Vinaya Pitaka (4): Parivara

by I. B. Horner | 2014 | 150,781 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 analyses the rules from various points of view. The English translation of the Vinaya-pitaka (fourth part, parivara) contains many Pali original words, but transliterated using a system similar...

Translator’s Introduction

BD.6.vii In 1883 the firm of Williams & Norgate (as it was then called) published the fifth volume of the Vinaya-Piṭakaṃ in the Pali language edited by Hermann Oldenberg. This was the concluding volume of his fine and careful edition of the whole of the Vinaya. It is devoted almost exclusively to Parivāra, a work which, so far as I know, has not been translated into English before now. I have undertaken the task for the sake of completing my translation of the Vinaya, called The Book of the Discipline, the first five volumes of which were published between 1938 and 1952 in the Sacred Books of the Buddhists.

It would be possible, I think, to fathom the Parivāra without access to either the Suttavibhaṅga or the Khandhakas—and indeed I believe that in some Buddhist countries the monastic disciple has to learn it before he studies these other parts. To follow it is another matter. To do so, the relevant portions of the Suttavibhaṅga and the Khandhakas should be at hand. Throughout this translation, therefore, I have been at pains to supply all references possible to these two major parts of Vinaya. These references are to Oldenberg’s Vinaya Piṭakaṃ, vols i–iv, and to my Book of the Discipline, vols. i–v. Here, as has been most kindly said, notes may “be found copiously”.[1] They have not been repeated in this final volume.

The meaning of the word Parivāra presents difficulties as do the nature and purpose of the work. Basically, pari- means all round, surrounding; and vāra is time, opportunity; the Sanskrit lexicons also give, for vāra, “anything which covers or surrounds, a cover; a multitude, quantity” and “a cover, covering, surroundings …”. The idea that the Parivāra surrounds, encircles or encompasses thus presents itself, the core of its interest being the material of the Suttavibhaṅgas and the Khandhakas; it is these that it is concerned with and encompasses.

Apart from those few passages which, in the impressive Prv.7 of the Parivāra, the Ekuttaraka, have more in BD.6.viii common with the Aṅguttara Nikāya.[2] than with Vinaya, the Parivāra adheres most remarkably closely to Vinaya material. It covers the various matters dealt with in the Khandhakas no less than in the sikkhāpadā, or disciplinary rules of training to be found in the Suttavibhaṅgas, and follows the words used in them, as well as those in the various narratives leading to their formulation and those in the Old Commentary’s explanations of the terms used. It also follows the recognized order of the sikkhāpadā with precision. Apparently omitting nothing helpful, necessary or essential to a mastery of Vinaya, it “covers” the Discipline by encompassing it, going all round it and all through it, discarding matters of less consequence in the process, and coming down to the bare rock, the dry bones. Yet, even without a single story and without any human seasoning or hint of contemporary manners and customs, how far from dry is this bony skeleton that so carefully displays the structure of Vinaya which, as the āyu of the Buddha’s sāsana,[3] is its life-giver and source of vitality.

References to the Buddha are likewise very scarce. The opening Chapters of the two Parivāra Vibhaṅgas begin with the words, repeated for every sikkhāpadā, “By the Lord who knows and sees, arahant, Perfect Buddha …”. Otherwise, except for one or two formal allusions to Him (such as “Aṅgīrasa the Sakyan Sage” and “Kinsman of the Sun”, or the more unusual epithets anantadassin and vivekadassin on Vin.5.97), we hardly meet with more than conventional references to Him. For example, in His recorded conversations with Upāli there is the statement that 294 rules were made at Sāvatthī by the famed Gotama (Prv.9.1, verse 27), and in the one and only citation of words Parivāra ascribes to Him,[4] but not yet traced in full, He is called Bhagavā. He had indeed almost ceased to be or had not begun to be the central figure.[5] Clearly the Parivāra, which is very likely a manual for students and instructors, centres not on persons, but on monastic disciplinary and legislative affairs drawn from the Vibhaṅgas and Khandhakas. It is made clear at Parivāra Prv.1.1 and Prv.2.1 that the authoritative pronouncements on these affairs that BD.6.ix had been ascribed to the Buddha, and to the Buddha only, are simply being repeated here. The delivery of some Discourses in the Suttapiṭaka is assigned to this disciple or that, whether or not it finally received the Buddha’s commendation. But not the Vinaya. No disciple is recorded to have furnished or imparted any surviving sikkhāpada or other (Khandhaka) material. The laying down and the regulating of the whole of the discipline for monastic disciples emerges as the work and as the word of the Buddha alone.[6] But Parivāra in its existent form lays no claim to being Buddhavacana, however much this is its basis. As the Niddesa, a commentarial work, has crept into the Pali Canon, so Parivāra has become included in it and ranks as part of it.

There is nothing to say that Parivāra was compiled before the rest of the Vinaya-piṭaka. Indeed, such evidence as there is seems to point in the contrary direction. In their Introduction to Vinaya Texts, vol.i, p.xxiii-xxiv, Rhys Davids and Oldenberg say “The reader will notice that in the foregoing discussion no mention is made of the Fifth Book in the present division of the Vinaya-piṭaka—the Parivāra-pāṭha. The reason is that this work, an abstract of the other parts of the Vinaya, is in fact a very much later compilation, and probably the work of a Ceylonese thera”.[7] They then draw attention to the stanzas at the end of Parivāra in which his name is given as Dīpa. It seems to me that the only way in which it can be truly regarded as an “abstract” of these other parts is that they are its source and its subject-matter, so huge that part of its purpose is to reduce them to manageable proportions. Though it has one or two points of its own to add, chiefly in the way of emphasis, and employs a relatively few number of words not found in them,[8] one of Parivāra’s chief methods in thus reducing Vinaya would appear to be by drawing up categories and classifications, and bringing forward matters that, though occurring in these other parts, still might remain somewhat hidden and be overlooked simply because they are not organized and collected there. It must have seemed important to the BD.6.x Parivāra compiler to gather all these matters together so as to give them the full weight due to them.

In his invaluable Dictionary of Pali Proper Names,[9] Dr. G.P. Malalasekera makes the interesting conjecture that “perhaps the Parivārā correspond to the mātikā of the Abhidhamma and were enlarged later.” I take this to mean that an outline Parivāra, one consisting of “headings”, preceded the other parts of the Vinaya, that these other parts were elaborated from this guide which then itself, some time later, became expanded and more fully treated. On the other hand, it is possible that, because of the Vinaya’s vast proportions and immense importance, it was found advisable to add, not before but after it had been compiled, some kind of summary of matter that had been pulled out of Vinaya itself, and to arrange various of its salient and other features in an orderly manner so as to preclude any danger of their eclipse or oblivion owing to the mere fact that some of them are widely scattered or not worked out in detail in these other parts of Vinaya.

Frauwallner speaks of the Parivāra as an appendix, comparable to the Ekottara in the Vinaya of the Dharmaguptaka, that is it is attached to the two parts of which Vinaya consists: the Suttavibhaṅga and the Khandhakas.[10] In calling it also “a collection of addenda” [11] he indicates that in his opinion it was later in date than the other parts.

Lamotte, too, regards Parivāra as “an appendix in sixteen sections and nineteen chapters”, [12] and E.J. Thomas as “a supplement containing summaries and classifications of the rules”.[13]

I have also seen Parivāra called “a digest of the entire Vinaya Piṭaka”, setting forth the method of teaching Vinaya. Indeed, to provide a manual for instructors and students may well have been a reason for its compilation.

In its short Envoi Parivāra says some interesting things BD.6.xi about itself: it is a cutter off of doubt, through its medium, the True Dhamma and Discipline shine forth. Further, Parivāra means all that was said as to subject-matter (vatthu), and as to meaning by meaning in the True Dhamma (or, the true rule, also dhamma), and as to rule by rule in what was laid down. Then, rather begging the question of the meaning of the word Parivāra in this context, the Envoi declares that “it encompasses (parivāresi) the Dispensation as the ocean (encompasses, surrounds) India”, thus suggesting that its compiler regarded it as an “encompasser”.

It does not appear that the Vinaya of any other sect or school had a Parivāra, at least not anything on the lines of the Pali Parivāra or anything that has come to light yet. This lends considerable weight to the prudence of regarding the Pali Parivāra as an appendix to a finished work rather than as a mātikā if this be taken as the matrix from which the rest of the Vinaya sprang, and thus might have been common to more than one sect.

Even so, whether as an abstract, a mātikā (or original table of contents), a list of headings not yet filled out, a mere aide-mémoire, whether as an epitome or digest, or whether as a very useful supplement or appendix, the Parivāra is not short; nor is it entirely unrepetitive: though it is businesslike, thorough, and relatively concise, still it remains lengthy. The Vinaya in fact cannot be reduced to a brief statement nor compressed into a small compass. But it can be illuminated, as Parivāra shows, by a pin-pointing, a bringing to the fore, an unearthing of all necessary and important material from the multitudinous regulations governing the conduct both of a Saṅgha and of an individual monk or nun, and then by arranging in categories and lists these scattered Vinaya matters that monks should neither overlook nor forget, but keep constantly in the forefront of their minds. Moreover, once these classifications have been made, and expertly made, the true range of the Vinaya becomes more manifest, its structure, objects and apparatus more explicit and intelligible with the result that these clear and strong guide-lines to the contents of Vinaya may benefit teachers and pupils alike. It must not be supposed, however, that Parivāra is a commentary in the sense BD.6.xii that it rewords and explains. It does neither. Rather it restates by means of the categories and lists I have just referred to.

The name of the place where Parivāra was compiled is left completely vague. It is thought that Dīpa (or Dīpanāma) who has been assumed to be the compiler was a thera of Ceylon But this is not said in the Envoi where, though his name occurs he is merely spoken of as having had the work written, likhāpesi. Therefore we can form as little idea of the real compiler as we can of the provenance, whether Ceylon or India or elsewhere, of the work.

In the absence of any discussion of a reliable date to which Parivāra could be assigned, which would take us too far afield and probably not be profitable, one or two references to this problem may be cited. Winternitz is of the opinion that Parivāra probably dates from the same time as the Abhidhammapiṭaka.[14] B.M. Barua, Inscriptions of Asoka, Part ii, pp.235–236, is cited by Dr. W. Rāhula[15] as saying “the tradition thereof (i.e. the propagation of Buddhism in the Island of Tāmraparṇi) is embodied even in a Pali canonical work, the Parivārapatha, which was compiled in about the beginning of the Christian era”. The same tradition also occurs in other Pali works,[16] but as these are not canonical the question arises whether Parivāra belongs to them, at least in respect of this material, rather than to the Canon itself.

The use of the word likhati twice in the Parivāra might also be considered. I have referred to the form likhāpesi, found in the Envoi.[17] Then, at the end of the Mahāvibhaṅga 1.8, it is said “These eight Chapters (i.e. the ones just finished) have been written down for the way of study”.[18] If Parivāra really relied on writing as its medium of expression, this almost automatically makes it later in date than much of the rest of the Canon which was handed down orally for some hundreds of years.

BD.6.xiii In its present form Parivāra consists of nineteen Chapters or Sections. At least two Commentaries, however, speak of sixteen Parivārā,[19] a discrepancy which merits attention. At the end of Prv.16 the words Parivāraṃ niṭṭhitaṃ occur, and this is where the Parivāra may have ended originally, Prv.17 to Prv.21 being later additions. If we regard in Oldenberg’s edition Chapter IV as two Chapters instead of one: Anantarapeyyāla and Samathabheda, and if we likewise regard Chapter VII as two Chapters instead of one: Uposathādivissajjanā and Atthavasapakaraṇa,[20] we get the sixteen Parivārā spoken of in the Commentaries.

In Prv.4 and Prv.5 each division has its own uddāna which seems a fairly good reason for thinking that originally they formed two Chapters. Moreover, each appears to be given an entry in the uddāna to what, at Vin.5.143, is called the Mahāvagga which means all the Parivāra material that has been dealt with up to this point. These two sections of Prv.4 and Prv.5, however, are by no means disparate. The second one, Samathabheda, could be regarded, not ineptly, as a kind of explanatory appendix to the first Section, clearing up definitions that, had they been dealt with in the course of this first Section, might have been so long, that though pertinent, they would prove confusing to the main run of the argument; and so they were assembled in their own particular Section of “cycles”.

The two divisions in Prv.9 and Prv.10 present a different type of case. They are both short divisions, the subject-matter of which has nothing in common. Neither of them concludes with an uddāna. The first of these divisions is unnamed in the text: there is no name followed by the word niṭṭhita, concluded. Oldenberg may have taken the title by which he heads this Section from Vin-a.1346. The second division, however, ends with the words Atthavasapakaraṇaṃ niṭṭhitaṃ, thus excluding the first division. Yet this division appears to be mentioned in the uddāna to the whole of the Parivāra’s Mahāvagga which follows and concludes this Prv.10. Here called pavāraṇā, the second subject about which questions are asked in Prv.9, it is placed between the Ekuttaraka (Prv.7) and the Atthavasika, at Prv.10. Thus pavāraṇā, and BD.6.xiv atthavasika are brought into the mnemonic verse as two topics and not as one. It would further appear that as the Commentary on Prv.9 ends by saying uposathādivissajjanavaṇṇaṇā niṭṭhitā (Vin-a.1346) it must have regarded this division as having an existence separate from and independent of the second division to which it gives no name.

Moreover the Pentads (Prv.7.5) are long enough to make the Upāli-Pentads (Prv.17 and therefore in what I tentatively look on as later and additional matter) seem slightly superfluous as is perhaps Prv.18, Samuṭṭhāna, considering that Prv.3 and also Prv.1 and Prv.2 have dealt thoroughly with the origins of offences already.

Indeed, from Prv.17 to Prv.21, with the exception of Prv.20 which is sui generis, one might suppose that someone other than the original compiler wanted to show that he too could gather together matter that, so long as it remained scattered throughout the Vibhaṅgas and Khandhakas, might not sufficiently impress the disciple. But there was little more to say and, again excepting Prv.20, these last five Chapters seem rather too inadequate to make any new contribution of value.

The Parivāra contains a number of words, and a few sentiments, not, I think, found in the other parts of the Vinaya. I have collected some of them here, and I put them forward subject to correction, as in an immense and not adequately indexed work as is the Vinaya-piṭaka, it is impossible to find, let alone remember, all its single words and phrases.

  • Vin.5.18, etc.[21]: anuppannapaññatti, a laying down (of an amendment to a rule) that has not come to be or has not occurred yet. This would appear to leave the door open for dealing with future situations. But even if these arose, they could not be legislated for now because the Vinaya is “closed”; no more can be added to it.
  • Vin.5.92: The phrase cha sāraṇīyā dhammā, the six things to be remembered, belongs to other canonical works; in Vinaya the six things are given but without a title.
  • BD.6.xv Vin.5.115: adhiccāpattika abhiṇhāpattika, apparently peculiar to this passage and MN.i.442ff.
  • Vin.5.115: athullavajjā āpatti ; see Vin.2.87 thūlavajjaṃ apattiṃ.
  • Vin.5.118: Four kinds of salts: jātima kārima romaka pakkhālaka. In the Romakajātaka (, verse 79) where the word romaka occurs, it does not appear to refer to a salt and probably means “feathered” of a bird, in spite of Ja-a.ii.383.[22]
  • Vin.5.122: apakatatta. At e.g. Vin.2.32, Vin.2.204 there is pakatatta bhikkhu, regular ordained monk, as opposed to bhikkhunī, sāmaṇera, etc., but the word in the negative form does not appear to occur in the other parts of Vinaya.
  • Vin.5.122: āgāḷhāya ceteyya, “may plan something hard”; expression apparently here only, but see āgāḷha at AN.i.283, and also, of paṭipadā, see AN.i.295, Ne.77, Ne.95; “the practice of the hardened sensualist” (GS.i.272). This is a more acceptable translation to me than “luxury” (Guide 108, 131).
  • Vin.5.124Vin.5.125. pasutta (asleep) paṭibuddha (awake). The former, not in Pali-English Dictionary, is perhaps peculiar to this passage. The latter is found at Snp.807.
  • Vin.5.125, Vin.5.207: acittaka (unconscious) sacittaka (conscious) appear to occur only in Vin.5, and not in the other parts. See Critical Pali Dictionary and P.T.C. which give acittaka as occurring only in later Pali literature.
  • Vin.5.129, Vin.5.130: The passage stating the five advantages and the five further advantages in brooms, sammajjanī, is unique, and nothing at all comparable is found in Vinaya or Aṅguttara or elsewhere as far as I know. It seems to be an innovation on the part of our compiler. On the other hand, at Mil.2f. there appear to be two advantages in brooms though they differ from those given here.
  • Vin.5.158, verse 3, Vin.5.160f., Vin.5.163, Vin.5.164. anuvijjaka, adjudicator, arbitrator in a legal question. Word here only in the Pali Canon.
  • Vin.5.163, Vin.5.166, Vin.5.183. saṃgāmāvacara bhikkhu, “monk who is engaged in conflict.” This seems to be a monk who is protesting against a legal question. Cf. saṃgāmāvacara yodha, a warrior engaged in battle, at Mil.44; and saṃgāmāvacara sūra at Ja.ii.94, also Ja.ii.95 (verse 61); and yogāvacara, one who is engaged in yoga at Mil.33ff., Mil.38f., Mil.43. Apparently, except BD.6.xvi for Ja.ii.95, not a canonical word. In Parivāra the use is figurative.
  • Vin.5.163: kulapadesa, family’s standing; no entry in P.T.C..
  • Vin.5.169: Two pairs of words: pakkhavant ñātivant and appāgama appadhara. It seems that none of these is canonical.
  • Vin.5.183, Vin.5.187: diṭṭhāvikamma, an explanation of one’s views—in the Upāli-Pentads only and not in other parts of Vinaya, which these Pentads do not recapitulate with exactitude.
  • Vin.5.183: ussitamantin (a grandiose speaker) nissitajappin (one who hankers after or yearns for support for his statements). Neither compound found in other parts of Vinaya.

The Parivāra now and again substitutes its own words for the Suttavibhaṅga words of corresponding passages. For example, Vin.5.37, Vin.5.38, pahāre pahāre are not in Suttavibhaṅga Bu-Pc.10, Bu-Pc.11, where the Old Commentary, instead of using a kind of omnibus word such as is pahāre, specifies each of the actions that lead to Expiation. Similarly, payoge, as in Bu-Pc.18 (Vin.5.38) and other contexts seems to be another omnibus word. Again, in Nuns’ Bi-Ss.5, Vin.5.56, we get āmisaṃ for khādaniyaṃbhojaniyaṃ of Nuns’ Vibhaṅga (Vin.4.233). This seems to be another comprehensive word used for the sake of brevity.

In Section Prv.3.3, however, four substitutions occur which cannot be for the sake of brevity, though they may be for the sake of metre, which is the medium this Section uses throughout. They are at:

(1) Vin.5.87, verse 27, where riñcanti is absent from Suttavibhaṅga sikkhāpada itself (Monks’ Bu-NP.17), though appearing in its introductory narrative.

(2) Vin.5.88, verse 43, where Parivāra substitutes seyyā for mañca (Nuns’ Bi-Pc.31), and tathā bahi for tiroraṭṭhe (Nuns’ Bi-Pc.38); also Vin.5.89, verse 55 where it substitutes seyya for sayana.

At Vin.5.106 there is, among other abbreviations, the somewhat curious phrase samukhāvinayaṃ kātūna mūlaṃ—la—. This looks as if it refers either to the preceding or the succeeding matter in Prv.5. I have very tentatively translated it as “to make the root (or source, beginning) a verdict in the presence BD.6.xvii of”, for such is the verdict under discussion here. Kātūna as a form of the infinitive of karoti, if that is indeed what it is, can be only of very rare occurrence. Geiger makes no reference to it.[23] Equally rare must be kātuye at Thig.418[24]; cf. marituye at Thig.426, probably both Vedic infinitives. Pischel, Thig.p.212, does not agree with the reading or explanation at Thig-a.268: kiṃ sakkā kātuye ti kim mayā kātuṃ ayye sakkā ; he says “the correct reading is no doubt kātuye, as given in the text”. That a compiler should now and again use an unusual form of a verb does not mean that it was in common use during his life-time: any writer, to suit his purposes, may resort to a rare, ancient or obsolete word, but that does not make him belong to the times when that word was in current circulation.

I will now mention some of the points that seem to me worthy of note from among Parivāra’s nineteen Chapters. This will serve also to give some rough idea of their contents.

