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Tipitaka >> Vinaya Pitaka >> Mahavagga >> First Khandaka >> 1.31

Adapted from the Translation by T. W. Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg


THE MAHAVAGGA

FIRST KHANDHAKA(THE FORMATION OF THE ORDER OF BHIKKHUS)

Chapter-31 : Ordination to be Given by Learned Bhikkus Having Completed Ten Years.

1. At that time a certain youth came to the Bhikkhus and asked them to be ordained. The Bhikkhus told him the (four) Resources before his ordination. Then he said: 'If you had told me the Resources, venerable Sirs, after my ordination, I should have persisted (in the dhamma life); but now, venerable Sirs, I will not be ordained; the Resources are repulsive and loathsome to me.'

The Bhikkhus told this thing to the Lord Buddha.

'You ought not, O Bhikkhus(Monks), to tell the Resources (to the candidates) before their ordination. He who does, is guilty of a dukkata offence. I prescribe, O Bhikkhus(Monks), that you tell the Resources (to the newly-ordained Bhikkhus) immediately after their upasampada.'

2. At that time some Bhikkhus performed the upasampada service with a chapter of two or three Bhikkhus.

They told this thing to the Lord Buddha.

'Let no one, O Bhikkhus(Monks), receive the upasampada ordination before a chapter of less than ten Bhikkhus(Monks). He who performs the upasampada service (with a smaller number of Bhikkhus), is guilty of a dukkata offence. I prescribe you, O Bhikkhus(Monks), the holding of upasampada services with a chapter of ten Bhikkhus or more than ten.'

3. At that time some Bhikkhus conferred the upasampada ordination on their saddhiviharikas one or two years after their own upasampada. Thus also the venerable Upasena Vangantaputta conferred the upasampada ordination on a saddhiviharika of his one year after his own upasampada. When he had concluded the vassa(rains) residence, after two years from his own upasampada had elapsed, he went with his saddhiviharika, who had completed the first year after his upasampada, to the place where the Lord Buddha was; having approached him and respectfully saluted the Lord Buddha, he sat down near him.

4. Now it is the custom of the Great Buddhas to exchange greeting with incoming Bhikkhus. And the Lord Buddha said to the venerable Upasena Vangantaputta: 'Do things go well with you, Bhikkhu? Do you get enough to support your life? Have you made your journey with not too great fatigue?'

'Things go pretty well with us, Lord; we get enough, Lord, to support our life, and we have made our journey, Lord, with not too great fatigue.' The Tathagatas sometimes ask about what they know; sometimes they do not ask about what they know. They understand the right time when to ask, and they understand the right time when not to ask. The Tathagatas put questions full of sense, not void of sense; to what is void of sense the bridge is pulled down for the Tathagatas. For two purposes the Great Buddhas put questions to the Bhikkhus, when they intend to preach the doctrine or when they intend to institute a rule of conduct to their disciples.

5. And the Lord Buddha said to the venerable Upananda Vangantaputta: 'How many years have you completed, O Bhikkhu, since your upasampada?'

'Two years, Lord.'

'And how many years has this Bhikkhu completed?'

'One year, Lord.'

'In what relation does this Bhikkhu stand to you?'

'He is my saddhiviharika, Lord.'

Then the Great Buddha rebuked him: 'This is improper, O foolish one, unbecoming, unsuitable, unworthy of a Samana(monk), unallowable, and to be avoided. How can you, O foolish one, who ought to receive exhortation and instruction from others, think yourself fit for administering exhortation and instruction to another Bhikkhu? Too quickly, O foolish one, have you taken up to the ambition of collecting followers. This will not do (&c.: as in chap. 30. 3). Let no one, O Bhikkhus(Monks), confer the upasampada ordination who has not completed ten years. He who does, is guilty of a dukkata offence. I prescribe, O Bhikkhus(Monks), that only he who has completed ten years or more than ten years, may confer the upasampada ordination.'

6. At that time ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus (who said), 'We have completed ten years (since our upasampada), we have completed ten years,' conferred the upasampada ordination; (thus) ignorant upajjhayas were found and clever saddhiviharikas; unlearned upajjhayas were found and learned saddhiviharikas; upajjhayas were found who had small knowledge, and saddhiviharikas who had great knowledge; foolish upajjhayas were found and wise saddhiviharikas. And a certain Bhikkhu who had formerly belonged to a Titthiya school, when his upajjhaya remonstrated with him (on certain offences) according to the Dhamma, brought his upajjhaya (by reasoning) to silence and went back to that same Titthiya school.

7. The moderate Bhikkhus were annoyed, murmured, and became angry: 'How can those ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus confer the upasampada ordination (saying); "We have completed ten years, we have completed ten years?" (Thus) ignorant upajjhayas are found and clever saddhiviharikas (&c., down to:), foolish upajjhayas are found and wise saddhiviharikas.'

These Bhikkhus told, &c.

'Is it true, O Bhikkhus(Monks), &c.?'

'It is true, Lord.'

8. Then the Great Buddha rebuked those Bhikkhus: 'How can these foolish persons, O Bhikkhus(Monks), confer the upasampada ordination (saying), "We have, &c?" (Thus) ignorant upajjhayas are found, &c. This will not do, O Bhikkhus(Monks), for converting the unconverted and for augmenting the number of the converted.'

Having rebuked those Bhikkhus and delivered a dhamma discourse, he thus addressed the Bhikkhus: 'Let no ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhu, O Bhikkhus(Monks), confer the upasampada ordination. If he does, he is guilty of a dukkata offence. I prescribe, O Bhikkhus(Monks), that only a learned, competent Bhikkhu who has completed ten years, or more than ten years, may confer the upasampada ordination.'

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