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) 85

Bu-Pc.85.1.1 BD.3.82 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six monks having entered a village at the wrong time,[1] having sat down in a hall,[2] talked a variety of worldly talk,[3] that is to say talk of kings, talk of thieves, talk of great ministers, talk of armies, talk of fears, talk of battles, talk of food, talk of drink, talk of clothes, talk of beds, talk of garlands, talk of scents, talk of relations, talk of vehicles, talk of villages, talk of little towns, talk of towns, talk of the country, talk of women,[4] talk of strong drink,[5] talk of streets,[6] talk of wells, talk of those departed before,[7] talk of diversity,[8] speculation about BD.3.83 the world,[9] speculation about the sea, talk on becoming and not becoming thus or thus.[10] People looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, having entered a village at the wrong time, having sat down in a hall, talk a variety of worldly talk, that is to say, talk of kings … talk on becoming and not becoming thus or thus? It is like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses.”

Monks heard these people who … spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six monks, having entered a village at the wrong time, … talk a variety of worldly talk, that is to say … talk of becoming and not becoming thus or thus?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, having entered a village at the wrong time … talked a variety of worldly talk, that is to say … talk of becoming and not becoming thus or thus?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish men, having entered a village at the wrong time, … talk a variety of worldly talk, that is to say … talk of becoming and not becoming thus or thus? It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those BD.3.84 who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth: Vin.4.165

“Whatever monk should enter a village at the wrong time, there is an offence of expiation.”

And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord.


Bu-Pc.85.2.1 Now at that time several monks,[11] going to Sāvatthī through the Kosalan country, arrived at a certain village in the evening. People, having seen these monks, spoke thus: “Enter, honoured sirs.” Then these monks, thinking, “It is forbidden by the lord to enter a village at the wrong time,” being scrupulous, did not enter. Thieves robbed these monks. Then these monks, having arrived in Sāvatthī, told this matter to the monks. The monks told this matter to the lord. Then the lord, on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

“I allow you, monks, having asked (for permission),[12] to enter a village at the wrong time. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk, not having asked (for permission), should enter a village at the wrong time, there is an offence of expiation.

And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord.


Bu-Pc.85.3.1 Now at that time a certain monk, going to Sāvatthī through the Kosalan country, arrived at a certain village in the evening. People, having seen that monk, spoke thus: “Enter, honoured sir.” Then that monk, thinking, “It is forbidden by the lord to enter a village at the wrong time, not having asked (for permission),” being scrupulous, did not enter. Thieves robbed that monk. Then that monk, having arrived in Sāvatthī, told this matter to the monks. The monks told this matter to BD.3.85 the lord. Then the lord, on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed, the monks, saying:

“I allow you, monks, having asked (for permission) if a monk be there, to enter a village at the wrong time. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk, not having asked (for permission) if a monk be there, should enter a village at the wrong time, there is an offence of expiation.

And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord. Vin.4.166


Bu-Pc.85.4.1 Now at that time a certain monk came to be bitten by a snake. A certain monk, thinking: “I will bring fire,” went to a village. Then that monk, thinking, “It is forbidden by the lord, not having asked (for permission) if a monk be there, to enter a village at the wrong time,” being scrupulous, did not enter. They told this matter to the lord. Then the lord, on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

“I allow you, monks, if there is some kind of urgent thing to be done,[13] not having asked (for permission) if a monk be there, to enter a village at the wrong time. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk, not having asked (for permission) if a monk be there, should enter a village at the wrong time, unless there is some kind of urgent thing to be done, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bu-Pc.85.5.1 Whatever means: monk is to be understood in this case.

If a monk be there means: he becomes able to enter having asked (for permission).[14]

If a monk be not there means: he does not become able to enter having asked (for permission).[15]

BD.3.86 The wrong time means: after noon has passed until sunrise.[16]

Should enter a village means: if he passes beyond the enclosure of a village that is fenced in, there is an offence of expiation; if he enters[17] the precincts of a village that is not fenced in, there is an offence of expiation.[18]

Unless there is some kind of urgent thing to be done means: setting to one side some kind of urgent thing to be done.


