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 lesser and minor training rules

Kd.21.1.9 Then the venerable Ānanda spoke thus to the monks who were elders: “The Lord, honoured sirs, spoke thus to me at the time of his attaining nibbāna: ‘If the Order, Ānanda, after my death is willing, the lesser and minor rules of training[1] may be abolished’.”[2]

“But did you, reverend Ānanda, ask the Lord, saying: ‘But which, Lord, are the lesser and minor rules of training?’”

“No, I, honoured sirs, did not ask the Lord, saying: ‘But which, Lord, are the lesser and minor rules of training?’”

Some elders spoke thus: “Except for the rules for the four offences involving defeat, the rest are lesser and minor rules of training.” Some elders spoke thus: “Except for the rules for BD.5.399 the four offences involving defeat, Vin.2.288 except for the rules for the thirteen offences entailing a Formal Meeting of the Order, the rest are lesser and minor rules of training.” Some elders spoke thus: “Except for the rules for the four offences involving defeat … except for the rules for the two undetermined offences, the rest are lesser and minor rules of training.” Some elders spoke thus: “Except for the rules for the four offences involving defeat … except for the rules for the thirty offences of expiation involving forfeiture, the rest are lesser and minor rules of training.” Some elders spoke thus: “Except for the rules for the four offences involving defeat … except for the rules for the ninety-two offences of expiation, the rest are lesser and minor rules of training.” Some elders spoke thus: “Except for the rules for the four offences involving defeat … except for the rules for the four offences which ought to be confessed, the rest are lesser and minor rules of training.”

Then the venerable Kassapa the Great informed the Order, saying: “Your reverences, let the Order listen to me. There are rules of training for us which affect householders, and householders know concerning us: ‘This is certainly allowable for the recluses, sons of the Sakyans, this is certainly not allowable.’ If we were to abolish the lesser and minor rules of training there would be those who would say: ‘At the time of his cremation[3] a rule of training had been laid down by the recluse Gotama for disciples; while the Teacher was amongst them these trained themselves in the rules of training, but since the Teacher has attained nibbāna among them, they do not now train themselves in the rules of training.’ If it seems right to the Order, the Order should not lay down what has not been laid down, nor should it abolish what has been laid down. It should proceed in conformity with and according to the rules of training that have been laid down.[4] This is the motion.[5] Your reverences, let the Order listen to me. There are rules of training for us … ‘… these do not now train themselves in the rules of training.’ The Order is not laying down what has not been laid down, nor is it abolishing BD.5.400 what has been laid down. It is proceeding in conformity with and according to the rules of training that have been laid down. If the not laying down of what has not been laid down, if the not abolishing of what has been laid down, if the proceeding in conformity with and according to the rules of training that have been laid down are pleasing to the venerable ones, they should be silent; he to whom they are not pleasing should speak. The Order is not laying down what has not been laid down, it is not abolishing what has been laid down, it is proceeding in conformity with and according to the rules of training that have been laid down. It is pleasing to the Order, therefore it is silent. Thus do I understand this.


Kd.21.1.10 Then the monks who were elders spoke thus to the venerable Ānanda: “This, reverend Ānanda, is an offence of wrong-doing for you, in that you did not ask the Lord, saying: ‘But which, Lord, are the lesser and minor Vin.2.289 rules of training?’ Confess that offence of wrong-doing.”

“I, honoured sirs, out of unmindfulness, did not ask the Lord, saying: ‘But which, Lord, are the lesser and minor rules of training?’ I do not see that as an offence of wrong-doing,[6] yet even out of faith in the venerable ones I confess that as an offence of wrong-doing.”

“This too is an offence of wrong-doing for you, reverend Ānanda, in that you sewed the Lord’s cloth for the rains[7] after having stepped on it. Confess that offence of wrong-doing.”

