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Tipitaka >> Vinaya Pitaka >> Mahavagga >> First Khandaka >> 1.51

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


THE MAHAVAGGA

FIRST KHANDHAKA(THE FORMATION OF THE ORDER OF BHIKKHUS)

Chapter-51 : Ordination allowed to Orphans Below 15 Years.

At that time a believing, pious family, who devoted themselves to the (especial) service of the venerable Ananda, had died of pestilence. Only two boys were left; these, when seeing Bhikkhus, ran up to them according to their old custom, but the Bhikkhus turned them away. When they were turned away by the Bhikkhus, they cried. Now the venerable Ananda thought: 'The Lord Buddha has forbidden us to confer the pabbajja ordination on a boy under fifteen years of age, and these boys are under fifteen years of age. What can be done in order that these boys may not perish?' And the venerable Ananda told this thing to the. Lord Buddha.

'Are these boys able, Ananda, to scare crows?'

'They are, Lord.'

In consequence of that and on this occasion the Lord Buddha, after having delivered a dhamma discourse, thus addressed the Bhikkhus: 'I allow you, O Bhikkhus(Monks), to confer the pabbajja ordination on boys even under fifteen years of age if they can scare crows.'

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