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 to learn the counting of the fortnights, etc.

Then the Lord, having stayed in Rājagaha for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Codanāvatthu. In due course, walking on a tour, he arrived in Codanāvatthu. Now at that time several monks were staying in a certain residence; Vin.1.116 the monk who there was the elder was ignorant, BD.4.153 inexperienced, he did not know the Observance or a (formal) act for Observance or the Pātimokkha or the recital of the Pātimokkha.

Kd.2.17.2 Then it occurred to these monks: “It is laid down by the Lord that the Pātimokkha be in charge of an elder, but this elder of ours is ignorant, inexperienced, he does not know the Observance … or the recital of the Pātimokkha. Now what line of conduct should be followed by us?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow, monks, the Pātimokkha to be discharged[1] by whoever there is an experienced, competent monk.


Kd.2.17.3 Now at that time several ignorant, inexperienced monks were staying in a certain residence on an Observance day. These did not know the Observance or a (formal) act for Observance or the Pātimokkha or the recital of the Pātimokkha. These called upon an elder, saying: “Honoured sir, let the elder recite the Pātimokkha.” He spoke thus: “Your reverences, I am not able to do so[2].” They called upon a second elder … He also spoke thus: … They called upon a third elder … In this way they called upon (all the monks) down to the most newly ordained in the Order, saying: “Let the venerable one recite the Pātimokkha.” He also spoke thus: “Honoured sirs, I am not able to do so.” They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Kd.2.17.4 Kd.2.17.5 “This is a case, monks, where several ignorant, inexperienced monks are staying in a certain residence …[3] … ‘Honoured sirs, I am not able to do so’. Monks, one monk should immediately be sent to a neighbouring residence by these monks, saying: ‘Do go, your reverence; having mastered the Pātimokkha in brief or in full, come back’.”

Kd.2.17.6 Then it occurred to monks: “Now, by whom should he be sent?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, to enjoin a newly ordained monk through a monk who is an elder.” Newly ordained monks, (although) enjoined by an elder, did not go. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “Monks, Vin.1.117 one who is not ill BD.4.154 should not not go when enjoined by an elder. Whoever should not go, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Kd.2.18.1 Then the Lord, having stayed at Codanāvatthu for as long as he found suiting, returned again to Rājagaha. Now at that time people asked the monks as they were walking for almsfood: “Which (day) of the half-month is it, honoured sirs?” The monks spoke thus: “We, sirs, do not know.” The people … spread it about, saying: “These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, do not even know the calculation[4] of the half-months, so how can they know anything else that is good?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow, you, monks, to learn the calculation of the half-months.

Kd.2.18.2 Then it occurred to monks: “Now by whom should the calculation of the half-months be learnt?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, one and all[5] to learn the calculation of the half-months.


Kd.2.18.3 Now at that time people asked the monks as they were walking for almsfood: “How many monks are there, honoured sirs?” The monks spoke thus: “We, sirs, do not know.” The people … spread it about, saying: “These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, do not even know one another, so how can they know anything else that is good?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, to count the monks.

Kd.2.18.4 Then it occurred to monks: “Now, how should the monks be counted?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, on an Observance day to count by way of groups[6] or to take (a count) by ticket[7].


Kd.2.19.1 Now at that time monks, not knowing, “Today is an Observance day,” walked to a distant village for almsfood. Not only did these come back while the Pātimokkha was being recited, but they came back just after it had been recited. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: BD.4.155I allow you, monks, to announce, ‘Today is an Observance day’.” Then it occurred to monks: “Now, by whom should it be announced?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, to announce it in good time through a monk who is an elder.” Now at that time a certain elder did not remember in good time. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, to announce it even at meal-time.” He did not remember even at mealtime. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, to announce it at whatever time he[8] remembers.Vin.1.118

Footnotes and references:

1.

tassādheyyaṃ pātimokkhaṃ. Ādheyya means “to be appropriated”.

2.

na me vattati, it is not for me.

3.

As in Kd.2.17.3 above, but told in the present tense.

4.

gaṇanā, see BD.2.176, n.5.

5.

sabbeh’ eva.

6.

gaṇamaggena gaṇetuṃ.

7.

salākaṃ gahetuṃ.

8.

I.e. the elder.

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