The First Khandhaka Sections 71–75
Admission to the Order of Bhikkhus

The First Khandhaka is the first part of the Mahavagga.
The Mahavagga is the first part of the Khandhaka.
The Khandhaka is the second part of the Vinaya Pitaka ("Basket of Discipline").
The Vinaya Pitaka is the first part of the Tipitaka ("Three Baskets"), a.k.a. the Pali Canon.
The Tipitaka is the major religious text of Theravada Buddhism.

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The First Khandhaka (Pali for "Expositions") is quite a long piece (the longest of the four Khandhakas in the Mahavagga), divided into seventy-nine parts, containing stories concerning the origin of the rules of the Patimokkha by giving an account of what the Buddha did following his enlightenment. This excerpt contains some specifics about the upasampadâ ordination and who may or may not receive it.

The text was translated by T. W. Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg in 1881; the translation is in the public domain. It was taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe13/index.htm. Text in [square brackets] (and all pipelinks) was added and does not appear in the translation; text in (parentheses) does appear in the translation.


71

1 At that time the Bhikkhus conferred the pabbaggâ ordination on a person whose hands were cut off, on a person whose feet were cut off, whose hands and feet were cut off, whose ears were cut off, whose nose was cut off, whose ears and nose were cut off, whose fingers were cut off, whose thumbs were cut off, whose tendons (of the feet) were cut, who had hands like a snake's hood [Buddhaghosa: "whose fingers were grown together, like bats' wings"], who was a hump-back, or a dwarf, or a person that had a goiter, that had been branded, that had been scourged, on a proclaimed robber, on a person that had elephantiasis, that was afflicted with bad illness, that gave offence (by any deformity) to those who saw him, on a one-eyed person, on a person with a crooked limb, on a lame person, on a person that was paralysed on one side, on a cripple, on a person weak from age, on a blind man, on a dumb man, on a deaf man, on a blind and dumb man, on a blind and deaf man, on a deaf and dumb man, on a blind, deaf and dumb man.

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'Let no person, O Bhikkhus, whose hands are cut off, receive the pabbaggâ ordination. Let no person whose feet are cut off, receive the pabbaggâ ordination, &c. (each of the above cases being here repeated). He who confers the pabbaggâ ordination (on such persons), is guilty of a dukkata offence.'

Here end the thirty-two cases in which pabbaggâ. is forbidden.

End of the ninth Bhânavâra.

72

1 At that time the Khabbaggiya Bhikkhus gave a nissaya to shameless Bhikkhus.

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'Let no one, O Bhikkhus, give a nissaya to shameless Bhikkhus. He who does, is guilty of a dukkata offence.'

At that time some Bhikkhus lived in dependence on shameless Bhikkhus (i.e. they received a nissaya from them, they chose them for their upagghâyas or âkariyas); ere long they became also shameless, bad Bhikkhus.

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'Let no one, O Bhikkhus, live in dependence on shameless Bhikkhus. He who does, is guilty of a dukkata offence.'

2 Now the Bhikkhus thought: 'The Blessed One has prescribed that we shall not give a nissaya to shameless Bhikkhus, nor live in dependence on shameless Bhikkhus. Now how are we to discern modest and shameless persons?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that you wait first four or five days until you have seen how a Bhikkhu behaves to the other Bhikkhus.'

73

1 At that time a certain Bhikkhu was travelling on the road in the Kosala country. Now this Bhikkhu thought: 'The Blessed One has prescribed that we shall not live without a nissaya (of an âkariya and an upagghâya); now I want a nissaya, but I am travelling. What am I to do?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I allow, O Bhikkhus, a travelling Bhikkhu who can get no nissaya, to live without a nissaya.'

2 At that time two Bhikkhus were travelling on the road in the Kosala country. They came to a certain residence; there one of the two Bhikkhus was taken ill. Now that sick Bhikkhu thought: 'The Blessed One has prescribed that we shall not live without a nissaya; now I want a nissaya, but I am sick. What am I to do?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I allow, O Bhikkhus, a sick Bhikkhu who can get no nissaya, to live without a nissaya.'

3 Now the other Bhikkhu, who nursed that sick Bhikkhu, thought: 'The Blessed One has prescribed, &c.; now I want a nissaya, but this Bhikkhu is sick. What am I to do?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I allow, O Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu who is nursing a sick Bhikkhu, if he can get no nissaya and the sick asks him (to remain with him), to live without a nissaya.'

4 At that time a certain Bhikkhu lived in the forest; he had a dwelling-place where he lived pleasantly. Now this Bhikkhu thought: 'The Blessed One has prescribed, &c.; now I want a nissaya, but I live in the forest and have a dwelling-place where I live pleasantly. What am I to do?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I allow, O Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu living in the forest who finds a place where he may live pleasantly, p. 228 and who can get (there) no nissaya, to live without a nissaya (saying to himself): "If a proper person to give me nissaya comes hither, I will take nissaya of that person."

74

1 At that time there was a person that desired to receive the upasampadâ ordination from the venerable Mahâkassapa. Then the venerable Mahâkassapa sent a messenger to the venerable Ânanda: 'Come, Ânanda, and recite the upasampadâ proclamation for this person.' The venerable Ânanda said: 'I cannot pronounce the Thera's (i.e. Mahâkassapa's) name; the Thera is too venerable compared with me.'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to use also the family name (of the upagghâya, instead of his proper name) in the proclamation.'

2 At that time there were two persons that desired to receive the upasampadâ ordination from the venerable Mahâkassapa. They quarrelled with each other. (One said): 'I will receive the upasampadâ ordination first. ' (The other said): 'Nay, I will receive it first.' They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to ordain two persons by one proclamation.'

3 At that time there were persons who desired to receive the upasampadâ ordination from different Theras. They quarrelled with each other. (One said); , 1 will receive the upasampadâ ordination first.' (The other said): 'Nay, I will receive it first.' The Theras said: 'Well, friends, let us ordain them altogether by one proclamation.'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to ordain two or three persons by one proclamation, provided they have the same upagghâya, but not if they have different upagghâyas.'

75

At that time the venerable Kumârakassapa had received the upasampadâ ordination when he had completed the twentieth year from his conception (but not from his birth). Now the venerable Kumârakassapa thought: 'The Blessed One has forbidden us to confer the upasampadâ ordination on persons under twenty years of age, and I have completed my twentieth year (only) from my conception. Have I, therefore, received the upasampadâ ordination, or have I not received it?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'When, O Bhikkhus, in the womb the first thought rises up (in the nascent being), the first consciousness manifests itself, according to this the (true) birth should be reckoned. I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to confer the upasampadâ ordination on persons that have completed the twentieth year from their conception (only).'

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