Printer Friendly

Who Are the Chabbaggiya Monks and Nuns?


Chabbaggiya monks and nuns are very frequently found in Vinaya narratives as the first offenders of various Vinaya offenses. In the Pali Vinaya itself, the chabbaggiya monks are the first offenders of the following rules:

1. Twelve rules of expiation with forfeiture (nissaggiyapdcittiya), (2)

2. Thirty-nine rules of expiation (pacittiya), (3)

3. The second patidesaniya ("matters to be confessed") rule (Vin IV 178; Horner vol. 3, 107),

4. All sekhiya rules (Vin IV 185-206; Horner, vol. 3, 120-152) except those numbered 51, 55, and 56.

5. Numerous legal issues in the khandhakas. (4)

On the other hand, the chabbaggiya nuns are the first offenders of the following rules:

1. The 8th rule of Defeat (Pat 120-121; Vin IV 220-221; Horner, vol. 3: 173);

2. The 1st rule of expiation with forfeiture, (Pat 144-145; Vin IV 243; Horner, vol. 3: 213);

3. Fourteen rules of expiation; (5)

4. Two patidesanlya rules (i.e., 1 and 2 (Pat 224-225; Vin IV 346347; Horner, vol. 3: 419, 422);

5. Two (sekkhiya) rules (Pat 228-229; Vin IV 349-350; Horner, vol., 3: 424-425);

6. Several rules mentioned in the Bhikkhun kkhandhaka (Vin II 262-263, 266-267, 269, 271, 280; Horner, vol. 5: 364, 369-371, 372-373, 374, 387-388).

Despite their common presence in the Vinaya, modern scholarship has generally viewed them as fictitious, rather than historical figures. I argue against this contention in this paper.

The Word Analysis

To solve this problem, it would be helpful to analyze the term chabbaggiya itself, which follows:

1. cha ("six") + vagga ("group") => chas + vagga

2. Cha has the original Skt. form sas, of which the initial s changes into ch, (6) and the ending s reappears here (7) as s. (8)

3. chas + vagga => chas + bagga

4. The initial v of vagga is replaced by b. (9)

5. chas + bagga => chabbagga ("group of six")

6. The consonant group sb assimilates into bb. (10)

7. chabbagga + iya => chabbaggiya

The final form chabbaggiya can have two alternative interpretations:

1. It can mean a member of the group of six; in this case, there cannot be more than six chabbaggiya persons. This usage can be compared to that of the term pancavaggiya (PED "Panca"), which means one or more members of the group of five.

2. Or it can mean a follower of the group of six; in this case, there can be an indefinite number of chabbaggiya persons. This usage can be compared to that of the term sakyaputtiya ("Sakya"), which means one or more followers of the sakyaputta ("the son of Sakyas, i.e., the Buddha").

Horner's Interpretation and the Resulting Issues

Owing to unknown reasons, Horner has entirely ignored the second option, and used the first one consistently to render the term chabbaggiya as the "group of six" monks, or as the "group of six" nuns, depending on the context (e.g. vol. 3, 173, 213, 216, etc.; vol. 5, 364, etc.). Her rendition has been adopted by modern scholars like Schopen (331, etc.), and Bhikkhu Sujato (Bhikkhuni 72, etc., White 229, etc.). Her interpretation, even though undisputed hitherto, has led to problems in evaluating the Vinaya narratives that involve those monks or nuns:

1. The Vinaya canon has no records regarding the identities of the "six monks" or the "six nuns."

2. It appears odd that the groups of bad monks and nuns each had an equal number of six, no more, no less.

3. Given that there could not be more than six chabbaggiya monks, nor more than six chabbaggiya nuns, it seems implausible that monks and nuns in such a small number have been the first offenders of so many rules shown above.

