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 Roja the Malla

Kd.6.36.1 Then the Lord, having stayed in Āpaṇa for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Kusinārā with the large Order of monks, with the twelve hundred and fifty monks. The Mallas of Kusinārā heard: “It is said that the Lord is coming to Kusinārā[1] together with a large Order of monks, with twelve hundred and fifty monks.” These made a compact that,‘Whoever does not go out to meet the Lord is fined five hundred’.[2] Now at that time Roja the Malla was a friend of the venerable Ānanda.[3] Then the Lord, walking on tour, in due course arrived at Kusinārā.

Kd.6.36.2 Then the Mallas of Kusinārā went out to meet the Lord. BD.4.341 Then Roja the Malla, having gone out to meet the Lord approached the venerable Ānanda; having approached, having greeted the venerable Ānanda, he stood at a respectful distance. As Roja the Malla was standing at a respectful distance, the venerable Ānanda spoke thus to him: “This is splendid of you, friend Roja, that you have come out to meet the Lord.”

“I, honoured Ānanda, am not much impressed by[4] the awakened one or dhamma or the Order, but a compact was made among the kinsfolk that whoever does not go out to meet the Lord is fined five hundred. It was only from fear of the kinsfolk’s compact that I, honoured Ānanda, went out to meet the Lord.” Then the venerable Ānanda was disappointed and thought: “How can this Roja the Malla speak thus?”

Kd.6.36.3 Then the venerable Ānanda approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, the venerable Ānanda spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, this Roja the Malla is a distinguished, well-known man. Surely the faith[5] in this dhamma and discipline of well-known men like this is very efficacious.[6] It were well, Lord, if the Lord acted in such a way that Roja the Malla could have faith in this dhamma and discipline.”

“But, Ānanda, it is not difficult for a Truthfinder (to do) that by which Roja the Malla could have faith in this dhamma and discipline.”

Kd.6.36.4 Then the Lord, having suffused Roja the Malla with a mind of love,[7] rising from his seat, entered a dwelling-place. Then Roja the Malla, suffused by the Lord with a mind of love, even as young calves (follow) kine, so having approached dwelling-place after dwelling-place, cell after cell, he asked the monks: “Where, honoured sirs, is this Lord staying at present. BD.4.342 the perfected one, the fully awakened one? For I long to see this Lord, perfected one, all awakened one.”[8]

“This,[9] friend Roja, Vin.1.248 is his dwelling-place, the door is closed; having approached quietly, having entered the verandah[10] (but) without crossing it, having coughed, tap on the door-bolt.[11] The Lord will open the door to you.”

Kd.6.36.5 Then Roja the Malla, having quietly approached that dwelling-place with its closed door, having entered the verandah (but) not crossing it, having coughed, tapped on the bolt. The Lord opened the door. Then Roja the Malla, having entered the dwelling-place, having greeted the Lord, sat down at a respectful distance. The Lord talked a progressive talk[12] to Roja the Malla as he was sitting down at a respectful distance, 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 Roja the Malla 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 dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to Roja the Malla, that “whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop”. Then Roja the Malla, as one who 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:

BD.4.343 “It were well, Lord, if the masters might receive the requisites of robes, almsfood, lodgings, medicines for the sick only from me, not from others.”

“But those, Roja, who with the knowledge of a learner with the vision of a learner have seen dhamma, as you have done, would also think: ‘Now indeed the masters should receive the requisites of robes, almsfood, lodgings, medicines for the sick only from us, not from others.’ Well then, Roja, they shall receive them from you as well as from others.”


Kd.6.36.6 Now at that time in Kusinārā a succession of meals of sumptuous foods came to be arranged.[13] Then because Roja the Malla did not obtain a turn,[14] he thought: “Suppose I were to look into the refectory and prepare that which I do not see in the refectory?”[15] Then Roja the Malla, looking into the refectory, did not see two things: vegetables[16] and solid food (made) with flour.[17] Then Roja the Malla approached the venerable Ānanda; having approached, he spoke thus to the venerable Ānanda:

“Now, honoured Ānanda, it occurred to me because I did not obtain a turn: ‘Suppose I were to look into the refectory and prepare that which I do not see in the refectory?’ So I, honoured Ānanda, looking into the refectory, did not see two things: vegetables and solid food (made) with flour. If I, honoured Ānanda, were to prepare vegetables and solid food (made) with flour, would the Lord accept them from me?”

“Well then, Roja, I will inquire of the Lord.”

Kd.6.36.7 Then the venerable Ānanda told this matter to the Lord. He said: “Well then, Ānanda, let him prepare them.” (Ānanda said:) “Well then, Roja, prepare them.” Then Roja BD.4.344 the Malla towards the end of that night having had a quantity of vegetables and solid food (made) with flour prepared, brought them to the Lord, saying: “Lord, may the Lord accept from me vegetables and solid food (made) with flour.”

