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...

The story of General Sīha

Kd.6.31.1 Now at that time[1] many distinguished Licchavis, sitting together assembled in a mote-hall, were in many a figure speaking praise of the awakened one, praise of dhamma, praise of the Order. Now at that time the general Sīha,[2] a disciple of the Jains,[3] came to be sitting in that company. Then it occurred to the general Sīha: “Undoubtedly this will be a Lord, a perfected one, a wholly awakened one, since these distinguished Licchavis, sitting together assembled in the mote-hall, are in many a figure speaking praise of the awakened one, praise of dhamma, praise of the Order. Suppose I were to go up to see this Lord, perfected one, wholly awakened one?”

Kd.6.31.2 Then the general Sīha approached Nātaputta the Jain[4]; having approached, he spoke thus to Nataputta the Jain: “I want, honoured sir,[5] to go along to see the recluse Gotama.”

“But how can you, Sīha, being one who asserts an ought- to-be-done,[6] go along to see the recluse Gotama who asserts an ought-not-to-be-done[7]? For, Sīha, the recluse Gotama asserts an ought-not-to-be-done, he teaches a doctrine of an ought-not-to-be-done and in that he trains[8] disciples.” Then BD.4.319 that which had been the strong aspiration of general Sīha for going[9] to see the Lord abated.

Kd.6.31.3 Then a second time did the distinguished Licchavis, sitting together assembled in the mote-hall … And a second time did it occur to the general Sīha: “Undoubtedly this will be a Lord, a perfected one … Suppose I were to go up to see this Lord, perfected one, wholly awakened one?” And a second time did the general Sīha Vin.1.234 approach Nātaputta the Jain “… and in that trains disciples”. And a second time did that abate which had been the strong aspiration of the general Siha for going to see the Lord. And a third time it occurred to the general Sīha: “Undoubtedly this will be a Lord, perfected one, wholly awakened one, since these distinguished Licchavis, sitting together assembled in the mote-hall, are in many a figure speaking praise of the awakened one, praise of dhamma, praise of the Order. What can these Jains do to me whether I have asked for permission or have not asked for permission? Suppose that I, although I have not asked for permission from the Jains, were to go along to see this Lord, perfected one, wholly awakened one?”

Kd.6.31.4 Then the general Sīha with some five hundred chariots departed from Vesālī in broad daylight to see the Lord. Having gone by vehicle as far as the ground was (suitable) for a vehicle, having alighted from the vehicle, he approached the Lord on foot; having approached, having greeted the Lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, general Sīha spoke thus to the Lord:

“Lord, I have heard this: ‘The recluse Gotama affirms an ought-not-to-be-done, he teaches a doctrine of an ought-not-to-be-done, and in that trains disciples.’ I assume that these, Lord, who say: ‘The recluse Gotama affirms an ought-not-to-be-done … and in that trains disciples,’ are, Lord, asserting (fairly) what the Lord affirms,[10] and are not misrepresenting the Lord by what is not fact, but are putting BD.4.320 forth a doctrine which conforms to[11] his doctrine. I assume that no one who is his fellow dhamma-man, a holder of his views, comes to a position incurring blame. Indeed, we, Lord, do not want to misrepresent the Lord.”[12]

Kd.6.31.5 “There is, Sīha, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say[13]: ‘The recluse Gotama asserts an ought-not-to-be-done, he teaches a doctrine of an ought-not-to-be-done, and in this he trains disciples.’ There is, Sīha, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama asserts an ought-to-be-done[14] … trains disciples.’ There is, Sīha, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama asserts annihilation … trains disciples.’ There is, Sīha, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is one who detests, he teaches a doctrine of detestation, and in this he trains disciples.’ There is, Sīha, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is a leader away, he teaches a doctrine of leading away, and in this he trains disciples.’ There is, Sīha, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is a “burner up”, he teaches a doctrine of “burning up”, and in this he trains disciples.’ There is, Sīha, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is not destined to another (kind of) becoming, he teaches a doctrine of no other kind of becoming, and in this he trains disciples. There is, Sīha, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is confident,[15] he teaches a doctrine of confidence,[16] and in this he trains disciples.’

