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Tipitaka >> Vinaya Pitaka >> Mahavagga >> First Khandaka >> 1.49

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


THE MAHAVAGGA

FIRST KHANDHAKA(THE FORMATION OF THE ORDER OF BHIKKHUS)

Chapter-49 : No Ordination to those Below 20 Years.

1. At that time there was in Rajagaha a company of seventeen boys, friends of each other; young Upali was first among them. Now Upali's father and mother thought: 'How will Upali after our death live a life of ease and without pain?' Then Upali's father and mother said to themselves: 'If Upali could learn writing, he would after our death live a life of ease and without pain.' But then Upali's father and mother thought again: 'If Upali learns writing, his fingers will become sore. But if Upali could learn arithmetic, he would after our death live a life of ease and without pain.'

2. But then Upali's father and mother thought again: 'If Upali learns arithmetic, his breast will become diseased. But if Upali could learn money-changing, he would after our death live a life of ease and comfort, and without pain.' But then Upali's father and mother said to themselves: 'If Upali learns money-changing, his eyes will suffer. Now here are the Sakyaputtiya Samanas(monks), who keep comfortable precepts and live a comfortable life; they have good meals and lie down on beds protected from the wind. If Upali could be ordained with the Sakyaputtiya Samanas, he would after our death live a life of ease and without pain.'

3. Now young Upali heard his father and mother talking thus. Then young Upali went to the other boys; having approached them, he said to those boys: 'Come, Sirs, let us get ordained with the Sakyaputtiya Samanas.' (They replied): 'If you will get ordained, Sir, we will be ordained also.' Then those boys went each to his father and mother and said to them: 'Give me your consent for leaving the world and going forth into the houseless state(i.e. monkhood).' Then the parents of those boys, who thought, 'It is a good thing what all these boys are wishing so unanimously for, gave their consent. They went to the Bhikkhus(Monks) and asked them for the pabbajja ordination. The Bhikkhus conferred the pabbajja and upasampada ordinations on them.

4. In the night, at dawn, they rose and began to cry: 'Give us rice-milk, give us soft food, give us hard food!' The Bhikkhus said: 'Wait, friends, till day-time. If there is rice-milk, you shall drink; if there is food, soft or hard, you shall eat; if there is no rice-milk and no food, soft or hard, you must go out for alms, and then you will eat.'

But those Bhikkhus, when they were thus spoken to by the other Bhikkhus, threw their bedding about and made it wet, calling out: 'Give us rice-milk, give us soft food, give us hard food!'

5. Then the Lord Buddha, having arisen in the night, at dawn, heard the noise which those boys made; hearing it he said to the venerable Ananda: 'Now, Ananda, what noise of boys is that?'

Then the venerable Ananda told the thing to the Lord Buddha.

'Is it true, O Bhikkhus(Monks), that the Bhikkhus knowingly confer the upasampada ordination on persons under twenty years of age?'

'It is true, Lord.'

Then the Lord Buddha rebuked those Bhikkhus: 'How can those foolish persons, O Bhikkhus(Monks), knowingly confer the upasampada ordination on persons under twenty years of age?

6. 'A person under twenty years, O Bhikkhus(Monks), cannot endure coldness and heat, hunger and thirst, vexation by gadflies and gnats, by storms and sun-heat, and by reptiles; (he cannot endure) abusive, offensive language; he is not able to bear bodily pains which are severe, sharp, grievous, disagreeable, unpleasant, and destructive to life; while a person that has twenty years of age, O Bhikkhus(Monks), can endure coldness, &c. This will not do, O Bhikkhus(Monks), for converting the unconverted and for augmenting the number of the converted.'

Having rebuked those Bhikkhus(Monks) and delivered a dhamma discourse, he thus addressed the Bhikkhus: 'Let no one, O Bhikkhus(Monks), knowingly confer the upasampada ordination on a person under twenty years of age. He who does, is to be treated according to the law.'

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