of seventeen monks eat a meal at the wrong time?” Then this group of six monks told BD.2.336 this matter to the monks. Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can the group of seventeen monks eat a meal at the wrong time?” These monks told this matter to the lord.

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, ate a meal at the wrong time?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish men, eat a meal at the wrong time? 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 eat or partake of solid food[3] or soft food at the wrong time,[4] there is an offence of expiation.Vin.4.86


Bu-Pc.37.2.1 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

The wrong time means: after noon has passed until sunrise.[5]

BD.2.337 Solid food means: Soft food means: … meat. If he accepts it, thinking: “I will eat, I will partake of,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.37.2.2 If he thinks that it is the wrong time when it is the wrong time (and) eats or partakes of solid food or soft food, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is the wrong time … If he thinks that it is the right time when it is the wrong time … offence of expiation. If he accepts for the sake of nourishment (food to be eaten) during a watch of the night, during seven days, during life, there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is the wrong time when it is the right time, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is the right time, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is the right time when it is the right time, there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.37.2.3 There is no offence[6] if, when there is a reason, he makes use of (food) to be eaten during a watch of the night, during seven days, during life; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Seventh

Footnotes and references:

1.

giraggasamajja. See on samajja interesting n.4 at Dialogues of the Buddha 1.7, also Vinaya Texts iii.71. At Vin.2.107–108 the group of six monks went to see such a festival, at which there was singing, dancing, music: made a dukkaṭa offence. At Vin.4.267, when the group of six monks went, the offence incurred is a pācittiya. Word occurs again at Vin.2.150. In Vinaya the festival seems always to have been held on a mountain near Rājagaha. Cf. Ja.3.538, where it is mentioned as being held all over Jambudīpa. Vin-a.831 says that samajja (festival) is a high place on a mountain or a high festival on a mountain. Also that it was announced seven days beforehand, and held on level ground in the shadow of a mountain slope outside a city. See also Dictionary of Pali Proper Names. Samajja mentioned alone at Ja.1.394, Ja.3.541.

2.

vikāle. Cf. Bu-Pc.85.

3.

Buddhaghosa at Vin-a.832ff. enumerates various kinds of solid food under the following categories: roots, tubers, roots of lotuses, top sprouts, leaves, flowers, stones of fruits, eatables made from flour (piṭṭhakhā-daniya, cf. Vin.1.248, Vin.1.249, where this was allowed to monks), resins.

4.

vikāle, see Old Commentary, just below. At Vin.1.200 the five medicines are allowed to be used at the right time and at the wrong time. Also at Vin.1.200 regulations are laid down for receiving, cooking, mixing fat at the right time and at the wrong time. At Mil.266 it is said that a meal at the wrong time is not a sin in the eyes of the world, but in the Jina’s teaching. The account of the Council of Vesālī (Vin.2.294ff.) affirms that the dvaṅgula-kappa (i.e., when the shadow has turned by two finger-breadths, Vin.2.300) is not allowable, because it violates the vikalābhojana pācittiya—i.e., eating at the wrong time.
See the vivid description attributed to Udāyin, at MN.i.448f., of his feelings at the successive injunctions for monks to give up day and evening meals, and his ultimate conviction of the lord’s wisdom in stopping alms-giving in the dark of the night. Cf. also MN.i.124, MN.i.473; and MN.i.437, where Bhaddāli confessed that he had not been able to keep to the regimen of one meal a day.

5.

Cf. Vin.4.166.

6.

Cf. above, BD.2.331, BD.2.334.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: