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Tipitaka >> Vinaya Pitaka >> Mahavagga >> First Khandaka >> 1.39

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


THE MAHAVAGGA

FIRST KHANDHAKA(THE FORMATION OF THE ORDER OF BHIKKHUS)

Chapter-39 : No Ordination to Those Having the Five Diseases.

1. At that time these five diseases prevailed among the people of Magadha:--leprosy, boils, dry leprosy, consumption, and fits. The people who were affected with these five diseases went to Jivaka Komarabhakka and said: 'pray, doctor, cure us.'

'I have too many duties', Sirs, and am too occupied. I have to treat the Magadha king Seniya Bimbisara, and the royal seraglio, and the fraternity of Bhikkhus with the Buddha at their head. I cannot cure you.

'All that we possess shall be yours, doctor, and we will be your slaves; pray, doctor, cure us.'

'I have too many duties, Sirs, &c.; I cannot cure you.'

2. Now those people thought: 'Indeed the precepts which these Sakyaputtiya Samanas keep and the life they live are comfortable; they have good meals and lie down on beds protected from the wind. What if we were to embrace the dhamma life among the Sakyaputtiya Samanas: then the Bhikkhus will nurse us, and Jivaka Komarabhakka, will cure us.'

Thus these persons went to the Bhikkhus and asked them for the pabbajja ordination; the Bhikkhus conferred on them the pabbajja and upasampada ordinations; and the Bhikkhus(Monks) nursed them, and Jivaka Komarabhakka cured them.

3. At that time the Bhikkhus, who had to nurse many sick Bhikkhus, began to solicit (lay people) with many demands and many requests: 'Give us food for the sick; give us food for the tenders of the sick; give us medicine for the sick.' And also Jivaka Komarabhakka, who had to treat many sick Bhikkhus, neglected some of his duties to the king.

4. Now one day a man who was affected with the five diseases went to Jivaka Komarabhakka and said:'Pray, doctor, cure me.'

'I have too many duties, Sir, and am too occupied; I have to treat the Magadha king Seniya Bimbisara, and the royal seraglio, and the fraternity of Bhikkhus with the Buddha at their head; I cannot cure you.'

'All that I possess shall be yours, doctor, and I will be your slave; pray doctor, cure me.'

'I have too many duties, Sir, &c.; I cannot cure you.

5. Now that man thought: 'Indeed the precepts which these Sakyaputtiya Samanas keep (&c., down to:): then the Bhikkhus will nurse me, and Jivaka Komarabhakka will cure me. When I have become free from sickness, then I will return to the world.'

Thus that man went to the Bhikkhus and asked them for the pabbajja ordination; the Bhikkhus conferred on him the pabbajja and upasampada ordinations; and the Bhikkhus nursed him, and Jivaka Komarabhakka cured him. When he had become free from sickness, he returned to the world. Now Jivaka Komarabhakka saw this person that had returned to the world; and when he saw him he asked that person: 'Had you not embraced the dhamma life, Sir, among the Bhikkhus?'

'Yes, doctor.'

'And why have you adopted such a course, Sir?'

Then that man told Jivaka Komarabhakka the whole matter .

6. Then Jivaka Komarabhakka was annoyed, murmured, and became angry: 'How can the venerable brethren confer the pabbajja ordination on a person affected with the five diseases?'

And Jivaka Komarabhakka went to the place where the Lord Buddha was; having approached him and having respectfully saluted the Lord Buddha, he sat down near him. Sitting near him, Jivaka Komarabhakka said to the Lord Buddha: 'Pray, Lord, let their reverences not confer the pabbajja ordination on persons affected with the five diseases.'

7. Then the Lord Buddha taught, encouraged, animated, and gladdened Jivaka Komarabhakka by dhamma discourse; and Jivaka Komarabhakka, having been taught . . . . and gladdened by the Lord Buddha by dhamma discourse, rose from his seat, respectfully saluted the Lord Buddha, and passing round him with his right side towards him, went away.

In consequence of that and on this occasion the Lord Buddha, after having delivered a dhamma discourse, thus addressed the Bhikkhus(Monks): 'Let no one, O Bhikkhus(Monks), who is affected with the five diseases, receive the pabbajja ordination. He who confers the pabbajja ordination ( on such a person), is guilty of a dukkata offence.'

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