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 the monk Kassapagotta

Kd.9.1.1 BD.4.446 At one time the awakened one, the Lord was staying at Campā[1] on the bank of the Gaggarā lotus-pool.[2] Now at that time in the Kāsi country there was a village named Vāsabha;[3] a monk called Kassapagotta[4] was a resident there, he was attached to the tradition,[5] he had made an effort[6] so that well behaved monks who had not come should come, and so that well behaved monks who had come should live in comfort,[7] and so that that residence should attain growth, expansion, maturity. Now at that time several monks walking on tour among the Kāsi people arrived at the village of Vāsabha. The monk Kassapagotta saw these monks coming in the distance; seeing them he made ready a seat,[8] he put out water for washing the feet, a foot-stool, a foot-stand, having gone out to meet them he received their bowls and robes, he offered them drinking water, he made an effort in the matter of bathing (for them), he also made an effort in the matter of conjey, solid food, rice. Then it occurred to these incoming monks: “Good indeed is this resident monk, your reverences, he makes an effort in the matter of bathing (for us), he also makes an effort in the matter of conjey, solid food, rice (for us). Come now, let us, your reverences, settle down just here at Vāsabha BD.4.447 village.” Then these incoming monks settled down just there at Vāsabha village.

Kd.9.1.2 Then it occurred to the monk Kassapagotta: “What was travel-weariness in these incoming monks has abated; further they, who did not know which alms-resorts[9] were appointed,[10] now know these alms-resorts which were appointed. It is indeed arduous to make an effort all one’s life among strangers,[11] and hinting is not liked by the people.[12] Suppose I were to make no effort in the matter of conjey, solid food, rice?” He made no effort in the matter of conjey, solid food, rice. Then it occurred to those incoming monks: Vin.1.313

“Formerly, your reverences, this resident monk made an effort in the matter of bathing (for us), he also made an effort in the matter of conjey, solid food, rice (for us), but now he makes no effort in the matter of conjey, solid food, rice (for us). This resident monk, your reverences, is now corrupt. Come now, your reverences, let us suspend[13] the resident monk.”

Kd.9.1.3 Then these incoming monks, having assembled together, spoke thus to the monk Kassapagotta: “Now, formerly you, your reverence, used to make an effort in the matter of bathing (for us), you also used to make an effort in the matter of conjey, solid food, rice (for us), but now you make no effort in the matter of conjey, solid food, rice (for us). You, your reverence, have fallen into an offence; do you see this offence?”

“There is no offence of mine, your reverences, that I can see.”

Then these incoming monks suspended the monk Kassapagotta for not seeing the offence.[14] Then it occurred to the monk Kassapagotta: “Indeed I do not know this: whether this is an offence or is no offence, and whether I have fallen or have not fallen, and whether I am suspended or am not BD.4.448 suspended, or whether it is by (an act) that is legitimate[15] or that is not legitimate, or by (one) that is reversible[16] or that is irreversible, or by (one) that is fit to stand[17] or that is not fit to stand. Suppose that I, having gone to Campā, were to ask the Lord about this matter?”

Kd.9.1.4 Then the monk Kassapagotta, having packed away his lodging, taking his bowl and robe, set out for Campā; in due course he approached Campā and the Lord. Having approached, having greeted the Lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. Now it is the custom for awakened ones, for lords to exchange friendly greetings with incoming monks. So the Lord spoke thus to the monk Kassapagotta: “I hope, monk, that things went well with you, I hope you had enough to support life, I hope you have come on the journey with but little fatigue. But where, monk, have you come from?”

“Things did go well with me, Lord, I had enough to support life, Lord, and I, Lord, came on the journey with but little fatigue.

Kd.9.1.5 “There is, Lord, in the Kāsi country a village called Vāsabha. I, Lord, a resident there, attached to the tradition, had made an effort so that well behaved monks who had not come should come, and so that well behaved monks who had come should live in comfort, and so that that residence should attain growth, expansion, maturity. Then, Lord, several monks walking on tour among the people of Kāsi arrived at the village of Vāsabha. I, Lord, saw those monks coming in the distance; seeing them I made ready a seat … Then, Lord, it occurred to these incoming monks: ‘Good indeed is this resident monk …’ Vin.1.314 … Then, Lord, these incoming monks settled down, just there in Vāsabha village. Then, Lord, it occurred to me: ‘… Suppose I were to make no effort in … the matter of conjey, solid food, rice (for them)?’ So then I made no effort … Then, Lord, these incoming monks, having assembled together, spoke thus to me: ‘Now, formerly, your reverence … Do you see this offence?’ Then, Lord, BD.4.449 these incoming monks suspended me for not seeing the offence. Then, Lord, it occurred to me: ‘Indeed I do not know … Suppose that I, having gone to Campā, were to ask the Lord about this matter?’ That is why, Lord, I have come.”

Kd.9.1.6 “This is no offence, monk, this is not an offence; you are unfallen, you have not fallen; you are unsuspended, you were not suspended; you were suspended by a (formal) act that was not legitimate, that was reversible, that was not fit to stand. Go you, monk, settle down there at Vāsabha village.”

“Very well, Lord,” and the monk Kassapagotta having answered the Lord in assent, rising from his seat, having greeted the Lord, keeping his right side towards him, set out for Vāsabha village.

Kd.9.1.7 Then these incoming monks became doubtful, they became remorseful. They thought: “Indeed it was unprofitable for us, indeed it was not profitable for us, indeed it was ill-gotten by us, indeed it was not well-gotten by us, that we suspended a pure[18] monk, not an offender, without cause, without reason. Come now, your reverences, having gone to Campā, let us confess the transgression as a transgression to the Lord.” Then these incoming monks, having packed away their lodgings, taking their bowls and robes, set out for Campā; in due course they approached Campā and the Lord. Having approached, having greeted the Lord, they sat down at a respectful distance. Now it is the custom for awakened ones, for lords to exchange friendly greetings with incoming monks. So the Lord spoke thus to those monks: “I hope, monks, that things went well with you, I hope you had enough to support life, I hope you have come on the journey with but little fatigue. But where, monks, have you come from?”

“Things have gone well with us, Lord, we had enough to support life, Lord, and we came on the journey. Lord, with but little fatigue. There is, Lord, in the Kāsi country a village called Vāsabha. We come from there, Lord.”

Kd.9.1.8 “Did you, monks, suspend a resident monk?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“For what cause, monks, for what reason?”

BD.4.450 “There was no cause, Lord, no reason.” The awakened one, the Lord rebuked them, saying:

“It is not fitting, monks, it is not becoming Vin.1.315 , it is not suitable, it is not worthy of a recluse, it is not allowable, it is not to be done. How can you, foolish men, suspend a pure monk, not an offender, without cause, without reason? It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …” and having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, a pure monk, not an offender, is not to be suspended without cause, without reason. Whoever should suspend one, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Kd.9.1.9 Then these monks, rising from their seats, having arranged their upper robes over one shoulder, having inclined their heads towards the Lord’s feet, spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, a transgression has overcome us,[19] in that we, foolish, misguided, wrong that we were, suspended a pure monk, not an offender, without cause, without reason. Lord, let the Lord acknowledge our transgression as a transgression for the sake of restraint in the future.”

“Truly, monks, a transgression has overcome you, in that you, foolish, misguided, wrong that you were, suspended a pure monk, not an offender, without cause, without reason. But if you, monks, having seen the transgression as a transgression, confess according to the rule, we acknowledge it for you; for, monks, in the discipline for an ariyan this is growth: whoever having seen a transgression as a transgression confesses it according to the rule, he attains restraint in the future.”

Footnotes and references:

1.

Capital of Aṅga. Called Campā according to MN-a.iii.1 because of its number of campaka (white jasmine) trees.

2.

MN-a.iii.1 = DN-a.i.279 say that it was excavated by a chief consort (Vin-a.1145 by a woman) called Gaggarā.

3.

Mentioned also at Pv.iii.1.2.

4.

This as the name of a monk occurs at AN.i.236 and SN.i.198. Dictionary of Pali Proper Names suggests that the Saṃyutta one is to be identified with either the Vinaya or the Aṅguttara Kassapagotta. N.B. that here and at AN.i.236 he is called “a (the) monk called Kassapagotta”, while at SN.i.198 he is called “the venerable Kassapagotta”. The name may be a clan name or a personal one.

5.

tantibaddha, Vin-a.1145 saying “he was fettered by the tanti (tradition, sacred text, thread, string) of things to be done (duties, obligations) in that residence”. Cf. tantimagga at Vin.1.156 (see above, BD.4.206).

6.

ussukkaṃ āpanno, cf. ussukhaṃ akāsi below and ussukkaṃ karoti at Vin.4.280, Vin.4.301.

7.

phāsu vihareyyuṃ. Phāsuvihāra is perhaps a technical expression, see Vin.1.92 (above BD.4.118, n.2).

9.

gocara, cf. Vin.1.292 (above, BD.4.417).

10.

appakataññu, cf. BD.2.390, n.3.

11.

parakulesu. Probably “strangers” because they were not the families who supported Kassapagotta himself, but he went to them for alms for the “incoming monks”.

13.

ukkhipāma. Ukkhipati is not to “pronounce expulsion” as translated at Vinaya Texts ii.257. See BD.3.28, n.4.

15.

dhammika; cf. Vin.4.284–Vin.4.285; cf. “definition” of dhammikakamma at Vin.4.152; and see below, BD.4.453 (adhammikakamma). Possibly kamma is omitted above unintentionally.

16.

Kuppa; cf. Vin.4.153.

17.

ṭhānāraha. These three expressions, and their opposites occur at Vin.1.111 (above, BD.4.146).

18.

suddha in such a connection means that a monk has committed no offences, or that if he has he has confessed them, and so is “pure” to take his place at the Pātimokkha recitation; Cf. Vin.1.114 (above, BD.4.151), and epilogue to each class of rules in the Vibhaṅgas.

19.

Cf. Vin.4.18–Vin.4.19, and see BD.2.200, notes.

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