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...

Rejection of wooden sandals

Kd.5.6.3 Now at that time the group of six monks, getting up in the night towards dawn, having put on wooden shoes,[1] paced up and down in the open air talking in high, loud, rasping[2] tones a variety of worldly talk,[3] that is to say talk of kings, talk of thieves, talk of great ministers, talk of armies, talk of dangers, talk of battles, talk of food, talk of drink, talk of clothes, talk of beds, talk of garlands, talk of scents, talk of relations, talk of vehicles, talk of villages, talk of little towns, talk of towns, talk of the country, talk of women, talk of heroes,[4] talk of streets, talk of wells, talk of those departed before, talk of diversity, speculation about the world, speculation about the sea, talk on becoming and not becoming thus or thus; and they both killed insects, having trodden on them, and also made monks fall away from contemplation.[5]

Kd.5.6.4 Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticized, BD.4.251 spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six monks getting up in the night towards dawn, having put on wooden shoes, pace up and down in the open air talking in high, loud rasping tones a variety of worldly talk … and both kill insects, having trodden on them, and also make monks fall away from contemplation?” Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six monks, getting up in the night towards dawn … and made monks fall away from contemplation?” Vin.1.189

“It is true, Lord.” Having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, wooden shoes are not to be worn. Whoever should wear (them), there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Kd.5.7.1 Then the Lord, having stayed at Rājagaha for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Benares. In due course, walking on tour, he arrived at Benares. The Lord stayed there near Benares at Isipatana in the deer-park. Now at that time the group of six monks, thinking, “Wooden shoes are objected to by the Lord”, having had young palmyra palms[6] cut, wore shoes of palmyra palm leaves; those young palmyra palms which were cut, withered. People … spread it about, saying: “How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, having had young palmyra palms cut, wear shoes of palmyra palm leaves? These young palmyra palms which were cut, are withering. These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, are harming life that is one-facultied[7]”.

Kd.5.7.2 Monks heard these people who looked down upon, criticised, spread it about. Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six monks, having had young palmyra palms cut, wear shoes of palmyra palm leaves, and that those young palmyra palms which were cut are withering?” BD.4.252 “It is true, Lord.” The awakened one, the Lord rebuked them, saying:

“How, monks, can these foolish men, having had young palmyra palms cut, wear shoes of palmyra palm leaves (so that) the young palmyra palms wither? For, monks, people think that there are living things in a tree.[8] It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …” and having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, you should not wear shoes of palmyra palm leaves. Whoever should wear (them), there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Kd.5.7.3 Now at that time the group of six monks, thinking: “Shoes of palmyra palm leaves are objected to by the Lord”, having had young bamboos cut, wore shoes of bamboo leaves; those young bamboos that were cut withered … as in Kd.5.7.1, Kd.5.7.2. Read bamboo instead of palmyra palm …”… Monks, you should not wear shoes of bamboo leaves. Whoever should wear (them), there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Kd.5.8.1 Then the Lord, having stayed at Benares for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Bhaddiya. In due course, walking on tour, he arrived at Bhaddiya. The Lord stayed there at Bhaddiya in the Jātiyā Grove.[9] Vin.1.190 Now at that time the monks of Bhaddiya were addicted to the practice of ornamenting their shoes in a variety of ways. They made tiṇa-grass shoes and had them made … muñja-grass shoes and had them made … shoes of reeds and had them made … marshy date-palm[10] shoes and had them made … kamala-grass[11] shoes and had them made, they made woollen shoes and had them made; they neglected the recitation, the BD.4.253 interrogation, the higher morality, the higher thought, the higher wisdom.[12]

Kd.5.8.2 Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “How can these monks of Bhaddiya be addicted to the practice of ornamenting shoes in a variety of ways, and make tiṇa-grass shoes and have them made … and neglect the recitation, the interrogation, the higher morality, the higher thought, the higher wisdom?” Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the monks of Bhaddiya are addicted to the practice of … and neglect the recitation … the higher wisdom?”

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

“How, monks, can these foolish men be addicted to the practice of ornamenting shoes … and neglect the recitation … the higher wisdom? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …”

Kd.5.8.3 Having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, tiṇa-grass shoes should not be worn, muñja-grass shoes … shoes of reeds … marshy date-palm shoes … kamala-grass shoes … woollen shoes should not be worn, shoes made with gold … shoes made with silver … shoes made with gems[13] … shoes made with lapis lazuli[14] … shoes made with crystal[15] … with bronze … with glass[16] … with tin[17] … with lead[18] … shoes made with copper should not be worn. Whoever should wear (any of these), there is an offence of BD.4.254 wrong-doing. And any shoes, monks, that can be handed on[19] should not be worn. Whoever should wear (any of these), there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow, monks, three (kinds of) shoes that are in fixed places and that cannot be handed on[20]: privy shoes, urinal shoes, rinsing shoes.[21]

Kd.5.9.1 Then the Lord, having stayed in Bhaddiya for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Sāvatthī. In due course, walking on tour, he arrived at Sāvatthī. The Lord stayed there in Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of Vin.1.191 six monks caught hold of cows, which were crossing the river Aciravatī, by their horns, and they caught hold of them by their ears, and they caught hold of them by their dewlaps, and they caught hold of them by their tails, and they mounted on their backs, and they touched their privy parts with lustful thoughts, and having ducked young calves, they killed them.

Kd.5.9.2 People … spread it about, saying: “How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, catch hold of cows, which are crossing the river Aciravatī, by their horns … like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses?” Monks heard these people who … spread it about. Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six monks caught hold of cows … and having ducked young calves, killed them?”

“It is true, Lord.”

Kd.5.9.3 Having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, you should not catch hold of cows by their horns, nor should you catch hold of them by their ears, nor should you catch hold of them by their dewlaps, nor should you catch hold of them by their tails, nor should you mount on their backs. Whoever should (so) mount, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Nor should you touch their privy parts with lustful thoughts. Whoever should (so) touch them, there is BD.4.255 a grave offence. Nor should you kill young calves. Whoever should kill them should be dealt with according to the rule.[22]

Footnotes and references:

1.

kaṭṭhapāduka.

2.

khaṭakhaṭasaddā, sounds of clearing the throat.

3.

tiracchānakathā; cf. BD.3.82 for notes.

4.

sūrakathā here; see BD.3.82, n.5.

5.

Cf. AN.iii.343, AN.iv.343.

6.

tālataruṇa, possibly meaning the shoots of the palm trees; but I think not, for it was probably the young trees themselves that withered once the monks had had some of their leaves cut off, and not just the cut leaves or sprouts or shoots.

8.

Cf. BD.2.223, BD.2.227. (omitted by mistake: insert before “It is not, foolish men …”).

9.

Mentioned at Vin.1.241, Vin.3.37; AN.iii.36.

10.

hintāla. Monier Williams gives: “the marshy date tree, a species of palm, Phoenix or Elate Paludosa.” Vin-a.1085 says they are shoes made of the leaves of khajjūri (not in Pali-English Dictionary, but Childers gives “the wild date palm tree, Phoenix Sylvestris”), but not the leaves of the hintāla itself.

11.

kamala seems not to be “lotus” here. Vin-a.1085 says, there is a grass (tiṇa) called kamalavaṇṇa (kamala-coloured, with variant reading of -tiṇa for -vaṇṇa), therefore they call the made-up shoes khus-khus shoes. For khus-khus, usīra, see BD.2.228, n.1.

12.

Cf. BD.2.94.

13.

At DN.i.7 it is said that Gotama abstains from using maṇi, gems or precious stones. Sometimes meaning crystal. At Vin.2.112 bowls made of any of these materials are not allowed.

14.

veḷuriya, or beryl. See Vinaya Texts iii.82, n.1. Ja.iv.141 speaks of veḷuriya as vaṃsarāga, and Vb-a.64 as vaṃsavaṇṇamaṇi, a jewel the colour of bamboo. A word-play on veḷuriya and veḷu (bamboo) is probably the origin of such definitions.

15.

phalika, or quartz.

16.

kāca. See Vinaya Texts iii.82, n.2.

17.

tipu. At Vin.2.112 tin and lead supports for bowls are allowed. At SN.v.92 tin and lead are among the five corruptions (alloys) of gold, jātarūpa. Vb-a.63 classifies gold (suvaṇṇa as above), tin, lead, and the next, copper (tambuloha) under jātiloha, (seven) natural metals. It calls tipu white tipu, and sīsa dark tipu.

18.

sīsa.

19.

kāci saṃkamanīyā pādukā.

20.

Vin-a.1085 says: well fixed to the ground, immovable, not to be folded up (or put away, collected, gathered up, asaṃhāriya).

21.

For further references, see Vinaya Texts ii.24, n.3.

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