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) 40

Bu-Pc.40.1.1 BD.2.344 … at Vesālī in the Great Grove in the Hall of the Gabled Pillars. Now at that time a certain monk, wearing robes made entirely of rags, was staying in a cemetery. He did not want to accept gifts[1] from people. And himself taking (food) put down for the departed masters[2] in a cemetery and at the foot of a tree and on a threshold,[3] he ate it. People … spread it about, saying:

“How can this monk, himself taking (food) put down for our departed masters, eat it? This monk is strong,[4] he is fat,[5] for certain he eats meat (belonging to) people.”[6]

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

“How can a monk convey to his mouth[7] nutriment not given?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monk, conveyed to your mouth nutriment not given?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish man, convey to your mouth nutriment not given? It is not, foolish man, for BD.2.345 pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth: Vin.4.90

“Whatever monk should convey to his mouth nutriment not given, there is an offence of expiation.”

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


Bu-Pc.40.2.1 Now at that time monks were scrupulous in regard to water for cleansing the teeth.[8] They told this matter to the lord. He said:

“I allow you, monks, yourselves having taken water for cleansing the teeth, to partake of it. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should convey to his mouth nutriment not given, except water for cleansing the teeth, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bu-Pc.40.3.1 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

Not given means: it is called not accepted.[9]

Given means: if in giving by means of the body or by means of something attached to the body[10] or by means of something that may be cast,[11] standing within a reach of the hand, if he accepts by means of the body or by means of something attached to the body,[12] this is called given.

Nutriment means: setting aside water for cleansing the teeth, whatever is fit to eat, this is called nutriment.

Except water for cleansing the teeth means: setting aside water for cleansing the teeth.

If he takes it, thinking: ‘I will eat, I will partake of,’ BD.2.346 there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.40.3.2 If he thinks that it is not accepted when it is not accepted (and) conveys to his mouth nutriment that is not given, except water for cleansing the teeth, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not accepted … If he thinks that it is accepted when it is not accepted … offence of expiation. If he thinks that it is not accepted when it is accepted, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is accepted, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is accepted when it is accepted, there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.40.3.3 There is no offence in regard to water for cleansing the teeth; if himself, having taken the four foul things,[13] he makes use of them when there is a reason (and if) there is no one to make them allowable[14]; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Tenth

This is its key:

A meal, a joint (meal), an out-of-turn (meal),[15]
a cake, and two on having eaten, being satisfied,
At the wrong time, storing, milk,
with water for cleansing the teeth—these ten.

The Fourth Division: that on Food Vin.4.91

Footnotes and references:

1.

diyyamāna.

2.

ayyavosāṭitakāni. Vin-a.842 says ayyā are the ancestors who have done their time (here), and vosāṭitakāni are the solid and soft foods put down in cemeteries and so on for these by their relations.

3.

ummāre; cf. Vin.4.100, Vin.4.160.

4.

thero = thiro ghanabaddho, Vin-a.842.

5.

vadhara = thūla, Vin-a.842, reading vaṭhara.

6.

Meat is a “soft food,” cf above, BD.2.330, and bhuñjati is the verb technically associated with it. Here we get manussamaṃsaṃ khādati. At Vin.1.218 manussamaṃsa is combined with paribhuñjati, and certainly means human flesh.

7.

mukhadvādra, the door of the face.

8.

udakadantapoṇa, also a tooth-cleaner. Vinaya Texts i.40 takes this compound as “water and a tooth-cleaner.”

9.

Vin-a.843 points out that in Bu-Pj.2, ‘not given’ means not appropriated from others.

10.

E.g., a spoon, Vin-a.843.

11.

Cf. BD.1.208.

12.

E.g., a bowl, Vin-a.843.

13.

cattāri mahāvikatāni. These are given at Vin.1.206 as remedies for a monk who was bitten by a snake. Further said that these things might be accepted sati kappiyakārake (if there is anyone there who, by offering a thing, makes that thing kappiya, allowable), but if there is no one there to offer and hence to make allowable, then a monk may take these things himself.

14.

Again, cf. Vin.1.206, where it is said, anujānāmi bhikkhave sati kappiyakārake paṭiggahāpetuṃ asati kappiyakārake sāmaṃ gahetvā paribhuñjitun ti, I allow, monks, (these things) to be accepted if there is anyone there to make them allowable; if there is no one there to make them allowable, (I allow a monk) himself taking them, to make use of them.

15.

paraṃ here.

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