Modern scholarship has attempted to solve those problems accruing from Horner's interpretation basically by treating those monks and nuns, and the episodes in which they appear, as later fabrications:
Barua (49) comments that "many laws are made by linking them up with
the Chabbagiya monks and the nuns... thus the historical background
of some of the Vinaya episodes are doubtful." Bhagvat (47f) notes that
"whenever any safeguard for an offence had to be laid down, the offence
was often made up by linking it up with the almost imaginary figure of
the Chabbagiya Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis. The authenticity of these
episodes, therefore, is doubtful." Gokhale (18) similarly sees it as
"possible that the Chabbagiya episodes are manufactured after a
favourite literary device." Grafe (x) concludes that the fabricated
nature of several Vinaya tales in general is evident in the
circumstance that the culprits are always the same. (Analayo 417 fn. 35)
Regarding Vinaya narrations, Freedman (20) explains that "the Buddhist
tradition does not see itself as the preserver of mere historical data
... while likely rooted in certain historical events... the true
aim... is rather a concern with preserving the soteriological and
hagio-graphical elements of the 'tradition.'" (417 fn. 36)
When considered from the perspective of the function of Vinaya
narrative as an integral part of the training and education of
monastics, the question of historical accuracy becomes, in fact,
somewhat irrelevant. / The real point of the trope of the six monks or
nuns is to provide a textual signifier to the audience that a story of
bad conduct is about to be delivered. Those even a little familiar with
Vinaya narratives will know only too well that, when certain
personalities like the group of six monks or nuns are introduced,
mischief can be expected. In the actual teaching situation, then, the
mere mention of the notorious six creates an anticipation of yet
another caricature of monastic behavior to be avoided, which helps
keeping the details of the respective rule better in mind. (417-418)

However, the solution itself has seemingly brought forth new problems. How?

1. The chabbaggiyas are not always shown as villains. For example, in the narrative to the rule of expiation 37 (Vin IV 85; Horner vol. 2, 335-336), they were the righteous critics of the sattarasavaggiya monks, who ate at the wrong time and thereby made the Buddha prescribe the aforesaid rule. Furthermore, the Mahakhandhaka (Vin I 91; Horner vol. 4, 117) shows them giving guidance to the unconscientious, and thereby leading the Buddha to prescribe a rule against doing so. This story seemingly indicates that the former, at least the ones in this story, were good conscientious monks.

2. Vinaya narratives usually lead to new rules or regulations, or emendations of old ones. Therefore, being a Vinaya narrative itself makes the reader or listener to expect one or more not so commendable acts or events. Then, why should some trope of fictitious characters be required in this regard?

3. In many narratives leading to the Patimokkha rules for monks and nuns, the first offender of the relevant rule is not named but merely mentioned as "a certain monk" (annataro bhikkhu) or "a certain nun" (annatara bhikkhuni), or if more than one, merely as "monks" (bhikkhu) or "nuns" (bhikkhuniyo). (11) if those narratives do not need the supposedly fictitious chabbaggiya monks and nuns as their respective first offenders, I wonder why certain other narratives should do so.

4. "Vinaya texts from various Buddhist traditions hold the sadvargika [i.e., chabbaggiya in Pali] monks accountable for most of these unlawful deeds and depict them as morally corrupted monastics" (Liu 179); "With the exception of the Chinese translation of Sarvastivadavinaya (T1435), a band of six nuns also appears in nearly all the extant Vinaya texts: the Pali Vinaya, the Chinese translations of Dharmaguptakavinaya, Mahiiasakavinaya, and Mahasamghikavinaya. It is noteworthy that in the Tibetan and Chinese translations of Mulasarvastivadabhiksunivinaya, members in the band of nuns have expanded from six to twelve" (fn 1). If those monks and nuns were only fictitious characters, they must have been invented at a very early stage, possibly even before the sectarian split of different schools in the Order. Yet, I cannot see any valid need for such a fabrication.

Therefore, it is high time to think seriously over the second interpretation that Horner has entirely ignored.

