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 the duties to the teacher

Kd.1.31.1 Now at that time a certain brahmin youth, having approached BD.4.76 (some) monks, asked for the going forth. The monks explained the resources to him beforehand. He spoke thus: “If honoured sirs, you had explained the resources to me after I had gone forth, I should have been satisfied, but now, honoured sirs, I will not go forth; the resources are disgusting and loathsome to me.” The monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, the resources should not be explained beforehand. Whoever should (thus) explain them, there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, to explain the resources soon after ordaining (a person).


Kd.1.31.2 Now at that time monks ordained through a group of two and a group of three (monks). They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, you should not ordain through a group of less than ten (monks).[1] Whoever should (so) ordain, there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, to ordain through a group of ten or more than ten (monks).”


Kd.1.31.3 Vin.1.59 Now at that time monks of one year’s standing and of two years’ standing (severally) ordained the one who shared his cell. And when he was of one year’s standing,[2] the venerable Upasena, Vanganta’s son,[3] ordained the one who shared his cell. When he was of two years’ standing, having kept the rains-residence, taking the one who shared his cell and who was of one year’s standing, he approached the Lord. Having approached, having greeted the Lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. Now, it is the custom for awakened ones, for Lords to exchange friendly greetings with in-coming monks.

Kd.1.31.4 Then the Lord spoke thus to the venerable Upasena, Vanganta’s son: “I hope, monk, that things go well with you, I hope you are keeping going, I hope you came here with but little fatigue on the journey.”

“Things do go well with me, Lord, I am keeping going, BD.4.77 Lord, I came, Lord, with but little fatigue on the journey.”

Now, Truthfinders (sometimes) ask knowing,[4] and knowing (sometimes) do not ask; they ask, knowing the right time (to ask), and they do not ask, knowing the right time (when not to ask). Truthfinders ask about what belongs to the goal, not about what does not belong to the goal. There is bridge-breaking[5], for Truthfinders in whatever does not belong to the goal. Awakened ones, Lords, question monks concerning two matters: “Shall we teach dhamma?” or “Shall we lay down a rule of training for disciples?”

Kd.1.31.5 Then the Lord spoke thus to the venerable Upasena, Vanganta’s son: “Of how many years’ standing are you, monk?”

“I, Lord, am of two years’ standing.”

“And of how many years’ standing is this monk?”

“He is of one year’s standing, Lord.”

“Who is this monk as regards you?”

“He is the one who shares my cell, Lord.”

The awakened one, the Lord rebuked (him), saying:

“It is not fitting, foolish man, it is not becoming, it is not proper, it is unworthy of a recluse, it is not allowable, it should not be done. How can you, foolish man, when you should be exhorted and instructed by others, think to exhort and instruct another (monk)? Too quickly have you, foolish man, turned to abundance,[6] that is to say to acquiring a group. It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased, nor for increasing (the number of) those who are pleased.” Having rebuked him, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, one who is of less than ten years’ standing should not ordain.[7] Whoever (such) should (so) ordain, there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, to ordain through one who is of ten years’ standing or through one who is of more than ten years’ standing.


Kd.1.31.6 BD.4.78 Now at that time ignorant, inexperienced monks ordained thinking: “We are of ten years’ standing, we are of ten years’ standing.” (Consequently) there were to be found ignorant preceptors, wise (monks) who shared their cells; inexperienced preceptors, experienced (monks) who shared their cells; preceptors who had heard little, (monks) who shared their cells who had heard much; preceptors of poor intelligence, Vin.1.60 intelligent (monks) who shared their cells; and a certain former member of another sect, when he was being spoken to by his preceptor regarding a rule, having refuted the preceptor, went over to the fold of that same sect[8] as before.

Kd.1.31.7 Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can these ignorant, inexperienced monks ordain, thinking: ‘We are of ten years’ standing, we are of ten years’ standing’? (So that) there are to be found … intelligent (monks) who share their cells.” Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that ignorant, inexperienced monks ordained, thinking: … there are to be found … intelligent (monks) who share their cells?”

