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) 63

Vin.4.126 Bu-Pc.63.1.1 BD.3.5 at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six monks knowingly opened up[1] for a further (formal) act[2] a legal question[3] settled[4] according to rule, saying:

“The (formal) act is not carried out,[5] the (formal) act is badly carried out, the (formal) act should be carried out again, it is not settled, it is badly settled, it should be settled again.”

Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six monks knowingly open up … ‘… it should be settled again’?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, knowingly opened up … ‘… it should be settled again’?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish men, knowingly open up … ‘… it should be settled again’?” It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should knowingly open up for a further (formal) act a legal question settled according to rule, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bu-Pc.63.2.1 Whatever means: … monk is to be understood in this case.

He knows means: either he knows by himself, or others tell him, or (someone) tells him.[6]

BD.3.6 According to rule means: carried out according to rule, according to discipline, according to the teacher’s instruction,[7] this means according to rule.

Legal question means: there are four (kinds of) legal questions: legal questions arising out of disputes, legal questions arising out of censure, legal questions arising out of transgressions, legal questions arising out of obligations.[8]

Should open up for a further (formal) act means: if he opens it up, thinking: ‘The (formal) act was not carried out, the (formal) act was badly carried out, the (formal) act should be carried out again, it was not settled, it was badly settled, it should be settled again,’ there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.63.2.2 If he thinks that it is a legally valid act when it is a legally valid act, (and) opens it up, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is a legally valid act, (and) opens it up, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is not a legally valid act when it is a legally valid act, there is no offence.[9] If he thinks that it is a legally valid act when it is not a legally valid act, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not a legally valid act, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is not a legally valid act when it is not a legally valid act, there is no offence.[10]


Bu-Pc.63.2.3 There is no offence if he opens it up knowingly, thinking: ‘The (formal) act was carried out according to what is not the rule, or by an incomplete congregation, or against one who is not suitable for a (formal) act’[11]; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Third Vin.4.127

Footnotes and references:

1.

ukkoṭeti. Cf. Vin.2.94, which refers to this Pācittiya; also Vin.4.151.

2.

punakammāya, or action, proceedings, adjustment. Cf. same expression at Vin.2.303. For “formal acts” and wrong and right ways of carrying them out, see Vin.1.315ff.

3.

adhikaraṇa. Cf. Vin.3.164 = BD.1.282 and n.5. See Vin.3.168 = BD.1.290, and S. Dutt, Early Buddhist Monachism, 153ff.

4.

nihata.

5.

akata.

7.

Cf. Vin.2.95; Vin.4.152; also DN.ii.124ff.

9.

Variant reading āpatti pācittiyassa (offence of expiation), Vin.4.361.

10.

= Vin.4.37, Vin.4.152. Cf. also Vin.3.174 (= BD.1.302) = BD.1.177 = BD.1.179 = BD.1.186, at all of which the last clause ends āpatti dukkaṭassa.

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