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) 66

Bu-Pc.66.1.1 BD.3.15 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a certain caravan was desirous of going from Rājagaha to the south.[1] A certain monk spoke thus to these people: “I will go together with the venerable ones.”[2]

“But we, honoured sir, shall evade the tax.”[3]

“Do you understand (how to do so), sirs?” Then the overseers[4] heard: “A caravan will evade the tax.” They infested the way.[5] Then these overseers, having seized and ransacked that caravan, spoke thus to that monk:

“How is it that you, honoured sir, knowingly go together with a caravan (set on) theft[6]?” (and) having detained him they set him free.[7] Then that monk, having arrived at Sāvatthī, told this matter to the monks. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can a monk, having arranged together with a caravan (set on) theft, knowingly go along the same highroad?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monk, … knowingly went along the same high road?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

BD.3.16 “How can you, foolish man, having arranged together with a caravan (set on) theft, knowingly go along the same high road? 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, having arranged together with a caravan (set on) theft, should knowingly go along the same high road, even among villages, there is an offence of expiation.”[8]


Bu-Pc.66.2.1 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.[9]

Caravan (set on) theft means: they are thieves who have done the deed or who have not done the deed[10]; or they go for the robbing of kings or they evade the tax.

Together with means: together.[11]

Having arranged means: if one arranges, saying, “We are going, reverend sir, we are going, honoured sir, we are going, honoured sir, we are going, reverend sir, we are going either today or tomorrow or the next day,” there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Even among villages means: in a village close enough for a cock (to walk), among every (such) village, there is an offence of expiation. For every half yojana in what is not a village, in the jungle, there is an offence of expiation. Vin.4.132


Bu-Pc.66.2.2 If he thinks that a caravan is (set on) theft when the caravan is (set on) theft, and having arranged, goes along the same high road, even among villages, there is an BD.3.17 offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether a caravan is (set on) theft … offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that a caravan is not (set on) theft when the caravan is (set on) theft … no offence. If monks arrange (and) the people do not arrange, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that the caravan is (set on) theft when the caravan is not (set on) theft, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether the caravan is not (set on) theft, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that the caravan is not (set on) theft when the caravan is not (set on) theft, there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.66.2.3 There is no offence if they go not having arranged; if the people arrange (and) monks do not arrange; if they go without (making) a rendezvous; if there are accidents; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.[12]

The Sixth

Footnotes and references:

1.

= Vin.4.79 (BD.2.322). Vin-a.868 says paṭiyālokan ti suriyālokassa paṭimukhaṃ pacchimadisan attho: it means facing the light of the sun, the western quarter. Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, on the contrary; calls it “a place near Rājagaha.”

2.

āyasmantehi. Rare for a monk to address lay people in this way.

3.

suṅkaṃ pariharati. Cf. Vin.3.52 (= BD.1.87) where this is a dukkaṭa offence for a monk.

4.

kammikā, which at Vin-a.868 is explained as suṅkaṭṭhāne kammikā, overseers, superintendents at the customs place.

5.

Cf. Atthasālinī 366.

6.

theyyasattha.

7.

palibuddhitvā muñciṃsu.

9.

Cf. above, BD.3.5, BD.3.8.

10.

corā katakammā vā honti akatakammā vā—i.e., thieves who have or who have not committed a theft. Cf. MN.i.448; AN.iii.102; Vism.180; Ja.3.34 (māṇava = cora, MN-a.3.164; AN-a.3.271).

11.

saddhin ti ekato. Cf. Vin.3.121, Vin.3.188, Vin.3.192 (= BD.1.202, BD.1.332, BD.1.337). From here to end of Bu-Pc.66.2.1 cf. Vin.4.63 (BD.2.290).

12.

Cf. Bu-Pc.27, Bu-Pc.28 (BD.2.291, BD.2.294), and below, BD.3.20.

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