|Structure of the Tipitaka|
Tipitaka >> Vinaya Pitaka
The Vinaya Pitaka, the first division of the Tipitaka, is the textual framework upon which the monastic community (Sangha) is built. It includes not only the rules governing the life of every Theravada bhikkhu (monk) and bhikkhuni (nun), but also a host of procedures and conventions of etiquette that support harmonious relations, both among the monastics themselves, and between the monastics and their lay supporters, upon whom they depend for all their material needs.
When the Buddha first established the Sangha, the community initially lived in harmony without any codified rules of conduct. As the Sangha gradually grew in number and evolved into a more complex society, occasions inevitably arose when a member would act in an unskillful way. Whenever one of these cases was brought to the Buddha's attention, he would lay down a rule establishing a suitable punishment for the offense, as a deterrent to future misconduct.
The basic rules of conduct (Patimokkha) for bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, along with the "origin story" for each one.
Parajika: rules entailing expulsion from the Sangha. (4 for bhikkhus, 8 for bhikkhunis)
Sanghadisesa: rules entailing an initial and subsequent meeting of the Sangha. (13 for bhikkus, 17 for bhikkunis)
Aniyata: (indefinite) rules. (2 for bhikkus)
Nissaggiya pacittiya: rules entailing forfeiture and confession. (30 for both bhikkus and bhikkunis)
Pacittiya: rules entailing confession. (92 for bhikkus, 166 for bhikkunis)
Patidesaniya: rules entailing acknowledgement. (4 for bhikkus, 8 for bhikkunis)
Sekhiya: rules of training. (75 for both bhikkus and bhikkunis)
Adhikarana samatha: rules for settling disputes. (7 for both bhikkus and bhikkunis.)
1. Mahavagga - in addition to rules of conduct and etiquette for the Sangha, this section contains several important sutta-like texts, including an account of the period immediately following the Buddha's Awakening, his first sermons to the group of five monks, and stories of how some of his great disciples joined the Sangha and themselves attained Awakening.
The Mahavagga is composed of 10 chapters (or khandhakas):
Fifth Khandaka (Rules for foot-clothing, seats, vehicles, etc.)Edit
2. Cullavagga - an elaboration of the bhikkhus' etiquette and duties, as well as the rules and procedures for addressing offences that may be committed within the Sangha.
The Cullavagga is composed of 12 chapters (or khandhakas):
A recapitulation of the previous sections, with summaries of the rules classified and re-classified in various ways for instructional purposes. This volume is a manual, compiled in the form of a catechism, for reviewing one's knowledge of the Discipline.