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) 4

Bu-Pd.4.1.1 BD.3.115 … among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan monastery. Now at that time the slaves of the Sakyans came to be out of hand.[1] Sakyan women wanted to make a meal in jungle lodgings. The slaves of the Sakyans heard that Sakyan women were desirous of making a meal in jungle lodgings. They infested[2] the way. Vin.4.182 Sakyan women, taking sumptuous solid food, soft food, went off to a jungle lodging. The slaves of the Sakyans, having issued forth, robbed the Sakyan women and violated them. The Sakyans, having issued forth, having seized these thieves together with the goods, looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can these revered sirs not announce that thieves are living in the monastery?” Monks heard the Sakyans who … spread it about … Then these monks told this matter to the lord. Then the lord on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

On account of this, monks, I will lay down a rule of training founded on ten reasons: for the excellence of the Order … for following the rules of restraint.[3] And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever are those jungle lodgings that are held to be dangerous, frightening,[4] whatever monk in such lodgings, not announced beforehand,[5] having accepted solid food or soft food within a monastery with his own BD.3.116 hand, should eat it or partake of it, it should be confessed by that monk, saying: ‘I have fallen, your reverences, into a blameworthy matter, unbecoming, which ought to be confessed; I confess it.’”

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


Bu-Pd.4.2.1 Now at that time a certain monk came to be ill in a jungle lodging. People, taking solid food or soft food set out for the jungle lodging. Then these people spoke thus to this monk: “Eat, honoured sir.” Then that monk, thinking: “It is forbidden by the lord, having accepted in a jungle lodging solid food or soft food with one’s own hand, to eat it, to partake of it,” being scrupulous, did not accept it; he was unable to enter[6] for almsfood, he became famished. Then this monk 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, monks, an ill monk, having accepted in a jungle lodging solid food or soft food with his own hand, to eat it, to partake of it. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever are those jungle lodgings that are held to be dangerous, frightening, whatever monk in such Vin.4.183 lodgings, not announced beforehand, having accepted solid food or soft food within a monastery with his own hand, should eat it or partake of it if he is not ill, it should be confessed by that monk, saying: ‘I have fallen, your reverences, into a blameworthy matter, unbecoming, which ought to be confessed; I confess it.’”


Bu-Pd.4.3.1 Those jungle lodgings means: the last lodging called “jungle” is five hundred dhanus measures (away from the village).[7]

BD.3.117 Dangerous means: if, in a monastery, in the precincts of a monastery, a place where thieves are halting is seen, a place where they are eating is seen,[8] a place where they are resting is seen, a place where they are sitting down is seen, a place where they are lying down is seen.[9]

Frightening means: if, in a monastery, in the precincts of a monastery, people injured by thieves are seen, (people) plundered are seen, (people) beaten down are seen.[10]

Whatever means: monk is to be understood in this case.

In such lodgings as those means: in lodgings like those.

Not announced means: there is “announced” in five (ways but) this means not announced. Setting aside a monastery, the precincts of a monastery (as) announced, this is called not announced.

Announced means: whatever woman or man having come to a monastery, to the precincts of a monastery, declares: ‘Honoured sirs, they will convey solid food, soft food for so and so,’ if it becomes dangerous it should be pointed out that it is dangerous, if it becomes frightening it should be pointed out that it is frightening. If he speaks, saying: ‘Let him be, honoured sir, he will convey it,’ the thieves should be told:’ People are serving here, go away.’

If it is announced in regard to conjey that the ingredients[11] may be conveyed for that, this is called announced. If it is announced in regard to a meal that the ingredients may be conveyed for that, this is called announced. If it is announced in regard to solid food that the ingredients may be conveyed for that, this is called announced. If it is announced in regard to a family, the person who of BD.3.118 that family conveys solid food or soft food, this is called announced. If it is announced in regard to a village, the person who in that village conveys solid food or soft food, this is called announced. If it is announced in regard to a guild, the person who in that guild conveys solid food or soft food, this is called announced.

Solid food means: soft food means: … meat.

Within a monastery means: when a monastery is fenced in, inside a monastery; the precincts when it is not fenced in.[12]

Not ill means: he is able to walk for almsfood.

Ill means: he is not able to walk for almsfood. Vin.4.184

If it is not announced, if he is not ill (and) accepts it, thinking: “I will eat, I will partake of,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful there is an offence which ought to be confessed.

If he thinks that it is not announced when it is not announced (and) having accepted solid food or soft food with his own hand within the monastery when he is not ill, eats it or partakes of it, there is an offence which ought to be confessed. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not announced … If he thinks that it is announced when it is not announced … ought to be confessed. If he accepts for the sake of nutriment (food to 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 thinks that it is not announced when it is announced, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is announced, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is announced when it is announced, there is no offence.


Bu-Pd.4.3.2 There is no offence if it is announced, if he is ill; if he eats the remainder of (a meal) if it was announced or of one who was ill; if having accepted it outside the monastery he makes use of it inside the monastery; if he makes use of a root or bark, or a leaf or a flower or a BD.3.119 fruit growing there; if when there is a reason he makes use of (food to be eaten) during a watch of the night, during seven days, during life[13]; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Fourth

Venerable ones, recited are the four rules for offences which ought to be confessed. Concerning them, I ask the venerable ones: I hope that you are quite pure in this matter? And a second time I ask: I hope that you are quite pure in this matter? And a third time I ask: I hope that you are quite pure in this matter? The venerable ones are quite pure in this matter, therefore they are silent; thus do I understand this.

Told are the offences which ought to be confessed. Vin.4.185

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

avaruddhā. Vin-a.887, paraphrases by paṭiviruddhā.

[2]:

pariyuṭṭhiṃsu.

[3]:

Cf. BD.1.37.

[5]:

pubbe appaṭisaṃvidita. Editors of Vinaya Texts i.57 take this to mean “the danger incurred by people that enter that forest.” Cf. Vin.4.159.

[6]:

pavisituṃ; variant reading carituṃ, to walk.

[8]:

Omitted at Vin.3.263, but not at Vin.4.63.

[10]:

Vin-a.887 says “setting aside a monastery that is a jungle lodging and its precincts, seeing a monk on the way issuing from the precincts or coming to a village, announced is done, but this comes to be not announced.”

[11]:

parivāra.

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