Prv.1: Mahāvibhaṅga

The first Section is called “The Laying-Down Where?”. Each rule in the Mahāvibhaṅga, given in the exact order in which it has been handed down in the corresponding Mahāvibhaṅga at Vin.3.1Vin.3.266, Vin.4.1Vin.4.207, is examined from a number of angles, important among these being the place where it was laid down. This, of course, may be regarded as history, and nothing new is to be learnt from it so long as the student knows the other relevant parts of Vinaya. It is not necessarily more important than the other angles, aspects or questions about the rules that are set down, as a kind of mātikā, at the very beginning of this Section. These are somewhat bare or condensed outlines of questions to be learnt—and of the answers then following—in any study of the sikkhāpadā ; then more detail of each one may be filled in as one proceeds through them all from the first Defeat to the twenty-fifth Training. Though “Where, Concerning Whom, and what Subject?” are traditional opening words in Commentaries, some of the other questions included here are less BD.6.xviii usual and less obvious. It is, for example, in this Section that we are made aware of the great importance the compiler attached to the number of origins, āpattisamuṭṭhāna, by which a monk can originate any of the offences legislated for in the Pātimokkha. There are six such origins, given at Vin.2.90. But it left to Parivāra to analyse them in relation to each offence and assert them so clearly that they gain a significance and precision that could not be gauged from the other parts of Vinaya. The material is there, but neither the emphasis nor the systematization. This is Parivāra’s innovation, part of its contribution to learning and mastering Vinaya.

The second Section of the Mahāvibhaṅga’s first Chapter is entitled “How many Offences?”. Its main concern is the number and type of other offences a monk may fall into according to the circumstances attending his infringement of any one of the rules. These are repeated here in their entirety and again in their proper order. A useful example to consult occurs at Vin.5.37, the first offence of Expiation, where he may fall into as many as five different kinds of offence for telling a conscious lie in five different ways. On the other hand, he may fall only into the offence bearing the relevant group-name, e.g. as at Bu-NP.1, Bu-NP.2, Bu-NP.3. All this information is in the Suttavibhaṅga, often in the Old Commentary. But it is buried there and not co-ordinated by means of being assembled.

Prv.2: Bhikkhunīvibhaṅga

The method of presenting the Nuns’ Vibhaṅga is a very exact copy of that of presenting the Monks’ Vibhaṅga, or Mahāvibhaṅga as it is called.

Prv.3: Samuṭṭhānass’ uddāna

This Chapter, like Prv.12, Prv.19, and Prv.20, is entirely in metre. It demonstrates the importance attached by the compiler to the origins of offences. In the short Introduction the point is made (verses 6–8) that he who desires (to know) the rule, dhamma, must train in Parivāra which, as a strand in the Thread (of the Teaching), fastens the garlands of both of the Vibhaṅgas, the Khandhakas and the Mātikās. It is thus a guide to the whole of the rest of Vinaya, and has a practical bearing on the stability of True Dhamma. For this will endure only as long as Vinaya endures. So does BD.6.xix Vinaya’s horizon become all the wider for the integral part it plays in the entirety of the Buddha’s Teaching.

This Chapter then goes on to a systematic classification, under thirteen headings or in thirteen divisions or groups all of which in effect are names of offences, of every offence in the two Vibhaṅgas including the Sekhiyas that originate from the same combination of the six origins of offences according to the various permutations and combinations of the origins of these offences from the three doors of body, speech and thought. No doubt the presumption is that when a student is trying to master Vinaya, he will not only want to know, he will also want to see almost at a glance as it were which of these three parts of a person is involved and in what permutation by his offending against any Vinaya rule. Though the origin may be dual as for example in Sheep’s Wool Origin and in Dhamma-line-by-line Origin, the nature of the duality is different; this necessitates the meticulous attribution of the offences to the group to which, by the origination of them, they belong. In each of these classified groups the number of the offences included is stated, except in the third group, the Go-between Origin; here there appear to be 49 items. Such origins as are impossible are also given.

It is remarkable that, with one exception,[25] the compiler has been able to keep the sikkhāpadā in their proper consecutive order throughout each of these thirteen classifications of origins of offences into which he arranges them. And it is a great feat that, always in metre, he has given for practically every offence one, but not more than one, key-word from the sikkhāpadā, so that the student of Parivāra may recognize the one being referred to. I give my findings in the footnotes to this Chapter. Four times only has the compiler used substitutes for the words of the sikkhāpadā.[26]

Prv.4: Anantarapeyyāla and Prv.5: Samathabheda

This consists of two main sections: the Anantarapeyyāla and the Samathabheda. Each begins with a kind of mātikā put in the form of questions; the different answers to them are then worked out at some length. The paragraphs are BD.6.xx numbered straight on in Oldenberg’s edition through 1–6 in Prv.4, and 7–22 in Prv.5. There is a link between these Sections in that the former is mainly occupied with offences their origins and the four kinds of legal questions they raise and the latter with the settling or deciding of these same legal questions. Prv.4 has its own uddāna which is quite distinct from the uddāna at the end of Prv.5. In Prv.5 the compiler displays a kind of tour de force in the extremely thorough attention he lavishes on the “cycles”, cakka, that he presents. And he presents every possible one that is to his point. Each is analysed down to the minutest detail. Apart from the one abbreviation he allows himself,[27] nothing is left to the imagination or to common sense; nothing is abbreviated in any such way as being called “the others”, “the rest” or “the remainder”. On the contrary, the names of the four legal questions and the seven methods of deciding them are repeated time and time again thus driving home the relation of any of the latter to any of the former, and incidentally providing a fine mental discipline for the student. The Commentary to this Section, which hardly exists, declares it is perfectly clear to the end.

Prv.6: Khandhakapucchā

The aid of the Commentary is imperative for a right grasp of the contents of this very short Chapter. It appears to ask how many offences there are in each of the ten Khandhakas of the Mahāvagga and the twelve of the Cullavagga. But, in fact, as becomes evident from the Commentary, it is not inquiring about actual numbers of offences, but about the numbers of types of offence each Khandhaka contains.[28] The total of these types for any one Khandhaka, none of them named in Parivāra text itself, comes to no more than three: grave, Expiation, wrong-doing. Some Khandhakas contain more than one offence belonging to these three types. The point, however, is not to reckon these individually—or the answers might well not tally with those Parivāra gives—but by the class to which they belong. It need not, I think, be BD.6.xxi presumed that this Chapter was meant to be a puzzle or a pitfall for an unwary student, though this is not an impossibility. Rather, I would incline to the opinion that the compiler thought now that he had reviewed the Vibhaṅgas he would give some definite attention to the Khandhakas. It had become their turn—though never are they kept separate from the Vibhaṅgas in tidy isolated compartments—and owing to their diffuse nature as much as to the general plan of Parivāra, questions on the number of offences were not only as good a starting point as any, but were almost the regulation one. Today the mystery of this brief Chapter can be unlocked only with the help of the Commentary It would be interesting to know if the early students of Parivāra had to secure this also—and not here only—or whether they had some other key, perhaps the traditional knowledge of their teachers, to give them the right interpretations.

Prv.7: Ekuttaraka

This is dominated throughout by a method without parallel in other parts of Vinaya. It is more in line with the Aṅguttara, even too with the Saṅgīti and Dasuttara Suttantas, and such other Pali works as are arranged on a “higher by one” plan, e.g. Puggala Paññatti and the last part, the Saṃkhyāsarūpaṃ, of the Milinda-ṭīkā.[29] But Puggala Paññatti is concerned only with the qualities of individuals, and the Milinda-ṭīkā only with items occurring in the Milindapañha. Apart from the method, Parivāra Prv.7 is far from being a copy of any of these works. In common with them it collects an enormous range of topics, qualities and attributes of no matter what kind of person or object or situation. But the difference is that here the Vinaya is the supreme foundation, the fons et origo, and the whole of the orbit from which this compendious compilation radiates and which it encompasses. Vinaya is its source, its centre and its field. Even those items which cannot be traced to Vinaya itself have all the same been carefully chosen for their Vinaya flavour. For example, in the Pentads[30] though the five perils for one of unpleasing and the five advantages for one of pleasing actions can be traced to the Aṅguttara but not to Vinaya, the explanation of these actions is as appropriate BD.6.xxii to Vinaya as to any other part of the Pali Canon. The same could be said of the five pairs of foolish or ignorant men and the five pairs of wise men,[31] or of the pairs of individuals in whom the cankers either increase or do not[32] (AN.i.84AN.i.86). Even the Aṅguttara’s three things that are hidden or unveiled[33] have a Vinaya bearing as do also several of the items listed in the short section of the Nonads. Here, for example, the nine occasions for or bases of ill-will and the nine ways of averting it can be found in the Dīgha and Aṅguttara but not in Vinaya. Yet they are not at all alien to it in sentiment since a monk should be able to rise above this defilement of the mind, this hindrance.

Such departures from Vinaya sources though not from Vinaya sentiment are, however, in a Chapter of this great length comparatively very infrequent. The underlying motive must have been to provide the student of Vinaya with a graduated list, largely of such Vinaya topics as offences and legal questions, on the analogy of the graduated lists for students of Dhamma. It was a brilliant conception, brilliantly carried out. But some features raise problems.

For example, practically every one of the eleven groups includes its own appropriate number of legally valid and legally invalid suspensions of the Pātimokkha. So that, unless one waits for the Decads or already knows from some other source that there are ten, one might be misled into thinking there were only one, two or three and so on. One might conclude from this that part of the method was to grade the same item in group after group within the more general gradation, perhaps to keep everything before the student’s memory. The fear of forgetting must have been very real in a world where the spoken word was perhaps still the main medium of teaching and learning rather than the book written on palm-leaves.[34]

There is too the puzzle of another kind of repetition. Constantly, say a dyad or a triad is given, such as “Two probations” [35] or “Two mānattas”.[36] This is followed immediately by the words “And two further” (probations or mānattas)—all of them being specified and named. And then, in the BD.6.xxiii Tetrads[37] each of these two sets of two is grouped together to form one set of fours. In addition, but lacking the last member, the first three members appear in the Triads.[38] This same feature is found again, e.g. in the Dyads and Pentads. In the former[39] three dyads occur successively equalling six types of persons who must not be ordained. But in the Pentads[40] the last of these six persons is omitted. More examples could be given, such as the five offences[41] and the six offences[42] involving cutting down, or the six6 and the seven[43] proper courses. Only the numbers are stated; the Commentary gives the clue to the offences they denote. Or again, “ten boons” [44] and “eleven boons” [45] were asked for. The Commentary, specifies them but not the text, and takes the eleventh boon as the one Mahāpajāpatī requested. This was the only one the Buddha did not consent to. He granted all the others, eight of them to Visākhā, the famous lay woman supporter of both the Orders, which by that time must have been well established.

There is too the rather curious and apparently casual inclusion in the Dyads[46] of two salts, two further and two further and two further salts, making eight in all. These are not repeated either in the Tetrads or the Octets. Four of these salts do not seem to recur anywhere else in the Pali Canon. The four that this does mention, sāmudda and kāḷaloṇa, sindhava and ubbhida, at Kd.6.8, are four of the five salts allowed as medicines, a salt called bila being the fifth. This being so, and without more evidence, it is clearly not safe to argue that whenever salts are mentioned it is always pair by pair. These five salts are not among the Pentads, possibly for the reason that Kd.6.8 also makes allowable “whatever other salts there are that are medicines” if they serve neither as solid nor as soft foods. For this last clause would prevent a close fit, hence, as a pentad, finality and completeness would be lacking. The same reasoning could be applied to some of the other groups of five things allowed as medicines (Kd.6.1ff.). But with, for example, the five tallows it is different, for at Kd.6.2 this clause is BD.6.xxiv not appended. Thus because five tallows only are recognized they can appear in the Pentads.[47]

Another sort of problem arises with the Tetrads: “four reproving” are given twice.[48] They are not placed beside one another and they differ in kind. Why does the compiler here depart from his usual custom of saying “and a further” two or four or whatever the number may be? I doubt whether either of these two tetrads, as such, can be found in the other parts of Vinaya.

Again, a longish passage in the Pentads [49] is repeated word for word in the Decads,[50] and indeed several times a decad has appeared already as two pentads. This may be good for the memory, but a simple count of the Ekuttaraka items without looking for repetitions and duplications would result in quite a wrong total.

Then there is the occasion when two clauses taken from the Nuns’ Vibhaṅga differ from that Vibhaṅga in that there a nun of twelve years’ standing is in question, while here, in Parivāra, she has to be only of ten years’ standing.[51] This may be due to an inadvertent following of the corresponding clauses about the monks who are rightly spoken of as having to be of ten years’ standing; or it may be deliberate so as to give the nuns a place in the Decads of the Ekuttaraka. But neither aberration nor deviation is characteristic of the compiler.

In these few random notes on a Chapter that would bear a good deal of examination I have aimed at bringing forward only some of the points I think deserve investigation. In conclusion it must be remarked that the Eightfold Way is absent from the Octets, as I believe it is also from the Octets of the Aṅguttara.[52] The nearest approach to it appears to come under the headings “ten wrongnesses” and “ten rightnesses” in the Decads.[53] These are not expanded in the text, but the Commentary confirms with the words “beginning with wrong view, ending with wrong freedom”.[54] There are of course many matters in the Pali Canon that have not been included in the Ekuttaraka. BD.6.xxv They may belong, for example, more to the Teaching than to the Discipline, such as the three marks of all phenomena, the four Truths, the four arousings of mindfulness, the four right endeavours, the five powers, the five basic faculties, indriya, and the seven states connected with Awakening. These were the affair of the dhammakathikas and the dhammadharas. A student of Vinaya who perhaps hoped one day to be a vinayadhara, an expert in Discipline, had such an enormous amount to learn in this branch alone of the Buddha’s Dispensation that very likely he had to be content with no more than a comparatively superficial acquaintance with Dhamma which forms the other great branch.

Because I think these sections of the Ekuttaraka somewhat unwieldy as they stand, I have ventured to break them up into paragraphs, hoping that this will facilitate their study.

Prv.8: Uposathādivissajjanā and Prv.9: Atthavasapakaraṇa

Like Prv.4, this has two main sections. They are called Uposathādivissajjanā and Atthavasapakaraṇa. The Chapter concludes by saying Mahāvaggaṃ niṭṭhitaṃ. The Parivāra to all intents and purposes then proceeds to topics dealt with in the Cullavagga and carries this on to the end of Prv.16. Vin-a.1347 styles its exegesis on Prv.1Prv.9 Mahāvagga-vaṇṇanā, while at Vin-a.1347 it calls that on Prv.10Prv.16 Paññattivagga-vaṇṇanā as though this were a title, if not for Cullavagga, then for other material beginning with a verse statement of the places where the sikkhāpadā were laid down. I have referred earlier to Prv.9 as one of the two Parivāra Chapters that falls into two discrete portions.[55]

Prv.10: Gāthāsaṃgaṇika

This is mostly in verse with a little prose interspersed. Of much interest are the opening verses which collect the names of the seven places where the 350 rules of training for monks and nuns were laid down, followed by the ascription of the relevant rules to each of these seven places. Sāvatthī, however, where 294 rules are said to have been made, cannot have this number named individually, so the reader or student must find them for himself. Next BD.6.xxvi comes another deeply interesting passage stating that 220 rules of training are recited by monks on Observance days and 304 by nuns, totalling 524. But this must not be taken literally, for 174 are for equal training, thus reducing the grand total to the accredited 350 rules laid down in the seven places. Or, as alternately given, 176 rules are not shared between monks and nuns; but these with the 174 that are shared amount again to the 350 rules for members of both Orders.[56]

The two concluding stanzas are more reminiscent of Dhamma than Discipline, the last one containing one of Parivāra’s few references to nibbāna.[57] It might have seemed as well to remind students and aspirants from time to time of the ultimate goal of their strenuous life and training.

Prv.11: Adhikaraṇabheda

This is the most thorough and detailed statement of the four legal questions to be found in Vinaya, as the commentator realized. They occupy its full length, and there is no digression from them.

Prv.12: Aparagāthāsaṃgaṇika

This short Chapter, which keeps entirely to metre, is largely devoted to the subject of reproving, codanā. Though Prv.11 divides it from Prv.10 which is called Gāthāsaṃgaṇika, the title of Prv.12 would have raised no other problems had it not been for the title of Prv.19. The text calls this Dutiyagāthāsaṃgaṇika as though it were oblivious of Prv.12. The Commentary, very confusingly, styles both Prv.12 and Prv.19 Dutiyagāthāsaṃgaṇika. Neither has a uddāna.

Prv.13: Codanākaṇḍa

This is chiefly concerned with the reprover, codaka, including the ignorant incompetent kind who goes on to Niraya for abusing Elders and burns up himself, jhāpeti attānaṃ, for many another stupidity. We thus learn something of the fruition of imperfect, unskilled reproving. The method followed at the beginning of the second set of stanzas resembles that of the opening stanzas of Prv.12

Prv.14: Cūḷasaṃgāma

BD.6.xxvii This opens, as does Prv.15, with a word not found in other parts of Vinaya: saṃgāmāvacara bhikkhu,[58] a monk who is engaged in battle, here used figuratively of course, and meaning engaged in conflict or dispute over a legal question. The first paragraph describes the ideal adjudicator, anuvijjaka,[59] in such disputes. Prv.14.1.2, in a way not uncommon in the Suttapiṭaka but not found elsewhere in Vinaya,[60] connects causally and almost step by step a more humble beginning with the noblest ending. Here it seems that reproving is for the sake of final nibbāna without clinging remaining. Thus are disciplinary matters shown to lead on gradually to the consummation. This invests them in a most interesting light, and again must act as a welcome reminder to the monastic disciple that the discipline he is undergoing has an elevated though distant goal the achievement of which is in a direct relationship to his progressive efforts as a reliable monk.[61]

Prv.15: Mahāsaṃgāma

In common with the opening parts of Prv.1 and Prv.2 and with Prv.16, a Commentary forms the main bulk of the Chapter in the sense that it consists of a consecutive explanation of the phrases used in the first paragraph. This puts us in mind of the word for word Commentary at Kd.2.3 on the recital of the Pātimokkha, and would appear to take the place of the questions and answers which are a feature in other Parivāra Chapters; it is certainly a valuable method of clarification. The Chapter opens with the same words, saṃgāmāvacara bhikkhu, as does Prv.14; it contains a longish quotation from Kd.4, also two verses both traceable to the Dīgha and the Aṅguttara, and a repetition of the first set of verses in Prv.13 with the substitution of pavāraṇā for uposatha.

At the beginning of paragraph 2 the exegesis of “He should know the subject” gives a total of the 350 rules of Prv.10 if one takes the 75 offences of wrong-doing to stand for the 75 Sekhiyas, for infringing any of which an offence of wrong-doing resulted. Offences of wrong speech are not counted. The citation of the monk who is being reproved with two things, BD.6.xxviii speaking the truth and being without anger, sacca akuppa, has made an appearance already in Prv.13.4 and in Kd.19.5.7. There are several words in this Chapter that have not been found in other parts of the Pali Canon.[62] Unfortunately the Commentary fails and stops short some way before it ends, saying, as it says at the end of Prv.4, that the rest is clear.

Prv.16: Kaṭhinabheda

This takes us deep into the process of the proper making of the kaṭhina cloth. It is not a simple one; it is, in fact, extremely complicated. There are not only the 24 wrong or improper ways and the 17 right or proper ways of formally making it up into robes (or spreading it on the frame), but there is also a mass of other relevant matters, often further divided and sub-divided, explored and explained. The Chapter is entirely occupied with the business in hand and must have added its quota to the seriousness with which the proper carrying out of this annual event is regarded in monastic circles. Exactitude, depending on a mastery of detail, has to be achieved, and this well-organized Chapter goes one by one through all the steps for attaining this end.

I have suggested earlier[63] that, because at the end of this Chapter, there stand the words Parivāraṃ niṭṭhitaṃ, the original version of Parivāra went no further and that the subsequent Chapters are later additions to the work.

Prv.17: Upālipañcaka

At the time of the Buddha, Upāli was the most proficient and the greatest vinayadhara, expert in Discipline, the whole of which he is traditionally supposed to have learnt from the Buddha himself. It seems very remarkable that of all the quantities of questions he is here shown as having asked, the Buddha’s answers were all in sets of five whereas in the much shorter Upālivagga at AN.v.70ff. they were all in sets of ten. At Kd.9.6 (Vin.1.325–328) the answers do not appear to involve any special numbers. How many questions Upāli actually asked and how many are ascribed to him because of his great authority in Vinaya matters, it is impossible to say at this distance of time. This Chapter is the only one to begin in the style traditional to the Piṭakas, BD.6.xxix possibly to intimate that it is not an original contribution but a gathering together of subject-matter in the very form in which it had been handed down but hitherto had not been collected. Be that as it may, Upāli’s name provides a good focal point for demonstrating by this grouping in 14 divisions, always by sets of five, and usually under the aspect of the number of qualities a monk or nun should possess, that he is fit and able for certain disciplinary duties, some of which have occurred already in Parivāra, generally in other contexts. A few pentads from the Ekuttaraka are repeated, and various words and phrases are brought forward from other parts of Vinaya, also a few from the Suttapiṭaka. There are probably more of these last than I have referred to in the notes, for, unless one were making a special study of Upāli, the time involved in tracing them would be out of proportion to the result gained. No doubt it was Upāli’s eminence in everything that was prescribed to govern the life of a monk or nun as well as the smooth running of the Order that places him in the unique position of having a Chapter named after him personally. This, in a work noticeably devoid of proper names, could be regarded as a tribute deservedly paid to this most accomplished adept in Vinaya.

Prv.18: Samuṭṭhāna

This appears to lack nearly all originality, either as a collection or as a statement, and it is hard to account for its inclusion. One would have thought that all that could have been said about the origins of offences had been said already, principally in Prv.1, Prv.2 and Prv.3. As a Chapter it is no more than a copy of certain parts of these earlier Chapters For it merely picks out, from among other material, information they give about origins. Though these are perfectly plainly stated there, this Chapter restates them here, so that it becomes a kind of digest concerned solely with origins, of material already Presented in Parivāra. Even some of the points mentioned in s first paragraph are not peculiar to it, but have occurred already. The Chapter can hardly be said to have been compiled by a master-hand but rather by someone who was taking an easy way to hammer home a subject of importance, or at least of importance in Parivāra.

Prv.19: Dutiyagāthāsaṃgaṇika

[64] This is another Chapter wholly in metre. Its method, deviated from only in verse 31, 32, is for each alternate stanza to ask “How many?” concerning various Vinaya items and to give the answer in the succeeding verse. As appears early on, the “offence” is to be taken, as in Prv.6, as the class of offence, not the number of individual offences under the chosen heading. To demonstrate this I have annotated “three offences at sunrise” in verse 4 to show that though at least seven occasions for falling into an offence may occur at sunrise, the “three” refer only to the class to which they belong. In view of Prv.6 one cannot say that the approach here is anything new. This takes us to about verse 50 when the subject of offences is dropped, to be taken up again in verse 93, now in a straightforward count of the number of offences that exist in each class. These, as in Prv.10, come to a total for monks and nuns of 350.

These verses, often characterized by a refrain, are pleasant to read, but do not sweep in more than a few items that have not been considered and dissected already. One can mention, however, the reference in verses 51, 52 to the four Vinaya occasions where confessions of a transgression were made and which hitherto have received no attention in Parivāra. We also hear more of chejja, “could be destroyed”, verses 57, 58; of the individuals who should not be greeted but if they are there is an offence of wrong-doing for every greeting, verses 61, 62; and of the number of the kinds of monastic adherents who may receive robe-material after they have kept the rains, verses 63, 64. Noteworthy too are the mathematical computations at verses 65, 66 and 77, 78. This last pair of verses and likewise verses 81, 82 concern themselves with the number of those doomed to the Downfall for being schismatics. This too is noteworthy since references to the locus, as it were, of a future rebirth are not common in Parivāra.

I think this Chapter could have been compiled only by someone or someone and his colleagues and pupils who had made a prolonged study of Vinaya and was anxious to pass on the results. Frequently, however, these are in a form where research rather BD.6.xxxi than memory is required if a student is to supply the right answer to any one of the many questions.[65] Once again, we ourselves would often be in complete darkness were it not for the commentarial explanations.[66]

Prv.20: Sedamocakagāthā

This is well named. Wholly in metre, it is full of riddles and puzzles the right solution of which calls for hard and accurate thinking. Opposing statements, each one drawn from various parts of Vinaya, and statements obviously contrary to well known sikkhāpadā if taken merely at their face value, are all shown to be valid when properly interpreted. One of the difficulties, even with the commentator’s almost but not quite unfailing guidance, is to trace them to their right source, for some are very obscure. My notes reveal the occasions of my uncertainty; otherwise, in the light of the Commentary I hope that I have given a sound lead to anyone studying this highly original set of stanzas, but to make them all come alive a certain amount of research would still lie before him.

Though Milindapañha presents a huge quantity of dilemmas and repeatedly sets two statements the one against the other which apparently do not tally and apparently could not both be true, nearly all of these are taken from the Suttapiṭaka and Jātaka and comparatively only a very few from Vinaya. The Sweat-inducing Stanzas, on the other hand, adhere strictly to the contents of Vinaya and never move away from them. They never once mention origins of offences or formal acts of the Order. There are 43 stanzas and the uddāna gives 43 items. Whether this number is comprehensive and covers all Vinaya dilemmas and riddles I am not prepared to say. All that can be said here is that nothing comparable exists in other parts of Vinaya. Further, it seems that the compiler has made a very deep study of the sikkhāpadā for both monks and nuns, and has extracted information and matters of fact from many of them which, though there but not laboured, could easily come as a surprise to more superficial students, e.g. verses 32, 33 and 36, 37.

Riddles are nothing new to the Pali canon. One is to be BD.6.xxxii found e.g. at Dhp.294, Dhp.295, and another at Thag.15, Thag.633 = Dhp.370 = SN.i.3. The existence of four citations of this latter riddle points to its popularity. Milinda’s dilemmas are not riddles; they are plain straightforward quotations. All they have in common with the Sweat-inducing Stanzas is a presentation of material that, though apparently inconsistent, yields to consistency and agreement when the right interpretation is known. As Milinda’s questions are, in the main, dilemmas based on the Suttapiṭaka, so this collection of 43 stanzas must be classed as Vinaya dilemmas.

Prv.21 (“Five Divisions”)

This Chapter is given no name in the text or Commentary. The text, however, consists of five vaggas or divisions, individually named and numbered. These are called collectively by Oldenberg “The Five Vaggas”. The Commentary, on the other hand, by taking Vaggas 3 and 4 together to form one vagga, admits of four vaggas only. It calls its combined vaggas 3 and 4 by the name of Anisamsavagga, though in the text these are called Pannattivagga and Pannatta- vagga respectively, a distinction that, from internal evidence in these two vaggas, might be hard to justify. This Chapter is inclined to repeat material giyen earlier in the Parivāra with a resulting loss of intrinsic interest though no doubt the summing up of various points is very clear. In the first division, the Kammavagga, insistence is laid on strict and rigid adherence to the regulation way of carrying out monastic proceedings. This creates an impression that one false step, one omission, would invalidate the whole of the legal inquiry for which monks had assembled, and puts one in mind of the sanctity of brahminical rites.

It is left to the commentator to decipher which kind of osaraṇa and which kind of nissaraṇa is meant on each of the four occurrences of these words at Vin.5.222.

Were it spoken, written or printed in full the fifth division would be found to mention every sikkhāpada in its proper order so as to show that the offence involves “matter” and “kind”, and the class to which it belongs involves “name” and “offence”. It would seem as if the compiler of this Chapter had come to the conclusion there was still room for BD.6.xxxiii clarification and that some points had not been stressed sufficiently.

The life of a monk, regarded as an individual, was centred on adhering to the rules of training; and, regarded as a member of the Saṅgha to which he belonged, it was centred on the greater and lesser communal legislative acts. The Parivāra, with its minute analysis and synthetical treatment, hammers this home encompassing and covering everything an individual monk or nun and an Order as a unit should know. It is not a book for general reading; it is a book of reference to be studied by anyone making research into the Vinaya, by a member of the Order or by someone aspiring to ordination who should learn beforehand the kind of things he will be expected to grasp more fully later.

