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 the dispute among the monks from Kosambī

Kd.10.1.1 BD.4.483 At one time the awakened one, the Lord was staying at Kosambī in Ghosita’s monastery. Now at that time a certain monk had fallen into an offence; he saw that offence as an offence but other monks saw that offence as no offence. After a time he saw that offence as no offence, while the other monks saw that offence as an offence. Then these monks spoke thus to that monk: “You, your reverence, have fallen into an offence. Do you see this offence?”

“There is not an offence of mine, your reverences, that I can see.” Then these monks, having obtained unanimity, suspended that monk for not seeing the offence.

Kd.10.1.2 But that monk had heard much,[1] he was one to whom the tradition had been handed down; he was an expert on dhamma, an expert on discipline, an expert on the summaries; he was wise, experienced, clever; he was conscientious, scrupulous, desirous of training. Then that monk, having approached monks who were his comrades and intimates, spoke thus: “This is no offence,[2] your reverences, this is not an offence; I am unfallen, I have not fallen; I am unsuspended, I am not suspended; I was suspended by a (formal) act that was not legally valid, reversible, not fit to stand. Let the venerable ones be my partisans on account of the rule, on account of discipline.” And that monk gained as partisans the monks who were his comrades and intimates. And he sent a messenger to monks in the country who were his comrades and intimates, saying: “This is no offence, your reverences … not fit to stand. Let the venerable ones be my partisans on account of the rule, on account of discipline.” And that monk gained as partisans those monks in the country who were his comrades and intimates.

Kd.10.1.3 Then these monks who took the part of the suspended one approached those monks who had suspended him; having BD.4.484 approached, they spoke thus to the monks who had suspended him: “This is no offence, your reverences, this is not an offence; this monk is unfallen, this monk has not fallen; this monk is unsuspended, this monk Vin.1.338 is not suspended; he was suspended by a (formal) act that was not legally valid, reversible, not fit to stand.” When they had spoken thus, the monks who had suspended him spoke thus to the monks who took the part of the suspended one:

“This is an offence, your reverences, this is not no offence; this monk has fallen, this monk is not unfallen; this monk is suspended, this monk is not unsuspended; he was suspended by a (formal) act that was legally valid, irreversible, fit to stand. Do not you, your reverences, take the part of this suspended monk, do not side with him.” But those monks who took the part of the suspended (monk), although being spoken to thus by the ones who had suspended him, still took the part of that suspended monk and sided with him.

Kd.10.1.4 Then a certain monk 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, that monk spoke thus to the Lord: “This is a case, Lord, where a certain monk has fallen into an offence. He saw that offence as an offence but other monks saw that offence as no offence. After a time he saw that offence as no offence, while the other monks saw that offence as an offence. Then, Lord, those monks spoke thus to that monk: … as in Kd.10.1.1 ‘… Do you see this offence?’ He said: ‘There is not an offence of mine, your reverences, that I can see Then, Lord, these monks, having obtained unanimity, suspended that monk for not seeing the offence. But, Lord, that monk had heard much, he was one to whom the tradition had been handed down … desirous of training. Then, Lord, that monk, having approached monks who were his comrades and intimates … as in Kd.10.1.2 … And, Lord, that monk gained as partisans the monks who were his comrades and intimates … And, Lord, that monk gained as partisans those monks in the country who were his comrades and intimates. Then, Lord, those monks who took the part of the suspended one … as in Kd.10.1.3 … When they had spoken thus, Lord, the monks who had suspended him spoke thus: … But those monks, Lord, BD.4.485 who took the part of the suspended (monk) although being spoken to thus by the ones who had suspended him, still took the part of that suspended monk and sided with him.”

Kd.10.1.5 Then the Lord, thinking: “The Order of monks is divided, the Order of monks is divided”, rising from-his seat approached the monks who had suspended (that monk); having approached, he sat down on the appointed seat. As he was sitting down, the Lord spoke thus to the monks who had suspended (that monk): “Do not you, monks, thinking: ‘It appears so to us, it appears so to us deem that a monk should be suspended on every occasion.

