Vinaya Pitaka (1): Bhikkhu-vibhanga (the analysis of Monks’ rules)

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) 58

Bu-Pc.58.1.1 BD.2.406 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time many monks and wanderers were going along the high-road from Sāketa to Sāvatthī. On the way, thieves, having issued forth, robbed them. At Sāvatthī hirelings of the king,[1] having issued forth, having seized these thieves with the goods, sent a messenger to the monks, saying:

“Let the revered sirs come; let each, recognising his own robe, take it.”[2]

The monks did not recognise them. They[3] looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can the revered sirs not recognise their own robes?”[4]

Monks heard these people who … spread it about. Then these monks told this matter to the lord. Then the lord on this occasion, in this connection, having had the Order of monks convened, having given reasoned talk on what is befitting, on what is suitable, addressed the monks, saying:

“On account of this, monks, I will lay down a rule of training for monks based on ten grounds: for the excellence of the Order, for the comfort of the Order … for establishing what is verily dhamma, for following discipline.[5] And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

When a monk obtains a new robe, any one mode of BD.2.407 disfigurement[6] of the three modes of disfigurement must be taken[7]: either dark green or mud(-colour) or black.[8] If a monk should make use of a new robe without taking[9] any one mode of disfigurement of the three modes of disfigurement, there is an offence of expiation.[10]

Bu-Pc.58.2.1 New means: it is called so if not made allowable.[11]

Robe means: any one robe of the six (kinds of) robes.[12]

Any one mode of disfigurement of the three modes of disfigurement must be taken means: even (as little as) with a blade of grass must be taken.

Dark green[13] means: there are two (kinds of) dark BD.2.408 green: the dark green of bronze,[14] the dark green of foliage.[15]

Mud(-colour)[16] means: it is called water.[17]

Black[18] means: anything that is of black.[19]

If a monk … without taking any one mode of disfigurement of the three modes of disfigurement means: Vin.4.121 if a monk makes use of a new robe without having taken[20] any one mode of disfigurement of the three modes of disfigurement, even (as little as) with a blade of grass, there is an offence of expiation.

Bu-Pc.58.2.2 If he makes use of it, thinking that he has not taken[21] when he has not taken, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether he has not taken … If he makes use of it, thinking that he has taken when he has not taken, there is an offence of expiation. If he thinks that he has not taken when he has taken, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether he has taken, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he has taken when he has taken, there is no offence.

Bu-Pc.58.2.3 BD.2.409 There is no offence if, having taken, he makes use of it; if what is allowable becomes destroyed[22]; if what made the appearance allowable becomes worn away[23]; if what was not made allowable[24] becomes sewn together[25] with what was made allowable[26]; if there is a patch[27]; if there is a braiding[28]; if there is a binding BD.2.410 [29]; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Eighth

Footnotes and references:


rājabhaṭa, persons ill royal service. At Vin.1.74 it is a dukkaṭa to confer the pabbajā on these. Cf. Vin.1.88.


sakaṃ sakaṃ cīvaraṃ saṃjānitvā gaṇhantu.


I.e., the hirelings.


attano attano cīvaraṃ na saṃjānissanti.


= Vin.3.21 (BD.1.37f.)= BD.3.232 (above, BD.2.87)= AN.i.98, AN.i.100 (GS.1.84, GS.1.85)= AN.v.70 (GS.5.50).


dubbaṇṇakaraṇaṃ. Vin-a.863 says dubbaṇṇakaraṇaṃ ādātabban ti etaṃ kappabinduṃ sandhāya vuttaṃ. Pali-English Dictionary calls kappabindu a “small black dot or smudge imprinted on a new robe to make it lawful” (kappa). Huber, J. Bu-As., 1913, has (pācittiya 59): “si un bhikṣu reçoit un vetement neuf, il doit employer une des trois manières pour en détruire la belle couleur.” At Vin.1.255 the kaṭhina-cloth is called “made (atthata) if it is made allowable (kappakata).” SN.v.217, dubbaṇṇakaraṇī jare = KS.v.192, “age that makes the colour fade.”


ādātabbaṃ, from ādiyati, to take up, take to oneself. Cf. Vin-a.684, ādātabbā ti gahetabbā. Vinaya Texts i.45, “he must choose.” Cf. Vin.1.50, na ekacco pacchāsamaṇo ādātabbo = Vinaya Texts i.163, “let him not take anyone else with him as his companion.”


Vinaya Texts i.45, “either (making part of it) dark blue, or (marking part of it with) mud, or (making part of it) black.”




The robe must be disfigured so as to be identifiable by the monk to whom it belongs. Cf. Bu-NP.15, where portions of an old rug have to be added to a new rug “so as to disfigure it,” although not for purposes of identification.


akatakappa. The robe is made allowable by having a smudge made upon it, Vin-a.863. At Vin.1.215 fruit that is akatakappa is allowed to be eaten, even when there is no one there to make it allowable (kappiyakāraka, cf. Vin.1.211) for the monks by offering it to them. Cf. akappakata occurring below at Bu-Pc.58.2.3.


