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 portion on thirty-two (cases) where one should not let go forth

Kd.1.71.1 Now at that time monks (each) let go forth one who had his hands cut off … his feet cut off … his hands and feet cut off … his ears cut off … his nose … his ears and nose … BD.4.116 his fingers … his nails[1] cut off … who had the tendons (of his feet) cut … one who had webbed fingers[2] … a hunchback … a dwarf … one who had a goitre … one who had been branded[3]… one who had been scourged[4] … one who had been written about4 … one who had elephantiasis … one who was badly ill … one who disgraced an assembly[5] (by some deformity[6]) … one who was purblind[7] … one with a crooked limb … one who was lame … one paralysed down one side … a cripple … one weak from old age … one who was blind7… one who was dumb[8] … one who was deaf[9]… one who was blind and dumb … one who was deaf and dumb … one who was blind and deaf and dumb. They told this matter to the Lord.

Kd.1.71.2 He said: “Monks, one who has had his hands cut off should not be let go forth; one who has had his feet cut off … one who is blind and deaf and dumb should not be let go forth. Whoever should let (one such) go forth, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Kd.1.71.3 Told is the Portion on Thirty-two (Cases) where one should not let go forth

Told is the Ninth Portion for Repeating: that on Inheritance

Footnotes and references:


aḷa; see Journal of the Pali Text Society 1884, p.71, 1886, p.105.


phaṇahatthaka, with a hand like a snake’s hood. Cf. hatthaphaṇaka at Vin.2.107, “hands used as an instrument shaped like a snake’s hood” for smoothing the hair. Vin-a.1027, “one whose fingers were grown together like a bat’s wings”. See note by A.K. Coomaraswamy on the jālalakkhaṇa, “The ‘Webbed Finger’ of Buddha”, Indian History Quarterly, Vol. VII, 1931, p.365, where he is of the opinion that jāla does not mean a webbing connecting the fingers, but refers to the thin lines of rosy light which may be seen between the fingers when they are held together and the hand held up to the light. The fingers of the Buddha, as Mahāpuruṣa, would be straight and regularly formed, of one measure, ekappamāṇā, according to this lakkhaṇa, or sign. “It is even possible”, as Coomaraswamy adds in a postscript, “that ‘having webbed fingers’ represents the exact opposite of the meaning of the original lakkhaṇa.”


Cf. Vin.1.76 (above, BD.4.95).


Cf. Vin.1.75 (above, BD.4.95).




Given at length at Vin-a.1027ff.


The two words for blind: kāṇa and andha, are used. Buddhaghosa at Vin-a.1030 says that kāṇa means blind of one or both eyes (and not merely blind of one). He cites the Mahāpaccarī Commentary as asserting kāṇa to mean blind of one eye and andha of both, and he cites the Great Commentary, as saying that andha means blind from birth; he keeps this explanation at Vin-a.1031. “Purblind” and the next three terms occur at Vin.2.90, AN.i.107, AN.ii.85, AN.iii.385, SN.i.94, Pp.51.


Vin-a.1031 explains that if he were unable to say the complete formula for going for refuge, he could not go forth.


Vin-a.1031, if he could hear a loud noise he might go forth.