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Vinaya Texts

Translated from the Pāli by
T. W. Rhys Davids
and
Hermann Oldenberg

Oxford, the Clarendon Press
[1881]
The Second Part of Volume XVII and Volume XX of The Sacred Books of the East

This work is in the Public Domain.
Reformatted from the Internet Sacred Text Archive version scanned and formatted by Christopher M. Weimer

Kulla Vagga

 


[370]

Eleventh Khandhaka

On the Council of Râgagaha

 


 

1[1]

1.1 Now the venerable Mahâ Kassapa addressed the Bhikkhus, and said: 'Once I was travelling along the road from Pâvâ to Kusinârâ with a great company of the Bhikkhus, with about five hundred Bhikkhus. And I left the high road and sat myself down at the foot of a certain tree.

'Just at that time a certain naked ascetic (âgîvaka), who had picked up a Mandârava[2] flower in Kusinârâ, was coming along the road towards Pâvâ. And I saw him coming in the distance, and on seeing I said to him:

'"O, friend! surely thou knowest our Master?"

'"Yea, friend, I know him. This day the Samana Gotama has been dead a week. That is how I obtained this Mandârava flower."'

'Then, Sirs, of those of the Bhikkhus who were not yet free from their passions, some stretched out [371] their arms and wept; and some fell headlong on the ground; and some reeled to and fro in anguish at the thought: "Too soon has the Blessed One died! Too soon has the Happy One passed away! Too soon has the Light gone out in the world!"'

'But those of the Bhikkhus who were free from the passions (the Arahats) bore their grief, collected and composed at the thought: "Impermanent are all component things. How is it possible [that they should not be dissolved]?"

'Then I, Sirs, spake thus to the Bhikkhus: "Enough, Sirs! Weep not, neither lament! Has not the Blessed One already declared to us that it is the very nature of all things near and dear unto us that we must divide ourselves from them, leave them, sever ourselves from them? How then, Sirs, can this be possible--that whereas anything whatever born, brought into being and organised, contains within itself the inherent necessity of dissolution--how then can this be possible that such a being should not be dissolved? No such condition can exist!"

'Then at that time[3], Sirs, one Subhadda, who had gone out from the world in his old age, was seated there in the company of Bhikkhus. And Subhadda, the late-received one, said to the Bhikkhus: "Enough, Sirs! Weep not, neither lament! We are well rid of the great Samana. We used to be annoyed by being told, 'This beseems you, this beseems you not.' But now we shall be able to do whatever we like; and what we do not like, that we shall not have to do[3]."

[372] 'Come, Sirs, let us chant together the Dhamma and the Vinaya before what is not Dhamma is spread abroad, and what is Dhamma is put aside; before what is not Vinaya is spread abroad, and what is Vinaya is put aside; before those who argue against the Dhamma become powerful, and those who hold to the Dhamma become weak; before those who argue against the Vinaya become powerful, and those who hold to the Vinaya become weak!'

1.2 'Let then the venerable Thera choose out Bhikkhus.'

Then the venerable Mahâ Kassapa chose out five hundred Arahats less one. And the Bhikkhus said to the venerable Mahâ Kassapa: 'Lord, this venerable one, Ânanda, although he have not yet attained [to Nirvâna], yet is he incapable of falling into error through partiality, or malice, or stupidity, or fear, and thoroughly have the Dhamma and the Vinaya been learnt by him from the Blessed One himself. Therefore let our Lord choose the venerable Ânanda. And the venerable Mahâ Kassapa chose also the venerable Ânanda.'

1.3 Then it occurred to the Thera Bhikkhus: 'In what place shall we now chant over together the Dhamma and the Vinaya?' And it occurred to the Thera Bhikkhus: 'In Râgagaha is alms plentiful, and there is abundance of lodging-places. What, now, if we were to spend the rainy season at Râgagaha, and chant the Dhamma and the Vinaya together there: and if no other Bhikkhus were to go up to Râgagaha for the rainy season[4]?'

