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) 46

Bu-Pc.46.1.1 BD.2.362 … at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove at the squirrels’ feeding-place. Now at that time the family who supported the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, invited the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, to a meal, and they invited other monks to the meal. Now at that time the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, used to visit[1] families before the meal. Then these monks said to these people:

“Sirs, give the meal.”

“Wait, honoured sirs, until master Upananda comes.” A second time these monks … A third time these monks said to these people:

“Sirs, give the meal before the right time passes.”[2] A third time they said:

“Honoured sirs, we made the meal on account of master Upananda. Wait, honoured sirs, until master Upananda comes.”

Then the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, having visited families before the meal, returned during the day. The monks did not eat as much as expected. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, being invited, and being (provided) with a meal, call upon[3] families before the meal?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Upananda, being invited, and being (provided) with a meal, called upon families before the meal?”

BD.2.363 “It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish man, being invited … before the meal? 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, being invited, and being (provided) with a meal, should call upon families before the meal, there is an offence of expiation.”

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


Bu-Pc.46.2.1 Now at that time the family who supported the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, sent solid food for the Order, saying:

“Pointing it out as for master Upananda, it should be given to the Order.” Now at that time the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, had entered the village for alms-food. Then these people, having gone to the monastery, asked the monks: “Where, honoured sirs, is master Upananda?” Vin.4.99

“Sirs, this venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, has entered the village for alms-food.”

“Honoured sirs, pointing out this solid food as for master Upananda, it should be given to the Order.”

They told this matter to the lord. Then the lord on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

“Well then, monks, having accepted it, put it aside until Upananda comes back.”

Then the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, thinking, “It is forbidden by the lord to call upon families before a meal,” having visited families after a meal, returned during the day.[4] The solid food was BD.2.364 left over.[5] Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, call on families after a meal?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Upananda, called on families after a meal?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish man, call on families after a meal? 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, being invited, and being (provided) with a meal, should call upon families before a meal or after a meal, there is an offence of expiation.”

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


Bu-Pc.46.3.1 Now at that time scrupulous monks,[6] at the time of giving robes, did not visit families; little robe-material accrued. They told this matter to the lord. He said:

“I allow you, monks, at the time of giving robes, to visit families. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

“Whatever monk, being invited, and being (provided) with a meal, should call upon families before a meal or after a meal, except at the right time, there is an offence of expiation. In this case this is the right time: the time of giving robes; this is the right time in this case.”[7] And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord.


Bu-Pc.46.4.1 Now at that time monks[8] were making robes and they came to be in need of needles and thread and BD.2.365 scissors. The monks, being scrupulous, did not visit families. They told this matter to the lord. He said:

“I allow you, monks, at the time of making robes, to visit families. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth: Vin.4.100

“Whatever monk, being invited and being (provided) with a meal, should call upon families before a meal or after a meal, except at the right time, there is an offence of expiation. In this case this is the right time: the time of giving robes, the time of making robes; this is the right time in this case.”

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


Bu-Pc.46.5.1 Now at that time monks became ill and came to be in need of medicines. The monks, being scrupulous, did not visit families…

“I allow you, monks, to visit families, having asked (for permission) if a monk be there.[9] And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk, being invited and being (provided) with a meal, not having asked (for permission) if a monk be there, should call upon families before a meal or after a meal, except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. In this case a right time is the time of giving robes, the time of making robes[10]; this is the right time in this case.”


Bu-Pc.46.6.1 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

BD.2.366 Invited means: invited to any one meal of the five (kinds of) meals.[11]

With a meal means: that to which he is invited with a meal.

If a monk be there means: he is able to enter having asked (for permission).

If a monk be not there means: he is unable to enter having asked (for permission).

Before the meal means: invited to it, he is one who has not eaten it.

After the meal means: invited to it, even (as much as) becomes eaten with a blade of grass.[12]

A family means: there are four (kinds of) families: a noble family, a brahmin family, a merchant family, a low-caste family.[13]

Should call on families means: there is an offence of wrong-doing for entering the precincts of the house of another. If he makes the first foot cross the threshold,[14] there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he makes the second foot cross, there is an offence of expiation.[15]

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

Time of giving robes means: the last month of the rainy, season when the kaṭhina cloth is not (formally) made, the five months when the kaṭhina cloth is (formally) made.[16]

Time of making robes means: when the robes are being made.


Bu-Pc.46.6.2 If he thinks that he is invited when he is invited (and), except at the right time, calls on families before the meal or after the meal, not having asked (for permission) if a monk be there, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether he is invited … If he thinks that he is not invited when he is BD.2.367 invited … offence of expiation. If he thinks that he is invited when he is not invited, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt Vin.4.101 as to whether he is not invited, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he is not invited when he is not invited, there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.46.6.3 There is no offence, if at the right time, he enters having asked (for permission) if a monk be there; if he enters not having asked (for permission) if a monk be not there; if the way is through the house of another; if the way is through the precincts of a house; if he is going into a village[17]; if he is going to the nuns’ quarters; if he is going to a sleeping-place of adherents of other sects[18]; if he is going on his way back[19]; if he is going to a house for food[20]; if there are accidents; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.[21]

The Sixth

Footnotes and references:

1.

payirupāsati, or wait upon. Cf. Vin.4.157, most likely meaning there “to pay homage to”; and for whole of this passage cf. Vin.1.213f.

2.

By Bu-Pc.37 monks were not allowed to eat at the wrong time—i.e., after mid-day.

3.

cārittaṃ āpajjati.

4.

I.e., for the later part of it, after the meal-time. To here from beginning of this par. cf. Vin.1.213f., but this passage continues differently, ending in an exception to Bu-Pc.35.

5.

khādaniyaṃ ussādiyittha. Cf. ussādiyiṃsu at Vin.2.167, and Vinaya Texts iii.202, n.4.

6.

Cf. above, BD.2.307, BD.2.318.

7.

At Vin.1.254 one of the five things allowed to monks after the kaṭhina-cloth has been made is going to houses of people who have not invited them.

8.

Cf. above, BD.2.308, BD.2.318.

9.

santaṃ bhikkhuṃ, āpucchā. Cf. Vin.4.165, where, in Bu-Pc.75, āpucchā and anāpucchā occur first without the phrase santaṃ bhikkhuṃ and then with it. Vinaya Texts i.42 has “without having previously spoken about it to a Bhikkhu, if there is one there,” and Vinaya Texts i.53 has “without having informed a Bhikkhu if one is present.” Cf. also anāpucchā in Bu-Pc.14, Vin.4.39, translated at Vinaya Texts i.34, “without saying anything to anybody.”

10.

Time of illness seems to be overlooked here. Cf. above, BD.2.308, BD.2.318.

11.

Cf. above, BD.2.51, BD.2.324, BD.2.333. The five are given at BD.2.330.

12.

Cf. above, BD.2.328.

14.

ummāra. At Vin.4.160 indakhīla is defined as the threshold (ummādra) of the sleeping-room,

16.

Cf. above, BD.2.311; Vin.4.286.

17.

Vin-a.857 says that if his dwelling-place is inside a village and he is going to it.

18.

titthiyaseyyā. Commentary does not explain.

19.

paṭikkamanaṃ gacchati.

20.

bhattiyaghara. Vin-a.857 says, “the house where he is invited or the house of the donors of ticket-food and so on.”

21.

Cf. Vin.4.166.