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) 73

Bu-Pc.73.1.1 BD.3.43 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six monks, thinking: “Let them understand[1] that having indulged in bad habits, we are fallen through ignorance,”[2] while the Pātimokkha was being recited, spoke thus: “Only now[3] do we understand that this rule[4] is, as is said, handed down in a clause,[5] contained in a clause, (and) comes up for recitation every half-month.”

Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six monks speak thus while the Pātimokkha is being recited … ‘… every half-month’?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that you spoke thus while the Pātimokkha was being recited …’ … every half-month’?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish men, speak thus while the Pātimokkha is being recited: ‘… every half-month’? It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

BD.3.44Whatever monk, while the Pātimokkha is being recited every half-month, should speak thus: ‘Only now do I understand that this rule is, as is said, handed down in a clause, contained in a clause, (and) comes up for recitation every half-month’; if other monks should know concerning this monk that this monk has sat down two or three times before,[6] not to say oftener,[7] while the Pātimokkha was being recited, there is not only no freedom[8] for that monk on account of (his) ignorance, but he ought to be dealt with according to the rule for the offence into which he has fallen there, and further confusion should be put on[9] him, saying: ‘Your reverence, this is bad for you, this is badly gotten by you, that you, while the Pātimokkha is being recited, do not attend applying yourself properly.’[10] This for him on whom the confusion is put[11] is an offence of expiation.Vin.4.145


Bu-Pc.73.2.1 Whatever means: … monk is to be understood in this case.

Every half-month means: every Observance day.[12]

When the Pātimokkha is being recited means: when reciting it.[13]

Should speak thus means: if he, thinking, “Let them understand that, having indulged in bad habits, I am fallen through ignorance,” speaks thus, while the BD.3.45 Pātimokkha is being recited, “Only now do I understand … every half-month,” there is an offence of wrong-doing.

If … this means: the monk whom they desire to confuse.

Monks should know (concerning this monk) that he has sat down … further confusion should be put on him. And thus, monks, should it be put on him: the Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. This monk so and so, while the Pātimokkha was being recited, did not attend applying himself properly. If it seems right to the Order, the Order should put confusion on the monk so and so. This is the motion. Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. This monk … did not attend applying himself properly. The Order is putting confusion on the monk so and so. If the putting of confusion on[14] the monk so and so is pleasing to the venerable ones, let them be silent; if it is not pleasing, you should speak. Confusion is put on the monk so and so by the Order, and it is right … So do I understand this.’

If he confuses when confusion is not put on him,[15] there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he confuses when confusion is put on him,[16] there is an offence of expiation.


Bu-Pc.73.2.2 If he thinks that it is a legally valid act[17] when it is a legally valid act (and) confuses him, 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) BD.3.46 confuses him, there is an offence of expiation. If he thinks that it is a legally valid act when it is not a legally valid act (and) confuses him, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not a legally valid act (and) confuses him, 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 an offence of wrong-doing.


Bu-Pc.73.2.3 There is no offence if he is not heard in detail; if he is heard in detail (but) less than two or three times; if he does not desire to confuse; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Third

Footnotes and references:

1.

jānantu, may these people understand, think that we have done this without knowledge.

2.

aññāṇakena āpannā, attained by the ignorant, by the man who does not know the rule.

3.

idān’ eva kho. Vinaya Texts i.50, “Now for the first time”; E. Huber, J.Bu-As. Nov–Dec, 1913, Bu-Pc.83, “C’est maintenant seulement que je me rends compte.”

4.

dhamma.

5.

suttāgata; cf. āgatāgama at, e.g. BD.3.71 below. Vinaya Texts i.50, Vinaya Texts ii.434 (= Vin.2.68, where this whole speech also occurs) translate suttāgato suttapariyāpanno as “is handed down in the suttas, is contained in the suttas.” But cf. Vinaya Texts i.xxviiif. and BD.1.x for Vinaya use of sutta as rule, clause or article. No rule of discipline was formally handed down in the Suttas—which in any case ought perhaps more properly to be called Suttantas.

6.

Seats had to be arranged in the uposatha-hall, Vin.1.118; cf. Vin.1.125; and the rules stating that the Pātimokkha must not be recited in a seated assembly, nisinnaparisā, Vin.1.135.

7.

ko pana vādo bhiyyo. I follow translation at Vinaya Texts i.50. Huber, J. Bu-As. Nov, “et pas davantage.

8.

mutti, from the offence, Vin-a.877.

9.

moho āropetabbo. It has to be established that he committed the offence in confusion, in ignorance.

10.

nā sādhukaṃ aṭṭhikatvā manasikarosi. Vinaya Texts i.51, “You fail to take it to your heart, and attend to it with care.”

11.

idaṃ tasmiṃ mohanake pācittiyan ti. The act of confusing, of establishing the fact that a monk had spoken or acted in ignorance, is mohanaka. It also means cheating, deceiving, pretending.

12.

anvaddhamāsan ti anuposathikaṃ = Vin.4.315.

13.

Cf. above, BD.3.41.

14.

mohassa āropanā.

15.

This I think can only mean that if he is convicted of being confused not by the Order but by an individual, there is a dukkaṭa for that individual. But if he is convicted of being confused by the Order and then some individual tries to confuse him, there is pācittiya for that individual.

16.

This I think can only mean that if he is convicted of being confused not by the Order but by an individual, there is a dukkaṭa for that individual. But if he is convicted of being confused by the Order and then some individual tries to confuse him, there is pācittiya for that individual.

17.

Vin-a.877 “amongst these, the (formal) act of ‘putting confusion on (a monk)’ is meant.”

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