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) 59

Bu-Pc.59.1.1 BD.2.411 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, himself having assigned a robe[1] to a monk who shared his brother’s cell,[2] made use of it, (the robe) not having been taken away.[3] Then that monk told this matter to the monks, saying:

“Your reverences, this venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, himself having assigned a robe to me, makes use of it, (the robe) not having been taken away.”

Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, himself having assigned a robe to a monk, make use of it, (the robe) not having been taken away?”

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Upananda, yourself having assigned … not having been taken away?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish man, yourself having assigned … not having been taken away? 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, himself having assigned a robe to a monk or to a nun or to a female probationer or to a male novice or to a female novice, should make use of it, (the robe) not having been taken away, there is an offence of expiation.”[4]


Bu-Pc.59.2.1 BD.2.412 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case. Vin.4.122

To a monk means: to another monk.

A nun means: one ordained by both Orders.[5]

A female probationer means: one training in the six rules[6] for two years.

A male novice means: one conforming to the ten rules of training.[7]

A female novice means: one conforming to the ten rules of training.[8]

Himself[9] means: himself[10] having assigned.

A robe means: any one robe of the six (kinds of) robes, (including) the least one fit for assignment.[11]

Assignment means: there are two (kinds of) assignment, assignment in the presence and assignment in the absence. Assignment in the presence means that he says, ‘I assign this robe to you or to so and so.’ Assignment in the absence means that he says, ‘I will give-this robe to you for the sake of assigning (it).’[12] He should say, ‘Who is your friend or intimate acquaintance?’ ‘So and so, and so and so,’ he says. He should say, ‘I will give to them; make use of what is due to them or give it away or do as you like (with it).’

(The robe) not having been taken away means: either if it is not given to him, or if not putting his trust in him, he makes use of it, there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.59.2.2 If he thinks that (the robe) is not taken away when it is not taken away, (and) makes use of it, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether BD.2.413 (the robe) is not taken away … If he thinks that (the robe) is taken away when it is not taken away, (and) makes use of it, there is an offence of expiation. If he allots[13] it or gives it away, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that (the robe) is not taken away when it is taken away, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether (the robe) is taken away, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that (the robe) is taken away when it is taken away, there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.59.2.3 There is no offence either if he gives it, or if putting his trust in him, he makes use of it; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Ninth

Footnotes and references:

1.

At Vin.1.297 monks were allowed to allot robes, but not to assign them.

2.

Cf. above, BD.2.139.

3.

apaccuddhāraka. Cf. above, BD.2.22, n.3.

4.

Cf. Bu-Pc.81.

5.

= above, BD.2.32, BD.2.40.

6.

chasu dhammesu sikkhitasikkhā. Cf. Vin.4.343. These rules are the five sīlas and one against eating at the wrong time. For this last cf. Bu-Pc.37.

7.

dasasikkhāpadika.

8.

dasasikkhāpadikā. Cf. Vin.4.343.

9.

sāmaṃ … sayaṃ.

10.

sāmaṃ … sayaṃ.

11.

Cf. above, BD.2.40, BD.2.48, BD.2.140.

12.

Or, as at Vinaya Texts i.45, n.3, ‘I give this robe to you for you to appoint (to someone else).’

13.

adhiṭṭheti, see above, BD.2.7, n.1.

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