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 rejection of elephant flesh

Kd.6.23.10 Now at that time a king’s elephant died. Vin.1.219 Because food was scarce people made use of elephant-flesh; they gave elephant-flesh to monks who were walking for almsfood, and the monks made use of the elephant-flesh. The people looked down upon,[1] criticised, spread it about, saying:

BD.4.299 “How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans make use of elephant-flesh? Elephants are a king’s emblem; if the king should find out, not for these would be his favour.” They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, you should not make use of elephant-flesh. Whoever should make use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Kd.6.23.11 Now at that time a king’s horses died … same as Kd.6.23.10 reading horses, horse-flesh for elephants, elephant-flesh… offence of wrong-doing.


Kd.6.23.12 Now at that time, because food was scarce people made use of dog-flesh; they gave dog-flesh to monks who were walking for almsfood, and the monks made use of the dog-flesh. The people looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans make use of dog-flesh? A dog is loathsome, disgusting.” They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, dog-flesh should not be made use of.[2] Whoever should make use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Kd.6.23.13 Now at that time, because food was scarce people made use of snake-flesh; they gave snake-flesh to monks who were walking for almsfood, and the monks made use of the snake-flesh. The people … spread it about, saying:

“How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans make use of snake-flesh? A snake is loathsome, disgusting.”

Then Supassa, the serpent-king, approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, he stood at a respectful distance. As he was standing at a respectful distance Supassa, the serpent-king, spoke thus to the Lord:

“There are, Lord, serpents who are without faith, unbelieving, and these might do harm to monks even for a trifle. It were good, Lord, if the masters did not make use of snake-flesh.”

Then the Lord gladdened, rejoiced, roused, delighted Supassa, the serpent-king, with talk on dhamma; and Supassa, the serpent-king, gladdened … delighted by the Lord with talk on dhamma, having greeted the Lord, departed keeping his BD.4.300 right side towards him. Then the Lord on this occasion Vin.1.220 having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, snake-flesh should not be made use of. Whoever should make use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Kd.6.23.14 Now at that time hunters, having killed a lion, made use of its flesh; they gave the lion’s flesh to monks who were walking for almsfood. The monks, having made use of the lion’s flesh, stayed in a jungle (but) lions attacked the monks because they smelt of lion’s flesh. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, lion’s flesh should not be made use of. Whoever should make use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Kd.6.23.15 Now at that time hunters, having killed a tiger … having killed a panther … having killed a bear … having killed a hyena,[3] made use of its flesh; they gave the hyena’s flesh to monks who were walking for almsfood. The monks, having made use of the hyena’s flesh, stayed in a jungle (but) hyenas attacked the monks because they smelt of hyena’s flesh. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, hyena’s flesh should not be made use of. Whoever should make use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Footnotes and references:

1.

From this passage it would appear that the people did not as a rule eat elephants’ flesh; and it is to my mind not clear whether any did so even in a time of scarcity, but merely used it for offering to monks. Those who criticised monks could hardly have eaten it themselves. The same applies to the cases following.
Above at Kd.6.23.9 a monk is blamed for accepting uncritically what was offered him. In the case of robes, on the contrary, monks might put forward no suggestions (see Bu-NP.8, Bu-NP.9, Bu-NP.27).

2.

Vin-a.1094 says the flesh of jungle wolves may be used; but the flesh of the offspring of a wolf and village dog may not be used.

3.

Names of wild animals occur in this order at Vin.3.151, AN.iii.101. Cf. Vin.3.58 where “bears” drop out and “wolves” follow hyenas. There is a longer list at Mil.267 = Ja.v.416.

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