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) 90

Bu-Pc.90.1.1 BD.3.97 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time an itch-cloth[1] was allowed to the monks by the lord. Vin.4.172 The group of six monks, thinking: “An itch-cloth is allowed by the lord,” used itch-cloths that were not of a (proper) measure; they went about trailing (these) along[2] in front as well as behind.[3] Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six monks use itch-cloths that are not of a (proper) measure” …

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish men, use itch-cloths that are not of a (proper) measure? It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

When an itch-cloth is being made for a monk, it must be made to a (proper) measure. This is the (proper) measure here: in length four spans of the accepted span, in breadth two spans. In exceeding this (measure), there is an offence of expiation involving cutting down.”

Bu-Pc.90.2.1 Itch-cloth means: it is for covering him who has itch[4] BD.3.98 or a small boil[5] or a running sore[6] or a thick scab disease[7] from below the navel to above the knee.

Is being made means: see Bu-Pc.89.3

it should be made to a (proper) measure … in breadth two spans (Bu-Pc.89.3)

… if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Eighth

Footnotes and references:


kaṇḍupāṭicchādi. Allowed at Vin.1.296, referred to at Vin-a.884.


ākaḍḍhantā. Cf. ākaḍḍhanā at Vin.3.121, ākaḍḍhiyamānā at Vin.4.225, and kaḍḍhati, above, BD.3.95, n.2.


Cf. below, BD.3.99, BD.3.235.


kaṇḍū ti kacchu, Vin-a.884. Kacchu is a skin disease, itch, scab.


piḷakā ti lohilutaṇḍikā sukhumapīḷakā, Vin-a.884.




thullakacchu vā ābādho ti mahāpiḷakābadho vuccati, Vin-a.884; or a bad outbreak of large boils.