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...

Verdict by memory

Kd.14.4.1 At one time the Awakened One, the Lord, was staying at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove at the squirrels’ feeding-place.[1] At that time perfection had been realised by the venerable Dabba the Mallian seven years after his birth. All that should be attained by a disciple had been fully attained by him; for him there was nothing further to be done, no increase to (be added BD.5.98 to) that which had been done. Then this reasoning arost in the mind of the venerable Dabba the Mallian as he was meditating in solitude:[2] “Perfection was realised by me seven years after my birth. All that should be attained by a disciple has been fully attained by me; for me there is nothing further to be done, no increase to (be added to) that which has been done. Now, what service could I render the Order?” Then it occurred to the venerable Dabba the Mallian: “Suppose that I were to Vin.2.75 assign lodgings to the Order and issue meals?”

Kd.14.4.2 Then the venerable Dabba the Mallian, emerging from his meditation in the evening, approached the Lord, having approached, having greeted the Lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting at a respectful distance, the venerable Dabba the Mallian spoke thus to the Lord: “Now, Lord, as I was meditating in solitude, this reasoning arose in my mind: ‘… What service could I render the Order?’ Then, Lord, it occurred to me: ‘Suppose I were to assign lodgings to the Order and issue the meals?’ I want, Lord, to assign lodgings to the Order and issue meals.”

“It is good, it is good, Dabba. Well then, do you, Dabba, assign lodgings to the Order and issue meals.”

“Very well, Lord,” the venerable Dabba the Mallian answered the Lord in assent.

Kd.14.4.3 Then the Lord on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying: “Well then, monks, let the Order agree upon Dabba the Mallian as assigner of lodgings and issuer of meals. And thus, monks, should he be agreed upon: First, Dabba should be asked; having asked him, the Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. If it seems right to the Order, the Order may agree upon the venerable Dabba the Mallian as assigner of lodgings and issuer of meals. This is the motion. Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. The Order is agreeing upon the venerable Dabba the Mallian as assigner of lodgings and issuer of meals. If the agreement upon the venerable Dabba the Mallian as assigner of lodgings and issuer of meals BD.5.99 is pleasing to the venerable ones, they should be silent; he to whom it is not pleasing should speak. The venerable Dabba the Mallian is agreed upon by the Order as assigner of lodgings and issuer of meals. It is pleasing to the Order, therefore it is silent. Thus do I understand this.’”

Kd.14.4.4 And the venerable Dabba the Mallian, (thus) agreed upon, assigned lodgings in the same place for those monks who belonged to the same company. For those monks who knew the Suttantas he assigned lodgings in the same place, thinking: “These will be able to chant over the Suttantas to one another.” For those monks who were expert in discipline he assigned lodgings in the same place, thinking: “They will decide upon discipline together.” For those monks who were talkers on dhamma he assigned lodgings in the same place, thinking: “They will discuss dhamma with one another.” For those monks who were musers he assigned lodgings in the same place, thinking: “They will not disturb one another.” Vin.2.76 For those monks who were talkers on inferior matters and who were athletic he assigned lodgings at the same place, thinking: “These reverend ones will live according to their pleasure.” For those monks who came in late at night, he, having attained the condition of heat, assigned lodgings by this light. So much so, that the monks came in late at night on purpose, thinking: “We will see a wonder of the psychic potency of the venerable Dabba the Mallian.” And these, having approached the venerable Dabba the Mallian, spoke thus: “Reverend Dabba, assign us lodgings.” The venerable Dabba the Mallian spoke thus to them; “Where do your reverences desire them? Where shall I assign them?’ These (monks) would quote a distant place on purpose, saying:

“Reverend Dabba, assign us lodgings on the Vultures’ Peak; your reverence, assign us lodgings on the Robber’s Cliff; your reverence, assign us lodgings on the slopes of Isigili Hill on the Black Rock; your reverence, assign us lodgings on the slopes of Vebhāra at Sattapaṇṇi Cave; your reverence, assign us lodgings in Sītā’s Wood on the slopes of the Snake Pool; your reverence, assign us lodgings at the Gomaṭa Glen; your reverence, assign us lodgings at the Tinduka Glen; your reverence, assign us lodgings at the Tapodā Glen; your reverence, assign us lodgings at the Tapodā Park; your reverence, BD.5.100 assign us lodgings at Jīvaka’s Mango Grove; your reverence, assign us lodgings at Maddakucchi in the deer-park.”

The venerable Dabba the Mallian, having attained the condition of heat, went in front of these (monks) with his finger glowing, and they by this light went behind the venerable Dabba the Mallian. The venerable Dabba the Mallian assigned them lodgings thus: “This is the couch, this the chair, this the mattress, this the squatting mat, this a privy, that a privy, this the drinking water, this the water for washing, this the staff, this is (the form of) the Order’s agreement, this is the time it should be entered upon, this the time it should be departed from.” The venerable Dabba the Mallian, having assigned lodgings to these, went back again to the Bamboo Grove.


