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) 72

Bu-Pc.72.1.1 BD.3.40 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the lord in many a figure talked a talk on discipline[1] to the monks, he spoke in praise of discipline, he spoke in praise of accomplishment in discipline, he spoke in praise of the venerable Upāli,[2] referring (to him) again and again.[3] Monks said: “The lord in many a figure talked a talk on discipline … he spoke in praise of the venerable Upāli, referring (to him) again and again. Come, your reverences, let us master discipline under the venerable Upāli,” and they, many monks, elders and newly ordained and those of middle standing, mastered discipline under the venerable Upāli. Then it occurred to the group of six monks: Vin.4.143

“At present, your reverences, many monks, elders and … are mastering discipline under the venerable Upāli. If these become properly versed[4] in discipline they will win us to (them), they will win us round[5] how they like, when they like, for as long as they like.[6] Come, your reverences, let us disparage[7] discipline.”

Then the group of six monks, having approached the monks, spoke thus: “On account of what are these BD.3.41 lesser and minor rules of training[8] recited? They only[9] tend to remorse, to vexation,[10] to perplexity.”[11]

Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six monks disparage discipline’ …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, disparaged discipline?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish men, disparage discipline? 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, when the Pātimokkha is being recited,[12] should speak thus: ‘On account of what are these lesser and minor rules of training recited? They only tend to remorse, to vexation, to perplexity,’ in disparaging a rule of training, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bu-Pc.72.2.1 Whatever means: … monk is to be understood in this case.

When the Pātimokkha is being recited means: when reciting it or when causing (another) to recite it or when studying it.[13]

Should speak thus means: he says: ‘On account of what are these lesser and minor rules of training recited? … to perplexity.’ If he disparages discipline to one who is ordained, saying: ‘For those who master this there comes to be remorse, there comes to be vexation, BD.3.42 there comes to be perplexity; for those who do not master this there does not come to be remorse, there does not come to be vexation, there does not come to be perplexity; this boon[14] is not recited, this boon is not learnt, this boon is not mastered, this boon is not borne in mind,[15] or let discipline disappear or let these monks become not properly versed,’[16] there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.72.2.2 If he thinks that he is ordained when he is ordained, (and) disparages discipline, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether he is ordained … If he thinks that he is not ordained when he is ordained … offence of expiation. If he disparages another rule,[17] there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he disparages discipline or another rule to one who is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he is ordained when he is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Vin.4.144 If he is in doubt as to whether he is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he is not ordained when he is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Bu-Pc.72.2.3 There is no offence if, not desiring to disparage, he speaks, saying: “Look here, do you master suttantas or verses or what is extra to dhamma[18] and afterwards you will master discipline;” if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Second

Footnotes and references:

1.

Vin-a.871 on what is connected with the allowable and the not allowable, with offences and what are not offences, with restraint and rejection.

3.

ādissa ādissa. Vin-a.875, punappunaṃ vavatthapetvā visuṃ visuṃ katvā.

4.

pakataññuno.

5.

ālaḍḍhisanti parikaḍḍhissanti. Kaḍḍhali is more literally to drag, to pull, to draw than to ‘win’; but pari, round, over, used with any of these verbs, owing to the more prevalent associations of “to pull round,” to drag round, cannot well be used.

6.

yenicchakaṃ yadicchakaṃ yāvadicchakaṃ. Cf. AN.iii.28; Vism.154; Pp.11, Pp.12.

7.

vivaṇṇeti, to dispraise, discredit, disparage.

8.

khuddānukhuddaka sikkhāpada. Vin.2.287 gives the views of various elders as to what these comprise. See DN.ii.154 (and Dialogues of the Buddha 2.171, n.2); Mil.142ff.; AN.i.231f.; B.C. Law, History of Pali Literature, i.19ff.; Przyluski, Le Concile de Rājagṛha, p.52, p.154, p.217.

9.

yāvad eva. Cf. Neumann, Reden, p.16 “nur”; Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.6, Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.7 “only.”

10.

vihesā. Cf. vihesaka at Vin.4.36 (BD.2.231f.), and vihesikā at Vin.4.239 (below, BD.3.207). At the former passage it means to keep silence when being examined for an offence; at the latter to protest against a formal act.

11.

vilekhā.

12.

uddissamāne. Vin-a.876, by a teacher to a pupil.

13.

Cf. Vin.4.15, sajjhāyaṃ karonto.

14.

vara.

15.

adhārita, not held.

16.

apakataññuno; also occurs at Vin.4.112.

17.

dhamma, or here perhaps “matter,” since dhamma is in opposition to vinaya, the whole of the discipline. Moreover, since there is Pācittiya in disparaging the lesser and minor rules, it would seem as if disparaging any more important rule would incur a heavier penalty than dukkaṭa.

18.

abhidhammaṃ. Cf. Vin.4.344, Vin.5.86, where abhidhamma occurs with suttanta and vinaya. See BD.3, Introduction, p.xff. Other Sutta references to abhidhamma are at Vin.1.64, Vin.1.68; MN.i.472, MN.ii.239, MN.ii.240; DN.iii.267; AN.v.24, AN.v.27, AN.v.90, AN.v.201, AN.v.339; and see MN-a.3.185, MN-a.4.29; DN-a.18, DN-a.1047.

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