Cf. above, BD.2.40, BD.2.48. Here Vin-a.863 says, whatever he is able to put on, to dress in (using nivāsetuṃ and pārupituṃ, the verbs referring to the inner robe, and to the upper robe and outer cloak, cf. BD.2.32, n.2, n.3); the “least robe fit for assignment” is not meant. Cf. above, BD.2.287.


nīla, often translated as blue, dark blue. But Old Commentary lends support for green here. See Mrs. Rhys Davids, Buddhist Psychological Ethics, 1924, p.49, n.


kaṃsanīla; kaṃsa is bronze, or sometimes metal. Vin-a.863 explains by cammakāranīla, the nīla of a leather-worker, and says that according to Mahāpaccariya it is called ayomala (variant reading ayomaya) and lohamala, an iron-(or metal-) stain, a copper-(brass-or bronze-) stain.


palāsanīla, explained at Vin-a.863. yo koci nīlavaṇṇo paṇṇaraso, whatever is a heap of leaves is nīla colour. At Vv-a.197, Pv-a.158, harita, usually translated as “green,” is explained by nīla.




odaka. At Vin.2.262 monks and nuns sprinkled one another with kaddamodaka, muddy water (kaddama-udaka).


kāḷāsama. Both kāḷa and sāma can mean black, dark. At MN.i.246 the words mean, according to Pali-English Dictionary, black, brown, respectively; so translated at Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.176. But Pali-English Dictionary also says (article for kāḷa) that “kāḷa-sāma at Vin.4.120 is to be taken as dark-grey,” while under article for sāma it says, “Vin.4.120 (kāḷasāma dark blue [?]).” Some words for colours may, in the Canon, have denoted more than one colour, or nothing very definite and fixed; or we may not yet know exactly to what colour some of the words for colours refer.


kāḷasāmaka, or blackish, darkish.




anādinna, presumably referring to a “disfigurement.”


kappo naṭṭho hoti, perhaps if the smudge (bindu) disappears in some way.


kappakatokāso jiṇṇo hoti.


akappakataṃ. Again cf. Vin-a.863 and above, BD.2.407.


saṃsibbitaṃ hoti. Cf. Vism.1, Mil.102, Mil.148.


kappakatena, as Critical Pali Dictionary says, by kappabindu. Vin.4.286, samaṇacīvaraṃ nāma kappakataṃ vuccati, a recluse’s robe is called what is made allowable. At Vin.1.254, Vin.1.255, the expressions occur, na akappakatena atthataṃ hoti kathiṇaṃ; kappakatena atthataṃ hoti kaṭhinaṃ, translated at Vinaya Texts ii.155, Vinaya Texts ii.156, “when the ceremony has (has not) fallen through,” BD.2.155, n.2, saying, “akappakatenā ti anādinna-kappa-bindhunā (Buddhaghosa), which we do not understand. Perhaps we should read bindunā.” See Vin-a.1111 for this definition, and where reading is bindunā. The sense is that the kaṭhina-cloth is not properly made if it is not made allowable—i.e., through not taking a disfiguring smudge by which the owner can identify it.


aggaḷa. Vin-a.863, “putting these aggaḷa, and so on, on to a robe after it is made allowable is not a device for making it allowable (kappakaraṇakicca).” Aggaḷa, patch, strip of cloth, was used for strengthening robes. See Vin.1.290, where a monk’s inner robe was torn and he inserted a “strip of cloth” and was commended by the lord. Buddhaghosa says (see Vin-a.1128), aggaḷam acchādeyyan (text, acchupeyyaṃ) ti chinnaṭṭhāne pilotika-khaṇḍaṃ laggāpeyyaṃ (variant reading ṭhapeyyaṃ): “(what now) if I should stick bits of cloth (or rags) into the torn places?” Vin-a.1129 gives, suttalūkhaṃ kātun ti sutten’ eva aggaḷam kātun ti attho, “to dam roughly with thread means to darn a patch with thread.”


anuvāta. Vinaya Texts ii.154, n.1, anuvāta-karaṇa-mattenā ti piṭṭhi-anuvāta-āropana-mattena, from which it appears that the anuvāta was put along the back of the robe. Anuvāta used in explained of kusi at Vin.1.287, see Vinaya Texts ii.208, n.5. Vin-a.684 uses the word in explaining the rule for disfiguring a rug. Critical Pali Dictionary calls anuvāta “probably a collar or facing (on a monk’s cowl).”


paribhaṇḍa. Vinaya Texts ii.154, n.2, paribhaṇḍa-karaṇa-mattenā ti kucchi-anuvāta-āropana-mattena, put inside. Buddhaghosa on Vin.1.297 again explains anuvāta and paribhaṇḍa “by the words themselves,” see Vinaya Texts ii.231, n.2. The two words occur again at Vin.1.254 as things to be used in making a kaṭhina-cloth robe, and at Vin.2.116 as things to be put on to the edge (anto) of the kaṭhina when it is worn thin; at Vin.2.177 they are among the “trifles” for which a disposer is to be appointed. On paribhaṇḍa as some kind of flooring, see Vin.2.113, Vin.2.172; Vinaya Texts iii.85, n.3; Vin.3.213, n.6.

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