Kd.6.31.6 “And what, Sīha, is the way in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is one who asserts an ought-not-to-be-done, he teaches a doctrine of an ought-not-to-be-done Vin.1.235 and in this he trains disciples’? Indeed BD.4.321 I, Sīha, assert of misconduct in body, speech and thought that it ought not to be done; I assert of manifold evil and wrong states (of mind) that they ought not to be done. This is the way, Sīha, in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama asserts what ought-not-to-be-done, he teaches a doctrine of what ought-not-to-be-done and in this he trains disciples.’

“And what, Sīha, is the way in which one … could say:’ The recluse Gotama asserts what ought-to-be-done … trains disciples’? Indeed I, Sīha, assert of good conduct in body, speech and thought that it ought to be done; of manifold right states (of mind) that they ought to be done. This is the way, Sīha …

Kd.6.31.7 “And what, Sīha, is the way in which one … could say: ‘The recluse Gotama asserts annihilation … trains disciples’? Indeed I, Sīha, assert the annihilation of passion, hatred, stupidity; I assert the annihilation of manifold evil and wrong states (of mind). This is the way, Sīha …

“And what, Sīha, is the way in which one … could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is one who detests, he teaches a doctrine of detestation and in this he trains disciples’? Indeed, Sīha, I detest misconduct in body, speech and thought; I teach a doctrine of detestation for entering upon manifold evil wrong states (of mind). This is the way, Sīha …

Kd.6.31.8 “And what, Sīha, is the way in which one … could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is one who is a leader away, he teaches a doctrine of leading away and in this he trains disciples’? Indeed I, Sīha, teach a doctrine of the leading away of passion, hatred, stupidity; I teach a doctrine of the leading away of manifold evil wrong states (of mind). This is the way, Sīha …

“And what, Sīha, is the way in which one … could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is one who is a “burner-up”, he teaches a doctrine of burning up and in this he trains disciples’? Indeed I, Sīha, speak of evil wrong states which are searing: misconduct in body, speech and thought. He for whom, Sīha, evil wrong states that axe searing are destroyed, cut off at the root, made like a palm-tree, so utterly done away with that they can come to no future existence—him I call one who is a ‘burner-up’. For a Truth-finder, Sīha, evil wrong states BD.4.322 that are searing … existence. This is the way, Sīha, in which one … could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is one who is a “burner-up”, Vin.1.236 he teaches a doctrine of burning-up, and in this he trains disciples.’

Kd.6.31.9 “And what, Sīha, is the way in which one … could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is one who is not destined to another (kind of) becoming, he teaches a doctrine of no other (kind of) becoming and in this he trains disciples’? He for whom, Sīha, future conception in a womb, becoming again and rebirth are destroyed, cut off at the root, made like a palm-tree, so utterly done away with that they can come to no future existence—him I call one not destined to another (kind of) becoming. For a Truth-finder, Sīha, future conception … can come to no future existence. This is the way, Sīha …

“And what, Sīha, is the way in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is one who is confident, he teaches a doctrine of confidence and in this he trains disciples’? Indeed I, Sīha, am confident with the highest confidence,[17] I teach a doctrine of confidence and in this I train disciples.[18] This is the way, Sīha, in which one speaking truly of me could say: ‘The recluse Gotama is confident, he teaches a doctrine of confidence and in this he trains disciples’.”

Kd.6.31.10 And when he had spoken thus,[19] Sīha, the general, spoke thus to the Lord: “Excellent, Lord! Excellent, Lord! …[20] May the Lord accept me as a lay-follower going for refuge from this day forth for as long as life lasts.”

“Now, Sīha, make a proper investigation. Proper investigation is good in the case of well-known men like yourself.”[21]

“I, Lord, am even exceedingly pleased, satisfied with that which the Lord said to me: ‘Now, Sīha, make a proper investigation … like yourself.’ For if, Lord, members of BD.4.323 other sects had secured me as a disciple, they would have paraded a banner all round Vesālī, saying: ‘Sīha, the general, has joined our disciplehood.’ But then the Lord spoke to me thus: ‘Now, Sīha, make a proper investigation … like yourself.’ So I, Lord, go for a second time to the Lord for refuge and to dhamma and to the Order of monks. May the Lord accept me as a lay-follower going for refuge from this day forth for as long as life lasts.”

Kd.6.31.11 “For a long time, Sīha, your family[22] has been a well-spring[23] to the Nigaṇṭhas. You will bethink you to give alms to those who approach you?”

“I, Lord, am even exceedingly pleased, satisfied with that which the Lord said to me: ‘For a long time, Sīha, your family … those who approach you? I have heard, Lord: The recluse Gotama speaks thus: ‘Gifts should be given to me only, not to others should gifts be given; gifts should be given to my disciples only, not to the disciples of others should gifts be given. Vin.1.237 What is given to me is alone of great fruit, what is given to others is not of great fruit; what is given to my disciples is alone of great fruit, what is given to the disciples of others is not of great fruit.’ But then the Lord urged upon me giving to the Nigaṇṭhas too. Indeed, Lord, we shall know the right time for that. So I, Lord, go for a third time to the Lord for refuge and to dhamma and to the Order of monks. May the Lord accept me as a lay-follower going for refuge from this day forth for as long as life lasts.”

Kd.6.31.12 Then the Lord talked a progressive talk[24] to Sīha, the general, that is to say talk on giving, talk on moral habit, talk on heaven; he explained the peril, the vanity, the depravity of pleasures of the senses, the advantage in renouncing (them). When the Lord knew that the mind of Siha, the general, was ready, malleable, devoid of the hindrances, uplifted, pleased, then he explained to him that teaching on dhamma which the awakened ones have themselves discovered: ill, uprising, stopping, the Way. And as a clean cloth without black specks will easily take dye, even so as he was (sitting) on that very seat, BD.4.324 dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to Sīha, the general, that “whatever is of the nature to uprise all that is of the nature to stop”. Then Sīha, the general, as one who[25] had seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma, plunged into dhamma, who had crossed over doubt, put away uncertainty, who had attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord[26]: “Lord, may the Lord consent to a meal with me on the morrow together with the Order of monks.” The Lord consented by becoming silent. Then Sīha, the general, having understood the Lord’s consent, rising from his seat, departed keeping his right side towards him.

Then Sīha, the general, enjoined a certain man, saying: “Go, good fellow, find out if there is meat to hand.”[27] Then Sīha, the general, towards the end of that night having had sumptuous food, solid and soft, prepared, had the time announced to the Lord, saying: “It is time, Lord, the meal is ready.” Then the Lord, having dressed in the morning, taking his bowl and robe, approached the dwelling of Sīha, the general; having approached he sat down on the appointed seat together with the Order of monks.

Kd.6.31.13 Now at that time many Nigaṇṭhas, waving their arms, were moaning[28] from carriage road[29] to carriage road, from cross road[30] to cross road in Vesālī: “Today a fat beast,[31] killed by Sīha, the general, is made into a meal for the recluse Gotama, the recluse Gotama makes use of this meat, knowing that it was killed on purpose (for him),[32] that the deed was (done) for his sake.”[33] Then a certain man approached Sīha, the general; having approached he whispered into Sīha, the general’s ear:

“Please, honoured sir, you should know that many of these Nigaṇṭhas, waying their arms, are moaning from carriage road to carriage road, from cross road to cross road in Vesālī:

BD.4.325 ‘Today a fat beast … the deed was (done) for his sake’.”

“Enough, master, for a long time now these venerable ones have been desiring dispraise of the awakened one, have been desiring dispraise of dhamma, have been desiring dispraise of the Order. But these venerable ones, bad, vain, lying, do not harm this Lord because they are misrepresenting him by what is not fact—why, even we, for the sake of our livelihood, would not intentionally deprive a living thing of life.”[34]

Kd.6.31.14 Then Sīha, the general, having with his own hand served and satisfied the Order of monks with the enlightened one at its head with sumptuous food, solid and soft, Vin.1.238 when the Lord had eaten and had withdrawn his hand from his bowl, sat down at a respectful distance. Then the Lord having gladdened, rejoiced, roused, delighted Sīha, the general, with talk on dhamma as he was sitting down at a respectful distance, rising from his seat, departed.[35] Then the Lord on this occasion having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, one should not knowingly make use of meat killed on purpose (for one). Whoever should make use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, fish and meat that are quite pure in three respects: if they are not seen, heard, suspected (to have been killed on purpose for a monk).[36]

Footnotes and references:

1.

From there to nearly the end of Kd.6.31.14 = AN.iv.179.

2.

Cf. AN.iii.38f., AN.iv.79. His interest in giving gifts may have been due to Gotama’s talk to him (below Kd.6.31.11) just after he became a lay-follower.

