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) 3: Origin story

First sub-story

Bu-Pj.3.1.1 MS.376 BD.1.116 Vin.3.68 At one time the Buddha, the Master, was staying at Vesālī in the hall with the peaked roof in the Great Wood. At that time the Master talked in many ways to the monks on the subject of unattractiveness,[1] he spoke in praise of unattractiveness, he spoke in praise of developing (the perception of) unattractiveness,[2] he spoke thus and thus[3] he spoke in many ways in praise of the attainment of unattractiveness.[4] MS.377 Then the Master addressed the monks:

“Monks, I wish to go into solitary retreat for half a month. No one is to approach me except the one who brings me almsfood.”[5]

“Yes, Master,” the monks replied, and accordingly no one approached the Master except the one to take him almsfood.

MS.378 Then the monks thought, “The Master has talked in many ways on the subject of unattractiveness,” and they dwelt intent upon the practice of developing (the perception of) unattractiveness in its many different aspects. As a consequence they became troubled by their own bodies,[6] ashamed of them, loathing them. BD.1.117 Just as a young woman or man, fond of adornments[7] and with head washed,[8] would be ashamed, humiliated and disgusted if the carcase of a snake, a dog or a man were hung around their neck, just so those monks were troubled by their own bodies, ashamed of them and loathed them. They took their own lives,[9] took the lives of one another, and they approached Migalaṇḍika,[10] a sham recluse,[11] the recluse lookalike, and said, “Friend, please kill us. This bowl and robe will be yours.” Then Migalaṇḍika, hired[12] for a bowl and robe, BD.1.118 killed a number of monks.

He then took his blood-stained knife to the river Vaggumudā,[13] MS.379 and while he was washing it he became anxious and remorseful: “Indeed, itʼs a loss for me, itʼs no gain; indeed, itʼs badly gained by me, not Vin.3.69 well-gained. I have made much demerit because I have killed monks who were virtuous and of good conduct.”

Then a certain god[14] of Māraʼs retinue, walking across the water,[15] said to Migalaṇḍika, “Well done, superior man;[16] it is a gain for you, it is well-gained. You have made much merit, because you bring those across who have not yet crossed.”[17]

BD.1.119 MS.380 Then Migalaṇḍika thought, “So it seems it is a gain for me, that it is well-gained by me, and that I have made much merit by bringing those across who have not yet crossed.” He then went from dwelling to dwelling, from dormitory to dormitory,[18] and said, “Who has not yet crossed? Whom do I bring across?” And those monks[19] who were not free from desire became fearful and terrified,[20] with their hair standing on end, but not so those who were free from desire. MS.381 Then Migalaṇḍika killed a monk, on a single day he killed two monks, on a single day … three … four … five … ten … twenty … thirty … forty … fifty … on a single day he killed sixty monks.

Bu-Pj.3.1.2 MS.382 At the end of that half-month, the Master arose from seclusion and addressed Venerable Ānanda: “Ānanda, why is the Sangha of monks so diminished?”

BD.1.120 “It is because the Master talked to the monks in many ways on the subject of unattractiveness—he spoke in praise of unattractiveness, in praise of developing (the perception of) unattractiveness, and in many ways in praise of the attainment of unattractiveness. And, Master, those monks thought, ‘The Master has talked in many ways on the subject of unattractiveness,ʼ and so they dwelt intent upon the practice of developing (the perception of) unattractiveness in its many different aspects. As a consequence they became troubled by their own bodies, ashamed of them, loathing them. Just as a young woman or man, fond of adornments and with head washed, would be ashamed, humiliated and disgusted if the carcase of a snake, a dog or a man were hung around their neck, just so these monks were troubled by their own bodies, Vin.3.70 ashamed of them, loathing them. They then took their own lives, took the lives of each other, and they approached Migalaṇḍika, the recluse lookalike, and said, ʻFriend, please kill us. This bowl and robe will be yours.’ Then, Master, hired for a bowl and robe, Migalaṇḍika killed a monk … on a single day he killed sixty monks. Master, please give another instruction[21] for the Sangha of monks to be established in final knowledge.”[22]

“Well then, Ānanda, call together in the assembly-hall all the monks that dwell near Vesālī.”

BD.1.121 “Yes, Master,” he said. And when he had done so, he approached the Master and said, “Master, the Sangha of monks is assembled. Master, please do what you think[23] is appropriate.”