“It is true, Lord.”

Kd.1.31.8 Then awakened one, the Lord rebuked them, saying:

“How, monks, can these foolish men, ignorant, inexperienced, ordain, thinking: ‘We are of ten years’ standing, we are of ten years’ standing’? … intelligent (monks) who share their cells. It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …” And having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, one who is ignorant, inexperienced should not ordain. Whoever (such) should ordain, there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, to ordain through an experienced, competent monk who is of ten years’ standing or more than ten years’ standing.


Kd.1.32.1 Now at that time monks, when their preceptors had gone away and had left the Order and had died and had gone over to another side (of the Order),[9] being without BD.4.79 teachers,[10] not being exhorted, not being instructed, walked for almsfood wrongly dressed, wrongly clothed, not befittingly attired. While people were eating … = Kd.1.25.1–1.25.4

“It is true, Lord.”

Having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying: “Monks, I allow a teacher. The teacher, monks, should arouse in his pupil[11] the attitude of a son; the pupil should arouse in his teacher the attitude of a father. Thus these, living with reverence, with deference, with courtesy towards one another, will come to growth, increase, maturity in this dhamma and discipline. I allow you, monks, to live ten years in dependence,[12] and when one is of ten years’ standing to give guidance.[13]

Kd.1.32.2–3 “And thus, monks, should a teacher be chosen: having arranged the upper robe over one shoulder, having honoured his feet, having sat down on the haunches, having saluted with joined palms, he should speak to him thus: ‘Honoured sir, be my teacher, I will live in dependence on the venerable one; honoured sir, be my teacher, I will live in dependence on the venerable one; honoured sir, be my teacher, Vin.1.61 I will live in dependence on the venerable one.’ If he says: ‘Very well’ or ‘Certainly’ or ‘All right’ or ‘It is proper’ or ‘Manage it amiably’, and makes this understood by gesture … = Kd.1.25.7–1.25.24, reading teacher and pupil for preceptor and one who shares a cell … If the teacher becomes ill, he should tend him as long as life lasts; he should wait until he recovers.”

Told is what is due to a Teacher.

Footnotes and references:

1.

See Vin.1.319. A group gaṇa, is usually in the Vinaya regarded as consisting of from two to four monks (or nuns), but here it is equivalent to an Order, a saṅgha.

2.

See Ja.ii.449, Vin-a.194, Ud-a.266, AN-a.i.271 for this same episode. Ud-a. states that Upasena was of two years’ standing as a preceptor. But it is more likely that AN-a.is right in saying that two years’ standing as a monk is meant, i.e. since his own ordination.

3.

See BD.2.83.

4.

See also Vin.1.158, Vin.1.250, Vin.3.6, Vin.3.88–89 for this passage; and BD.1.13, n.1, n.2.

5.

See Coomaraswamy, The Perilous Bridge of Welfare, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, August, 1944, for a discussion of the Bridge mainly from Indian sources.

6.

Cf. Vin.1.287.

7.

Cf. Bi-Pc.74, where a nun of less than twelve years’ standing should not ordain.

8.

titthāyatanaṃ saṃkami. Cf. Vin.4.217 (BD.3.167).

9.

Cf. BD.3.190.

10.

ācariya. See Vinaya Texts i.178, n.2 for note comparing this with preceptor. Vism.94 says that in a dwelling-place are teachers, preceptors, those who share a cell, pupils, those having the same preceptors, those having the same teachers. It mentions teachers for the going forth, teachers for ordination, pupils ordained and allowed to go forth having the same preceptor; teachers in guidance, in the exposition (or recitation, of the Pātimokkha), pupils in the same having the same teacher.

11.

antevāsika.

12.

nissāyaṃ vatthuṃ.

13.

nissayaṃ dātuṃ. There is also the formal act of nissaya, of placing under guidance, as in Kd.1.25.22. The word translated above, Kd.1.30.4, as “resource” is also nissaya, but it is there combined with the verb ācikkhituṃ.

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