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) 87

Bu-Pc.87.1.1 BD.3.90 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, was lying down on a high couch. Then the lord, as he was touring the lodgings together with several monks, came up to the dwelling-place of the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans. The venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, saw the lord coming from afar, and seeing him, he spoke thus to the lord: “Lord, let the lord come, let him lie down on my bed.”

Then the lord, having turned back from there, addressed the monks, saying: “Monks, the foolish man should be spoken to about his abode.”

Then the lord, having in many a figure rebuked the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, for his difficulty in maintaining himself … “… And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

When a new couch or chair is being made for a monk,[1] the legs should be made eight finger-breadths[2] (high) according to the accepted finger-breadth,[3] except for the knotched ends below.[4] In exceeding this (measure), there is an offence of expiation involving cutting down.”[5]


Bu-Pc.87.2.1 BD.3.91 New means: it is so called with reference to the making.[6]

Couch[7] means: there are four (kinds of) couch: a long one, one with slats, one with curved legs, one with removable legs.

Chair[8]means: there are four (kinds of) chair: a long one, one with slats, one with curved legs, one with removable legs.

Is being made means: making or causing to be made.[9]

The legs should be made eight finger-breadths (high) according to the accepted finger-breadth, except Vin.4.169 for the knotched ends below means: setting aside the knotched ends below. If he makes it or causes it to be made exceeding this (measure), in the business there is an offence of wrong-doing; having cut it down on acquisition, an offence of expiation is to be confessed.

If what was incompletely executed by himself he has finished by himself … see Bu-Pc.86.2.1 … If he makes others finish what was incompletely executed by others, there is an offence of expiation.[10] If he makes it or causes it to be made for another, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If, having acquired what was made for another, he makes use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Bu-Pc.87.2.2 There is no offence if he makes it to the (proper) measure; if he makes it less than the (proper) measure; if, having acquired what was made for another, (but) exceeding the (proper) measure, having cut it down, he makes use of it[11]; if he is mad, if he is the first wrongdoer.

The Fifth

Footnotes and references:

2.

aṅgula.

3.

sugataṅgula, sugata here meaning “standard,” recognised, accepted, right. Cf. sugata-vidatthi, a span of the accepted measure, at Vin.3.149 (= BD.1.253f.); but also cf. sugata-cīvara at Vin.4.173 below.

4.

heṭṭhimāya aṭaniyā. Vinaya Texts i.53 translates “exclusive of the lowermost piece of the bed-frame.” But at Vin-a.773f., on Bu-Pc.14, the word aṭanī occurs in description of the various kinds of couches and chairs, and seems to mean “knotched end.” Cf. Vinaya Texts iii.164.

5.

chedanakaṃ pācittiyaṃ.

7.

= Vin.4.40 (BD.2.240, and see notes).

8.

= Vin.4.40 (BD.2.240, and see notes).

11.

= below, BD.3.96.

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