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) 68

Bu-Pc.68.1.1 BD.3.21 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time[1] a pernicious view had arisen to[2] a monk named Ariṭṭha[3] who had formerly been a vulture-trainer,[4] like this: Vin.4.134

“In so far as I understand dhamma taught by the lord, it is that in following those things called stumbling-blocks[5] by the lord, there is no stumbling-block at all.”[6]

BD.3.22 Several[7] monks heard: “A pernicious view has arisen to the monk named Ariṭṭha, who was formerly a vulture-trainer, like this: ‘In so far as I understand … there is no stumbling-block at all.’”

Then these monks approached the monk Ariṭṭha, who had formerly been a vulture-trainer, and having approached they spoke thus to the monk Ariṭṭha, who had formerly been a vulture-trainer:

“Is it true, as is said, reverend Ariṭṭha, that a pernicious view has arisen to you, like this: ‘In so far as I understand … no stumbling-block at all’?”

“Undoubtedly,[8] your reverences, as I understand dhamma taught by the lord, it is that in following those things called stumbling-blocks by the lord, there is no stumbling-block at all.”

“Do not speak thus, reverend Ariṭṭha; do not misrepresent[9] the lord, misrepresentation of the lord is not at all seemly, and the lord certainly would not speak thus. Reverend Ariṭṭha, in many a figure are things that are stumbling-blocks called stumbling-blocks by the lord, and in following these, there is a veritable[10] stumbling-block. Sense-pleasures[11] are declared by the lord to be (things) affording little satisfaction,[12] of much pain, of much tribulation, wherein is more danger. Sense-pleasures are declared by the lord (to be) like a skeleton,[13] of much pain, of much tribulation, wherein is BD.3.23 more danger. Sense-pleasures are declared by the lord (to be) like a lump of meat,[14] of much pain, of much tribulation, wherein is more danger. Sense-pleasure are declared by the lord (to be) like a fire-brand of dry-grass,[15] … Sense-pleasures are declared by the lord (to be) like a pit of glowing embers,[16] … Sense-pleasures are declared by the lord (to be) like a dream, … Sense-pleasures are declared by the lord (to be) like something borrowed,[17] … Sense-pleasures are declared by the lord (to be) like the fruits of a tree, … Sense-pleasures are declared by the lord (to be) like a slaughterhouse,[18] … Sense-pleasures are declared by the lord (to be) like an impaling-stake,[19] … Sense-pleasures are declared by the lord (to be) like a snake’s head,[20] of much pain, of much tribulation, wherein is more danger.”

Yet the monk Arittha, who had formerly been a vulture-trainer, being spoken to thus by these monks, expressed that pernicious view as before, obstinately holding to it, adhering to it:

“Undoubtedly, your reverences, as I understand dhamma taught by the lord, it is that in following those things called stumbling-blocks by the lord, there is no stumbling-block at all.”

And since those monks were unable to dissuade the monk Ariṭṭha, who had formerly been a vulture-trainer, from that pernicious view, then those monks approached the lord, and having approached they told this matter to the lord.[21] Then the lord, on this Vin.4.135 occasion, in BD.3.24 this connection, having had the Order of monks convened, questioned the monk Arittha, who had formerly been a vulture-trainer, saying :

“Is it true, as is said, that to you, Ariṭṭha, a pernicious view arose like this: ‘In so far as I understand dhamma … no stumbling-block at all’?”

“Undoubtedly, lord, as I understand dhamma … no stumbling-block at all.”

“To whom then[22] do you, foolish man, understand that dhamma was taught thus by me? Are not, foolish man, things that are stumbling-blocks called stumbling-blocks by me in many a figure, and in following these is there not a veritable stumbling-block? Sense-pleasures are declared by me (to be things) affording little pleasure, of much pain, of much tribulation, wherein is more danger … Sense-pleasures are declared by me (to be) like a snake’s head, of much pain, of much tribulation, wherein is more danger. And yet you, foolish man, not only misrepresent me because of your own wrong grasp,[23] but you also injure yourself[24] and give rise to much demerit which for a long time will be for you, foolish man, of woe and sorrow.[25] It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …[26] And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should speak thus[27]: ‘In so far as I understand dhamma taught by the lord, it is that in following those things called stumbling-blocks by the lord, there is no stumbling-block at all’; that monk should be spoken to by the monks thus: ‘Do not, venerable one, speak thus, do not misrepresent the lord, misrepresentation of the lord is not at all seemly, and the lord certainly would not speak thus; in many a figure, your reverence, are things that are stumbling- BD.3.25 blocks called stumbling-blocks by the lord, and in following these there is a veritable stumbling-block.’ And if that monk,[28] when he has been spoken to thus by the monks, should persist as before, that monk should be admonished by the monks up to the third time for giving up that (course). If, being admonished up to the third time, he should give it up, that is good. But if he should not give it up, there is an offence of expiation.”[29]


