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...

The story of the excellent group

Kd.1.14.1 Then the Lord, having stayed at Benares for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Uruvelā. Then the Lord, turning off from the road, approached a certain woodland grove[1]; having approached, having plunged into that woodland grove, he sat down at the root of a certain tree. At that time a group of as many as thirty friends of high standing,[2] with their wives, were amusing themselves in that same woodland grove. One had no wife, (so) a woman of low standing[3] was brought along for him. Then while they were heedlessly amusing themselves that woman of low standing, taking (their) belongings, ran away.

Kd.1.14.2 Then these friends, doing their friend a service and seeking for that woman, roaming about that woodland grove, saw the Lord sitting at the root of a certain tree; seeing him, they approached the Lord, having approached, they spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, has the Lord not seen a woman?”

“But what have you, young men, to do with a woman?”

“We, Lord, a group of as many as thirty friends of high standing, with our wives, were amusing ourselves in this woodland grove; one had no wife, (so) a woman of low standing was brought along for him. Then, Lord, as we were heedlessly amusing ourselves, that woman of low standing, taking our belongings, ran away. Consequently, Lord, we friends, doing our friend a service and seeking for that woman, are roaming about this woodland grove.”

Kd.1.14.3 BD.4.32 “What do you think of this, young men? Which is better for you, that you should seek for a woman or that you should seek for the self[4]?”

“Truly this were better for us, Lord, that we should seek for the self.”

“Well then, young men, you sit down, I will teach you dhamma.”

Saying, “Yes, Lord,” this group of friends of high standing, having greeted the Lord, sat down at a respectful distance.

Kd.1.14.4 The Lord talked a progressive talk to these, that is to say, talk on giving, talk on moral habit, talk on heaven … that “whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop.”[5]

Kd.1.14.5 These, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma, plunged into dhamma,[6] Vin.1.24 … spoke thus to the Lord: “May we, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may we receive ordination?”

“Come, monks,” the Lord said, “well taught is dhamma, fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill.” So this came to be these venerable ones’ ordination.

Kd.1.14.6 Told is the Case of the Group of Friends of High Standing.

The Second Portion for Repeating.

Footnotes and references:


At Ja.i.82 this is called Kappāsiya woodland grove.


tiṃsamattā bhaddavaggiyā sahāyakā. Vin-a.971 says “sons of rājas, of high repute (bhaddaka, honoured, of good quality), bound into a group (vagga, party) by their bodies and minds, were wandering about”; and Vin-a.1106 says “because they were brothers by one father of the King of Kosala, a synonym for these elders is the group who are of high standing”. For both here and at Dhp-a.ii.32 they are identified with the thirty monks of Pāvā (see Vin.1.253, SN.ii187). The bhaddavaggiyā = kumāra are referred to at Ja.i.82 = Dhp-a.i.87, Dhp-a.i.97 as among the “converts” who, because converted first, should, so some monks thought, have been given precedence over the Great Pair; at Dhp-a.i.100, as having heard the Tuṇḍilovāda (cf. Vin-a.1106 and Mahavaṃsa xxx.79 mentions their conversion as a subject to be represented in the relic shrine of the Mahā Thūpa.


vesī can also mean a prostitute, but here probably used in opposition to bhadda, high standing.


attānaṃ gaveseyyātha. Cf. Dhp.146 andhakāreṇa onaddhā padīpaṃ na gavessatha, “that ye in the bonds of darkness should not hunt for a lamp”; and the compound attadīpā of DN.ii.100 and Snp.501.


As in Kd.1.6.32.

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