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Tipitaka >> Vinaya Pitaka >> Mahavagga >> Fifth Khandaka >> 5.10

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


THE MAHAVAGGA

FIFTH KHANDHAKA(RULES FOR FOOT-CLOTHING, SEATS, VEHICLES, ETC.)

Chapter-10 : Not to use Ornamented Cusions/Carpets; Not to Use Animal Skins; Not to Kill Animals; Sick Allowed to use vehicles.

1. Now at that time a certain Bhikkhu, as he was passing through the Kosala country to Savatthi, to visit the Lord Buddha, was taken ill on the way. And that Bhikkhu went aside out of the road, and sat down at the foot of a certain tree.

When people saw him sitting there, they said: 'Where is your reverence going?'

'I am going, friends, to Savatthi to visit the Lord Buddha.'

2. 'Come along, Sir; let us go together.'

'I cannot, friends. I am sick.'

'Well then, Sir, get up into the cart.'

'Enough, friends! The Lord Buddha has forbidden the use of vehicles.' And fearing to offend, he refused to get up into the cart.

And when that Bhikkhu had come to Savatthi, he told this thing to the Bhikkhus, and they told it to the Lord Buddha.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus(Monks), if you are sick, to use a cart.'

Now the Bhikkhus thought: 'Should the carts be yoked with cows or bulls?'

They told this thing to the Lord Buddha.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus(Monks), to use a cart drawn by bullocks, or by hand.'

Now at that time a certain Bhikkhu was exceedingly distressed by the jolting of a cart.

I allow you, O Bhikkhus(Monks), the use of a litter or a sedan-chair.'

3. Now at that time the Chabbaggiya Bhikkhus were in the habit of using lofty and large things to recline upon, that is to say: large cushions ; divans; coverlets with long fleece; counterpanes of many colours, woollen coverlets , white or marked with thick flowers; mattresses; cotton coverlets, dyed with figures of animals; rugs with long hair on one or both sides; carpets inlaid with gold, or with silk; large woollen carpets such as the nautch girls (dance girls) dance upon ; rich elephant housings, horse-rugs, or carriage rugs; panther or antelope skins; couches covered with canopies, or with crimson cushions at both ends.

When people, who went to visit the Viharas(monasteries), saw these things, they were annoyed, murmured, and became angry, thinking, 'This is as if they were still enjoying the pleasures of the world.'

They told this thing to the Lord Buddha.

4. 'Lofty and large things to recline upon, such as large cushions (&c., as in § 3, down to:) cushions crimson at both ends, are not, O Bhikkhus(Monks), to be

used. Whosoever uses them, is guilty of a dukkata offence.'

5. Now at that time the Chabbaggiya Bhikkhus, since the use of lofty and large things to recline upon had been forbidden by the Lord Buddha, used to use fine skins, such as lion, tiger, and panther skins. These skins were cut to fit the couches, and to fit the chairs; and were spread inside or outside the couches or the chairs.

When people, who went to visit the Viharas, saw these things, they were annoyed, murmured, and became angry, thinking, 'This is as if they were still enjoying the pleasures of the world.'

They told this thing to the Lord Buddha.

6. 'Fine skins, such as lion, tiger, and panther skins, are not, O Bhikkhus(Monks), to be used. Whosoever does so, is guilty of a dukkata offence.'

7. Now at that time the Chabbaggiya Bhikkhus, since fine skins had been forbidden by the Lord Buddha, began to use the skins of oxen. These skins were cut to fit the couches, or the chairs; and were spread inside or outside the couches, or the chairs.

Now a certain Bhikkhu of bad character was a friend of the family of a certain lay-disciple of a bad character. And that bad Bhikkhu, early one morning, dressed himself, and with his robe on and his bowl in his hand, went to the dwelling-place of that bad disciple, and sat down on a seat made ready for him. And the bad disciple went up to the place where the bad Bhikkhu was, and saluted him, and took his seat beside him.

8. Now at that time that bad disciple had a young bull beautiful to behold, quiet, and varied in colour like a panther's cub. And the bad Bhikkhu gazed with longing at the bull. And that bad disciple said to that bad Bhikkhu: 'Why does your reverence gaze so with longing at that bull?'

'My friend,' said he, 'I want that bull's skin.'

Then that bad disciple slew that bull, and skinned it, and gave it to that bad Bhikkhu. And that bad Bhikkhu, hiding that skin under his robe, went away.

9. Now the cow, greedy for her calf, followed that bad Bhikkhu, keeping behind him. The Bhikkhus said:

'How is it, friend, that this cow keeps following so behind you?'

'I don't know, friends, why it should keep following me.'

But that bad Bhikkhu's robe was soiled with blood; and the Bhikkhus asked him,

'How has this robe of yours got marked with blood?'

Then he told them the whole matter.

'How is that, Sir? You have been causing another to deprive a living thing of life!' 'That is so, friends.'

The modest among the Bhikkhus were annoyed, murmured, and became angry, saying, 'How can this Bhikkhu induce a man to deprive a living thing of life? Has not the taking of life been censured, and the abstinence from that been praised in many a discourse by the Lord Buddha?'

And the Bhikkhus told this thing to the Lord Buddha.

Then the Lord Buddha held because of this, and on that occasion, an assembly of the community of Bhikkhus, and asked that wicked Bhikkhu,

'Is it true, as they say, that you, O Bhikkhu, have been inducing another to deprive a living thing of life?'

'It is true, Lord.'

'But how can you be so foolish as to do so? Have I not censured in many a discourse the taking of life, O foolish one, and praised the abstinence from that? Such conduct, you foolish one, will not conduce to the conversion of the unconverted!'

And having thus rebuked him, and delivered a dhamma discourse, he addressed the Bhikkhus, and said:

Bhikkhus! No one shall cause a living thing to be deprived of life. Whosoever does so shall be dealt with according to the Laws. Ox-skins are not to be worn, O Bhikkhus. Whosoever does so, is guilty of a dukkata offence. And neither, O Bhikkhus(Monks), is any skin to be made use of at all. Whosoever does so, is guilty of a dukkata offence.'

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