Vinaya Pitaka (3): Khandhaka

by I. B. Horner | 2014 | 386,194 words | ISBN-13: 9781921842160

The English translation of the Khandhaka: the second book of the Pali Vinaya Pitaka, one of the three major ‘baskets’ of Therevada canonical literature. It is a collection of various narratives. The English translation of the Vinaya-pitaka (third part, khandhaka) contains many Pali original words, but transliterated using a system similar to the I...

At the Rājāyatana tree

Kd.1.4.1 Then the Lord, at the end of seven days, having emerged from that contemplation, approached the Rājāyatana[1] from the foot of the Mucalinda; having approached, he sat cross-legged in one (posture) for seven days at the foot of the Rājāyatana experiencing the bliss of freedom.

Kd.1.4.2 Now Vin.1.4 at that time[2] the merchants Tapussa[3] and Bhallika were going along the high-road from Ukkalā to that district.[4] Then a devatā who was a blood-relation of the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika spoke thus to the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika: “My good fellows, this Lord, having just (become) wholly awakened, is staying at the foot of the Rājāyatana, go and serve that Lord with barley-gruel[5] and honey-balls, and this will be a blessing and happiness for you for a long time.”

Kd.1.4.3 Then the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika, taking barley-gruel and honey-balls, approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, they stood at a respectful distance. As they were standing at a respectful distance, the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, let the Lord receive our barley-gruel and honey-balls, that this may be a blessing and happiness for us for a long time.”

Kd.1.4.4 Then it occurred to the Lord: “Truth-finders[6] do not BD.4.6 receive with their hands. Now with what shall I receive the barley-gruel and honey-balls?” Then the four Great Kings, knowing with their minds the reasoning in the Lord’s mind, from the four quarters presented the Lord with four bowls made of rock crystal, saying: “Lord, let the Lord receive the barley-gruel and honey-balls herein.” The Lord received the barley-gruel and the honey-balls in a new[7] bowl made of rock crystal, and having received them he partook of them.

Kd.1.4.5 Then the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika, having found that the Lord had removed his hand from the bowl, having inclined their heads towards the Lord’s feet, spoke thus to the Lord: “We, Lord, are those going to the Lord for refuge and to dhamma; let the Lord accept us as lay-disciples gone for refuge for life from this day forth.” Thus these came to be the first lay-disciples in the world using the two-word formula.[8]

Kd.1.4.6 Told is the Talk at the Rājāyatana.

Footnotes and references:


Name of a tree. Called by Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual of Buddhism, p.80, “Kingstead tree.” See Vinaya Texts, i.81, note.


Cf. Ja.i.80f.


Chief of the disciples who first came for refuge, AN.i.26; included in a list of eminent householders and upāsakas at AN.iii.450–451. Bhalliy(k)a has a verse at Thag.7, while Thag-a.50 gives in outline the story of their ministering to the Lord.


According to Vin-a.959, the Middle District (or Country) where the Lord was staying.


mantha, defined at Vin.4.80, see BD.2.324.


Further Dialogues of the Buddha1.118, n.4, claims that “the first use of the term Tathāgata in the Buddha’s life-history” occurs at MN.i.168.


paccagghe. Vin-a.960 says this usually means very costly; but it can mean, as here, quite new and quite hot (abbhuṇha), produced at that very moment.


dvevācikā, i.e. bhagavā (and not, as at some time became usual, buddha) and dhamma, there being at that time no saṅgha.

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