Kd.10.1.6 “This is a case, monks, where a monk has fallen into an offence. He sees that offence as no offence; other monks see that offence as an offence. If, monks, those monks know concerning that monk: ‘This venerable one has heard much, he is one to whom the tradition has been handed down … desirous of training. If we suspend this monk for not seeing the offence Vin.1.339 we cannot carry out the Observance together with this monk, we will carry out the Observance without this monk—from this source there will be strife, dispute, contention, brawls, for the Order, there will be schism in the Order, dissension in the Order,[3] altercation in the Order, differences in the Order.’ Monks, that monk should not be suspended for not seeing an offence by monks bent on a schism.

Kd.10.1.7 “This is a case, monks, where a monk has fallen into an offence. He sees that offence … as in Kd.10.1.6 ‘… if we suspend this monk for not seeing the offence we cannot invite together with this monk, we will invite without this monk; we cannot carry out a (formal) act of the Order together with this monk, we will carry out a (formal) act of the Order without this monk; we cannot sit down on a seat together with this monk, we will sit down on a seat without this monk; we cannot sit down to drink conjey together with this monk, we will sit down to drink conjey without this monk; we cannot sit down in a refectory together with this monk, we will sit down in a refectory without this monk; we cannot stay under one roof together with this monk, we will stay under one roof BD.4.486 without this monk;[4] we cannot, according to seniority, carry out greeting together with this monk, rising up before (one another), saluting with joined palms, doing the proper duties, but we will, according to seniority, carry out greetings … doing the proper duties without this monk—from this source there will be strife … differences in the Order.’ Monks, that monk should not be suspended for not seeing an offence by monks bent on a schism.”

Kd.10.1.8 Then the Lord, having spoken on this matter with the monks who had suspended that monk, rising from his seat, approached those monks who were taking the part of the suspended (monk); having approached, he sat down on the appointed seat. As he was sitting down, the Lord spoke thus to the monks who were taking the part of the suspended (monk): “Do not you, monks, having fallen into an offence, deem that amends should not be made for the offence, thinking: ‘We have not fallen’. This is a case, monks, where a monk has fallen into an offence; he sees that offence as no offence; other monks see that offence as an offence. If, monks, that monk knows concerning those monks: ‘These venerable ones have heard much … as in Kd.10.1.2 … desirous of training. It is impossible for them, because of me or because of anyone else, to follow a wrong course through desire, through hatred, through stupidity, through fear. If these monks suspend me for not seeing the offence, Vin.1.340 if they do not carry out the Observance together with me, if they carry out the Observance without me … if they do not invite together with me, if they invite without me … if they, according to seniority, carry out greetings without me, rising up before (one another), saluting with joined palms, doing the proper duties—from this source there will be for the Order strife … differences in the Order’. Monks, the offence should be confessed even out of faith[5] in others by a monk who is bent on a schism.” Then the Lord, having spoken on this matter with the monks who took the part of the suspended (monk), rising from his seat, departed.


Kd.10.1.9 Now at that time monks taking the part of a suspended BD.4.487 (monk) carried out the Observance just there within the boundary, and carried out a (formal) act of the Order; but the monks who had suspended (him), having gone outside the boundary, carried out the Observance and carried out a (formal) act of the Order (there). Then ascertain monk who had suspended him, 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, that monk spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, these monks who are taking the part of a suspended (monk) are carrying out the Observance just there within the boundary, they are carrying out a (formal) act of the Order; but we, the monks who have suspended him, having gone outside the boundary, are carrying out the Observance, we are carrying out a (formal) act of the Order (there).”

“Monk, if these monks who are taking the part of the suspended (monk) are carrying out the Observance just there within the boundary and are carrying out a (formal) act of the Order, these (formal) acts of theirs will be legally valid, irreversible, fit to stand because a motion and a proclamation have been laid down by me. If, monk, you monks who suspended him, carry out the Observance just there within the boundary, if you carry out a (formal) act of the Order, these (formal) acts of yours are also legally valid, irreversible, fit to stand, because a motion and a proclamation have been laid down by me.