MS.383 Then the Master went to the assembly-hall, sat down on the prepared seat, and said:

Bu-Pj.3.1.3 MS.384 “Monks,[24] the samādhi by mindfulness of breathing, when developed and cultivated,[25] is peaceful and sublime,[26] an exalted state of happiness, and it stops and settles bad, unwholesome qualities on the spot,[27] whenever they arise. Just as a big storm, when it arises out of season[28] in the last month of the hot weather,[29] stops and settles the dust and dirt in the atmosphere—even so the samādhi by mindfulness of breathing, when developed and cultivated, is peaceful and sublime, an exalted state of happiness, and it stops and settles bad, unwholesome qualities on the spot, whenever they arise. MS.385 And how is the samādhi by mindfulness of breathing developed and cultivated in this way?

As to that, monks, a monk sits down in the wilderness, at BD.1.122 the foot of a tree, or in an empty hut; he crosses his legs, straightens his body, and establishes mindfulness in front of him.[30] Simply mindful, he breathes in;[31] simply mindful, he breathes out. MS.386 When he breathes in long, he knows it; and when he breathes out long, he knows that. When he breathes in short, he knows it; and when he breathes out short, he knows that. While breathing in, he trains[32] in having the full experience (of the breath); Vin.3.71 while breathing out, he trains in having the full experience (of the breath). While breathing in, he trains in calming the activity of the body[33]; while breathing out, he trains in calming the activity of the body. MS.387 While breathing in, he trains in experiencing rapture; while breathing out, he trains in experiencing rapture. While breathing in, he trains in experiencing happiness; while breathing out, he trains in experiencing happiness. While breathing in, he trains in experiencing the activity of the mind; while breathing out, he trains in experiencing the activity of the mind. While breathing in, he trains in calming the activity of the mind; while breathing out, he trains in calming the activity of the mind. While breathing in, he trains in experiencing the mind; while breathing out, he trains in experiencing the mind. While breathing in, he trains in gladdening the mind; while breathing out, he trains in gladdening the mind. While breathing in, he trains in unifying the mind; while breathing out, he trains in unifying the mind. While breathing in, he trains in freeing the mind; while breathing out, he trains in freeing the mind. MS.388 While breathing in, he trains in contemplating impermanence; while breathing out, he trains in contemplating impermanence. While breathing in, he trains in contemplating fading away; while breathing out, he trains in contemplating fading away. While breathing in, he trains in contemplating cessation; while breathing out, he trains in contemplating cessation. While breathing in, he trains in contemplating relinquishment; while breathing out, he trains in contemplating relinquishment.

MS.389 Monks, when the samādhi by mindfulness of breathing is developed and cultivated in this way, it is peaceful and sublime, an exalted state of happiness, and it stops and settles bad, unwholesome qualities on the spot, whenever they arise.”

Bu-Pj.3.1.4 MS.390 And in this connection the Master BD.1.123 convened the Sangha of monks and questoned the monks:

“Monks, is it true that some monks have taken their own lives, have killed one another, and have said to Migalaṇḍika, ʻFriend, please kill us. This bowl and robe will be yoursʼ?”

“It is true, Master.”

The Buddha, the Master, rebuked them: “Monks, it is not suitable for these monks, 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 those monks take their own lives … and say … ‘… This bowl and robe will be yours’? It will not give rise to confidence in those without it … And, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Preliminary ruling

MS.391 If a monk intentionally kills a human being or searches for someone to kill him, he too is expelled and not in communion.”

MS.392 Thus the Master laid down this training rule for the monks.

Second sub-story

Bu-Pj.3.2 MS.393 At one time a certain lay-follower was ill. His wife was beautiful and pleasant, and the group of six monks had fallen in love with her. Then those monks said to each other: “Friends, if this Vin.3.72 lay-follower lives, we wonʼt get this woman. Come, let us praise the beauty of death to him.” So they went to that lay follower and said:

“Friend, you have done what is good[34] and wholesome; you have made a BD.1.124 shelter from fear.[35] You have not done anything bad; you have not been greedy and immoral. What need have you of this wretched, difficult life? Death is better for you than life. When you have passed away, at the breaking up of the body after death, you will be reborn in a happy destination, in a heaven world.[36] There[37] you will amuse yourself and enjoy the five types of heavenly sensual pleasures.”[38]

MS.394 Then that lay-follower thought, “The Masters have spoken the truth, for I have done what is good and avoided what is bad, and after death I will be reborn in a happy destination.”

He ate various types of detrimental food, he drank detrimental drinks,[39] and because of this he became seriously ill[40] and died.

His wife criticised and denounced them: “These BD.1.125 recluses, the sons of the Sakyan,[41] 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 praised the beauty of death to my husband. Because of them my husband has died.”

And other people criticised and denounced them: “These recluses … Because of them that lay-follower has died.

MS.395 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 the group of six monks: “How could they praise the beauty of death to that lay-follower?” MS.396 Then Vin.3.73 those monks informed the Master …

“Is it true, monks, that you praised the beauty of death to that lay-follower?”

“It is true, Master.”

The Buddha, the Master, rebuked them: “Foolish men, 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 praise the beauty of death to that lay-follower? This will not give rise to confidence in those without it … And so, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Footnotes and references:

1.

Vin-a.393f. Cf. Buddhist Psychological Ethics, 2nd edition, p.63, n.2.

2.

asubhabhāvanā, Vin-a.394 says, avatassa cittassa bhāvanā vaḍḍhanā phātikammaṃ, and goes on to say that the monk intent upon the impure attains the first musing, and then making insight to grow, he reaches the highest goal (uttamattha), arahantship.

3.

ādissa ādissa, explained at Vin-a.394: evam pi ittham pīti punappuna vavatthānaṃ katvā.

4.

Brahmali: According to the commentary, Vin-a.ii.396,18, this refers to the state where the mind no longer inclines towards sexuality.

5.

As at SN.v.320, where the subject of asubha, the impure or “the unlovely,” also occurs, but with some omissions and variations.

6.

sakena kāyena, translated at KS.v.284 “as to this body.”

7.

= DN.i.80 = Vin.2.255 = MN.ii.19; this simile omitted at SN.v.320.

8.

Vin-a.399, “washed, together with the head.”

9.

attanāpi attānaṃ jīvitā voropenti. Vin-a.399 says, “like that man, having no desire for the carcase, the monks being desirous of quitting (pariccajati) their own bodies, taking the knife attanā pivoropenti.” This is probably a way of saying that they committed suicide, cf. SN.v.320, satthahārakaṃ pariyesanti … satthaṃ āharanti. Or the phrase might possibly mean that “the self deprives the Self of life ”—i.e., there may be some notion lingering on from the Upaniṣad philosophy that this kind of slaying affects the Ātman, the All-Real, the Self. Some other attā couples of sayings occur in the Aṅguttara Nikāya—e.g., at AN.i.57, AN.i.149; AN.iv.405; AN.v.182, and at SN.ii.68, and seem to have this implication.

10.

Vin-a.399 calls him Migaladdhika, with variant reading as in the text. He is not mentioned at SN.v.320, nor as far as I know at any other passage.

11.

Vin-a.399, samaṇakuttaka = samaṇavesadhāraka, one who wears a recluse’s dress. “Having shaved his head and put on one yellow robe and another over his shoulder, depending on the vihāra, he lived on a substance of broken-meats.”

12.

bhaṭa, Commentary is silent. If bhaṭa means soldier, cf. Sacred Books of the East translation of Mil.234, Mil.240, the sense would be that he hit about him with a knife, and perhaps stifled the monks with his robe. But bhaṭa can also mean “hireling, servant.” There seems to be no verb in Pali of which it is the past participle. It is connected with the Epic and Classical Sanskrit bhaṭa, which is connected with bhṛta. Monier Williams, Sanskrit-English Dictionary, gives for this: “hired, kept in pay, paid; possessed of, endowed with, having earned, acquired, gained …”

13.

Vin-a.399 says, “a river considered by people to be lovely (vaggu-matā, mata from maññati), renowned for merit. He went there saying, ‘There I will wash away this evil.’ ”

14.

Vin-a.400 says, “not a well-known earth-devatā, a holder of false views, on the side of Māra, taking Māra’s part.”

15.

abhijjamāne udake gantvā. Vin-a.400 says, “coming as though walking on the earth’s surface.” This power of walking on the water is one of the forms of iddhi, see DN.i.78. Bhijjamāna is present participle of bhijjati, passive of bhindati + a, not being broken, or divided, therefore firm, unruffled, undivided, unbroken, undisturbed. But the reading at DN.i.78 = AN.i.170 is udake pi abhijjamāno gacchati, he goes on the water without breaking it (Dialogues of the Buddha i.88 and cf. AN.i.255), but this loses the passive aspect of the verb. At DN.i.212 we get udake abhijjamānaṃ gacchantaṃ. However at MN.i.34 = MN.i.494 the reading is (as at Vin.3 above) udake pi abhijjamāne, translated Further Dialogues of the Buddha i.24, “on the water’s unbroken surface.” Thus, there is a good deal of variation in the reading of abhijj°. See Ps.2.208 which reads °māne, and says that as ordinary people walk on the earth, so the psychic person (iddhimā) walks on the unbroken water, having first refiected on it. Vism.396, in explaining how by will-power such a person transforms the water to earth, quotes this Paṭisambhidāmagga passage.