1.4 Then the venerable Mahâ Kassapa laid the [373] resolution before the Samgha: 'Let the venerable Samgha hear me. If the time seems meet to the Samgha, let the Samgha appoint that these five hundred Bhikkhus take up their residence during the rainy season at Râgagaha, to chant over together the Dhamma and the Vinaya, and that no other Bhikkhus go up to Râgagaha for the rainy season. This is the resolution. Let the venerable Samgha hear. The Samgha appoints accordingly. Whosoever of the venerable ones approves thereof, let him keep silence. Whosoever approves not thereof, let him speak. The Samgha has appointed accordingly. Therefore is it silent. Thus do I understand.'

1.5 So the Thera Bhikkhus went up to Râgagaha to chant over together the Dhamma and the Vinaya. And the Thera Bhikkhus thought: 'The Blessed One has spoken in praise of the repair of dilapidations. Let us, then, during the first month of the rainy season repair such dilapidations, and during the middle month let us chant over the Dhamma and the Vinaya together.' And during the first month they repaired dilapidation.

1.6 And the venerable Ânanda--thinking, 'To-morrow is the assembly, now it beseems me not to go into the assembly while I am still only on the way (towards Arahatship)'--spent the whole night with mind alert. And at the close of the night, intending to lie dawn, he inclined his body, but before his head reached the pillow, and while his feet were still far from the ground, in the interval he became [374] free from attachment to the world, and his heart was emancipated from the Âsavas (that is to say, from sensuality, individuality, delusion, and ignorance)[5].

1.7 And the venerable Mahâ Kassapa laid the resolution before the Samgha: 'If the time seem meet to the Samgha, I will question Upâli concerning the Vinaya.' And the venerable Upâli laid a resolution before the Samgha: 'Let the venerable Samgha hear me. If the time seems meet to the Samgha, I, when questioned by the venerable Mahâ Kassapa, will give reply.'

Then the venerable Mahâ Kassapa said to the venerable Upâli: 'Venerable Upâli, where was the first Pârâgika promulgated?'

'In Vesâlî, Sir.'

'Concerning whom was it spoken?'

'Concerning Sudinna, the son of Kalanda.'

'In regard to what matter?'

'Sexual intercourse.'

Thus did the venerable Mahâ Kassapa question the venerable Upâli as to the matter, as to the occasion, as to the individual concerned, as to the (principal) rule, as to the sub-rule[6], as to who would be guilty, and as to who would be innocent[7], of the first Pârâgika.

[375] 'Again, venerable Upâli, where was the second Pârâgika promulgated?'

'At Râgagaha, Sir.'

'Concerning whom was it spoken?'

'Dhaniya, the potter's son.'

'In regard to what matter?'

'The taking of that which had not been given[8].'

Thus did the venerable Mahâ Kassapa question the venerable Upâli as to the matter, and as to the occasion, and as to the individual concerned, and as to the (principal) rule, and as to the sub-rule, and as to who would be guilty, and as to who would be innocent of the second Pârâgika.

'Again, venerable Upâli, where was the third Pârâgika promulgated?'

'At Vesâlî, Sir.'

'Concerning whom was it spoken?'

'A number of Bhikkhus.'

'In regard to what matter?'

'Human beings[9].'

Thus did the venerable Mahâ Kassapa question the venerable Upâli as to [all the particulars, as before] of the third Pârâgika.

'Again, venerable Upâli, where was the fourth Pârâgika promulgated?'

'At Vesâlî, Sir.'

'Concerning whom was it spoken?'

'The Bhikkhus dwelling on the banks of the Vaggumudâ river.'

'In regard to what matter?'

[376] 'Superhuman conditions.'

Thus did the venerable Mahâ Kassapa question the venerable Upâli as to [all the particulars, as before] of the fourth Pârâgika. And in like manner did he question him through both the Vinayas[10]; and as he was successively asked, so did Upâli make reply.

1.8 Then the venerable Mahâ Kassapa laid a resolution before the Samgha: 'Let the venerable Samgha hear me. If the time seems meet to the Samgha, I would question Ânanda concerning the Dhamma.'

And the venerable Ânanda laid a resolution before the Samgha: 'Let the venerable Samgha hear me. If the time seems meet to the Samgha, I, as questioned by the venerable Mahâ Kassapa, will give reply.'

And the venerable Mahâ Kassapa said to the venerable Ânanda: 'Where, venerable Ânanda, was the Brahmagâla spoken?'

'On the way, Sir, between Râgagaha and Nalanda, at the royal rest-house at Ambalatthikâ[11].'

'Concerning whom was it spoken?'

'Suppiya, the wandering ascetic, and Brahmadatta, the young Brâhman.'

Thus did the venerable Mahâ Kassapa question [377] the venerable Ânanda as to the occasion of the Brahmagâla, and as to the individuals concerning whom it was spoken.

'And again, venerable Ânanda, where was the Sâmañña-phala spoken?'

'At Râgagaha, Sir; in Gîvaka's Mango Grove.'

'And with whom was it spoken?'

'With Agâtasattu, the son of the Vedehî.'

Thus did the venerable Mahâ Kassapa question the venerable Ânanda as to the occasion of the Sâmañña-phala, and as to the individual concerned. And in like manner did he question him through the five Nikâyas, and as he was successively asked, so did Ânanda make reply.

1.9 Then the venerable Ânanda spake thus to the Thera Bhikkhus: 'The Blessed One, Sirs, at the time of his passing away, spake thus to me "When I am gone, Ânanda, let the Samgha, if it should so wish, revoke all the lesser and minor precepts[12]."'

'Did you then, venerable Ânanda, ask the Blessed One which were the lesser and minor precepts?'

'No, Sirs.'

Some Theras then said that all the rules save the four Pârâgikas; others that all save those and the thirteen Samghâdisesas; others that all save those and the two Aniyatas; others that all save those and the thirty Nissaggiyas; others that all save those and the ninety-two Pâkittiyas; others that all save those and the four Pâtidesaniyas were lesser and minor precepts.

Then the venerable Mahâ Kassapa laid a resolution before the Samgha: 'Let the venerable [378] Samgha hear me. There are certain of our precepts which relate to matters in which the laity are concerned. Now the laity know of us that "such and such things are proper for you Samanas who are Sakyaputtiyas, and such and such things are not." If we were to revoke the lesser and minor precepts, it will be said to us: "A set of precepts was laid down for his disciples by the Samana Gotama to endure until the smoke should rise from his funeral pyre[13]. So long as their teacher remained with these men, so long did they train themselves in the precepts. Since their teacher has passed away from them, no longer do they now train themselves in the precepts.'

'If the time seems meet to the Samgha, not ordaining what has not been ordained, and not revoking what has been ordained, let it take upon itself and ever direct itself in the precepts according as they have been laid down. This is the resolution.

'Let the venerable Samgha hear me. [These things being so[14]] the Samgha takes upon itself the precepts according as they have been laid down. Whosoever of the venerable ones approves thereof, let him keep silence. Whosoever approves not thereof, let him speak. The Samgha has taken upon itself the precepts according as they were laid down. Therefore does it keep silence. Thus do I understand.'

1.10 Now the Thera Bhikkhus said to the venerable [379] Ânanda: 'That was ill done by thee, friend Ânanda, in that thou didst not ask the Blessed One which were the lesser and minor precepts. Confess thy fault.'

'Through forgetfulness was it, Sirs, that I did not ask that of the Blessed One. I see no fault therein. Nevertheless, out of my faith in you, I confess that as a fault[15].'

'This also, friend Ânanda, was ill done by thee, in that thou steppedst upon the Blessed One's rainy-season garment to sew it. Confess thy fault.'

'It was not, Sirs, through any want of respect to the Blessed One that I did so. I see no fault therein. Nevertheless, out of my faith in you, I confess that as a fault.'

'This also, friend Ânanda, was ill done by thee, in that thou causedst the body of the Blessed One to be saluted by women first[16], so that by their weeping the body of the Blessed One was defiled by tears. Confess that fault.'

'I did so, Sirs, with the intention that they should not be kept beyond due time. I see no fault therein. Nevertheless, out of my faith in you, I confess that as a fault.'

'This too, friend Ânanda, was ill done by thee, in that even when a suggestion so evident and a hint so clear were given thee by the Blessed One, thou didst not beseech him, saying, "Let the Blessed One remain on for a kalpa! Let the Happy One remain on for a kalpa for the good and happiness of the [380] great multitudes, out of pity for the world, for the good and the gain and the weal of gods and men[17]!" Confess that fault.'

'I was possessed (by the Evil One)[18], friends, when I refrained from so beseeching him. I see no fault therein. Nevertheless, out of my faith in you, I confess that as a fault.'

'This also, friend Ânanda, was ill done by thee, in that thou exertedst thyself to procure admission for women into the Dhamma and Vinaya proclaimed by the Tathâgata[19]. Confess that fault.'

'That did I do, friends, thinking of Mahâ Pagâpatî the Gotamî, the sister of the Blessed One's mother; his nurse and comforter, who gave him milk; how she, when she who had borne him was dead, herself suckled him as with mother's milk. I see no fault therein. Nevertheless, out of my faith in you, I confess that as a fault.'

1.11 Now at that time the venerable Purâna was wandering through the Southern Hills with a great company of Bhikkhus, with five hundred Bhikkhus. And when the Thera Bhikkhus had completed the chanting over together of the Dhamma and the Vinaya, he, having stayed in the Southern Hills as long as he thought fit, went on to Râgagaha to the Veluvana, to the Kalandaka Nivâpa, where the Thera Bhikkhus were, and having greeted the Thera Bhikkhus, he took his seat on one side.

[381] When he was so seated, the Thera Bhikkhus said to him:

'The Dhamma and the Vinaya, friend Purâna, have been chanted over together by the Thera Bhikkhus. Do thou, then, submit thyself to and learn the text so rehearsed by them[20].'

'The Dhamma and the Vinaya, Sirs, have been well sung by the Theras. Nevertheless, even in such manner as it has been heard by me, and received by me from the very mouth of the Blessed One, in that manner will I bear it in my memory.'

1.12 Now the venerable Ânanda said to the Thera Bhikkhus: 'The Blessed One, Sirs, said to me at the time of his death: "Let then the Samgha, Ânanda, when I am dead, impose the higher penalty on Khanna the Bhikkhu[21]."

'Didst thou then, friend Ânanda, ask the Blessed One what the higher penalty was?'

'I did, Sirs, (and the reply was): 'Let Khanna the Bhikkhu, Ânanda, say whatever he may wish; but the Bhikkhus should neither speak to him, nor exhort him, nor admonish him."'

'Do thou, then, friend Ânanda, let Khanna the Bhikkhu know that the higher penalty has been imposed upon him.'

'How can I, Sirs, do so? Passionate is that Bhikkhu, and rough.'

'Go then, friend Ânanda, in company with a number of other Bhikkhus.'

'Even so, Sirs,' said Ânanda, in assent to the Thera Bhikkhus. And he took with him a number [382] of Bhikkhus, to wit, five hundred Bhikkhus, and embarked on a boat going up stream, and disembarked at Kosambî, and not far from king Udena's park he took his seat at the foot of a certain tree.

1.13 Now at that time king Udena was enjoying himself in the park together with the ladies of his palace. And the ladies heard that their teacher, the venerable Ânanda, was seated at the foot of a tree not far from the park. And they said to king Udena:

'They say that our teacher, the venerable Ânanda, is seated at the foot of a tree not far from the park. We desire, Lord, to go and see him.'

'Go, then, and see the Samana Ânanda.' And they went and saluted the venerable Ânanda, and took their seats on one side. And he. instructed, and aroused, and incited, and gladdened them with religious discourse. And when that discourse was concluded, they presented the venerable Ânanda with five hundred robes, and exalted and thanked him for his discourse, and arose from their seats, and saluted him, and keeping him on their right sides as they passed him, they departed thence.

1.14 And king Udena saw the ladies coming from the distance. And on seeing them he said to them:

'Well, did you succeed in seeing the Samana Ânanda?'

'We saw him, Sire.'

'Did you present the Samana Ânanda with any gift?'

'We gave, Sire, to the venerable Ânanda five hundred robes.'

Then king Udena was indignant and annoyed, and became angry, saying:

[383] 'How can the Samana Ânanda accept so many robes? Would he set up as a hawker in cloths, or would he open a shop[22]?'

And king Udena went to where the venerable Ânanda was, and after exchanging with him the greetings and compliments of friendship and civility, sat down by his side. And when he was so seated, he said to him:

'Did our ladies come hither, Ânanda?'

'Yes, great king.'

'Did they give anything to your reverence?'

'They gave me, great king, five hundred robes.'

'And what does your reverence intend to do with those five hundred robes?'

I shall divide them, great king, among those of the Bhikkhus whose robes are worn out.'

'And what do you intend, Ânanda, to do with the worn-out robes?'

'Of those, great king, we shall make counterpanes.'

'And what do you intend to do, Ânanda, with the old counterpanes?'

'Of those, great king, we shall make bolster cases.'

'And what do you intend to do, Ânanda, with the old bolster cases?'

'Of those, great king, we shall make carpets.'

'And what do you intend to do, Ânanda, with the old carpets?'

'Of those, great king, we shall make towels for the washing of the feet.'

'And what do you intend to do, Ânanda, with the old towels?'

[384] 'Of those, great king, we shall make dusters.'

'And what do you intend to do, Ânanda, with the old dusters?'

'Those, great king, we shall tear in shreds, and beat up with mud, and use them for making flooring of clay.'

Then king Udena thought: 'These Sakyaputtiya Samanas make general use of everything in a conscientious way, and take nothing as one man's peculiar property[23].' And he presented other five hundred pieces of cloth to the venerable Ânanda.

1.15 But Ânanda went on to the Ghosita Ârâma, and sat down then on the seat spread out for him. And the venerable Khanna went to the place where he was and saluted him, and took his seat beside him. And when he was so seated, Ânanda said to him

'The Samgha, friend Khanna, has imposed upon you the higher penalty.'

'What then, friend Ânanda, is the higher penalty?'

'You, friend Khanna, may say to the Bhikkhus whatever you wish; but the Bhikkhus are neither to speak to you, nor exhort you, nor admonish you.'

'Shall I not be even a slain man, friend Ânanda, so long as I am neither spoken to, nor exhorted, nor admonished by the Bhikkhus?' said Khanna, and he fainted and fell.

Then the venerable Khanna, pained, grieved, and seized with, remorse through the higher penalty, remained alone and separate, earnest, zealous, and resolved. And ere long he attained to that supreme [385] goal[24] of the higher life for the sake of which men even of good family go out from all and every household gain and comfort to become houseless wanderers--yea, that supreme goal did he, by himself, and while yet in this visible world, bring himself to the knowledge of, and continue to realise, and to see face to face! And he became conscious that rebirth was at an end for him, that the higher life had been fulfilled, that all that should be done had been accomplished, and that, after this present life, there would be no beyond[25]!

So the venerable Khanna became yet another among the Arahats. And after he had attained to Arahatship, the venerable Khanna went to the venerable Ânanda, and said:

'Remove from me now, friend Ânanda, the higher penalty.'

'From the moment, friend Khanna, that you had realised Arahatship, from that moment was the higher penalty removed from you.'

1.16 Now whereas five hundred Bhikkhus, without one failing, without one more, took part in this rehearsal of the Vinaya, therefore is that rehearsal of the Vinaya called 'that of the five hundred[26].'

Here ends the Eleventh Khandhaka, on the Rehearsal by the Five Hundred.

 


[1] The following section differs from the corresponding passage in the 'Book of the Great Decease' (VI, 36-41) in the very curious and instructive way pointed out by H.O. in the Introduction to his edition of the text, p. xxvi, on which see the remarks of Rh. D. at p. xiii of the General Introduction to his 'Buddhist Suttas.'

[2] This was a flower which was supposed to grow only in heaven, and its appearance on earth showed that the devas, on some special occasion, had been casting down heavenly flowers upon the earth.

[3] In the 'Book of the Great Decease' the following speech comes before the preceding one.

[4] This last was necessary, for if other Bhikkhus spent the Was at Râgagaha, either they must take part in the council, or its [373] decisions would have been invalid through its being incompletely constituted (want of vaggatta).

[5] In other words, he became an Arahat. Some MSS. omit the clause about the feet.

[6] Anupaññatti. Turnour (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1837, p. 19) translates this word,: which is not in Childers, by 'the sequel or application of the exhortation.' We think the paññatti refers to the principal rule (as laid down in the Sutta Vibhaṅga at the close of I, 5, 11), and the anupaññatti to the additions made to it in the following sections.

[7] This last clause doubtless refers to the closing words in the account given in the Sutta Vibhaṅga of each rule.

[8] That is, 'theft.'

[9] That is, murder or manslaughter. 'The slaying of is to be understood.

[10] Ubhato-vinaye. That is, relating on the one hand to Bhikkhus, and on the other to Bhikkhunîs (not Sutta Vibhaṅga and Khandhakas). The Burmese MS. at Berlin reads ubhato-vibhaṅge, suggested possibly by Buddhaghosa's expression in the corresponding part of his accounts of this Council at the commencement of the Sumaṅgala Vilâsinî and the Samanta Pâsâdikâ (see Turnour, loc. cit., and H.O., Vinaya III, 290.)

[11] In the text read râgâgârake, as suggested in the notes at p. 329, and confirmed by the Sutta itself (ed. Grimblot).

[12] 'Book of the Great Decease,' VI, 3.

[13] Dhûmakâlikam. See our note above on VI, 17, I. Buddhaghosa says here, Dhûmakâlikan ti yâva samanassa Gotamassa parinibbâna-kitika-dhûmo paññâyati tâvakâlo ti attho.

[14] The whole repeated.

[15] Compare Mahâvagga X, 1, 8, at the end.

[16] It is worthy of notice that this episode is not referred to in the 'Book of the Great Decease' (VI, 23-26. Compare V, 46-51).

[17] This refers to the conversations in the 'Book of the Great Decease,' III, 1-4, and 43-60 (especially 56).

[18] Pariyutthita-kitto. The words in parentheses are supplied from the 'Book of the Great Decease,' III, 4, where see Rh. D.'s note on the spelling of the word.

[19] Pabbaggam, admission into the Order.

[20] Saṅgîtim upehi.

[21] See 'Book of the Great Decease,' VI, 4.

[22] Paggâhika-sâlâ, on which Buddhaghosa says nothing.

[23] Na kulâvam gâmenti, on which Buddhaghosa says nothing.

[24] That is, Arahatship, Nirvâna.

[25] This Nirvâna paragraph is constantly recurring (e. g. 'Book of the Great Decease,' V, 68; Mahâvagga V, 1, 18; Samyutta VII, 1).

[26] Compare XII, 2, 9.


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