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...

On going forth and ordination

Kd.1.12.1 At that time monks brought (to the Lord) from various quarters, from various districts those wishing for the going forth, those wishing for ordination, thinking: “The Lord will let these go forth, he will ordain them.” Thereby both the monks as well as those wishing for the going forth and those wishing for ordination were tired. Then a reasoning arose in the Lord’s mind as he was meditating in seclusion, thus: “At present monks are bringing (to me) from various quarters … and those wishing for ordination are tired. Suppose I were to allow it to monks, saying: ‘You, monks, may now yourselves let go forth, may ordain in any[1] quarter, in any district’?”

Kd.1.12.2 Then the Lord, emerging from seclusion towards evening, on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, Vin.1.22 addressed the monks, saying: “While I was meditating in seclusion, monks, a reasoning arose in my mind, thus: BD.4.30 ‘At present monks are bringing … in any quarter, in any district’?

Kd.1.12.3 “I allow, monks, that you yourselves may now let go forth may ordain in any quarter, in any district. And thus, monks, should one let go forth, should one ordain: First, having made him have his hair and beard cut off, having made him put on yellow robes, having made him arrange an upper robe over one shoulder, having made him honour the monks’ feet, having made him sit down on his haunches, having made him salute with joined palms, he should be told: ‘Speak thus: Kd.1.12.4 “I go to the awakened one for refuge, I go to dhamma for refuge, I go to the Order for refuge. And a second time I go … And a third time I go to … the Order for refuge.”’ I allow, monks, the going forth and the ordination by these three goings for refuge.[2]

Kd.1.12.5 Told is the Talk on Ordination by the three Goings for Refuge.

Footnotes and references:


tāsu tāsu. Taṃ taṃ means whatever, each, this and that.


Apparently this was the second stage in admitting disciples to the religious life, the first being by the formula spoken by the Lord, ‘come, monk’. Responsibility is now being delegated to his followers themselves. Note that bhagavantaṃ (the lord) has given way to buddhaṃ (the awakened one) in the first sentence of the formula.