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 bald-headed metal-smith

Kd.1.48.1 Now at that time a certain bald-headed metal-smith,[1] having quarrelled with his parents, having gone to a monastery, went forth among the monks. Then the parents of that bald-headed metal-smith, searching for that bald-headed metal-smith, having gone to the monastery, asked the monks, saying: “Honoured sirs, have you seen a youth like that?” The monks, not knowing (him), merely said: “We do not know (him)”; not seeing (him), merely said: “We do not see (him).”

Kd.1.48.2 Then the parents of that bald-headed metal-smith, searching for that bald-headed metal-smith Vin.1.77 , having seen him gone forth among the monks … spread it about, saying: “These recluses, sons of the Sakyans are shameless, of bad conduct, liars; knowing, they merely say, ‘We do not know’; seeing, they merely say, ‘We do not see’ and this youth is gone forth among the monks.” Monks heard the parents of this bald-headed metal-smith who … spread it about. Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“I allow you, monks, to ask the Order for permission for shaving (the hair of the head) close.[2]

Footnotes and references:


kammārabhaṇḍu. Highly esteemed by king and people, Ja.iii.281. No distinction was apparently made between workers in gold, silver and other metals, but Vin-a.1002 says he was a goldsmith’s son. The exact point of his being a smith is obscure.


bhaṇḍukamma, cf. above Kd.1.38.11. Vin-a.1003 says that if there is a newly shaven one (navamuṇḍa) or one leaving the Order or if there is anyone among the Jains and so on whose hair is two finger-breadths long or less, there is no need to cut his hair, therefore such a one can be allowed to go forthwithout asking for the close shaving. But whoever has hair more than two finger-breadths long, even if it be only a top-knot, may only be allowed to go forth when the close shaving has been asked for.

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