“Well then, Roja, give them to the monks.” The monks, being scrupulous, Vin.1.249 did not accept them. (The Lord said:) “Accept them, monks, make use of them.”

Kd.6.36.8 Then Roja the Malla, having with his own hand served and satisfied the Order of monks with the awakened one at its head with a quantity of vegetables and solid food (made) with flour, sat down at a respectful distance when the Lord had washed his hand[18] and had withdrawn his hand from his bowl. The Lord, rising from his seat, departed, having gladdened, rejoiced, roused, delighted Roja the Malla with talk on dhamma as he was sitting down at a respectful distance. Then the Lord on this occasion, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

I allow you, monks, all (kinds of) vegetables[19] and all (kinds of) solid food (made) with flour.

Footnotes and references:

1.

One of the two capitals of the Malla country, the other being Pāvā. The Lord died at Kusinārā, and the Pāveyyaka Mallas sent to claim their share of his relics (DN.ii.165), showing that the Malla country was divided into two separate parts (see Dictionary of Pali Proper Names).

2.

Doubtless kahāpaṇas.

3.

As at Vin.1.296. The Vacchanakha-jātaka Ja.235 is said to have been spoken concerning Roja.

4.

bahukata. Vin-a.1103 says this means, “I have not come here out of respect for and belief in the awakened one and the rest” (i.e.dhamma and the Order).

5.

pasāda. This phrase is the same as that put into the mouth of Anāthapiṇḍika concerning Prince Jeta, Kd.16.4.10.

6.

mahiddhiya. Here having no connection with psychic powers. Cf. iddha, effective, at Vin.4.50, Vin.4.54, Vin.4.313.

7.

See Mrs. Rhys Davids, What was the Original Gospel in Buddhism?, p.92ff., Sakya, p.222ff., Outlines, p.30. Amity, mettā, is the first of the brahmavihāras.

8.

As at MN.ii.119, AN.v.65; cf. DN.i.89.

9.

As at DN.i.89, spoken by monks to Ambaṭṭha; MN.ii.119, AN.v.65 by monks to Pasenadi.

10.

ālinda, terrace or verandah in front of the door of a dwelling-place. Coomaraswamy questions this meaning (Indian Architectural Terms, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol.48, No.3, p.252) as used by Geiger in Mahāvaṃsa translation, p.246. Geiger cites DN.i.89 (= above passage) as evidence that ālinda “is the terrace before the house-door”. There is also the word pamukha meaning verandah as at Vin.4.45. But DN-a.252 = MN-a.iii.351 explain ālinda by pamukha. Ālinda allowed at Vin.2.153, while at Vin.2.169 Visākhā wanted to build a palace with an ālinda supported on pillars with elephant capitals (hatthinakha); in this passage therefore ālinda may have the meaning of a gallery or balcony.

11.

aggaḷa, bolt or crossbar, but explained at DN-a.252 = MN-a.iii.351 by kavāta, i.e. the door itself, that which closes the aperture.

12.

As at Vin.1.15.

13.

As at Vin.1.57 (at Rājagaha), Vin.2.119, Vin.4.75 (at Vesālī). “Succession of meals” is bhatta-paṭipāti. Paṭipāti is succession, order; but “turn” (place in the succession) is the better English rendering in the next sentence above and at Vin.1.220 (above, BD.4.300). Cf. paṭipātiya, one after the other, successively, in order, at Vin.4.91.

14.

paṭipāti.

16.

ḍāka, as above in Kd.6.35.6.

17.

piṭṭha-khādaniya. Pali-English Dictionary gives “‘flour-eatables’, i.e. pastry”. But we cannot assume that the only thing made with flour is pastry. Khādaniya has two meanings, the technical one of “solid food”, and the untechnical one of what may be eaten, edible. The definition of solid food, Khādaniya, at Vin.4.83 by the exclusion of soft foods and certain medicines raises the question whether in many cases where khādaniya occurs it should not be translated as “solid” food in preference to “edible”. Thus at Vin.1.215 we should get “solid food that is fruit” (or “fruit that is solid food”) and not “edible fruit”. Vin-a.1193 explains piṭṭhakhādahiya as piṭṭhamayakhādaniya,“solid food (or something edible) made with flour”.

18.

dhotahattha, as above, e.g. Kd.6.35.4.

19.

See Kd.6.35.6 where the juice of vegetables forms an exception to an “allowance”. Vin-a.1103 says “whatever is a vegetable, whether it is cooked or not with ghee”.