The Alternative Interpretation

In this interpretation, the chabbaggiya monks or chabbaggiya nuns were the followers of the "group of six" (chabbagga, Skt. sadvarga) monks. The leaders, whoever they were, might not be very good persons, but if they had leadership qualities, they could win a large following of like-minded persons.

This interpretation is actually implied by the Vinaya commentary:

1. Assajipunabbasuka nama ti Assaji c' eva punabbasuko ca... te hi chabbaggiyanam jetthakachabbaggiya. (Sp III 613-614 "The phrase Assajipunabbasuka nama means: Assaji and Punabbasuka... They are leading chabbaggiyas of chabbaggiya monks.").
The canon has recorded Assaji and Punabbasuka as the first offenders of
the 13th Samghadisesa rule (Pat 20-21; Vin III 179-184; Horner vol. 1,
314-325), as the first offenders of the rule that prohibits the
dividing of common (samghika) property not fit to be divided (Vin II
171; Horner vol. 5, 239-240), and also as the first object of a formal
act of banishment (pabbajaniyakamma) (Vin II 9-13; Horner vol. 5,
14-18), all while they were residing at Kitagiri.

2. Mettiyabhmmajaka ti Mettiyo c' eva Bhummajako ca, chabbaggiyanam aggapurisa ete (Sp III 579 "The word Mettiyabhummajanakd means Mettiya and Bhummajaka. They are leading men of chabbaggiyas").
The canon has recorded Mettiya and Bhummajaka as the first offenders of
the 8th and 9th Samghddisesa rules (Pdt 14-15, 16-17; Vin III 160-163,
166-167; Horner vol. 1, 275-281, 288-289), and the 13th Pure Expiation
rule (Pdt 48-49; Vin IV 37-38; Horner vol. 2, 235), while they were
residing at Rajagaha.

3. Pandukalohitaka ti Panduko C eva Lohitako cd 'ti chabbaggiyesu dve jand. Tesam nissitakdpi Pandukalohitakd tv' eva panndyanti (Sp VI 1155 "The word Pandukalohitakd means: Panduka and Lohitaka, two people belonging to the chabbaggiya group. Those dependent upon them are also known as Pandukalohitakas.").
The canon has recorded Panduka and Lohitaka as the first object of a
formal act of censure (tajjanlyakamma) (Vin II 1-2; Horner vol. 5, 1-2)
while they were residing at Jetavana.

Out of the six monks mentioned above, (12) four are specifically named as leaders of the chabbaggiya group. If we apply Horner's interpretation to the commentary, there would only be six chabbaggiya monks, out of which four were the leaders, but this seems absurd. Therefore, the commentator must have the second interpretation in his mind--i.e., that those six monks were the leaders of the chabbaggiya group--when he writes the texts above.

This is further corroborated by the story of those leaders, recorded by the commentator (Sp III 614) and extracted by DPPN as follows:
According to the Samantapdsddikd they were all of Savatthi and all
originally acquainted. Finding a living hard to obtain, they entered
the Order under the two Chief Disciples. They decided among themselves
that it was unwise for them all to live in the same place, and they
therefore divided into three groups... Each group had five hundred
monks attached to it. ("Chabbaggiya")

Therefore, the Vinaya commentary supports the theory that the chabbaggiya monks (and nuns) were a group founded and led by the six monks named above. It means, according to the commentary, that even though the compilers of the Vinaya have recorded the names of the leaders in the cases where the latter themselves were the first offenders, the former has not bothered to name their followers but just dubbed them as "the followers of those six." This is probably how chabbaggiya monks have appeared in the canon, and also how chabbaggiya nuns have also appeared, which probably explains why there is not a single clue about the "six nuns" in the Pali Vinaya literature.

If we adopt this interpretation, we can at least resolve three issues:

1. We can remove the oddity of bad monks and bad nuns having an equal number of six;

2. We can also view chabbaggiya monks and nuns as of an indefinite number, and thereby can explain why they are associated with a huge number of rules;

3. We can afford to treat those monks and nuns as historical figures, and thereby can explain why they are found across various Vinaya traditions.

