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: Definitions

Bu-Pj.2.3 MS.211 A means: whoever, of such kind …

Monk means: … this sort of monk is meant in this case.

BD.1.74 MS.212 Village means: a village of one hut, a village of two huts, a village of three huts, a village of four huts, an inhabited village, an uninhabited village,[1] a fenced-in village, a village which is not fenced in, a disorganised village, and even a caravan that is camping for more than four months is called a village. The precincts of the village means: of a fenced-in village, the outward stone-throw of a man of average height standing at the threshold (of the village gate); of a village not fenced in, the outward stone-throw of a man of average height standing within the precincts of a house.[2]

MS.214 Wilderness means: leaving aside the village and the precincts of the village, what remains is called the wilderness.[3]

MS.215 What has not been given means: what has not been given, nor let go of, nor thrown away; what is guarded, protected, regarded as “mine”, what belongs to others—this is called what has not been given.

MS.216 By way of theft means: intending to steal, intending to carry off.

MS.217 If (he) takes means: if (he) takes, if (he) takes away, if (he) carries off, if (he) interrupts the mode of movement, if (he) removes from its base, if (he) does not fulfill an obligation.[4]

MS.218 The sort of theft means: a pāda, the worth of a pāda, or more than a pāda.

Vin.3.47 MS.219 Kings means: kings of the earth, local kings, governors of islands,[5] governors of border areas, judges, chief ministers, or whoever metes out physical punishment—these are called kings.

BD.1.75 MS.220 A thief means: one who takes by way of theft anything having the value of five māsakas or more than five māsakas that has not been given—he is called a thief.

MS.221 Would flog means: they would flog with the hand, the foot, a whip, a cane, a rod, or by maiming.

MS.222 Would imprison means: they would imprison by constriction with a rope, by constriction with fetters, by constriction with chains, by constriction to a house, by constriction to a town, by constriction to a village, by constriction to a small town, by being guarded.

MS.223 Would banish means: they would banish from the village, small town, town, province or rural district.

MS.224 You are a robber, you are foolish, you have gone astray, you are a thief means: this is censure.[6]

MS.227 He too means: this is said with reference to the preceding offence entailing expulsion.

MS.228 Is expelled means: just as a fallen, withered leaf could not[7] become green again, so a monk who takes by way of theft a pāda, the worth of a pāda or more than a pāda, which had not been given to him, is not a recluse, not a son of the Sakyan[8]—he is therefore called one who is expelled.

MS.229 Not in communion means: communion means: a common official action, the same recital, the same training—this is called communion. He does not take part in this—he is therefore called not in communion.

Footnotes and references:


samanusso pi gāmo amanusso pi gāmo, or “a village that is inhabited or a village that is uninhabited.” See BD.1.147, n.2 below.


See Vism.71f., which goes into the question of fixing the village precincts at greater length. It adduces Vinaya evidence: a stone thrown by young men in a display or strength fixes the boundary. The standard throw decides this. The Visuddhimagga goes on to say that the Suttanta scholars say that the boundary is the fall of a stone thrown to drive away a crow.


Quoted at Snp-a.83; and at Vism.73. Here Vibhaṅga definition is also collected: “it is jungle when one goes out by the gate pillars,” Vb.251. Suttanta views as to relation of jungle and village are also given at Vism.73.


saṃketa, see below Bu-Pj.2.4.30.


Brahmali: See Vin-a.2.309,6.


Brahmali: Because of the way I have translated the rule I have had to leave out the next two definitions, neither of which relate to anything in my translation. Both definitons are found in the Pali and in I.B. Hornerʼs translation. However, since both of these definitions are verbatim repetitions of definitions already given under this rule (see the definitions of “The sort of theft” and “Should take” above), there is no loss of information.




Cf. Vin.1.96, where it is said that a monk who has received the upasampadā ordination should abstain from taking what is not given him and from theft, even of a blade of grass.