3.

Nigaṇṭhas. Literal meaning “without bonds”. See GS.iv.124, n.2.

4.

The leader of the Nigaṇṭhas, identified by Bühler and Jacobi with Mahāvīra (Vinaya Texts ii.109, n.1). His views are given at DN.i.57.

5.

bhante.

6.

kiriyavāda. This and akiriyavāda each had its own adherents. Gotama put his own interpretation on each theory, see below Kd.6.31.6 and Vin.3.2. Thus he is able to say, as at AN.i.62, kiriyavādī c’ahaṃ akiriyavādī ca. At Vin.1.71 he is reputed to say of the Jaṭilas that they are kiriyavādino and kammavādino, and it is apparently for this reason that he grants them a concession.

7.

akiriyavāda. See A.K. Coomaraswamy, Some Pali Words, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol.iv, No.2, July 1939, p.119ff.

8.

vineti, to lead away, and so to pervert, divert, avert. Cf. below Kd.6.34.12, where in the same terms leaders of other sects try to dissuade Meṇḍaka from going to see the Lord.

9.

gamikābhisamkhāra. Cf. pabbajjābhisaṅkhāra at Vin.1.194 (above, Kd.5.13.2).

10.

bhagavato vuttavādī.

11.

anudhamma, explained by anukāraṇa, perhaps meaning “minor tenet”, at Vin-a.1097, DN-a.349, MN-a.iii.46.

12.

Stock, e.g. at DN.i.161, DN.iii.115; MN.i.368, MN.i.482; AN.i.161; SN.ii.33. SN.iii.6, SN.iv.340; Vin.2.297.

13.

Cf. Vin.3.2–Vin.3.3 for this passage, and for notes see BD.1.4–BD.1.6.

14.

Not included at Vin.3.2. Cf. AN.i.62.

15.

Not included at Vin.3.2. “Confident” is Pali assattha, rendered at GS.iv.127 “found consolation”.

16.

assāsa. Cf. one who has assāsa in dhammavinaya at SN.ii.50; translated at KS.ii.38 as “comfort”.

17.

AN-a.iv.98 says “with the highest confidence in the four ways and the four fruits”.

18.

Cf. DN.iii.39 where wanderers are recorded to ask Gotama the name of the doctrine in which he trains disciples and in which they, trained and attained to confidence, assāsa, acknowledge a desire for (or a support in) the Brahma-faring. DN-a.iii.835 explains assāsa by tuṭṭhi, joy, and somanassa, happiness.

19.

From here to middle of Kd.6.31.12 = MN.i.378f., in connection with Upāli the householder.

20.

Stock; as at Kd.1.7.10.

21.

As at MN.i.379, AN.iv.185.

22.

kula, explained by nivesana, a dwelling, at Vin-a.1097, MN-a.iii.89.

23.

opānabhūta. See Dialogues of the Buddha i.177, n.3 for further references.

24.

As at Kd.1.7.5Kd.1.7.6.

25.

As at Kd.1.6.32.

26.

To here from Kd.6.31.10 = MN.i.378.

27.

As at Vin.1.217 (above, Kd.6.23.2).

28.

kandanti.

29.

Defined at Vin.4.271 (BD.3.268).

30.

Defined at Vin.4.271 (BD.3.268).

31.

pasu, meaning uncertain, but not necessarily an animal of the cow-tribe. AN-a.iv.102 says: “a fat beast with a large body such as an elk or buffalo or pig”. Vin-a.363 says of pasuka that all four-footed animals beginning with the elephant should be called pasuka.

32.

Cf. Ja.ii.262: the Telovādajātaka was spoken concerning Sīha.

33.

paṭiccakamma.

34.

Cf. Bu-Pc.61.

35.

To here from Kd.6.31.1 = AN.iv.179.

36.

Cf. Vin.3.172 (BD.1.298) where Devadatta, wanting a schism, tries to make the Lord say that monks should eat no fish or meat. But Gotama answers him that fish and meat are “pure” if they have the three points which are also mentioned above. Macchamaṃsa is I think not “the flesh of fish” (as at GS.iv.130, n.1) but “fish and meat”. The story leading up to this allowance is concerned with meat; and many instances show that monks ate this without incurring criticism or blame.

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