16.

sappurisa. On prefix sa- see GS.i.ix.

17.

atiṇṇe tāresi, Vin-a.401, “You free them from saṃsāra … those who are not dead are not freed from saṃsāra, those who are dead are freed.” Tarati, to cross, was frequently used in connection with ogha, the flood, mahogha, the great flood. The flood was later broken up into four floods, which became identified with the four āsavas. But the commentarial exegesis, as above, which is not rare, shows the view that to be across was to be across nothing more nor less than saṃsāra, the round of death and rebirth. This is what, in the monkish outlook of the commentator, it was highly desirable to stop. Cf. Snp.571,tiṇṇo tāres’ imaṃ pajaṃ.

18.

= Vin.1.216 = Vin.1.247. On pariveṇa, cell, see Vinaya Texts iii.109, n.3, where editor says that it is here doubtless a cell used as a cooling room, after the steam bath. But at Vinaya Texts iii.203 editor takes pariveṇa to mean “a number of buildings,” in n.1 saying that “here it evidently included several vihāras.”

19.

Tasmiṃ samaye.

20.

Chambhitatta. Cf. DN.i.49. Pali-English Dictionary says that here DN-a.i.50 wrongly explains it by sakala-sarīra-calanaṃ. Vin-a.401 reads, “beginning with the flesh of the heart, the body trembled (sarīracalanaṃ)”; it speaks of those being devoid of passion as being khīṇāsava. It also gives thambhitatta as a synonym of chambhitatta. Pali-English Dictionary says that this meaning of thambhitatta as fluctuation, unsteadiness, is late, and is caused by misinterpretation of chambhitatta.

21.

Pariyāya. Vin-a.402 explains it by kammaṭṭhāna, basis for meditation.

22.

Aññā. See Psalms of the Bretheren, Introduction, p.xxxiii, and Mrs. Rhys Davids, The Birth of Indian Psychology and its Development in Buddhism, p.225, where she says “aññā—i.e., the having-come-to-know … had taken the place of the older Sakyan term for the summum bonum: attha the thing needed, the thing sought;” and Mrs. Rhys Davids, The Birth of Indian Psychology and its Development in Buddhism, p.264, “coming-to-know or learning … as what might be rendered as gnosis or saving knowledge.”

23.

Maññasi. At. SN.v.321, maññati.

24.

From here to end of Bu-Pj.3.1.3 below = SN.v.321f. exactly.

25.

Cf. MN.i.421.

26.

Asecanaka. Vin-a.403f. says, nāssa secananti (adulterating, mixing, sprinkling), anāsittako (unsprinkled) abbokiṇṇo pāṭekko āveṇiko. Cf. Thig. verse 55.

27.

Ṭhānaso. Vin-a.404 khaṇen’ eva.

28.

Vin-a.404 says: having arisen, the whole sky is covered, and for the whole half-month of the bright moon in this āsāḷha month there are clouds shedding rain.

29.

Called āsāḷhamāsa at Vin-a.404.

30.

parimukhaṃ. Or, “round the face.”

31.

Cf . DN.ii.291 = MN.i.56 for this passage, also MN.iii.82, MN.iii.89, and Ps.i.177, quoted Vism.272.

32.

Sikkhati, Vin-a.411, ghaṭati vāyamati, and goes on to say he trains himself in the three trainings: the higher morality, the higher thought, the higher wisdom.

33.

Brahmali: That is, the breath.

34.

Cf. AN.ii.174, AN.ii.175; It.p.25.

35.

katabhīruttāṇa, Vin-a.436 says that he has gained protection against the dread beings have at the time of dying, possibly by means of a charm (parittā) as is suggested by the Commentary on AN.ii.174.

36.

J. Przyluski, Le Concile de Rājagṛha, p.368, where he says that in the oldest (Buddhist) period svarga (Pali, sagga) and brahmaloka are synonymous terms. This seems here borne out by next sentence in text. It has been suggested, and confuted by J. Przyluski, Le Concile de Rājagṛha, p.371, that Asoka spoke only of svarga, and not of nirvāna, because he addressed the laity, and not monks.

37.

I.e., in a deva-world, Vin-a.436.

38.

Cf. AN.v.273.

39.

Cf. Vin.1.44 for these four items.

40.

Kharo ābādho uppajji = DN.ii.127.

41.

As below, BD.1.200, BD.1.223.