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...

Eight wonderful things about this Dhamma and Vinaya

Kd.19.1.4 “In exactly the same way, monks, in this dhamma and discipline there are eight strange and wonderful things from constantly having seen which monks delight in this dhamma and discipline. What are the eight?

“Even,[1] monks, as the great ocean deepens gradually, slopes gradually, shelves gradually with no abruptness like a precipice, even so, monks, in this dhamma and discipline there is a gradual training,[2] a gradual doing,[3] a gradual course,[4] with no BD.5.334 abruptness such as penetration of profound knowledge. And, monks, that in this dhamma and discipline there is a … gradual course with no abruptness such as penetration of profound knowledge, this, monks, is the first strange and wonderful thing from constantly having seen which monks delight in this dhamma and discipline.

“And even, monks, as the great ocean is stable and does not overflow its margins, even so, monks, whatever rule of training has been laid down by me for disciples, my disciples will not transgress it even for life’s sake. And that, monks, my disciples will not transgress even for life’s sake a rule of training laid down by me for disciples, Vin.2.239 this, monks, is the second strange and wonderful thing …

“And even, monks, as the great ocean does not associate with a dead body, a corpse, but whatever dead body, corpse there may be in the great ocean, that it just quickly forces ashore and pushes on to the dry land, even so, monks, whatever individual is of bad moral habit, of depraved character, of impure and suspicious behaviour, of concealed actions, not a (true) recluse (although) pretending to be a (true) recluse, not a farer of the Brahma-faring (although) pretending to be a farer of the Brahma-faring, rotten within, filled with desire, filthy by nature—the Order does not live in communion[5] with him, but having assembled quickly, suspends him; and although he is sitting in the midst of an Order of monks, yet he is far from the Order and the Order is far from him[6] … this, monks, is the third strange and wonderful thing …

“And even, monks, as those great rivers, that is to say the Ganges, the Jumna, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, the Mahī which, on reaching the great ocean, lose their former names and identities and are reckoned simply as the great ocean, even so, monks, (members of) these four castes: noble, brahmin, merchant and low, having gone forth from home into homelessness in this dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Truth-finder, lose their former names and clans and are reckoned simply as recluses, sons of the Sakyans[7] … this, monks, is the fourth strange and wonderful thing …

BD.5.335 “And even, monks, as those streams which in the world flow into the great ocean and those showers which fall into it from the sky, yet not by that is either the emptiness or the fullness of the great ocean affected—even so, monks, even if many monks attain nibbāna in the nibbāna-condition in which no more groups are remaining,[8] not by that is either the emptiness or the fullness of the nibbāna-condition affected … this, monks, is the fifth strange and wonderful thing …

“And even, monks, as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, even so, monks, does this dhamma and discipline have one taste, the taste of freedom … this, monks, is the sixth strange and wonderful thing …

“And even, monks, as the great ocean has many treasures, divers treasures—these treasures are there, that is to say: pearl, crystal, lapis lazuli, shell, quartz, coral, silver, gold, ruby, cat’s-eye—even Vin.2.240 so, monks, does this dhamma and discipline have many treasures, divers treasures—these treasures are there, that is to say: the four arousings of mindfulness, the four right efforts, the four bases of pyschic power, the five faculties, the seven links in awakening, the noble eightfold Way[9] … this, monks, is the seventh strange and wonderful thing …

“And even, monks, as the great ocean is the abode of great beings—these beings are there: timis, timingalas, timitimingalas, asuras, nāgas, gandhabbas, individualities a hundred yojanas (long) … two hundred … three hundred … four hundred … five hundred yojanas (long)—even so, monks, this dhamma and discipline is the abode of great beings—these beings are there: the stream-attainer, the one going along to the realisation of the fruit of stream-attainment, the once-returner, the one going along to the realisation of the fruit of once-returning, the non-returner, the one going along to the realisation of the fruit of non-returning, the perfected one, the one going along to perfection. And that, monks, this dhamma and discipline is the abode of great beings—these BD.5.336 beings are there: the stream-attainer … the one going along to perfection, this, monks, is the eighth strange and wonderful thing in this dhamma and discipline from constantly having seen which monks delight in this dhamma and discipline. These, monks, are the eight strange and wonderful things in this dhamma and discipline from constantly having seen which monks delight in this dhamma and discipline.”

Then the Lord, having known this matter, at that time uttered this utterance:

“It rains hard on a covered thing,
It rains not hard on an open thing;
So open up the covered thing,
Thus will it not rain hard on that.”[10]

Footnotes and references:

1.

Quoted Kv.219.

2.

AN-a.iv.111 says this is the “three trainings,” i.e. either in the higher moral habit, the higher mentality, the higher wisdom (as at AN.i.234), or in moral habit, concentration, wisdom. For these three words, cf. MN.i.479. MN.iii.1; AN.iv.201; Ud.54.

3.

kiriya. AN-a.iv.111 calls this the thirteen dhutaṅgas, ascetic practices (explained at Vism.59ff.).

4.

AN-a.iv.111 calls this: the seven (ways of) contemplating, the eighteen great (ways of) insight (Vism.628ff.), the thirty-eight categories of dependence, the thirty-seven things helpful to enlightenment.

5.

Saṃvasati; a technical term when used of the Order; see note above, BD.5.331.

6.

Cf. It.p.91.

7.

On this term see BD.2, Introduction, p.xliv.

8.

See GS.iv.139, n.4 and GS.iv.320; also DN.iii.135, It.p.38 where the meaning of anupādisesanibbānadhātu is explained. See also Compendium of Buddhist Philosophy p.154: “That which bears its own intrinsic nature.” The groups are those of grasping.

9.

Mrs. Rhys Davids, Sakya, p.395 points out that the order of these terms sometimes varies.

10.

This verse occurs at Ud.v.5, but not at AN.iv.204 or AN.iv.208. It is among the verses ascribed to Sirimaṇḍa, Thag.447. Vin-a.1287 observes (as is clear from the context) that the covered thing means “having fallen into an offence and concealing it one falls into another and a fresh offence; but disclosing it, one does not fall into another offence.” Cf. Ud-a.306, and also Thag-a.ii.188.