Bu-Pc.85.5.2 If he thinks that it is the wrong time when it is the wrong time (and) not having asked (for permission) if a monk be there, enters a village unless there is some kind of urgent thing to be done, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is the wrong time … If he thinks that it is the right time when it is the wrong time … offence of expiation. If he thinks that it is the wrong time when it is the right time, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is the right time, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is the right time when it is the right time, there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.85.5.3 There is no offence if there is some kind of urgent thing to be done; if a monk be there he enters having asked (for permission); if no monk being there he enters not having asked (for permission); if he is going into a village[19]; if he is going to the nuns’ quarters; if he is going to the sleeping-place of adherents of other sects; if he is going on his way back; if the way is through a village; if there are accidents; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.[20]

The Third Vin.4.167

Footnotes and references:

1.

vikāle, out of the (right) time—i.e., not in the hours when the alms-round was permissible. Cf. Bu-Pc.37.

2.

sabhāya. Cf. Vin.3.200.

3.

tiracchānakathā, literally animal talk, that is worldly, low, childish talk, gossip. Cf. Vin.1.188; DN.i.7, DN.i.178, DN.iii.36; MN.i.513, MN.ii.1, MN.ii.23; SN.v.419; AN.v.128; and KS.v.355; Dialogues of the Buddha 3.33; GS.5.86. There is a tendency at DN-a.89 to couple gehasitakathā, talk of worldly life, with tiracchānakathā.

4.

On insertion of purisakathaṃ after itthikathaṃ in some of the manuscripts, see Dialogues of the Buddha 3.34, n.1.

5.

surākathaṃ here. Vin.1.188; DN.i.8, D.1.179, DN.iii.36; MN.i.513, MN.ii.1, MN.ii.23 read sūrakathaṃ, talk of heroes, valiant men; DN-a.90 = MN-a.3.223 saying that Nandimitta, a warrior, was called a hero. Vin-a.882 says nothing. SN-a.iii.295 explains that there are two readings, sūrak° and sūrak°; by the latter is meant conducing to pleasure by drinking strong drinks.

6.

visikhākathaṃ. Buddhaghosa at DN-a.90 takes this as talk about streets, whether they are well or badly situated, whether they contain brave people (sūrā), poor people, and so forth. Certainly “gossip at (or from) street corners” (Dialogues of the Buddha 1.13, Dialogues of the Buddha 3.34) could not be meant here. See KS.v.355, n.7.

7.

pubbapetakathaṃ. Dialogues of the Buddha 1.14, Dialogues of the Buddha 3.34 read “ghost-stories”; Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.363 “kinsfolk departed” (following DN-a, MN-a and SN-a, “talk on those who were formerly relations”).

8.

nānattakathaṃ. Translated at Dialogues of the Buddha 1.14, Dialogues of the Buddha 3.34; GS.5.87; KS.v.356 “desultory talk”; Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.363, “and all the rest of it; Vinaya Texts ii.20 “various tales.” See Dialogues of the Buddha 1.14, n.2. (SN-a.iii.295 calls it niratthakakathā, useless, profitless talk, but also seems to think that it is talk on opposites: first, last; freed, something remaining.

9.

lokakkhāyikaṃ samuddakkāyikaṃ. See Dialogues of the Buddha 1.14, n.3. The Commentaries refer to the lokāyatas (a school of theorisers; see Vinaya Texts iii.151, n.2). Further Dialogues of the Buddha 1.363 has “chatter about world and ocean”; GS.5.87 “fables about (the origin of) land and sea”; KS.v.356. “fabulous talk about (the origin of) land and sea”; Dialogues of the Buddha 3.34 “speculative talk on the world and the sea.” Word occurs at Mil.316, translated Questions of King Milinda, ii.187, “the physicists.”

10.

itibhavābhavakathaṃ iti vā. DN-a.91 says that bhava is growth (vuddhi), abhava loss or waste (hāni). SN-a.iii.295 and MN-a.3.223 make a sixfold division: bhava is eternal, sassata; abhava is annihilation or breaking up, uccheda; bhava is growth, abhava is loss; bhava is happiness arising from sense-pleasures, abhava is exhaustion of self. Itibhavābhavatā occurs at Vin.2.184; Snp.6.

11.

sambuhulā bhikkhū.

12.

āpucchā. Cf. āpucchā and anā° at Vin.4.39, Vin.4.40, Vin.4.100, Vin.4.101.

13.

tathārūpe accāyike karaṇīye. Cf. Vin.3.260 = BD.2.151, note on acceka-cīvara.

14.

Cf. Vin.4.100.

15.

Cf. Vin.4.100.

16.

Cf. Vin.4.86.

17.

okkamantassa.

18.

Cf. Vin.4.307.

19.

antarāgāmaṃ. Vin.4.101 reads antaragāmaṃ; Vin-a.857, Vin-a.883, antarārāmaṃ, into a monastery.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: