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) 50

Bu-Pc.50.1.1 BD.2.379 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six monks, staying with the army for two (or) three nights, went to a sham-fight and to the troops in array and to the massing of the army and to see a review.[1] Then a certain monk of the group of six, having gone to a sham-fight, became pierced by an arrow. People made fun of that monk, saying:

“Honoured sir, we hope it was a good battle. How many targets were obtained by you?”[2]

That monk, being made fun of by these people, became ashamed. People … spread it about, saying:

“How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, come to see a sham-fight? For us it is not profitable, and for us it is ill-gotten; such as we come to a sham-fight for the sake of livelihood, on account of child and wife.”

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

“How can this group of six monks go to see a sham-fight?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, went to see a sham-fight?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

BD.2.380 “How can you, foolish men, go to see a sham-fight? It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

If a monk, staying with the army for two nights, three nights, should go to a sham-fight or to the troops in array or to the massing of the army or to see a review, then is an offence of expiation.”


Bu-Pc.50.2.1 If a monk, staying with the army for two nights, three nights means: staying for two (or) three nights.

Sham-fight means: where a conflict[3] is seen.

Troops in array means: so many elephants, so many horses, so many chariots, so many infantry.

Massing of the army means: let elephants be on this side, let horses be on this side, let chariots be on this side, let foot-soldiers[4] be on this side.

A review means: a review of elephants, a review of horses, Vin.4.108 a review of chariots, a review of infantry. The least elephant review (has) three elephants, the least horse review (has) three horses, the least chariot review (has) three chariots, the least infantry review (has) four men as infantry, hands on arrows.

If he goes to see, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Standing where he sees, there is an offence of expiation. If, having dismissed from sight, he sees again, there is an offence of expiation. If he goes to see one or other, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Standing where he sees, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If, having dismissed from sight, he sees again, there is an offence of wrong-doing.[5]


Bu-Pc.50.2.2 There is no offence if, standing in the monastery, he sees; if a conflict is seen, having come to a place where a monk is resting or to a place where he is sitting down or to a place where he is lying down; if he, going along BD.2.381 the opposite road, sees (it); if, going as there is something to be done, he sees (it); if there are accidents; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Tenth

This is its key:

Cakes, talking, three on Upananda,
and also (the family who) supported (him),
Mahānāma, Pasenadi,
the army, pierced, these ten.

The Fifth Division: that on the Naked Ascetic

Footnotes and references:

1.

uyyodidka balagga senābyūha anīkadassana. All occur at DN.i.6; the first at AN.v.47. Vin-a.859 explained the second term as “they know which is chief for strength,” and also says (= DN-a.85), it is the place for counting the strength (or forces)—i.e., roll-calls as at Dialogues of the Buddha 1.9. As to vyūha, Ja.2.406 mentions three types: paduma-(lotus), cakka-(wheel), sakaṭa-(waggon).

2.

kati te lakkhāni laddhāni. “Target” is lakkha, which also means a mark, or a high numeral, cf. lak (also spelt lac, lack, in modern times always implying rupees).

3.

sampahāra.

4.

pattikā here.

5.

Cf. above, BD.2.376.

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