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 duties for those going on almsround

Kd.18.5.1 Now at that time monks who walked for almsfood walked for almsfood wrongly dressed, wrongly clothed, improperly attired, and they entered a dwelling without deliberation and they left without deliberation, and they entered very hastily and they left very hastily, and they stood too far away and they stood too close, and they stood too long and they turned away too soon. And a certain monk who was walking for almsfood entered a dwelling without deliberation; taking (a doorway) for the house-door, he entered an inner chamber. In that inner chamber a woman was lying naked on her back. That monk saw that woman lying naked on her back; seeing her, he thought: “This is not the house-door, this is an inner chamber,” and he went away from that inner chamber. That woman’s husband saw that woman lying naked on her back: seeing her, he thought: “My wife has been seduced by that monk,” and having seized that monk, he thrashed him. Then that woman, waking up at the noise, spoke thus BD.5.302 to that man: “Why are you, master, thrashing this monk?”

“You were seduced by this monk.”

“I was not, master, seduced by this monk. This monk is innocent,”[1] and she made him let go of that monk. Then that monk, having gone back to the monastery, told this matter to the monks. Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “How can these monks who walk for almsfood walk for almsfood wrongly dressed … enter … depart … stand … and turn away too soon?” Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said: “Is it true, as is said, monks …?”

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

“Well then, monks, I will lay down an observance for monks when they are walking for almsfood and which should be observed by monks when they are walking for almsfood.

Kd.18.5.2 “Monks, if a monk when he is walking for almsfood thinks: ‘I will enter this village,’ having dressed himself[2] with his inner robe all round him so as to cover the three circles, having fastened his waistband, having made one bundle, having clothed himself in his upper robes, having fastened the block, having washed, having taken a bowl, he may enter the village carefully and unhurriedly. He should go amid the houses properly clad Vin.2.216 … he should not go amid the houses crouching down on his heels. When he is going amid the houses he should consider: ‘I will enter in this (fashion), I will leave in this.’ He should not enter too hastily, he should not leave too hastily, he should not stand too far away, he should not stand too close, he should not stand too long, he should not turn away too soon. While he is standing, he should consider: ‘Are they willing to give alms or are they not willing?’ If she puts aside her work[3] or rises from her seat or wipes a spoon or wipes a dish or sets it out, he should stand still, thinking: ‘It is as though she is willing to give.’ When alms are being given, BD.5.303 having raised the outer cloak with the left hand, having uncovered the bowl with the right hand, having grasped the bowl with both hands, the alms should be received, but one should not look at the face of the donor of the alms.[4] He should consider: ‘Are they willing to give curry or are they not willing?’ If she wipes a spoon or wipes a dish or sets it out, he should stand still, thinking: ‘It is as though she is willing to give’. When the alms have been given, having covered the bowl with the outer cloak, one should turn away carefully and unhurriedly. One should go amid the houses properly clad … one should not go amid the houses crouching down on one’s heels.

Kd.18.5.3 “Whoever returns first from the village for almsfood should make ready a seat, he should bring forward water for (washing) the feet, a footstool, a footstand, he should set out a refuse bowl, having washed it, he should set out drinking water and water for washing. Whoever should return last from the village for almsfood,[5] if there should be the remains of a meal and if he should so desire, he may eat them; but if he should not so desire, he may throw them away where there is but little green grass or he may drop them into water where there are no living creatures. He should put up the seat, he should put away the water for (washing) the feet, the footstool, the footstand, he should put away the refuse-bowl, having washed it, he should put away the drinking water and the water for washing, he should sweep the refectory. Whoever should see a vessel for drinking water or a vessel for washing water or a vessel (for water) for rinsing after evacuation, void and empty, should set out (water). If it is impossible for him (to do this) he should set out (water) by signalling with his hand, having invited a companion (to help him) by a movement of his hand; but he should not for such a reason break into speech. This, monks, is the observance for monks when they are walking for almsfood and which should be observed by monks when they are walking for almsfood.”

Footnotes and references:

1.

Cf. the incident related in Bu-Pc.67.

2.

As at Kd.18.4.3.

3.

Vin-a.1285 says “whether she is standing or sitting at her work—cotton or winnowing or grinding—she puts aside whatever it may be that she has chosen.” Vin-a.1285 reads nikkhipanti, they put aside, with variant reading nikkhipati. The work mentioned seems to suggest women’s work; but below, the donor of the almsfood may be a woman or a man.

4.

Vin-a.1285 says that the donor may be a woman or a man. One is not to look at his face at the time when the alms are being given.

5.

As at Vin.1.157, etc.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: