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 boy Upāli

Kd.1.49.1 Now at that time in Rājagaha a group of seventeen boys were friends[1]; of these the youth Upāli was the chief. Then it occurred to Upāli’s parents: “By what means could Upāli, after our demise, live at ease and not be in want?” Then it occurred to Upāli’s parents: “If Upāli should learn writing, so would Upāli, after our demise, live at ease and not be in want.” Then it occurred to Upāli’s parents: “But if Upāli BD.4.97 learns writing his fingers will become painful. If Upāli were to learn calculation, so would Upāli, after our demise, live at ease and not be in want.”

Kd.1.49.2 Then it occurred to Upāli’s parents: “But if Upāli learns calculation, his breast will become painful. If Upāli were to learn money-changing, so would Upāli, after our demise, live at ease and not be in want.” Then it occurred to Upāli’s parents: “But if Upāli learns money-changing his eyes will become painful. Now there are these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, pleasant in habit, pleasant in conduct; having eaten good meals, they lie down on beds sheltered from the wind. Now if Upāli were to go forth among the recluses, sons of the Sakyans, so would Upāli, after our demise, live at ease and not be in want.”

Kd.1.49.3 The boy Upāli heard this conversation of his parents. Then the boy Upāli approached those boys; having approached, he spoke thus to these boys: “Come, masters, we will go forth among the recluses, sons of the Sakyans.”

“If you, master, will go forth, we likewise will also go forth.” Then these boys, having (each) approached his parents, spoke thus:

“Consent that I may go forth from home into homelessness.” Then Vin.1.78 the parents of those boys consented, thinking: “All these boys want the same thing, they are bent on what is good.” These, having approached monks, asked for the going forth. These monks let them go forth, they ordained them.

Kd.1.49.4 Getting up in the night towards dawn, these cried out: “Give conjey, give rice, give solid food.”

The monks spoke thus: “Wait, your reverences, until it turns light. Should there be conjey you shall drink it; should there be rice you shall partake of it; should there be solid food you shall eat it. But should there not be conjey or rice or solid food, then, having walked for alms, you shall eat.”

But these monks, being spoken to thus by the monks, cried out just the same: “Give conjey, give rice, give solid food,” and they soiled and wetted the bedding.

Kd.1.49.5 Then the Lord, getting up in the night towards dawn, hearing this noise of boys, addressed the venerable Ānanda, saying: “Why ever, Ānanda, is there this noise of boys?” Then the BD.4.98 venerable Ānanda told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true as is said, monks, that monks knowingly ordain an individual[2] who is under twenty years of age?”

“It is true, Lord.” The awakened one, the Lord rebuked them, saying:

“How, monks, can these foolish men knowingly ordain an individual who is under twenty years of age?

Kd.1.49.6 Monks, an individual under twenty years of age is not able[3] to endure cold, heat, hunger, thirst, the sting of gadflies or mosquitoes, wind and sun, creeping things, abusive, hurtful language; he is not the kind (of person) who endures bodily feelings which, arising, are painful, acute, sharp, shooting, disagreeable, miserable, deadly. But, monks, an individual of twenty years of age is able to endure cold, heat … miserable, deadly. Monks, this is not for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased, nor for increasing the number of those who are pleased.” Having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, an individual who is under twenty years of age should not knowingly be ordained. Whoever should (so) ordain (one such) should be dealt with according to the rule.[4]

Footnotes and references:

2.

On the monkish intention of puggala, see BD.3.xxiiff.

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