However, there is still a catch. Just as the canon carries no information on the identities of the "six monks," or of the "six nuns," required by the first interpretation adopted by Horner, it also does not explicitly say that the aforesaid six monks, i.e., Assaji, etc., were actually the leaders of the chabbaggiya group. In fact, the sole source of this information is the Vinaya commentary. The question is: can we trust the commentary in this regard?

My answer is:

1. If we choose to trust the commentary, it means that we assume the commentary has somehow preserved the vital information--in this case, information that has gone missing from the canon. But this assumption would fully validate the second interpretation so that three issues given above can be resolved, and thereby would fulfill the requirement of Hoffman's golden rule: "one assumption should solve at least two problems" (Karl Hoffman qtd. in Hinuber 7).

2. But if we reject the commentary in this regard, we will be left in the dark concerning the identities of those six leader monks. This lack of knowledge may throw doubt on the historicity of their followers, but it cannot conclusively prove that the latter are a mere myth.

In short, I argue that whether we accept or reject the commentarial information, the second interpretation remains simpler and more robust than Horner's version, enough to replace the latter.


Pat William Pruitt, ed. The Patimokkha. Translated by K. R. Norman, The Pali Text Society, 2001.

Sp J. Takakusu and M. Nagai, eds. Samantapasadika: Buddhaghosa's Commentary on the Vinaya Pitaka. 1924-1947. 7 vols., The Pali Text Society, 1966-1982.

Vin Hermann Oldenberg, ed. Vinaya Pitaka. 1879-1883. 5 vols., The Pali Text Society, 1982-1997.

Works Cited

Analayo, Bhikkhu. "The Case of Sudinna: On the Function of Vinaya Narrative, Based on a Comparative Study of the Background Narration to the First Pdrdjika Rule." Journal of Buddhist Ethics, vol. 19, 2012, pp. 396-438.

Malalasekara, G. P., comp. "Chabbaggiya." 1938. Dictionary of Pdli Proper Names, vol. 1, Asian Educational Services, 2003, p. 926. 2 vols.

Geiger, Wilhelm. A Pdli Grammar. 1994. Translated by Batakrishna Ghosh, edited by K. R. Norman, The Pali Text Society, 2005.

Hinuber, Oscar von. "The Foundation of the Bhikkhunlsamgha: A contribution to the Earliest History of Buddhism." Annual Report of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology, vol. 11, 2008, pp. 3-27.

Horner, I. B., trans. The Book of the Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka). 6 vols., The Pali Text Society, 1938-66.

Liu, Cuilan. "Noble or Evil: The Sadvdrgika Monks Reconsidered." Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hung, vol. 66, 2 2013, pp. 179-195.

Rhys Davids, T. W. and William Stede, editors. The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary. 1921-1925. The Pali Text Society, 1995.

Pischel, R. A Grammar of the Prakrit Languages. Translated by Subhadra Jha, 2nd ed., Motilal Banarsidass, 1981.

Rhys Davids, T. W. and Hermann Oldenberg, trans. Vinaya Texts Part II: The Mahavagga V-X and The Culavagga I-III. Sacred Books of the East XVII, Clarendon Press, 1882.

--, trans. Vinaya Texts Part III: The Culavagga IV-XII. Sacred Books of the East XX, Clarendon Press, 1885.

Schopen, Gregory. "The Suppression of Nuns and the Ritual Murder of Their Special Dead in Two Buddhist Monastic Codes." Buddhist Monks and Business Matters: Still More Papers on Monastic Buddhism in India, Studies in the Buddhist Traditions, University of Hawai'I Press, 2004, pp. 329-359.

Sujato, Bhikkhu. Bhikkhuni Vinaya Studies: Research and Reflections on Monastic Discipline for Buddhist Nuns. Santipada, 2009.

--. White Bones Red Rot Black Snakes. Santipada, 18 July 2011.

Ven. Pandita (Burma) (1)

University of Kelaniya

(1) Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Email:

(2) That is: the rules numbered 1 (Vin III 195; Horner, vol. 2, 2-3), 7 (Vin III 213-214; Horner, vol. 2, 50-51), 11 (Vin III 224; Horner, vol. 2, 71), 12 (Vin III 225; Horner, vol. 2, 74), 13 (Vin III 226; Horner, vol. 2, 76), 17 (Vin III 233-235; Horner, vol. 2, 94-95), 19 (Vin III 239; Horner, vol. 2, 106), 21 (Vin III 242; Horner, vol. 2, 113), 22 (Vin III 245-246; Horner, vol. 2, 119-120), 24 (Vin III 252; Horner, vol. 2, 134-135), 26 (Vin III 256; Horner, vol. 2, 142-143), 30 (Vin III 265; Horner, vol. 2, 160-161).

(3) That is: the rules numbered 2 (Vin IV 4-5; Horner, vol. 2, 171), 3 (Vin IV 12; Horner, vol. 2, 186), 4 (Vin IV 14; Horner, vol. 2, 190), 9 (Vin IV 30-31; Horner, vol. 2, 219-220), 16 (Vin IV 42; Horner, vol. 2, 247-248), 17 (Vin IV 44; Horner, vol. 2, 250-251), 21 (Vin IV 49-51; Horner, vol. 2, 263-264), 23 (Vin IV 55-56; Horner, vol. 2, 276), 24 (Vin IV 57-58; Horner, vol. 2, 279), 27 (Vin IV 62; Horner, vol. 2, 288), 28 (Vin IV 64; Horner, vol. 2, 292), 31 (Vin IV 69-70; Horner, vol. 2, 303-304), 39 (Vin IV 87; Horner, vol. 2, 341), 47 (Vin IV 102; Horner, vol. 2, 369-370), 48 (Vin IV 104; Horner, vol. 2, 374), 49 (Vin IV 106; Horner, vol. 2, 377), 50 (Vin IV 107; Horner, vol. 2, 379), 52 (Vin IV 110; Horner, vol. 2, 387), 55 (Vin IV 114; Horner, vol. 2, 398), 60 (Vin IV 122-123; Horner, vol. 2, 414), 63 (Vin IV 126; Horner, vol. 3, 5), 69 (Vin IV 137; Horner, vol. 3, 27), 70 (Vin IV 139; Horner, vol. 3, 32-33), 72 (Vin IV 142-143; Horner, vol. 3, 40-41), 73 (Vin IV 144; Horner, vol. 3, 43), 74 (Vin IV 146; Horner, vol. 3, 47), 75 (Vin IV 146-147; Horner, vol. 3, 49), 76 (Vin IV 147; Horner, vol. 3, 51), 77 (Vin IV 148149; Horner, vol. 3, 53), 78 (Vin IV 150; Horner, vol. 3, 55), 79 (Vin IV 151; Horner, vol. 3, 58-59), 81 (Vin IV 154; Horner, vol. 3, 64), 82 (Vin IV 155-156; Horner, vol. 3, 67-68), 85 (Vin IV 164; Horner, vol. 3, 82-83), 88 (Vin 169; Horner, vol. 3, 92), 89 (Vin IV 170; Horner, vol. 3, 94), 90 (Vin IV 172; Horner, vol. 3, 97), 91 (Vin IV 172; Horner, vol. 3, 99).

(4) Those are too many to cite here, but some instances are: (Vin I 84-85; Horner, vol. 4, 107; Vin I 91; Horner, vol. 4, 117; Vin I 104-105; Horner, vol. 4, 136; Vin I 106; Horner, vol. 4, 138; Vin I 111; Horner, vol. 4, 145-146; Vin I 112-113; Horner, vol. 4, 148-149, etc., etc.)

(5) That is, those numbered 2 (Pat 164-165; Vin IV 259-260; Horner, vol. 3: 226-227), 10 (Pat 166-167; Vin IV 267-268; Horner, vol. 3: 261), 22 (Pat 170-171; Vin IV 279; Horner, vol. 3: 285), 41 (Pat 176-177; Vin IV 298; Horner, vol. 3: 324), 43 (Pat 178-179; Vin IV 299300; Horner, vol. 3: 328), 49 (Pat 178-179; Vin IV 305; Horner, vol. 3: 337), 50 (Pat 180-181; Vin IV 306; Horner, vol. 3: 339), 52 (Pat 180-181; Vin IV 308-309; Horner, vol. 3: 343-344), 58 (Pat 182-183; Vin IV 314-315; Horner, vol. 3: 356), 84 (Pat 190-191; Vin IV 337; Horner, vol. 3: 400), 85 (Pat 190-191; Vin IV 338; Horner, vol. 3: 402-403), 87 (Pat 190-191; Vin IV 340; Horner, vol. 3: 406), 88 (Pat 190-191; Vin IV 341; Horner, vol. 3: 407), 89 (Pat 192-193; Vin IV 341; Horner, vol. 3: 408).

(6) "A simple initial sibilant of Skt. is sometimes aspirated in Pkt. sha, sha, sha, then all become uniformly cha." (Pischel 181).

(7) "The original final consonant of the first component often reappears in composition... " (Geiger 59).

(8) In Pali, "The sibilants s, s, s... have all developed > s." (27).

(9) "... b occasionally appears in Pali for Skt. v (kabala 'morsel' = Skt. kavala, kabalika 'compress' = Vin I 205, 35 = Skt. kavalika)" (37)

(10) Given that s is a sibilant whereas b is a mute, s is assimilated to b:
Moreover... the assimilation of consonants is characterized by the
rule that the consonants of lesser power of resistance are assimilated
to those of greater resisting power. The power of resistance diminishes
in the order: mutes--sibilants--nasals--l, v y, r. (41)

(11) Individual anonymous monks are the first offenders of the following offenses:

* A rule of expiation with forfeiture (Vin III 233; Horner, vol. 2, 90-91);

* Nine rules of expiation, i.e., those numbered 18 (Vin IV 46; Horner, vol. 2, 254-255), 25 (Vin IV 59; Horner, vol. 2, 282-283), 36 (Vin IV 83-84; Horner, vol. 2, 332-333), 40 (Vin IV 89; Horner, vol. 2, 344-345), 64 (Vin IV 127; Horner, vol. 3, 7-8) 66 (Vin IV 131; Horner, vol. 3, 15-16), 67 (Vin IV 132-133; Horner, vol. 3, 18-19), 80 (Vin IV 152-153; Horner, vol. 3, 61), 84 (Vin IV 161; Horner, vol. 3, 77);

* A rule of patidesaniya (Vin IV 175-176; Horner, vol. 3, 103-104).

On the other hand, individual anonymous nuns are the first offenders of the following offenses:

* Two sanghddisesa rules, i.e., those numbered 3 (Vin IV 227-228; Horner, vol. 3, 186-187), and 6 (Vin IV 234; Horner, vol. 3, 198-199);

* Fourteen rules of expiation, i.e., those numbered 4 (Vin IV 261; Horner, vol. 3, 249), 5 (Vin IV 261; Horner, vol. 3, 250), 6 (Vin IV 263; Horner, vol. 3, 252-253), 8 (Vin IV 265; Horner, vol. 3, 257-258), 11 (Vin IV 268; Horner, vol. 3, 263), 12 (Vin IV 269; Horner, vol. 3, 265), 13 (Vin IV 270; Horner, vol. 3, 266), 15 (Vin IV 271-272; Horner, vol. 3, 270), 18 (Vin IV 275; Horner, vol. 3, 277), 25 (Vin IV 282; Horner, vol. 3, 292), 55 (Vin IV 312; Horner, vol. 3, 350), 60 (Vin IV 316; Horner, vol. 3, 359), 86 (Vin IV 339-340; Horner, vol. 3, 404), and 96 (Vin IV 344-345; Horner, vol. 3, 417).

Moreover, groups of anonymous monks are the first offenders of the following offenses:

* Seven rules of expiation with forfeiture, i.e., those numbered 2 (Vin III 198; Horner, vol. 2, 12-13), 3 (Vin III 203; Horner, vol. 2, 24-26), 14 (Vin III 227-228; Horner, vol. 2, 79-80), 15 (Vin III 230-232; Horner, vol. 2, 83-87), 23 (Vin III 248-251; Horner, vol. 2, 126-131), 28 (Vin III 260-261; Horner, vol. 2, 151-153), and 29 (Vin III 262-263; Horner, vol. 2, 156-157);

* Ten rules of expiation, i.e., those numbered 5 (Vin IV 15-16; Horner, vol. 2, 194-195), 14 (Vin IV 39; Horner, vol. 2, 238-239), 33 (Vin IV 75-77; Horner, vol. 2, 315-317), 34 (Vin IV 78-80; Horner, vol. 2, 321-323), 35 (Vin IV 81; Horner, vol. 2, 326-327), 56 (Vin IV 115; Horner, vol. 2, 398-399), 57 (Vin IV 116-117; Horner, vol. 2, 401-402), 58 (Vin IV 120; Horner, vol. 2, 406-407), 65 (Vin IV 128-130; Horner, vol. 3, 10-12), 86 (Vin IV 167; Horner, vol. 3, 87-88);

* Two rules of pdtidesaniya, i.e., those numbered 3 (Vin IV 178-179; Horner, vol. 3, 110-111), and 4 (Vin IV 181-182; Horner, vol. 3, 115-116);

* Three sekhiya rules, i.e., those numbered 51 (Vin IV 197; Horner, vol. 3, 137), 55 (Vin IV 198; Horner, vol. 3, 139), and 56 (Vin IV 199; Horner, vol. 3, 139-140).

On the other hand, groups of anonymous nuns are the first offenders of the following offenses:

* The sanghddisesa rule numbered 12 (Vin IV 239; Horner, vol. 3, 207-208);

* Four rules of expiation with forfeiture, i.e., those numbered 6 (Vin IV 250-251; Horner, vol. 3, 228-229), 7 (Vin IV 251-252; Horner, vol. 3, 231-232), 8 (Vin IV 252-253; Horner, vol. 3, 233-234), and 9 (Vin IV 253; Horner, vol. 3, 235).

* Thirty-nine rules of expiation, i.e., those numbered 7 (Vin IV 264; Horner, vol. 3, 255), 9 (Vin IV 266; Horner, vol. 3, 259), 17 (Vin IV 274; Horner, vol. 3, 275276), 21 (Vin IV 278; Horner, vol. 3, 283), 24 (Vin IV 281; Horner, vol. 3, 290), 31 (Vin IV 288; Horner, vol. 3, 304), 32 (Vin IV 289; Horner, vol. 3, 305), 37 (Vin IV 295; Horner, vol. 3, 317), 38 (Vin IV 296; Horner, vol. 3, 319), 39 (Vin IV 296; Horner, vol. 3, 320), 40 (Vin IV 297; Horner, vol. 3, 322), 42 (Vin IV 299; Horner, vol. 3, 326-327), 44 (Vin IV 300; Horner, vol. 3, 329), 51 (Vin IV 306; Horner, vol. 3, 340), 54 (Vin IV 310-311; Horner, vol. 3, 348), 56 (Vin IV 313; Horner, vol. 3, 352), 57 (Vin IV 313-314; Horner, vol. 3, 354), 59 (Vin IV 315; Horner, vol. 3, 358), 61 (Vin IV 317; Horner, vol. 3, 361), 62 (Vin IV 318; Horner, vol. 3, 363), 63 (Vin IV 318-319; Horner, vol. 3, 364-366), 64 (Vin IV 320-321; Horner, vol. 3, 367-368), 65 (Vin IV 321-322; Horner, vol. 3, 369), 66 (Vin IV 322-323; Horner, vol. 3, 371), 67 (Vin IV 323-324; Horner, vol. 3, 373), 69 (Vin IV 325; Horner, vol. 3, 377), 71 (Vin IV 327; Horner, vol. 3, 381), 72 (Vin IV 327-328; Horner, vol. 3, 382), 73 (Vin IV 328; Horner, vol. 3, 383), 74 (Vin IV 329; Horner, vol. 3, 384), 75 (Vin IV 330; Horner, vol. 3, 385-386), 82 (Vin IV 336; Horner, vol. 3, 398), 83 (Vin IV 336-337; Horner, vol. 3, 399), 90 (Vin IV 342; Horner, vol. 3, 409), 91, 92, 93 (Vin IV 342-343; Horner, vol. 3, 411), 94 (Vin IV 343; Horner, vol. 3, 413), and 95 (Vin IV 344; Horner, vol. 3, 415).

