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’ Confession (Pāṭidesaniya) 1

Bu-Pd.1.1.1 BD.3.103 At that time the enlightened one, the lord, was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a certain nun, having walked for alms in Sāvatthī, having seen a certain monk at the time of going back, spoke thus: “Come, master, accept alms.”

“Very well, sister,” and he took everything. She, at the approach of (meal)-time, was not able to walk for alms;[1] she became famished.[2] Then that nun on the second day … on the third day, having walked for alms in Sāvatthī, having seen that monk at the time of going back, spoke thus: “Come, master, accept alms “… she became famished. Then that nun on the fourth day went trembling along a carriage road. A householder who was a merchant, coming along in a chariot the opposite way, spoke thus to the nun:

“Get out of the way, lady.” She, turning aside, fell down just there. The householder who was a merchant apologised to that nun, saying:

“Forgive me, lady, that I was the cause of your fall.”[3]

“I, householder, did not fall because of you, but I am simply very weak.”

“But why, lady, are you very weak?” Then this nun told this matter to the householder who was a merchant. The householder who was a merchant, having taken this nun to his house, looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

BD.3.104 “How can these revered sirs accept food from the hand of a nun? Women obtain things with difficulty.”[4] Monks heard this householder who was a merchant who … spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can this monk accept food from the hand of a nun?”

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monk, accepted food from the hand of a nun?” Vin.4.176

“It is true, lord.”

“Was she a relation of yours, monk, or not a relation?”

“She was not a relation, lord.”

“Foolish man, one who is not a relation does not know what is suitable or what is unsuitable, or what is right or what is wrong for a woman who is not a relation. How can you, foolish man, accept food from the hand of a nun who is not a relation? It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should eat or partake of solid food or soft food, having accepted it with his own hand from the hand of a nun who is not a relation (and) who has entered among the houses,[5] it should be confessed[6] by that monk, saying: ‘I have fallen, your reverences, into a blameworthy matter,[7] unbecoming, which ought to be confessed[8]; I confess it.’”


Bu-Pd.1.2.1 Whatever means: … monk is to be understood in this case.

(Nun) who is not a relation means: one who is not related on the mother’s side or on the father’s side back through seven generations.

Nun means: one ordained by both Orders.

BD.3.105 Among the houses means: a carriage road,[9] a cul-de-sac,[10] cross-roads,[11] a house.

Solid food means: setting aside the five (kinds of) meals, and (food that may be eaten) during a watch of the night, during seven days, during life,[12] the rest means solid food.[13]

Soft food means: the five (kinds of) meals: cooked rice, food made with flour, barley-meal, fish, meat.

If he says, “I will eat, I will partake of,” (and) accepts, there is an offence of wrong-doing; for every mouthful there is an offence which ought to be confessed.


Bu-Pd.1.2.2 If he thinks that she is not a relation when she is not a relation, (and) having accepted with his own hand solid food or soft food from the hand of her who has entered among the houses, if he eats it or partakes of it, there is an offence which ought to be confessed. If he is in doubt as to whether she is not a relation … If he thinks that she is a relation when she is not a relation … offence which ought to be confessed. If he accepts[14] for the sake of nutriment (food that may be eaten) during a watch of the night, during seven days, during life, there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he accepts solid food or soft food from the hand of one ordained by one (Order only), thinking, “I will eat, I will partake of,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that she is not a relation when she is a relation, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is BD.3.106 in doubt as to whether she is a relation, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that she is a relation when, she is a relation, there is no offence.


Bu-Pd.1.2.3 There is no offence if she is a relation; if she[15] makes (another) give but does not (herself) give; if having put it down nearby, she gives[16]; if it is within a monastery[17]; if it is in the nuns’ quarters[18]; if it is at the sleeping-place of members of other sects[19]; if it is on the way back[20]; Vin.4.177 if, having taken it back[21] from the village, she gives; if, when there is a reason, she gives (food that may be eaten) during a watch of the night, during seven days, during life[22] and he makes use of it; if it is from a female probationer, a female novice; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The First

Footnotes and references:

1.

She could not go for alms again.

3.

māyāsi pātitā, literally, that you were brought to fall by me.

4.

Cf. Vin.3.208.

5.

antaragharaṃ.

6.

paṭidesetabbaṃ.

7.

dhamma, thing, state, often rule in Vinaya; here probably offence.

8.

pāṭidesanīya. Cf. AN.ii.243 (pāṭidesanīyaka dhamma).

9.

The first three of these occur again at Vin.4.270f. Rathiyā, carriage-road, there defined, and also at Vin-a.886, as racchā, a word which occurs at Vin.3.151.

10.

byūhaṃ. Vin.4.271 says “they depart by that (way) by which they entered.”

11.

siṅghāṭakaṃ. Vin.4.271 defines by caccaraṃ, cross-road, while Vin-a.886 says “three corners or four corners, the place where roads meet.” Caccara occurs at Vin.3.151.

15.

Vin-a.886, someone who is not a relation.

16.

Vin-a.886, if having put it on the ground, she says, ‘I will give this to you, master.’

17.

antarārāma, not ajjhārāma as at Vin.4.161.

18.

Cf. Vin.4.101.

19.

Cf. Vin.4.101.

20.

Cf. Vin.4.101.

21.

Cf. Vin.4.81.

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