Bu-Pc.68.2.1 Whatever means: … monk is to be understood in this case.

Should speak thus means: ‘In so far as I understand dhamma taught by the lord … no stumbling-block at all.’

That monk means: the monk who speaks thus.

By the monks means: by other monks, who see, who hear[30]; he should be told by these: “Do not, venerable one, speak thus … a veritable stumbling-block.” And a second time he should be told … And a third time he should be told … If he gives it up, Vin.4.136 that is good. If he does not give it up, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If, having heard, they do not speak, there is an offence of wrong-doing. That monk, having been pulled to the midst of the Order, should be told: “Do not, venerable one, speak thus … a veritable stumbling-block.” And a second time he should be told … And a third time he should be told. … If he gives it up, that is good; if he does not give it up, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

That monk should be admonished. And thus, monks, should he be admonished: the Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. A pernicious view has arisen to the monk so and so, like this: “In so far as I BD.3.26 understand … no stumbling-block at all.” He does not give up that view. If it seems right to the Order, let the Order admonish the monk so and so that he may give up this view. This is the motion. Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me: A pernicious view has arisen to the monk so and so … He does not give up this view. The Order admonishes the monk so and so that he may give up this view. If the admonishing of the monk so and so that he may give up this view is pleasing to the venerable ones, let them be silent; if it is not pleasing, then you should speak. And a second time I speak forth this matter … And a third time I speak forth this matter. Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me … then you should speak. The monk so and so has been admonished by the Order for giving up this view. If it is pleasing to the Order, let them be silent … thus do I understand this.’

As a result of the motion there is an offence of wrong-doing; as a result of two proclamations there are offences of wrong-doing; at the end of the proclamations there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.68.2.2 If he thinks that it is a legally valid act when it is a legally valid act (and) does not give it up, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is a legally valid act … If he thinks that it is not a legally valid act when it is a legally valid act (and) does not give it up, there is an offence of expiation. 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.[31]


Bu-Pc.68.2.3 There is no offence if he is not admonished; if he gives it up; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Eighth

Footnotes and references:

1.

Ariṭṭha episode occurs at Vin.2.25Vin.2.26; MN.i.130MN.i.132. At the former, instead of a rule being set forth, the Order is enjoined to carry out an ukkhepaniyakamma (act of suspension) against Ariṭṭha.

2.

pāpakaṃ diṭṭhigataṃ upannaṃ hoti. Cf. other pernicious views at MN.i.256, MN.i.326; AN.v.194.

3.

Mentioned in Bu-Pc.69; at Vin.4.218 where Thullanandā imitated him; and at SN.v.314. Note that he is not referred to as āyasmā, but as bhikkhu. An upāsaka Ariṭṭha occurs at AN.iv.351.

4.

gaddhabādhipubba. Vin-a.869 says it is meant that “he was born in a family gijjhaghātaka.” Discussion of the term and occupation given at Vinaya Texts ii.377, n.1. Chalmers, Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.90ff. has “vulture-catcher.” Dictionary of Pali Proper Names refers to Ariṭṭha as ga° bādhaputta.

