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 for three robes

Kd.8.13.1 Then the Lord, having stayed at Rājagaha for as long as he found suitable, set out on tour for Vesālī. As the Lord was going along the high-road between Rājagaha and Vesālī he saw several monks coming along smothered up in robes, having put a mattress of robes[1] on their heads and a mattress of robes on their backs and a mattress of robes on their hips, BD.4.410 and seeing (them) it occurred to the Lord: “These foolish men are turned too quickly to abundance of robes;[2] Vin.1.288 suppose I were to set a limit, were to establish bounds[3] as to robes for the monks?”

Kd.8.13.2 Then the Lord, walking on tour, in due course arrived at Vesālī. The Lord stayed there in Vesālī in the Gotamaka shrine.[4] Now at that time on the cold winter nights between the “eights”,[5] in a time of snowfall, the Lord sat down in the open air at night with (only) one robe; the Lord was not cold. As the first watch of the night was ending the Lord became cold. The Lord put on a second robe; the Lord was not cold. As the middle watch of the night was ending the Lord became cold. The Lord put on a third robe; the Lord was not cold. As the last watch of the night was ending, as the sun was rising, in the flush of dawn,[6] the Lord became cold. The Lord put on a fourth robe; the Lord was not cold.

Kd.8.13.3 Then it occurred to the Lord: “Even those who in this dhamma and discipline[7] are sons of respectable families,[8] susceptible to cold, afraid of cold, even these are able to keep themselves going with three robes. Suppose I were to set a limit, were to establish bounds as to robes for monks—were to allow three robes?” Then the Lord, on this occasion, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

Kd.8.13.4 “Now as I, monks, was going along the high-road between Rājagaha and Vesālī, I saw several monks coming along smothered up in robes, having put a mattress of robes on BD.4.411 their heads and a mattress of robes on their backs and a mattress of robes on their hips; seeing them, it occurred to me: ‘These foolish men have turned too quickly to abundance of robes; suppose I were to set a limit, were to establish bounds as to robes for monks?’

Kd.8.13.5 “Then I, monks, on the cold winter nights between the ‘eights’, in a time of snowfall, sat down in the open air at night with (only) one robe; I was not cold. As the first watch of the night was ending I became cold. I put on a second robe; I was not cold. As the middle watch of the night was ending I became cold. I put on a third robe; I was not cold. As the last watch of the night was ending, as the sun was rising, in the flush of dawn, I became cold. I put on a fourth robe; I was not cold. Then, monks, it occurred to me: ‘Even those who in this dhamma and discipline are sons of respectable families, susceptible to cold, afraid of cold, even these are able to keep themselves going with three robes. Suppose I were to set a limit, were to establish bounds as to robes for monks Vin.1.289 and were to allow three robes? ʼ I allow you, monks, three robes: a double outer cloak, a single upper robe, a single inner robe.[9]

Footnotes and references:

1.

cīvarabhisi. For bhisi see BD.2.47, n.1. Mattresses made of five kinds of material are mentioned in Bu-Pc.14. Bhisi is neither roll, bolster nor mat, see Vinaya Texts ii.210, n.2.

2.

Cf. Vin.1.59 (above, BD.4.77).

3.

sīmaṃ bhandeyyaṃ mariyādaṃ ṭhapeyyaṃ.

5.

antaraṭṭhakāsu. Cf. Vin.1.31, and see above, BD.4.41, n.3.

6.

nandimukhiyā rattiyā. Nandimukhī is literally “joy-faced”; cf. Homer’s “rosy-fingered dawn”. Same expression occurs at Vin.2.236. Vinaya Texts iii.299, n.1 quotes Buddhaghosa as saying nandimukhiyā rattiyā ti aruṇadhatakāle pītimukhā viya ratti khāyāti ten’ āha nandimukhiyā ti, “when the night is joy-faced means, at the time of sunrise the night appears like a face of delight, because of this it is called: when the night is joy-faced”. See also Vinaya Texts ii.211, n.2.

7.

Vin.1.391 says that “after dhammavinaye B inserts pabbajitā”, gone forth, as does the Sinhalese edition (B is of course a manuscript.)

8.

ye pi kho te kulaputtā. Vinaya Texts ii.211, n.3 says “in the text read ye pi kho kulaputtā”, but this is not borne out by either the Sinhalese or the Siamese editions.

9.

See BD.2.ix, n.2. Vin-a.1128 says that as the Lord kept himself going with four robes, he allowed the outer cloth to be double, the others single; thus there come to be four robes.