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...

Second recitation section

Act of informing

BD.5.264 Now at that time the Lord was sitting down teaching dhamma surrounded by a large company, by a company which included the king.[1] Then Devadatta, rising from his seat, having arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, having saluted the Lord with joined palms, spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, the Lord is now old, worn, stricken in years, he has lived his span and is at the close of his life;[2] Lord, let the Lord now be content to live devoted to abiding in ease here and now,[3] let him hand over the Order of monks to me. It is I who will lead the Order of monks.”

“Enough, Devadatta, please do not lead the Order of monks.” And a second time … And a third time Devadatta spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, the Lord is now old, worn, stricken in years … It is I who will lead the Order of monks.”

“I, Devadatta, would not hand over the Order of monks even to Sāriputta and Moggallāna. How then could I to you, a wretched one to be vomited like spittle?”[4]

Then Devadatta, thinking: Vin.2.189 “The Lord in an assembly which included a king disparaged me by (using) the term, ‘one to be vomited like spittle,’ while he extolled Sāriputta and Moggallāna,” angry, displeased, having greeted the Lord, departed keeping his right side towards him.

And this was the first time that Devadatta felt malice towards the Lord.

Kd.17.3.2 Then the Lord addressed the monks, saying: “Well then, monks, let the Order carry out a (formal) act of Information[5] against Devadatta in Rājagaha to the effect that whereas Devadatta’s nature was formerly of one kind, now it is of another kind; and that whatever Devadatta should do by gesture and by voice, in that neither the Awakened One nor BD.5.265 dhamma nor the Order should be seen but in that only Devadatta should be seen. And thus, monks, should it be carried out: 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, let the Order carry out an act of Information against Devadatta in Rājagaha, to the effect that whereas Devadatta’s nature was formerly of one kind, now it is of another kind, and that whatever Devadatta should do … in that only Devadatta should be seen. This is the motion. Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. The Order is carrying out the (formal) act of Information against Devadatta in Rājagaha, to the effect that … in that only Devadatta should be seen. If the carrying out of the (formal) act of Information against Devadatta in Rājagaha to the effect that … in that only Devadatta should be seen is pleasing to the venerable ones, they should be silent; he to whom it is not pleasing should speak. The (formal) act of Information against Devadatta in Rājagaha to the effect that … in that only Devadatta should be seen is carried out by the Order. It is pleasing to the Order, therefore it is silent. Thus do I understand this’.”

Then the Lord addressed the venerable Sāriputta, saying: “Well then, do you, Sāriputta, inform against Devadatta in Rājagaha.”

“Formerly, Lord, I spoke praise of Devadatta in Rājagaha saying: ‘Godhi’s son is of great psychic power, Godhi’s son is of great majesty.’ How can I, Lord, inform against Devadatta in Rājagaha?”

“Was not the truth spoken by you, Sāriputta, when you spoke praise of Devadatta in Rājagaha saying: ‘Godhi’s son is of … great majesty’?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“Even so, Sāriputta, when you inform against Devadatta in Rājagaha it will be just as true.”

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

Kd.17.3.3 Then the Lord addressed the monks, saying: “Well then, monks, let the Order agree for Sāriputta to inform against Devadatta in Rājagaha saying: ‘Formerly Devadatta’s nature was of such a kind, now it is of another kind, and that whatever BD.5.266 Devadatta should do by gesture and by voice, in that neither the Awakened One nor dhamma nor the Order should be seen, but in that only Devadatta should be seen.’ And thus, monks, should Sāriputta be agreed upon: First, Sāriputta should be asked; having been asked, 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 for the venerable Sāriputta Vin.2.190 to inform against Devadatta in Rājagaha saying: ‘Formerly Devadatta’s nature was of one kind … in that only Devadatta should be seen.’ This is the motion. If the agreement upon Sāriputta to inform against Devadatta in Rājagaha, saying: ‘Formerly Devadatta’s nature was of one kind … in that only Devadatta should be seen’ is pleasing to the venerable ones, they should be silent; he to whom it is not pleasing should speak. The venerable Sāriputta is agreed upon by the Order to inform against Devadatta in Rājagaha, saying: ‘Formerly Devadatta’s nature was of one kind … in that only Devadatta should be seen.’ … It is pleasing to the Order, therefore it is silent. Thus do I understand this’.”

The venerable Sāriputta, (thus) agreed upon, having entered Rājagaha together with several monks, informed against Devadatta in Rājagaha to the effect that: “Formerly Devadatta’s nature was of one kind, now it is of another kind, and that whatever Devadatta should do by gesture and by voice, in that neither the Awakened One nor dhamma nor the Order should be seen, but in that only Devadatta should be seen.” Those people who were of little faith, not believing, who were of poor intelligence, spoke thus: “These recluses, sons of the Sakyans are jealous, they are jealous of Devadatta’s gains and honours.” But those people who had faith and were believing, who were wise, intelligent, spoke thus: “This can be no ordinary matter in that the Lord has Devadatta informed against in Rājagaha.”

The story of Prince Ajātasattu

Kd.17.3.4 Then Devadatta approached Prince Ajātasattu; having approached, he spoke thus to Prince Ajātasattu: “Formerly,[6] prince, people were long-lived, nowadays they are short-lived, and it is possible that you, while still a prince, might pass away. BD.5.267 Well now, do you prince, having slain your father, become king. I, having slain the Lord, will become the Awakened One.” And Prince Ajātasattu, thinking: “Now, master Devadatta is of great psychic power, of great majesty; master Devadatta must know (what is right),” having fastened a dagger[7] against his thigh, at an early hour (although) afraid, anxious, fearful, alarmed, entered the (king’s) private quarters forcibly. But the chief ministers in attendance in the private quarters saw Prince Ajātasattu at an early hour (although) afraid, anxious, fearful, alarmed, entering the (king’s) private quarters forcibly. Seeing him, they laid hold of him. These examining him, and having seen the dagger bound against his thigh, spoke thus to Prince Ajātasattu: “What is it that you, prince, want to do?”

“I want to slay my father.”

“By whom are you being incited?”

“By master Devadatta.” Some chief ministers gave this opinion: “The Prince should be slain and Devadatta and all the monks should be slain.”[8] Some chief ministers gave this opinion: “The monks should not be slain for the monks are not giving offence,[9] but the Prince should be slain and Devadatta.” Some chief ministers gave this opinion: “The Prince should not be slain, nor Devadatta, the monks should not be slain. The king should be told and we will do whatever the king says.”

Kd.17.3.5 “Then these chief ministers, taking Prince Ajātasattu, approached King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha; Vin.2.191 having approached, they told this matter to King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha. He said: “What opinion, my good men, have the chief ministers formed?”

“Some chief ministers, Sire, gave this opinion … Some chief ministers gave this opinion … Some chief ministers gave this opinion: ‘The Prince should not be slain, nor Devadatta, the monks should not be slain. The king should be told and we will do whatever the king says’.”

“What, my good men, can the Awakened One or dhamma or the Order have to do (with this)? Has not the Lord already BD.5.268 had Devadatta informed against in Rājagaha to the effect that formerly Devadatta’s nature was of one kind, now it is of another kind, and that whatever Devadatta may do by gesture or by speech, in that neither the Awakened One nor dhamma nor the Order is to be seen, but in that only Devadatta should be seen?”

Those chief ministers who had given their opinion thus: “The Prince should be slain and Devadatta and all the monks should be slain,” these he discharged.[10] Those chief ministers who had given their opinion thus: “The monks should not be slain, for the monks do not give any offence, but the prince should be slain and Devadatta,” these he set in lowly positions. Those chief ministers who had given their opinion thus: ‘The prince should not be slain, nor Devadatta, nor should the monks be slain. The king should be told and we will do whatever the king says,” these he set in high positions. Then King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha spoke thus to Prince Ajātasattu:

“Why do you, prince, want to slay me?”

“Sire, I have need of a kingdom.”

“If it be that you, prince, have need of a kingdom, this kingdom is yours,” and he handed over the kingdom to Prince Ajātasattu.

Sending assassins

Kd.17.3.6 Then Devadatta approached Prince Ajātasattu[11]; having approached, he spoke thus to Prince Ajātasattu:

“Your Majesty, command your men so that they deprive the recluse Gotama of life.” Then Prince Ajātasattu commanded his men, saying: “My good men, do whatever master Devadatta says.” Then Devadatta enjoined the men, saying: “Go along, friends, the recluse Gotama is staying at a certain place. Having deprived him of life, come back by a certain road,” and he set two men on that road, saying: “Whatever man comes alone along this road, having deprived him of life, come back by this road,” and having set four men on that road, BD.5.269 saying: “Whatever couple of men come along by this road, having deprived them of life, come back by this road,” and having set eight men on that road, saying: “Whatever four men come along by this road, Vin.2.192 … come back by this road,” and having set sixteen men on that road, he said: “Whatever eight men come along by this road, having deprived them of life, come back.”