“But I, honoured sirs, not out of disrespect, sewed the Lord’s cloth for the rains after having stepped on it. I do not see … but even out of faith in the venerable ones I confess that as an offence of wrong-doing.”

“This too is an offence of wrong-doing for you, reverend Ānanda, in that you had the Lord’s body first of all honoured by women; because these were weeping, the Lord’s body was defiled by tears. Confess that offence of wrong-doing.”

“But I, honoured sirs, thinking: ‘Do not let these be (here) at a wrong time,’[8] had the Lord’s body honoured first BD.5.401 of all by women. I do not see that as an offence of wrong-doing … but even out of faith …”

“This too is an offence of wrong-doing for you, reverend Ānanda, in that you,[9] (although) a broad hint was being given, a palpable sign was being made, did not ask the Lord, saying: ‘Let the Lord remain for a (full) lifespan,[10] let the well-farer remain for a (full) lifespan for the welfare of the many-folk, for the happiness of the many-folk, out of compassion for the world, for the good, the welfare, the happiness of devas and mankind.’ Confess that offence of wrong-doing.”

“But I, honoured sirs, because my mind was obsessed[11] with Māra, did not ask the Lord, saying: ‘Let the Lord remain … the happiness of devas and mankind.’ I do not see … out of faith …”

“This too is an offence of wrong-doing for you, reverend Ānanda, in that you made an effort for the going forth of women in the dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Truth-finder.[12] Confess this offence of wrong-doing.”

“But I, honoured sirs, made an effort for the going forth of women in the dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Truth-finder, thinking: ‘This Gotamid, Pajāpatī the Great,[13] is the Lord’s aunt, foster-mother, nurse, giver of milk, for when the Lord’s mother passed away, she suckled him.’ I do not see that as an offence of wrong-doing, but even out of faith in the venerable ones I confess that as an offence of wrong-doing.”


Kd.21.1.11 Now at that time the venerable Purāṇa was walking on almstour in the Southern Hills together with a large Order of monks, with at least five hundred monks. Then the venerable Purāṇa, having stayed in the Southern Hills for as long as he found suiting, after the monks who were elders had chanted dhamma and discipline Vin.2.290 , approached Rājagaha, the Bamboo Grove, the squirrels’ feeding place, and the monks who were elders; having approached, having exchanged BD.5.402 friendly greetings with the monks who were elders, he sat down at a respectful distance. The monks who were elders spoke thus to the venerable Purāṇa as he was sitting down at a respectful distance:

“Reverend Purāṇa, dhamma and discipline have been chanted by monks who are elders. Submit yourself[14] to this chanting.”

“Your reverences, well chanted by the elders are dhamma and discipline, but in that way that I heard it in the Lord’s presence, that I received it in his presence, in that same way will I bear it in mind.”

Footnotes and references:

1.

See BD.3, Introduction, p.x and Bu-Pc.72, especially BD.3.41 where see n.1 for further references; also see Questions of King Milinda i.202f.

2.

DN.ii.154.

3.

dhūmakālikaṃ, as at Kd.16.17.1.

5.

This speech of Kassapa’s, as far as here, is quoted at DN-a.592.

7.

vassikasāṭikā, see BD.2.134, n.1. Defined at Vin.4.173 (BD.3.99).

8.

mā yimā vikāle ahesuṃ. Vin-a.1297 explains by mā imāsaṃ vikāle gamanāni ahesuṃ, do not let there be comings of these at a wrong time.

9.

Cf. AN.iv.309AN.iv.310, DN.ii.103, DN.ii.115, SN.v.259, Ud.62.

10.

kappa. See GS.iv.206, n. AN-a.iv.149 = SN-a.iii.251 = Ud-a.323 calls it āyukappa, and say whatever is the length of men’s life at this and that time, bringing that to the full, let him remain.

12.

Above, Kd.20.1.

13.

As at Kd.20.1.3; MN.iii.253.

14.

upehi, as at Kd.19.3.3 (towards the end).