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...

Allowance for a boundary

Kd.2.6.1 Then it occurred to the monks: “It is laid down by the Lord that ‘being all together’ (means) as far as one residence. Now, how far does one residence (go)?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

I allow you, monks, to agree upon a boundary. And thus, monks, should it be agreed upon: First, marks should be announced,[1] a mark consisting of a hillside, a mark consisting of a rock, a mark consisting of a grove, a mark consisting of a tree, a mark consisting of a road, a mark consisting of an anthill, a mark consisting of a river, a mark consisting of (a piece of) water. The Order, having announced the marks, should be informed by an experienced, competent BD.4.138 monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. In as much as marks all round are announced, if it seems right to the Order the Order may agree upon a boundary in accordance with these marks for the same communion for one Observance. This is the motion. Kd.2.6.2 Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. In as much as marks all round are announced, the Order is agreeing upon a boundary in accordance with these marks for the same communion, for one Observance. If the agreement upon a boundary in accordance with these marks for the same communion, for one Observance, is pleasing to the venerable ones, they should be silent; he to whom it is not pleasing should speak. The boundary in accordance with these marks is agreed upon by the Order for the same communion, for one Observance. It is pleasing to the Order, therefore it is silent; thus do I understand this’.”


Kd.2.7.1 Now at that time the group of six monks, thinking: “An agreement upon a boundary is allowed by the Lord,” agreed upon very extensive boundaries, of four yojanas and five yojanas and six yojanas. Monks coming for Observance arrived while the Pātimokkha was being recited, and they arrived just after it had been recited, and they stayed (a night) on the way. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, a very extensive boundary should not be agreed upon, of four yojanas or five yojanas or six yojanas. Whoever should (so) agree, there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, to agree upon a boundary of three yojanas at most.[2]


Kd.2.7.2 Now at that time the group of six monks agreed upon the other side of a river as a boundary. Monks coming for Observance were carried away and their bowls were carried away and their robes were carried away. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, the other side of a river should not be agreed upon as a boundary. Whoever should (so) agree, there is an BD.4.139 offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, when there may be a reliable boat[3] or a reliable bridge[4] to agree upon the other side of such a river as a boundary.

Footnotes and references:

1.

nimittā kittetabbā.

2.

According to Vin-a.1046 this means that having established the middle of the proposed residence, the boundary should not be more than one and a half yojanas from it in each direction. A triangle may be agreed upon, three yojanas from corner to corner.

3.

dhuvanāvā. Vin-a.1046 gives various possibilities, one of which is a boat which plies regularly at the fords.

4.

dhuvasetu. Vin-a.1047 says “made of a collection of trees or boards joined together or a bridge where a caravan can go or what is suitable for the crossing over of elephants and horses is a large bridge; or a ‘reliable bridge’ means having even at that moment cut down a tree, a bridge that is suitable for people to cross over by one at a time. But it is not a ‘reliable bridge’ if it is not possible to cross by holding the jungle-rope and creepers twined above it”.