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...

On questioning regarding Vinaya

Kd.2.15.5 Now at that time the group of six monks, unbidden,[1] spoke dhamma in the midst of an Order. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “Monks, dhamma should not be spoken, by one who is not bidden (to do so), in the midst of an Order.[2] Whoever should (so) speak it, there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, to speak dhamma by means of a monk who is himself an elder, or (for him) to bid another (to speak it).[3]


Kd.2.15.6 Now at that time the group of six monks, (although) not BD.4.149 agreed upon asked about discipline in the midst of an Order. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “Monks, discipline should not be asked about, by one not agreed upon, in the midst of an Order. Whoever should (so) ask, there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, to ask about discipline, by means of one who is agreed upon, in the midst of an Order. And thus, monks, may he be agreed upon: either oneself may be agreed upon by oneself, or another may be agreed upon by another.[4]

Kd.2.15.7 And how may oneself be agreed upon by oneself? The Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. If it seems right to the Order, I could ask so and so about discipline’. Thus may oneself be agreed upon by oneself. And how may another be agreed upon by another? The Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. If it seems right to the Order, so and so could ask so and so about discipline’. Thus may another be agreed upon by another.”


Kd.2.15.8 Now at that time well behaved monks who were agreed upon asked about discipline in the midst of the Order. The group of six monks took offence, they took umbrage, they threatened them with harm.[5] They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, to ask about discipline in the midst of the Order by means of one who is agreed upon, although[6] having (first) looked round the assembly, having assessed[7] (each) individual.[8]

Footnotes and references:

1.

By the elders. Vin-a.1058.

2.

na bhikkhave saṅghamajjhe anajjhiṭṭhena dhammo bhāsitabbo. These cases probably mean that dhamma is not to be spoken or vinaya asked about (by one not qualified to do so) in the midst of an Order. They probably do not mean that one not bidden or not agreed upon in the midst of an Order might not speak or ask questions.

3.

Cf. AN.iv.153 where if a monk “speaks dhamma himself or bids another (to do so)” it is one of the eight reasons for his development in the Brahma-faring.

4.

Cf. above, BD.4.121, below, BD.4.150.

5.

vadhena, also meaning with slaughter, with destruction.

6.

pi.

7.

tulayitvā, literally having weighed. Cf. tulayitabbaṃ at Vin.4.142. Vin-a.1059 says the one who is asking, having looked round the assembly, may ask about discipline ii there is no risk for himself.

8.

This allowance is an elaboration of that given in Kd.2.15.6. This still holds good, but the above safeguard is added.