Kd.10.1.10 “What is the reason for this? These monks belong to a different communion from yours and you belong to a different communion from theirs. Monk, there are these two grounds for belonging to a different communion: either, of oneself one makes oneself belong to a different communion,[6] or a complete Order suspends one for not seeing or for not making amends for or for not giving up. Monk, there are these two grounds for belonging to a different communion. Monk, there are these two grounds for belonging to the same communion: either, of oneself one makes oneself belong to the same communion, or a complete Order restores one who was suspended for not seeing or for not making amends for or for not giving up. BD.4.488 Monk, there are these two grounds for belonging to the same communion.”[7] Vin.1.341


Kd.10.2.1 Now at that time monks, causing quarrels, causing strife, falling into disputes in a refectory amidst the houses, behaved unsuitably towards one another in gesture, in speech; they came to blows.[8] People looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, causing quarrels … come to blows?” Monks heard these people who … spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can these monks … come to blows?” Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said: “Is it true, as is said, monks, that monks … came to blows?”

“It is true, Lord.” Having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

“Monks, if an Order is divided, if it is behaving not according to the rule, if there is unfriendliness, you should sit down on a seat thinking: ‘At least we will not behave unsuitably to one another in gesture, in speech; we will not come to blows.’ Monks, if an Order is divided but if it is behaving according to the rule, if there is friendliness, you may sit down on a seat next (to one another).”


Kd.10.2.2 Now at that time[9] monks, making quarrels, making strife, falling into disputes in the midst of an Order, wounded one another with the weapons of the tongue;[10] they were not able to settle that legal question. Then a certain monk approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, he stood at a respectful distance. As he was standing at a respectful distance, that monk spoke thus to the Lord: “This is a case, Lord, where monks, making quarrels … are not able to settle that legal question. It would be good, Lord, if the Lord out of compassion were to approach those monks.” The Lord consented by becoming silent. The Lord approached those monks; having approached he sat down on the appointed BD.4.489 seat. As he was sitting down, the Lord spoke thus to those monks:

“Enough, monks; no strife, no quarrels, no contention, no disputing.” When he had spoken thus, a certain monk who spoke what was not-dhamma[11] spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord let the Lord, the dhamma-master[12] wait; Lord, let the Lord, unconcerned,[13] live intent on abiding in ease here and now;[14] we will be (held) accountable for this strife, quarrel, contention, disputing.” And a second time the Lord spoke thus to these monks:[15] “Enough, monks; no strife … no disputing.” And a second time the monks who spoke what was not-dhamma spoke thus to the Lord: Vin.1.342 “Lord, let the Lord, the dhamma-master wait; … we will be (held) accountable for this … disputing.”

Footnotes and references:

1.

Cf. Vin.1.119 (above, BD.4.157).

2.

As above, BD.4.449.

3.

For further references to saṅghabheda saṅgharāji see BD.2.233, n.3.

4.

Cf. Bu-Pc.69.

5.

Correct sandhāya of text to saddhāya, and cf. Vin.2.289 api cāyasmantānaṃ saddhāya desemi.

6.

According to Vin-a.1149 he chooses to sit among those who speak dhamma and rather than among those who do not.

7.

End of this story given at Kd.10.5.11ff.

9.

Kd.10.2.2 = MN.iii.152f., with slight differences.

10.

mukhasattīhi as at Ud.67, AN.i.70, Ja.i.341.

11.

adhammavādin, or, one adhering to or professing what was not-dhamma.Vin-a.1150 says: one of those taking the part of the suspended (monk). Word also occurs at MN.i.287 = MN.iii.48 = AN.ii.22 = AN.v.265 = AN.v.283, always in a formula with which cf. AN.i.202, DN.i.4. Cf. also the two assemblies, the dhamma- and the adhamma-vādinī at AN.i.75.

12.

dhammassāmī, as at SN.iv.94.

13.

appossukka, as at MN.i.331, MN.i.459, Vin.2.188 in a similar sentence. Cf. appossukkatā above, Vin.1.5.

14.

diṭṭhadhammasukhavihāra, as at AN.ii.23, MN.i.40, MN.i.331, MN.i.459, Vin.2.188, SN.ii.239.

15.

He spoke the “third time” in Kd.10.2.20, below.

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