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) 78

Bu-Pc.78.1.1 BD.3.55 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six monks quarrelled together with well behaved monks.[1] The well behaved monks spoke thus: “Your reverences, this group of six monks are shameless; it is not possible to quarrel together with them.”

The group of six monks spoke thus: “Why do you, your reverences, bring us into disgrace[2] by speaking (of us) as shameless?”

“But how could you, your reverences, hear?”

“We stood overhearing[3] the venerable ones.” Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six monks stand overhearing monks when they are quarrelling, disputing, engaged in contention?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, stood … engaged in contention?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How could you, foolish men, stand … engaged in contention? 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 stand overhearing monks when they are quarrelling, disputing, engaged in contention, saying, ‘I will hear what they say,’ if having done it for just this object, not for another,[4] there is an offence of expiation.”


Bu-Pc.78.2.1 BD.3.56 Whatever means: … monk is to be understood in this case.

When monks means: when other monks.

Are quarrelling, disputing, engaged in contention means: (when they are engaged) with legal questions.[5]

Should stand overhearing means: if hearing these, he goes away, thinking: ‘I will reprove (him), I will remind (him), I will reprimand (him), I will make (him) remorseful,[6] I will make him ashamed,’ there is an offence of wrong-doing. If standing where he hears, there is an offence of expiation. If, going behind, he goes quickly, thinking: ‘I will hear,’ there is an offence of wrong-doing. If standing where he hears, there is an offence of expiation. If, going in front, he stays behind,[7] thinking, ‘I will hear,’ there is an offence of wrong-doing. If standing where he hears, there is an offence of expiation. Having come to a place where a monk is resting or to a place where he is sitting down or to a place where he is lying down,[8] taking counsel[9] Vin.4.151 he should cough, he should let him know. Should he not cough or should he not let him know, there is an offence of expiation.

Having done it for just this object, not for another means: there comes to be no other object whatever (for which) to stand overhearing.


Bu-Pc.78.2.2 If he thinks that one is ordained when he is ordained, (and) stands overhearing, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether one is ordained … If he thinks that one is not ordained when he is ordained … offence of expiation. If he stands overhearing one who is not ordained, there is an offence of BD.3.57 wrong-doing. If he thinks that one is ordained when he is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether one is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that one is not ordained when he is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Bu-Pc.78.2.3 There is no offence if having heard these he goes away, thinking: ‘I will desist,[10] I will refrain, I will be calm,[11] I will set myself free’[12]; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Eighth

Footnotes and references:

1.

Cf. Vin.4.4.

2.

pāpeti. Cf. Vin.4.5.

3.

upassutiṃ. Cf. SN.ii.75, SN.iv.91.

4.

= Vin.4.43, Vin.4.93; above, BD.3.53.

5.

adhikaraṇajātānaṃ. On “legal question” see BD.1.282, BD.1.290, BD.1.300, and above, Bu-Pc.63.

6.

paṭissāressāmi.

7.

ohiyyati; cf. ohiyyaka at Vin.4.94.

8.

Cf. Vin.3.263.

9.

Or, “advising him,” in sense of letting him know, informing him. Mantentan ti aññena saddhiṃ aññasmiṃ mantayamāne. Mantente ti vā pāṭho ayaṃ ev’ āttho, Vin-a.879.

10.

oramissāmi. Cf. Vin.3.54 = BD.1.90. See Journal of the Pali Text Society 1887, p.154.

11.

vūpasamissāmi. Vin-a.879, ‘I will not make a quarrel.’

12.

parimocessāmi; “telling of my innocence I will free myself,” Vin-a.879.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: