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’ Expulsion (Pārājika) 2: Origin story

First sub-story

Bu-Pj.2.1.1 BD.1.64 Vin.3.41 MS.191 At one time the Buddha, the Master, was staying at Rājagaha on Mount Vultureʼs Peak. Now at that time a number of monks who were friends made grass huts on the slope of Mount Isigili[1] and entered the rains there. Among them was Venerable Dhaniya, the potterʼs son. Then, after three months, when the rains (residence) was over, the monks demolished their grass huts, put away the grass and wood and departed to wander around the country. But Venerable Dhaniya spent the rains there, and the winter and the summer. Then, while Venerable Dhaniya was in the village collecting alms, women gathering grass and firewood demolished the grass hut and took away the grass and sticks. A second time Venerable Dhaniya collected grass and sticks and made a grass hut. A second time, while Venerable Dhaniya was in the village collecting alms, women gathering grass and firewood demolished the grass hut and took away the grass and sticks. And the same thing happened a third time. MS.192 Then Venerable Dhaniya thought: “Three times BD.1.65 this has happened. But I am well-trained and experienced in my own craft, the potterʼs craft. Perhaps I should knead mud myself and make a hut consisting of nothing but clay?” MS.193 Then Venerable Dhaniya Vin.3.42 did just that. He then collected grass, wood and cow-dung and baked his hut. It was a beautiful, lovely and charming little hut, and it was red just like a scarlet rain-mite.[2] And (when hit) it sounded just like the sound of a bell.

Bu-Pj.2.1.2 MS.194 Then the Master, descending from Mount Vultureʼs Peak with a number of monks, saw the hut. He then addressed the monks:

“Monks, what is this beautiful, lovely and charming thing, which is red like a scarlet rain-mite?” The monks then informed the Master. The Buddha, the Master, was critical, saying:

“It is not suitable, monks, for that foolish man, it is not fit, it is not becoming, it is not worthy of a recluse, it is not allowable, it should not be done. For how could that foolish man make a hut out of nothing but clay? Certainly this foolish man can have no consideration, compassion and mercy for living beings.[3] BD.1.66 Go, monks, and demolish this hut. Do not let future generations take up the destruction of living beings.[4] And, monks, a hut consisting of nothing but clay should not be made. If one does, there is an offence of bad conduct.[5]

“Yes, bhante,” the monks replied, and they went to that hut and BD.1.67 demolished it. Then Venerable Dhaniya said to those monks:

“Why, friends, are you demolishing my hut?”

“Friend, the Master has asked us to.”

“Demolish it, friends, if the Lord of the Dhamma[6] has said so.”

Bu-Pj.2.1.3 MS.195 Then Venerable Dhaniya thought: “Three times, while I was in the village collecting alms, women gathering grass and firewood demolished my hut and took away the grass and sticks. And now my hut made of nothing but clay has been demolished at the Masterʼs request. Now the overseer of the wood-yard is a friend of mine. Perhaps I should ask him for wood and make a hut out of it?”

MS.196 Then Venerable Dhaniya approached the overseer of the wood-yard and said this: “Three times, friend, while I was in the village collecting alms, women gathering grass and firewood … has been demolished at the Masterʼs request. Give me some wood, friend, I want to make a wooden hut.”

“There is no such wood, bhante, that I could give you. Vin.3.43 This wood is held by the king, and it is meant for the repair of the town and put aside in case of emergency. Only if the king gives it, may you take it.”

“Friend, it has been given by the king.”

MS.197 Then the overseer of the wood-yard thought: “These recluses, sons of the Sakyan, are followers of dhamma, of just conduct, committed to the spiritual life, speakers of truth, virtuous, of good conduct. Even the king has faith in these. He would not[7] say something is given if it were not.” Then the overseer of the wood-yard said to Venerable Dhaniya BD.1.68 : “You may take it, bhante.” Then Venerable Dhaniya had that wood broken up into pieces, removed it by means of carts and made a wooden hut.

Bu-Pj.2.1.4 MS.198 Now the brahmin Vassakāra,[8] the chief minister of Magadha, while he was inspecting the works in Rājagaha, went to the overseer of the wood-yard and said to him: “What is going on: where is the wood held by the king that is meant for the repair of the town and put aside in case of emergency?”

“Sir,[9] that wood was given by the king to master Dhaniya.”

MS.199 Then the brahmin Vassakāra was upset: “How could the king give away the wood, which is meant for the repair of the town and put aside in case of emergency, to Dhaniya, the potterʼs son?”

Then the brahmin Vassakāra went to King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha and said to him: “Is it true, sire, that the wood held by the king, meant for the repair of the town and put aside in case of emergency, were given by the king to Dhaniya, the potterʼs son?”

“Who said that?”

“The overseer of the wood-yard, sire.”

“Well then, brahmin, send for the overseer of the wood-yard.” Then Vassakāra had the overseer of the wood-yard bound and taken by force.

MS.200 Venerable Dhaniya saw the overseer of the wood-yard being BD.1.69 bound and taken by force and said to him: “Friend, why is this happening to you?”

“Because of the business with that wood, bhante.”

“Go, friend, and I too will come.”

“Please come before I am done for, bhante.”

Bu-Pj.2.1.5 MS.201 Then Venerable Dhaniya went to the dwelling of King Bimbisāra and sat down on the appointed seat. Then King Bimbisāra approached Venerable Dhaniya, Vin.3.44 paid homage to him and sat down to one side. King Bimbisāra then said this to him:

“Is it true, bhante, that the wood held by the king, meant for the repair of the town and put aside in case of emergency, have been given by me to the master?”

“Yes, great king.”

“We kings are very busy—having given, we may not remember. Please remind me, bhante.”

“Do you remember, great king, when you were first anointed, speaking these words: ʻLet the recluses and brahmins enjoy gifts of grass, sticks and waterʼ?”

“I remember, bhante. There are recluses and brahmins who have a sense of shame, are scrupulous and desirous of training. They have a sense of conscience even in regard to small matters. What was uttered by me was meant[10] for these, and it concerned what is ownerless in the wilderness.[11] Yet you, bhante, imagine you can take wood not given to you by means of this trick? But how could one like me flog, BD.1.70 imprison or banish a recluse or a brahmin living in my kingdom? Go, you are free because of your status,[12][13] but do not do such a thing again.”

Bu-Pj.2.1.6 MS.202 People criticised and denounced him: “These recluses, the sons of the Sakyan, are shameless, immoral, liars. They claim to be followers of dhamma, of just conduct, committed to the spiritual life, speakers of truth, virtuous, of good conduct. But there is no recluseship or brahminhood among these—it is lost to them. Where is recluseship and brahminhood among them? They have departed from it. They even deceive the king; what then other people?”

MS.203 Monks heard the criticism of those people. Those monks who had few desires and a sense of shame, who were contented, scrupulous, and desirous of training, criticised and denounced Venerable Dhaniya: “How could he take wood belonging to the king that had not been given to him?” MS.204 Then these monks informed the Master. And in this connection the Master convened the Sangha of monks and questoned Venerable Dhaniya:

“Is it true, Dhaniya, that you have taken wood belonging to the king that was not given to you?”

“It is true, Master.”

BD.1.71 The Buddha, the Master, rebuked him: “Foolish man, it is not suitable, it is not becoming, it is not proper, it is not worthy of a recluse, it is not allowable, it is not to be done. How could you Vin.3.45 take wood belonging to the king that has not been given to you? This will not give rise to confidence in those without it,[14] nor increase the confidence of those who have it, but it will hinder confidence in those without it and it will cause some with confidence to change their minds.”

MS.205 Now at that time a certain former chief minister of justice who had gone forth among the monks was sitting near the Master. The Master said to him: “For what amount of theft, monk, does King Bimbisāra flog, imprison or banish a thief?”

“For a pāda,[15] Master, for the worth of a pāda[16], or for more than a pāda.”

Now at that time in Rājagaha a pāda was worth BD.1.72 five māsakas.[17] Then the Master, having rebuked Venerable Dhaniya in several ways for being difficult to support … “… And, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Preliminary ruling

MS.206 “If a monk takes by way of theft what has not been given to him—the sort of theft for which kings, having caught a thief, would flog, imprison or banish him, saying, ʻYou are a robber, you are foolish, you have gone astray, you are a thiefʼ—he too is expelled and not in communion.”

MS.207 Thus the Master laid down this training rule for the monks.

Second sub-story

Bu-Pj.2.2 MS.208 At one time the group of six monks went to the dyersʼ spread (of dyed cloth)[18], carried off the dyersʼ goods, took it to the monastery and divided it out. Other monks said:

“Friends, you have great merit, for many robes have accrued to you.”

“How is there merit for us, friends? Just now we went to the dyersʼ spread (of dyed cloth) and carried off the dyersʼ goods.”

“Friends, hasnʼt a training rule been laid down by the Master? Why then do you carry off the dyersʼ goods?”

“It is true, friends, that a training rule has been laid down by the Master, but it concerns the village, not the wilderness.”

“But, friends, that is just the same. BD.1.73 It is not suitable, it is not becoming, it is not proper, it is not worthy of a recluse, it is not allowable, it should not be done. How could you carry off the dyersʼs goods? It will not give rise to confidence in those without it, nor increase the confidence of those who have it, but it will hinder confidence in those without it and it will cause some with confidence to change their minds.”

Then those monks, having rebuked the group of six monks in various ways, Vin.3.46 informed the Master. MS.209 And in this connection the Master convened the Sangha and questoned the group of six monks:

“Is it true, monks, that you went the dyersʼ spread (of dyed cloth) and carried off the dyersʼ goods?”

“It is true, Master.”

The Buddha, the Master, rebuked them: “it is not suitable, foolish men, it is not becoming, it is not proper, it is not worthy of a recluse, it is not allowable, it should not be done. How could you go to the dyersʼ spread (of dyed cloth) and carry off the dyersʼ goods? It will not give rise to confidence in those without it … to change their minds.” Then the Master, rebuking the group of six monks in various ways, spoke in dispraise of being difficult to support … but he spoke in praise … of the putting forth of energy. Having given a Dhamma talk on what was right and seemly, he addressed the monks … “… And so, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Footnotes and references:

1.

One of the group of hills above Rājagaha, whence the other crests could be seen (MN.iii.68ff.); a resort of the Order, Vin.2.76; where Godhika committed suicide, SN.i.120; cf. DN.ii.116.

2.

Indagopaka, literally Indra’s cowherds. Commentary makes no remark. But cf. Thag.13 and Psalms of the Bretheren 18, n., where it is said that “according to the (Thag.) Commentary these are coral-red insects, alluded to in connection with recent rain, but said by some to be a red grass.” Note also here Sir Charles Eliot’s remark that the Russians call lady-birds, “God’s little cows.” Dhaniya’s hut might have been of a round kraal-like shape, suggesting a beetle’s back. Monier Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary gives under indragopaka, “the insect cochineal of various kinds”; and St. Petersburgh Dictionary gives “Coccinelle.” The coccineds are, however, lady-birds.

3.

na hi nāma tassa moghapurisassa pāṇesu anuddayā anukampā avihesā bhavissati. This must refer to the small creatures in the mud which would be destroyed when the mud was baked.

4.

mā pacchimā janatā pāṇesu pātavyalaṃ āpajji. Vin-a.288 paraphrases pacchimā janatā by janasamūho, concourse or multitude of people. At Vin.2.128 we find pacchimaṃ janatam tathāgato anukampati, translated at Vinaya Texts, iii.128, “The tathāgata has mercy even on the meanest thing.” And at MN.ii.93, pacchimaṃ janataṃ tathāgato apaloketi, translated at Further Dialogues of the Buddha ii.47, “The Truth-Finder is looking towards those that shall follow hereafter.” MN-a gives no help. Pacchimaṃ janataṃ at AN.i.61 is translated at GS.i.55 as “future generations,” with note that “Commentary takes it to mean ‘his disciples who come after.’” At AN.iii.108 = AN.iii.251 we get pacchimā janatā diṭṭhānugatiṃ āpajjati (āpajjissati, 108), translation, GS.iii.86, GS.iii.184, “and the folk who come after fall (will fall) into the way of wrong views.” At SN.ii.203 we find pacchimaṃ ca janataṃ anukampamāno appevanāma pacchimā janatā diṭṭhānugatiṃ āpajjeyyuṃ, translation, KS.ii.136, “and being filled with compassion for them who will come after us. For surely these may fall into error.” SN-a makes no comment. Because of this array of translations of pacchimā janatā as “those who come after,” I am reluctant to think that here it means “lowest or most backward persons”—in this case represented by Dhaniya. It was meant, I think, that it was a bad example if he should destroy creatures, for then those who might use the hut after him might destroy them. Cf. pacchimaka bhikkhu, above, BD.1.19; DN.ii.155; AN.ii.80.Pātavyatā is paraphrased at Vin-a.288 as pātabyabhāva, and it is said that in the time of a Buddha the monks did bring “downfall to creatures, thinking that there was no fault in depriving them of life, falling into the way of wrong views (diṭṭhanugatiṃ āpajjamānā, cf. AN.iii.108 = AN.iii.251) about this; so now it is said: ‘Let not the lowest people think thus of the ruin (pātabbe, with variant readings pātabyate, pātabye) and crushing (ghaṃsitabbe) of creatures.” At MN.i.305 = AN.i.266 we find kāmesu pātavyatam āpajjati (°byatam āpajjanti, MN.i.), translated Further Dialogues of the Buddha i.219, “they give way to indulgence in pleasures of sense,” and GS.i.244, “comes to be intoxicated with his lusts.” Mr. Woodward says, GS.i.244, n.2, that AN-a appears to derive pātavyata from √piv, intoxication, as does Ud-a.351, Ud-a.365, as he points out. So also does MN-a.ii.371. But such a derivation is not hinted at at Vin-a.288, nor would it fit the case.

5.

Vin-a.289, “There was no offence for Dhaniya, because it was a first offence.”

6.

dhammasāmi, cf. SN.iv.94; AN.v.226.

7.

na arahati.

8.

At Vin.1.225 = DN.ii.86 = Ud.87 he and Sunidha, another chief minister, were building a fortified town at Pāṭaligāma against the Vajjians. At DN.ii.72 Ajātasattu, then King of Magadha, sent Vassakāra to tell Gotama that he (Ajāta°) was going to fight the Vajjins.

9.

Sāmi.

10.

Tesaṃ mayā sandhāya bhāsitaṃ. Sandhāya of text altered to saddhāya at Vin.5.260. Vin-a.295 reads sandh°.

11.

Vin-a.295 says: “that grass, wood, and water not owned in the jungle, this is the meaning intended by me.”

12.

Brahmali: “Loma, “literally “hair,” but here seems to be used idiomatically to refer to status or social position.

13.

Lomena. Vin-a.295 says that loma is the characteristic mark of pabbajjā. It is like the case of some evil-minded people, who wanting to eat flesh, take a goat with a fine coat. A clever man comes along and thinks that the goat’s coat is valuable, so giving the other people two goats, he himself takes the valuable one. Thus this goat is freed on account of its coat or hair (lomena). Similarly, although the man who has done the deed (referred to in the text) is worthy of flogging or binding, yet because he bears the mark of an arahan (arahaddhaja) he is scatheless. Therefore, on account of his hair (lomena, i.e., the down on the limbs) which is the sign of his having gone forth, he is freed, like the valuable goat.

14.

AN.i.98. At GS.i.84 appasannānaṃ is translated “to believers” in error. It is, of course, “to non-believers or unbelievers.”

15.

For pāda see Rhys Davids, Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon, p.2f., where he says “there is nothing to prove that it meant a coin at all; it may have been a weight … recognised as a basis of calculation or a medium of exchange.” Vin-a.297 says, “then in Rājagaha a kahāpaṇa was (worth) twenty māsakas, therefore a pāda was (worth) five māsakas, and a pāda, because of this property, is to be called a quarter of a kahāpaṇa throughout the countryside.” At Vin.3.238, Vin.3.240, kahāpaṇa appears in definition of rajata (silver), rūpiya (silver), respectively, but I think that it need not necessarily mean silver literally, as the copper, wood and lac māsakas also appear in these definitions of rajata and rūpiya. See BD.1.72, n. for māsaka. At Vv-a.11 = Dhp-a.iii.108 we get a descending line, kahāpaṇa, aḍḍhapāda, māsaka, then kākaṇikā. For this last see Rhys Davids, Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon, p.10. Owing to the uncertainty as to the exact nature of the coins kahāpaṇa, māsaka, pāda, if indeed they were coins at all, I think it better to leave them untranslated. All we can say is that the kahāpaṇa was the unit of exchange in Pali literature, and that the others were mediums of exchange of lesser value than the kahāpaṇa. To translate kahāpaṇa by “penny” and so on as does Burlingame, Buddhist Legends, ii.333f. brings us no nearer to the sense of the Pali.

16.

pādārahaṃ. Here we have what is possibly an early use of arahaṃ, when it simply meant “worth” or “value,” and not even so much as a “worthy person,” far less a saint or man perfected.

17.

māsaka from māsa, a bean of the phaseolus, see below, BD.1.83, n. Enough has been said to show that usually twenty māsakas were reckoned to make a kahāpaṇa. As mentioned in foregoing note the copper, wood and lac māsakas are included in a definition of rajata and rūpiya. See also Vin-a.689Vin-a.690, which speaks of māsakas made of skin, bone, fruits or seeds of trees, and says that some māsakas have figures stamped upon them. This passage goes on to say that, together with silver and gold, the gold māsaka and the silver māsaka are four things to be given up (by monks) See Rhys Davids, Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon, p.8, p.14. Cf. SN.i.79.

18.

Brahmali: See Vin-a.2.298,16.

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