Kd.17.3.7 Then that man who was alone, having grasped a sword and shield, having bound on a bow and quiver,[12] approached the Lord; having approached, when he was quite near the Lord he stood still, his body quite rigid[13] afraid, anxious, fearful, alarmed.[14] The Lord saw that man standing still, his body quite rigid, afraid … alarmed and seeing him, he spoke thus to that man: “Come, friend, do not be afraid.” Then that man, having put his sword and shield to one side, having laid down his bow and quiver, approached the Lord; having approached, having inclined his head to the Lord’s feet, he spoke thus to the Lord:

“Lord, a transgression has overcome me, foolish, misguided, wrong that I was, in that I was coming here with my mind malignant,[15] my mind on murder.[16] Lord, may the Lord acknowledge for me the transgression as a transgression for the sake of restraint in the future.”

“Truly, friend, a transgression overcame you, foolish, misguided, wrong that you were, in that you were coming here, with your mind malignant, your mind on murder. But if you, friend, having seen the transgression as a transgression, confess according to the rule, we acknowledge it for you; for friend in the discipline of the noble, this is growth: whoever having seen a transgression as a transgression, confesses according to the rule, he attains restraint in the future.”[17]

Then the Lord talked a progressive talk[18] to this man, that is to say talk on giving, talk on moral habit, talk on heaven … sorrow, its uprising, stopping, the Way. Just as a clean BD.5.270 cloth without black specks will take a dye easily, even so (as he was sitting) on that very seat did dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arise to that man, that “whatever is of a nature to arise, all that is of a nature to stop.” Then that man[19] as one who has seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma, plunged into dhamma, having crossed over doubt, having put away uncertainty, having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the Teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord:

“Excellent, Lord: Lord, it is excellent. It is as if one were to set upright what has been upset … thus is dhamma explained in many a figure by the Lord. So I, Lord, Vin.2.193 am going to the Lord for refuge and to dhamma and to the Order of monks. May the Lord accept me as a lay-follower going for refuge from this day forth for as long as life lasts.”

Then the Lord spoke thus to that man: “Do not you, friend, go by that road. Go by this road,” and he sent him off by another road.

Kd.17.3.8 Then those two men, thinking: ‘Why is that man who is alone so slow in coming?’ going along to meet him saw the Lord sitting at the root of a tree. Seeing him, they approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, they sat down at a respectful distance. The Lord talked a progressive talk to these … to full confidence in the Teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “Excellent, Lord … May the Lord accept us as lay-followers going for refuge from this day forth for as long as life lasts.”

Then the Lord spoke thus to these men: “Do not you, friends, go by that road. Go by this road,” and he sent them off by another road. Then those four men, thinking: ‘Why are these two men so slow in coming?’ … and he sent them off by another road. Then those eight men, thinking: ‘Why are these four men so slow in coming?’ … and he sent them off by another road. Then those sixteen men, thinking: ‘Why are these eight men so slow in coming?’… “May the Lord receive us as lay-followers going for refuge from this day forth for as long as life lasts.”[20]

Kd.17.3.9 BD.5.271 Then that one man approached Devadatta[21]; having approached, he spoke thus to Devadatta: “Honoured sir, I am not able to deprive that Lord of life, that Lord is of great psychic power, of great might.”

“All right, friend, do not you deprive the recluse Gotama of life. I myself will deprive the recluse Gotama of life.”

Shedding blood

Now at that time the Lord was pacing up and down in the shade[22] of Mount Vulture Peak. Then Devadatta, having climbed Mount Vulture Peak, hurled down a great stone, thinking: “With this I will deprive the recluse Gotama of life.” But two mountain peaks, having met, crushed that stone, and (only) a fragment of it, having fallen down, drew blood on the Lord’s foot.[23] Then the Lord, having looked upwards, spoke thus to Devadatta: “You have produced great demerit, foolish man, in that you, with your mind malignant, your mind on murder, drew the Truth-finder’s blood.” Then the Lord addressed the monks, saying: “This, monks, is the first deed whose fruit comes with no delay[24] accumulated by Devadatta since he, with his mind malignant, his mind on murder, drew the Truth-finder’s blood.” Vin.2.194

Kd.17.3.10 Monks heard: “It is said that Devadatta schemed to murder the Lord,” and so these monks paced up and down on every side of the Lord’s dwelling-place doing their studies together with a loud noise, with a great noise for the protection, defence and warding of the Lord. The Lord heard the loud noise, the great noise, the noise of studying, and hearing it, he addressed the venerable Ānanda, saying:

“What on earth, Ānanda, is this loud noise, this great noise, this noise of studying?”

“Lord, the monks heard that Devadatta schemed to murder the Lord, and so, Lord, these monks are pacing up and down … for the protection, defence and warding of the Lord. This, Lord, is the loud noise, the great noise, the noise of studying.”

BD.5.272 “Well now, Ānanda, address these monks in my name, saying: ‘The Teacher is summoning the venerable ones.’”

“Very well, Lord,” and the venerable Ānanda, having answered the Lord in assent, approached those monks; having approached, he spoke thus to those monks: “The Teacher is summoning the venerable ones.”

“Very well, your reverence,” and these monks, having answered the venerable Ānanda in assent, approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, they sat down at a respectful distance. The Lord spoke thus to these monks as they were sitting down at a respectful distance:

“This is impossible, monks, it cannot come to pass that anyone could deprive a Truth-finder of life by aggression; monks, Truth-finders attain nibbāna not because of an attack.[25] Monks, there are these five teachers found in the world. What five? …[26] and I do not expect protection from disciples in respect of knowledge and vision. This is impossible, monks, it cannot come to pass that anyone could deprive a Truth-finder of life by aggression; monks, Truth-finders attain nibbāna not because of an attack. Go, monks, to your own dwelling-places[27]; Truth-finders, monks, do not need to be protected.”

Footnotes and references:

1.

Cf. another version of this episode, as far as “the act of Information” at Dhp-a.i.139Dhp-a.i.140.

2.

Stock, as at Vin.3.2, MN.i.82, Snp.p.50, Snp.p.92.

3.

diṭṭhadhammasukhavihāra, as at Vin.1.341.

4.

Text reads kheḷāpakassa, Vin-a.1275 kheḷāsaka. Vin-a.1275 explains: requisites accruing by means of an evil mode of livelihood should be ejected like spittle by the noble ones. That is why the Lord said “to be vomited like spittle,” kheḷāsaka, (to explain) that he (Devadatta) eats requisites of this nature.

5.

pakāsaniyakamma. Vinaya Texts iii.239, n.2 rightly says “This is not among the regular official acts of the Order as described in Kd.11,” but it is wrong to say “it is not referred to by the Dhammapada Commentator” for it is mentioned at Dhp-a.i.140.

6.

Quoted Dhp-a.i.140, DN-a.135.

7.

potthanikaṃ. As at Vin.1.217, where translated “butcher’s knife.”

8.

Quoted at DN-a.135.

9.

aparajjhanti, as at Vin.3.162.

10.

te abhabbe akāsi, he rendered them incapable (of holding an official position).

11.

Vinaya Texts iii.243, n.2 points out that Ajātasattu is not called “king” here, and that therefore the events described in this paragraph took place before he actually became king, and that the paragraph probably stood originally in some other connection. On the other hand, it should be noticed that Devadatta addresses him as mahārāja.

12.

Stock, as at e.g. AN.iii.93AN.iii.94, MN.i.86, MN.ii.99.

13.

patthaddha, as at Thag.1074. Vin-a.1275, says “with his body motionless like a figure modelled in clay.”

14.

As at Kd.17.1.6.

15.

duṭṭhacitta, as at MN.iii.65.

16.

vadhakacitta, as at DN.iii.72.

17.

Cf. Vin.4.18Vin.4.19, etc.

18.

As at Vin.1.15.

19.

As at Vin.1.12.

20.

A version noticed by Oldenberg (Vin.2.324) adds that “the Lord spoke thus to those men … sent them off by another road.”

21.

From here, cf. Ja.v.333ff.

22.

Cf. Vin.1.180.

23.

An echo of widespread folk-tradition, where the Hero, on his quest, passes with all speed through clashing rocks, sometimes sustaining an injury.

24.

ānantarikakamma. Cf. Vism.177.

25.

anupakkama, “not by attack (from external enemies),” as at Critical Pali Dictionary.

26.

As at Kd.17.2.3, Kd.17.2.4 (to end). Read above “monks” instead of “Moggallāna.”

27.

yathāvihāraṃ, as at Vin.4.15.