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 a thief (wearing) a garland of fingers

Kd.1.41.1 BD.4.93 Now at that time a thief (wearing) a garland of fingers[1] came to have gone forth among the monks. People, having seen (him), were perturbed, then alarmed, then they ran away, then they went by a different route, then they turned in another direction, then they closed the door.[2] People … spread it about, saying: “How can the recluses, sons of the Sakyans let a thief wearing an emblem[3] go forth?” Monks heard these people who … spread it about. Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. The Lord addressed the monks saying:

Monks, a thief who wears an emblem should not be let go forth. Whoever should let (one such) go forth, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Footnotes and references:


aṅgulimāla. Not the well-known bandit-thief of this name (as Vinaya Texts i.196 and Dictionary of Pali Proper Names take it), for in the absence of nāma or ti no proper name is denoted. The robber who came to be called Aṅgulimāla has verses ascribed to him at Thag.866–891. At Thag.869–870 he is shown as asking the Lord for the going forth, the Lord as saying, “Come, monk”, and this at constituting his monk-status, bhikkhubhāva. His story, and the verses are also given at MN.86. It is difficult to reconcile the above Vinaya ruling with the story of Aṅgulimāla’s going forth, for the Lord recognised his unusual potentialities, hardly to be expected in the common run of thieves.