Kd.14.4.5 Now at that time monks who were the followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka were newly ordained and of little merit; they obtained whatever inferior lodgings belonged to the Order and inferior meals. At that time people in Rājagaha Vin.2.77 wanted to give the monks who were elders almsfood[3] having a specially good seasoning, and ghee and oil and dainties. But to the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka they gave sufficient ordinary food, broken rice accompanied by sour gruel.[4] These, on returning from alms-gathering after their meal, asked the monks who were elders: “What did you, your reverences, get at the refectory? What did you?”

Some elders spoke thus: “There was ghee for us, your reverences, there was oil for us, there were dainties for us.”

But the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka spoke thus: “There was nothing for us, your reverences, except sufficient ordinary food, broken rice accompanied by sour gruel.”


Kd.14.4.6 Now at that time a householder who had nice food gave the Order in continuous food supply meals consisting of four ingredients.[5] He, with his wife and children, attended and served in the refectory. They offered boiled rice to some (monks), BD.5.101 they offered curry to others, they offered oil to others, they offered dainties to others. Now at that time a meal given by the householder who had nice food was apportioned for the following day to the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka. Then the householder who had nice food went to the monastery on some business or other and approached the venerable Dabba the Mallian; having approached, having greeted the veherable Dabba the Mallian, he sat down at a respectful distance. As the householder who had nice food was sitting down at a respectful distance, the venerable Dabba the Mallian delighted, rejoiced, roused, gladdened him with talk on dhamma. Then when the householder who had nice food had been delighted … gladdened by the venerable Dabba the Mallian with talk on dhamma, he spoke thus to the venerable Dabba the Mallian: “For whom, honoured sir, is the meal apportioned for tomorrow in my house?”

“Householder, the meal apportioned in your house for tomorrow is for monks who are followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka.”

Then the householder who had nice food was sorry and said: “Why should these depraved monks enjoy themselves in my house?” And having gone to his house he enjoined a slave-woman, saying: “Having prepared a seat in the porch for those who come to eat Tomorrow, serve them with broken rice accompanied by sour gruel.”

“Very well, master,” the woman-slave answered to the householder who had nice food, in assent.

Kd.14.4.7 Then the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka said to one another: “Yesterday, your reverences, a meal was apportioned to us by the householder who has nice food. Tomorrow the householder who has nice food attending with his wife and children, will serve us. They will offer boiled rice to some, they will offer curry to others, Vin.2.78 they will offer oil to others, they will offer dainties to others.” These, because of their happiness, did not sleep that night as much as expected.

Then the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka, dressing in the morning and taking their bowls and robes, approached the dwelling of the householder who had nice food. That woman-slave saw the monks who were BD.5.102 followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka coming from afar; seeing them, having prepared a seat in the porch, she said to the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka: “Sit down, honoured sirs.” Then it occurred to the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka: “But undoubtedly the food will not be ready as we are made to sit in the porch.” Then the woman-slave came up with the broken rice accompanied by sour gruel. “Eat, honoured sirs,” she said.

“But, sister, we are those who enjoy a continuous supply of food.”

“I know that the masters enjoy a continuous supply of food. But only yesterday I was enjoined by the householder: ‘Having prepared a seat in the porch for those who come for a meal Tomorrow, serve them with broken rice accompanied by sour gruel’. Eat, honoured sirs,” she said.

Then the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka thought: “Yesterday, your reverences, the householder who has nice food went to Dabba the Mallian in the monastery. Doubtless, Dabba the Mallian has set the householder at variance with us.” These (monks), on account of their distress, did not eat as much as expected.

Then the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka, returning from alms-gathering after the meal, having arrived at the monastery, having put away their bowls and robes, sat down outside the gateway of the monastery, squatting against their outer cloaks, silent, abashed, their shoulders bent, their heads lowered, brooding, speechless.

Kd.14.4.8 Then the nun Mettiyā approached the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka; having approached, she spoke thus to the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka: “I salute you, masters.” When she had spoken thus, the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka did not respond. A second time … A third time the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka did not respond.

“Do I offend against the masters? Why do the masters not respond to me?” she said.

“It is because you, sister, neglected us when we were being got into difficulties by Dabba the Mallian.”

“What can I do, masters?” she said.

BD.5.103 “If you would like, sister, this very day you could make the Lord expel Dabba the Mallian.”

“What can I do, masters? How am I able to do that?”

“You come, sister, approach the Lord; having approached, say to the Lord: Vin.2.79 ‘Now, Lord, it is not proper, it is not becoming that this quarter which should be without fear, secure, without danger, is the very quarter which is full of fear, insecure, full of danger. Where there was a calm, now there is a gale. It seems the very water is blazing. I have been assaulted by master Dabba the Mallian.’”

“Very well, masters,” and the nun Mettiyā having answered the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka in assent, approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, she stood at a respectful distance. As she was standing at a respectful distance, the nun Mettiya spoke thus to the Lord: “Now, Lord, it is not proper … I have been assaulted by master Dabba the Mallian.”

Kd.14.4.9 Then the Lord, on this occasion, in this connection, having had the Order of monks convened, questioned the venerable Dabba the Mallian, saying:

“Do you, Dabba, remember doing as this nun says?”

“Lord, the Lord knows in regard to me.” And a second time … And a third time … “Lord, the Lord knows in regard to me.”

“Dabba, the Dabbas do not give evasive answers like that.[6] If what was done was done by you, say so; if it was not done (by you), say it was not.”

“Since I, Lord, was born, I cannot call to mind ever indulging in sexual intercourse even in a dream, much less so when I was awake.”

Then the Lord addressed the monks, saying: “Well then, monks, expel the nun Mettiyā, and take these monks to task.” Having spoken thus, the Lord, rising from his seat, entered a dwelling-place. Then these monks expelled the nun Mettiyā. Then the monks who were followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka spoke thus to these monks: “Your reverences, do not expel the nun Mettiyā; in no way has she offended; she was BD.5.104 urged on by us because we were angry, displeased and wanted him out of the way.”

“But are not you, your reverences, defaming the venerable Dabba the Mallian with an unfounded charge of falling away from moral habit?”[7]

“Yes, your reverences.” Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “How can these monks who are followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka defame the venerable Dabba the Mallian with an unfounded charge of falling away from moral habit?” Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the monks who are followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka defamed Dabba the Mallian with an unfounded charge of falling away from moral habit?”

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

Kd.14.4.10 “Well then, monks, let the Order give a verdict of innocence[8] to Dabba the Mallian who has remembered fully.[9] And thus, Vin.2.80 monks, should it be given: Monks, Dabba the Mallian, having approached the Order, having arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, having honoured the feet of the senior monks, having sat down on his haunches, having saluted with joined palms, should speak thus to it: ‘Honoured sirs, these monks, followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka, defamed me with an unfounded charge of falling away from moral habit. But I, honoured sirs, having remembered fully, ask the Order for a verdict of innocence’. And a second time it should be asked for … And a third time it should be asked for: ‘Honoured sirs, these monks who are followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka defamed me with an unfounded charge of falling away from moral habit. So I, honoured sirs, having remembered fully, for a third time ask the Order for a verdict of innocence’. The Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order listen BD.5.105 to me. These monks who are followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka defamed the venerable Dabba the Mallian with an unfounded charge of falling away from moral habit. The venerable Dabba the Mallian, having remembered fully, is asking the Order for a verdict of innocence. If it seems right to the Order, the Order may give the venerable Dabba the Mallian, who has remembered fully, a verdict of innocence. This is the motion. Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. These monks who are followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka … is asking the Order for a verdict of innocence. The Order is giving the venerable Dabba the Mallian, who has remembered fully, a verdict of innocence. If the giving of a verdict of innocence to the venerable Dabba the Mallian, who has remembered fully, is pleasing to the venerable ones, they should be silent; he to whom it is not pleasing should speak. And a second time I speak forth this matter … And a third time I speak forth this matter … A verdict of innocence is given by the Order to the venerable Dabba the Mallian, who has remembered fully. It is pleasing to the Order, therefore it is silent. Thus do I understand this’.

Kd.14.4.11 “Monks, there are these five legally valid properties in giving a verdict of innocence: if the monk is pure and without offences; and if they reproach him; and if he asks; if the Order gives him a verdict of innocence; if it is by rule, the assembly being complete. These, monks, are the five legally valid properties in giving a verdict of innocence.”

Footnotes and references:

1.

From here to towards the end of Kd.14.9.1 is almost word for word the same as Vin.3.158–Vin.3.163; translated at BD.1.271–BD.1.281. I give the translation again in full here, but I have not repeated the notes, for which readers should refer to the earlier volume.

2.

The story is given in brief outline at Thag-a.i.44.

3.

Almsfood, piṇḍapāta, is omitted at Vin.2.77 above, but occurs at Vin.3.160.

4.

At AN.i.145 called food given to servants.

5.

“A meal for four monks” at BD.1.276 should be corrected to the above rendering.

6.

Quoted Thag-a.1.45, which explains dabbo as drabyo, bhabbo (with a number of variant readings).

7.

At Bu-Ss.8.1.9 he is defamed with an unfounded charge involving defeat. The two versions proceed differently after the end of this paragraph.

8.

sativinaya. See BD.3.153, n.3.

9.

See Vinaya Texts iii.16, n.1 on sativepullapatta. This means arrived at (or attained to) fullness of memory—thus one whose conscience is quite clean, as at Vinaya Texts iii.16. Cf. below, Kd.14.14.27.

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