5.

antarāyikā dhammā, things that are obstacles. I follow translation at Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.90, adopted also in Dictionary of Pali Proper Names (art: Ariṭṭha), for antarāyikā. Vinaya Texts ii.377 has “impediments”; Critical Pali Dictionary “hindrances,” but against adopting this is the existence of a technical term, nīvaraṇāni, for hindrances. Five antarāyikā, are enumerated at Vin-a.869 = MN-a.2.102: kamma, kilesa, vipāka, upavāda, āṇāvītikkama, actions, obstructions, fruits, blaming, transgressing instructions. At Vin.1.103 intentional lying is referred to as being called antarāyiko dhammo by the lord; while at Vin.1.104 intentional lying is said to be an antarāyika to reaching the four musings and seven other states. At SN.ii.226 gains, favour and flattery are the antarāyika to reaching yogakkhema, peace from bondage. At Thig.492 sense-pleasures are called antarāyikā. Antarāyikā dhammā at Vin.1.93f. = Vin.2.272f., also at Vin.2.271, occur in connection with admission into the Order (as diseases and disqualifications). At MN.i.72 the above stumbling-block “clause occurs as one of the tathāgata’s four “assurances whereby he knows his precedence,” etc. (Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.48). MN-a.2.33 says that by antarāyikā dhammā “is meant intentionally transgressing the seven classes of offence. For intentional transgression, even an offence of wrong-doing or of wrong speech hinders the fruits of the way. But here methunadhamma, sexual intercourse, is meant.”

6.

nālaṃ antarāyāya; Vinaya Texts ii.378 adding “(to prevent his acquiring spiritual gifts),” and Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.90 “to him who indulges in them.” These same views condemned in Bu-Pc.70, and the novice Kaṇḍaka expelled. Cf. the ten other antarāyas at Vin.1.112 = Vin.1.169.

7.

sambahulā.

8.

evaṃ byā kho = evaṃ viya kho, Vin-a.870. Vinaya Texts ii. 378, n.2: “Byā is only known to us as an intensive particle occurring in passages like the present one.”

9.

abbhācikkhati, to accuse, slander, calumniate. Phrase occurs also at MN.i.256; MN.iii.207; AN.iii.291.

10.

alaṃ. I follow translation at Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.91.

11.

This simile paragraph = AN.iii.97. The ten similes also mentioned at Ja.5.210; Thig.487Thig.491. See “expanded” rendering at Psalms of the Sisters, p.171. First seven explained in full at MN.i.364ff.

12.

Dhp.186; Snp.71 (?). Cf. Ja.4.118.

13.

aṭṭhikaṅkala; AN.iii.97 reading aṭṭhisaṅkhala, with v.ll. Cf. SN.ii.185 = It.17. See Morris, Journal of the Pali Text Society 1885, p.75. MN-a.3.42, if a rib, a bone of the spine, or the skull is without flesh it is called kaṅkala.

14.

See Journal of the Pali Text Society 1907, p.122. Cf. MN.i.145. Vin-a.870 = MN-a.2.103 explains by bahusādhāraṇaṭṭhena, “shared in by many,” for which cf. Mil.280. Referred to at Vism.341.

15.

tiṇukkā. Cf. SN.ii.152.

16.

Cf. SN.iv.188; AN.iv.224, AN.v.175; Snp.396; Ja.1.231, Ja.1.232; DN.iii.283.

17.

Commentaries say for the time being.

18.

asisūnā. Cf. MN.i.144.

19.

sattisūla, sword-stake. See SN.i.128 = Thig.58 = Thig.141; Vism.341.

20.

sappasira. Cf. Snp.768.

21.

Here MN.i.131 puts in a little extra matter, to the effect that the lord sends a monk to fetch Ariṭṭha to him, while it omits the convening of the Order.

22.

kassa nu kho. MN-a.2.104 “to (or for) a noble, or a brahmin, or a merchant, or a low-caste person, or a householder, or one gone forth, or a deva, or a man?”

23.

Cf. DN.ii.124f.

24.

Attānañ ca khaṇasi.

25.

To here = MN.i.130MN.i.132 except for passages noted above, BD.3.23 n.

26.

To here = Vin.2.25–26.

29.

This is more like Saṅghādisesa material. Cf. J.Bu-As. 1914, p.514, for the version of the Prātimokṣasūtra des Sarvāstivādins.

30.

From here to end, 2, 3, cf. Vin.3.173–174, Vin.3.176, Vin.3.177–178 (BD.1.361–362, (BD.1.306, (BD.1.312).

31.

Parallel passages at Vin.3.174, Vin.3.177, Vin.3.179, Vin.3.186 read for the last case, āpatti dukkaṭassa.

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