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 an act not by rule in an incomplete assembly, etc.

Kd.9.2.1 Now at that time at Campā monks carried out (formal) acts like these: they carried out a (formal) act not by rule, in an incomplete assembly, they carried out a (formal) act not by rule, in a complete assembly, they carried out a (formal) act by a rule, in an incomplete assembly, they carried out a (formal) act, by what had the appearance of a rule, in an incomplete assembly, they carried out a (formal) act by what had the appearance of a rule, in a complete assembly; and one[1] BD.4.451 suspended one and one suspended two and one suspended several and one suspended an Order, and two suspended one and two suspended two and two suspended several and two suspended an Order, and several suspended one and several suspended two and several suspended several and several suspended an Order, and an Order suspended an Order.[2]

Kd.9.2.2 Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “How can these monks at Campā carry out (formal) acts like these? How can they carry out a (formal) act by rule, in an incomplete assembly? … How can they carry out a (formal) act by what has the appearance of a rule, in a complete assembly? And how can one suspend one … and how can an Order suspend an Order?” Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that monks at Campā carry out (formal) acts like these? Vin.1.316 Do they carry out a (formal) act not by rule, in an incomplete assembly … and does an Order suspend an Order?”

“It is true, Lord.” The awakened one, the Lord rebuked them, saying:

“Monks, it is not fitting in these foolish men, it is not becoming, it is not suitable, it is unworthy of a recluse, it is not allowable, it is not to be done. How, monks, can these foolish men carry out (formal) acts like these? How can they carry out a (formal) act not by rule, in an incomplete assembly? … and how can an Order suspend an Order? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …” Having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Kd.9.2.3 “If, monks, a (formal) act is carried out not by rule, in an incomplete assembly, it is not a (formal) act and ought not to be carried out. A (formal) act carried out not by rule, in a complete assembly, is not a formal act and ought not to be carried out … A (formal) act carried out by what has the appearance of rule, in a complete assembly, is not a (formal) act and ought not to be carried out; and if one suspends one it is not a (formal) act and ought not to be carried out … BD.4.452 and if an Order suspends an Order it is not a (formal) act and ought not to be carried out.

Kd.9.2.4 “Monks, there are these four (formal) acts: a (formal) act (carried out) not by rule, in an incomplete assembly; a (formal) act (carried out) not by rule in a complete assembly; a (formal) act (carried out) by rule in an incomplete assembly; a (formal) act (carried out) by rule in a complete assembly. Herein, monks, that which is a (formal) act (carried out) not by rule, in an incomplete assembly, this (formal) act, monks, because it lacks reference to rule,[3] because of the incompleteness[4] (of the assembly), is reversible, is not fit to stand. Monks, a (formal) act like this should not be carried out, and a (formal) act like this is not allowed by me. Herein, monks, that which is a (formal) act (carried out) not by rule, in a complete assembly, this (formal) act, monks, because it lacks reference to rule, is reversible, is not fit to stand … and a (formal) act like this is not allowed by me. Herein, monks, that which is a (formal) act (carried out) by rule, in an incomplete assembly, this (formal) act, monks, because of the incompleteness (of the assembly), is reversible … is not allowed by me. Herein, monks, that which is a (formal) act (carried out) by rule, in a complete assembly, this (formal) act, monks, because it has reference to rule, because of the completeness (of the assembly), is irreversible, it is fit to stand. Monks, a (formal) act like this may be carried out and a (formal) act like this is allowed by me. Therefore, monks, thinking: ‘We will carry out a (formal) act like this, that is to say by rule, in a complete assembly’—it is thus that you must train yourselves.”

Footnotes and references:

1.

I.e. an individual monk.

2.

See Vinaya Texts ii.262, n.

3.

adhammattā, not “wickedness” as Critical Pali Dictionary gives.

4.

vaggattā.