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Tipitaka >> Vinaya Pitaka >> Mahavagga >> Second Khandaka >> 2.17

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


THE MAHAVAGGA

SECOND KHANDHAKA (THE UPOSATHA CEREMONY, AND THE PATIMOKKHA)

Chapter-17 : Recitaion Only by Learned Bhikkus.

1. Then the Lord Buddha, after having dwelt near Rajagaha as long as he thought fit, went forth on his pilgrimage to Kodanavatthu. Going from place to place on his pilgrimage, he came to Kodanavatthu. At that time there dwelt in a certain residence many Bhikkhus, the eldest of whom was an ignorant, unlearned person: he neither knew Uposatha, nor the Uposatha service, nor the Patimokkha, nor the recital of the Patimokkha.

2. Now those Bhikkhus thought: 'It has been prescribed by the Lord Buddha that the eldest Bhikku is master of the Patimokkha, and here the eldest of us is an ignorant, unlearned person: he neither knows Uposatha . . . nor the recital of the Patimokkha. Well, how are we to act?'

They told this thing to the Lord Buddha.

'I prescribe, O Bhikkhus(Monks), that (in such a case) that Bhikkhu who is (most) learned and competent, is to be made master of the Patimokkha.'

3. At that time there dwelt in a certain residence on the day of Uposatha many ignorant, unlearned Bhikkhus: they neither knew Uposatha . . . nor the recital of the Patimokkha. They called upon the Thera: 'May it please the Thera, reverend Sir, to recite the Patimokkha.' He replied: 'I am not competent to do so.' They called upon the next eldest, &c. He also replied, &c. They called upon the third eldest, &c. In this manner they called upon (all Bhikkhus) down to the youngest one: 'May it please the reverend brother to recite the Patimokkha.' He also replied: 'I am not competent, venerable Sirs, to do so.'

They told this thing to the Lord Buddha.

4, 5. 'When, O Bhikkhus(Monks), in a certain residence, &c.; in that case, O Bhikkhus(Monks), these Bhikkhus are instantly to send one Bhikkhu to the neighbouring residence (of Bhikkhus): "Go, friend, and come back when you have learnt the Patimokkha abridged or in its full extent."'

6. Now the Bhikkhus thought: 'By whom is (this Bhikkhu) to be sent?'

They told this thing to the Lord Buddha.

'I prescribe, O Bhikkhus(Monks), that the Thera is to give order to a young Bhikkhu.'

The young Bhikkhus, having received that order from the Thera, did not go.

They told this thing to the Lord Buddha.

'Let no one who has been ordered by the Thera refuse to go, unless he be sick. He who does not go, commits a dukkata offence.'

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