Though he is by no means uncritical of the work of his commentarial predecessors the compiler of the Vinaya Commentary, including that on the Parivāra, appears to have had a certain admiration for the Mahāpaccarī, one of the early Commentaries, and occasionally he follows its interpretations in preference to those of the Vinaya itself (e.g. see Mahāvibhaṅga, Vin.5.38, Bu-Pc.14, Bu-Pc.15, Bu-Pc.23) but occasionally he differs from them (e.g. Vin.5.39, Bu-Pc.26). Our commentator, therefore, the Ven. Buddhaghosa, apparently had full knowledge of several, probably all, of the early Commentaries: the Mahāaṭṭhakathā, the Mahāpaccarī, the Kurundī (whose interpretations he now and again says should not be accepted), and the Andhakaṭṭhakathā.[67] He was, of course, completely at liberty to choose what he thought was the best and truest interpretation of some point in any one of these Commentaries and to criticize that made by others. His Vinaya Commentary refers not infrequently to Parivāra, and sometimes cites verses from it.

Of the extant Pali Commentaries it would seem that that on Aṅguttara pays a certain amount of attention to Parivāra. This may be a reflexion of the attention paid, not by name but by parallel passages, by Parivāra to Aṅguttara. In a long BD.6.xxxiv account of the disappearance of the Buddha-word as contained in the three Piṭakas together with the Pali Commentaries AN-a.1.89 says that after the disappearance of the last Jātaka to be remembered, still the Vinaya will be borne in mind. But as time goes on and on first the Parivāra will disappear then the Khandhakas, then the Bhikkhunivibhaṅga, and lastly the Mahāvibhaṅga.[68]

MN-a.ii.106, AN-a.iii.5 state that among other portions of the Tathāgata’s words the two Vibhaṅgas, the Khandhakas and Parivāra should be included; AN-a.iii.158–159, however, holds that the two Vibhaṅgas are Sutta, and that only Khandhaka-Parivāra are Vinaya. A division is made also at AN-a.v.7 where the two former are called Vinaya and the two latter abhivinaya. Therefore, except that the Parivāras tend to be bracketed with the Khandhakas, any firm tradition of their status or any agreement on what that was seems difficult to find. The Parivāra itself differs from all the above views when it says paññatti vinayo vibhatti abhivinayo (Vin.5.2).

Unless one’s knowledge of the Vibhaṅgas and the Khandhakas were as profound and accurate as that of the compiler of the Parivāra, many puzzles, some almost insoluble, might arise and many references be wrongly ascribed to other parts of the Vinaya, thus creating a deeper confusion. Throughout Section Prv.3, for example, and throughout Section Prv.9, the offence under review has to be recognized from one word only, for that is all that is provided for its identification. The Ven. Buddhaghosa, though undoubtedly extremely brief, meets this challenge and gives just enough information for the purpose, sometimes mentioning the type of offence arising from this or that action. For example, Vin-a.1307 on Prv.3, verse 20, reads: moho amūlakena cā ti mohanake pācittiya-sikkhāpadañ ca amūlakena saṅghādisesena anuddhaṃsana-sikkhāpadañ ca. It is thus shown that the former action is to be traced, through the word mohanaka, to the Expiation group, and the latter, through the word anuddhaṃsana, to the Formal Meeting group. BD.6.xxxv Again, on Section Prv.3, verse 28 the Ven. Buddhaghosa’s explanation at Vin-a.1309 attests that pūva-paccaya-joti ca are to be taken to stand for three sikkhāpadas. Then, too, though the Ven. Buddhaghosa thus keeps one on the right lines and also prevents one from attributing such comparatively common key-words as datvā or vikāle (see Vin-a.1307, Vin-a.1311) to the wrong sikkhāpada, all the same it has been a work of formidable detection to trace, from no more than the minimum of words, all the sources in the other parts of the Vinaya. Yet, owing to the Ven. Buddhaghosa’s remarkable accuracy and efficiency, I have been able to supply most, though not quite all, of the references to these other parts. It is certain that without the labours of this great commentator this annotated translation of the Parivāra could neither have been correct nor brought to a conclusion. My debt to him is beyond all reckoning, and is one that it is an honour to acknowledge.

Of my contemporaries, I have to thank Dr. W. Rahula and the Ven. Dr. H. Saddhatissa for their helpful elucidations or confirmations of some of the terms I had not met in the other parts of the Vinaya. I wish also to offer my gratitude to Professor A.K. Warder not only for reminding me of my reference in BD.1, Introduction, p.v, to the need for a complete as against a partial translation of the Vinaya, but also for his interest throughout the progress of this work. The more I have worked at Parivāra the more I have become convinced that it is a very useful guide, in particular its earlier Chapters, to the contents of the Vinaya-piṭaka. I have become convinced also that only a translator of the other parts should attempt a translation of the Parivāra if it is to act as this useful guide. For unless the same terminology were used throughout the whole translation, which might be difficult for a second translator, the Parivāra translation would lose much of its point and purpose. Most of the words in Vinaya are terms with a definite meaning and often a technical one. Consistency in translation is therefore the chief, perhaps the only, means of identification.

I.B. Horner

London, 1965.

Footnotes and references:


Kaṅkhāvitaraṇī, Introduction,


See quotation from the Aṅguttara at Vin.5.118f.


Vin-a.13, DN-a.11.




Followed by Winternitz, History of Indian Literature, vol.ii, p.33.


Originally published by the Indian Texts Series, 2 vols., 1937, 1938, and reprinted by the Pali Text Society, 1960.


The Earliest Vinaya and the Beginnings of Buddhist Literature, Serie Orientale Roma Vol. VIII, Instituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Orient, Rome 1956, p.46.


Ibid., p.184.


Histoire du Bouddhisme indien, Louvain, 1958, p.184.


History of Buddhist Thought, London, 1933, p.267.


History of Indian Literature, vol.ii, p.33.


History of Buddhism in Ceylon, Colombo, 1956, p.10, n.


See below, BD.6.xxxiv.




Vin.5.48, ime aṭṭhā vārā sajjhāyamaggena likhitā. On “writing” see Vinaya Texts, i, Introduction, p.xxxiif.


Vin-a.18, DN-a.17.


In the current edition these changes are adopted, so that Oldenberg’s Chapter IV = Prv.4 and Prv.5, while his Chapter VII = Prv.9 and Prv.10.


These page-numbers refer to the text.


See below, BD.6.182.


Pali Literatur und Sprache, Encyclopedia of Indo-Aryan Research, Strassburg, 1916.


To which Professor A.K. Warder kindly drew my attention.


Vin.5.87, verse 30.


See above, BD.6.xvi.


See above, BD.6.xvi. The other abbreviations shown by omission marks in Prv.5 are, I think, Oldenberg’s.


As in Prv.19.




See above, BD.6.xii, for Parivāra’s two references to writing.


Vin.5.117 (towards top).


See GS.iv, Introduction, p.x, and GS.v, Introduction, p.x.




See above, BD.6.xiii.


Cf. Prv.14


See above, BD.6.xv.


See above, BD.6.xv.


See above, BD.6.xxvi.


See above, BD.6.xv.


See above, BD.6.xiii.


On this title see above, BD.6.xxvi.


See above, BD.6.xx.


See above, BD.6.xx.


See E.W. Adikaram, Early History of Buddhism in Ceylon, p.10ff. for a valuable though short, account of these early Commentaries or sources of the Pali Commentaries.


MN-a.iv.116, SN-a.ii.203, Vb-a.432 give much briefer versions, but all with the same intent. Anāgatavaṃsa merely says that after the disappearance of the Jātakas, the Vinaya will disappear, but it does not give the stages of the disappearance.

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