(12) Cf.: Horner's renditions of their names: Assajipunabbasuka ("followers of Assaji and Punabbasu"), Pandukalohitaka ("followers of Panduka and Lohitaka"), Mettiyabhummajaka ("followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka"). If Horner is correct, these terms refer to their followers of indefinite numbers, but there is no evidence to support her interpretation. Perhaps she is only following the authority of her predecessors, who have made similar translations: "followers of Panduka and Lohitaka" (Rhys Davids and Oldenberg, Vinaya II 329), "followers of Assaji and Punabbasu" (Vinaya II 347; Vinaya III 211).

On the contrary, the Vinaya commentary itself contradicts her rendition. How? From the explanation of Assajipunabbasuka as "Assasji and Punabbasuka," we can infer that the commentator means only those two persons, not their followers who might be of an indefinite number. The same goes with Mettiyabhummajaka explained as "Mettiya and Bhummajaka."

It is only in the case of Panduka and Lohitaka that the commentator specifically mentions "those dependent upon them" (tamnissitakdnam) as also covered by the term Pandukalohitaka. Why? The context is the account of how those two monks were quarrelsome themselves and also encouraged other monks to quarrel, leading the Buddha to prescribe the formal act of censure (tajjanlyakamma) and to have the Order apply this against them. In their case, the object of censure should be not only those two but also those who accepted their encouragement and got into fights, for the canon says that if a monk is "a maker of strife, a maker of quarrels, a maker of disputes, a maker of contentions, a maker of legal questions," he can be the object of censure (Vin II 4; Horner vol. 5, 6). But the canonical text consistently shows the object of censure using the term pandukalohitaka. If this term is interpreted as referring to these two only, it would follow that those who did as they said were not subject to censure even though they were equally guilty; this would seemingly contradict the canon itself. It is probably to solve this problem that the commentator interprets pandukalohitaka as covering their followers as well.

In my opinion, however, we can still reasonably interpret pandukalohitaka as those two monks only. How? We should remember that such formal acts of censure are totally optional; the Order has the right to choose to, or not to, slap such a punishment on a guilty party. This is why the canon says dkankhamdno ("if it so desires") in the description of the individual types deserving censure (Vin II 4-5; Horner vol. 5, 6-7). Then, the Buddha and the Order in this story might have chosen to punish those two monks only, given that they were the root of the problem. This can be why the canonical story has consistently shown the object of censure as pandukalohitaka.

Copyright Notice: Digital copies of this work may be made and distributed provided no change is made and no alteration is made to the content. Reproduction in any other format, with the exception of a single copy for private study, requires the written permission of the author. All enquiries to:
COPYRIGHT 2018 Journal of Buddhist Ethics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2018 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Pandita, Ven.
Publication:Journal of Buddhist Ethics
Article Type:Essay
Date:Jan 1, 2018
Previous Article:Is a Buddhist Praxis Possible?
Next Article:Beyond Precepts in Conceptualizing Buddhist Leadership.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters