Vinaya Pitaka

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

Vinaya Pitaka

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:45 am

Hi all

- Is the Vinaya pitaka we have in the present Pali Canon the same Vinaya laid down by the historical Buddha?

- What are the key differences between the Theravadin Vinaya, the Dharmagupta Vinaya and the Mulasarvastivadin Vinaya?

- Does the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya, or the Mulasarvastivadin Vinaya espouse to be the historical word of the Buddha, with the same tenacity as the Theravadin Vinaya?

I am somewhat aware of the Theravadin 'party line' (not as in phone chat LOL) and I'd like to be clear that I am more interested in a non-sectarian POV. Edit: Perhaps the party line needs to be reiterated anyway.

metta
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:26 am

In my opinion, based on readings from it and from the reports of some scholars:

Sutta Vibhanga & Patimokkha are Buddhavacana

Khandhaka & Cullavagga, slightly more recent, perhaps not recited at the First Council

Parivara = much later text, about the same timing of the Abhidhamma

The "bread and butter" most important part is the Patikmokkha and that appears to be authentic & Buddhavacana.
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby suanck » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:31 am

BlackBird wrote:
- What are the key differences between the Theravadin Vinaya, the Dharmagupta Vinaya and the Mulasarvastivadin Vinaya?


They are almost identical, except in the Sekhiya group (group of training rules): The Theravada Vinaya has 75 rules, while the Dharmagupta has 100 rules and the Mulasarvastivadin has 99 rules. The differences are very minor.

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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby suanck » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:12 am

Additional notes:

We now have the Vinaya Pitaka of 6 main Buddhist schools. They are very similar, except the minor rules in the Sekhiya group.

1) Theravada: in Pali and English translation by PTS.
2) Mulasarvastivada in Tibetan (Dul-ba), and also in Chinese (Taisho 1442).
3) Dharmaguptaka in Chinese (T 1428).
4) Sarvastivada in Chinese (T 1435).
5) Mahisasaka in Chinese (T 1421).
6) Mahasanghika in Chinese (T 1425).

I'm not sure if 2-6 are available in English. However, I believe that as part of recent movement of bhikkhuni ordination, the bhikkhuni vinaya of the Dharmaguptaka & Mulasarvastivada have been studied and translated into English.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinaya_Pitaka

Suan.
Last edited by suanck on Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:24 am

Warning: Don't be fooled by that little "mula" in the "Mulasarvastivada". It is almost definitely later than the "Sarvastivada", and one of the latest Vinaya texts around.

In the Chinese, in addition to the Vinayas listed above, there are also a host of other related Vinaya material from India, too. This includes the a Chinese translation of the Samantapasadika commentary from Sri Lanka! There are a couple of English versions of this around.

Nattier, Janice J., and Prebish, Charles S., “Mahāsāṃghika Origins: The Beginnings of Buddhist Sectarianism” History of Religions 16/3, 1977, has some interesting stuff on the Mahasamghikas and their Vinaya in relation to the first schism in the community.
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:31 am

BlackBird wrote:Hi all

- Is the Vinaya pitaka we have in the present Pali Canon the same Vinaya laid down by the historical Buddha?


Most professors of Buddhism wouldn't even touch a question like that! haha!
But, in short, no. But this has to do more with the actual contents of the Vinaya, than it not being the Buddha's teaching.

- What are the key differences between the Theravadin Vinaya, the Dharmagupta Vinaya and the Mulasarvastivadin Vinaya?


Whew! You have to really look at them all, not just these (eclectic) three.

- Does the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya, or the Mulasarvastivadin Vinaya espouse to be the historical word of the Buddha, with the same tenacity as the Theravadin Vinaya?


Of course, they all do.

I am somewhat aware of the Theravadin 'party line' (not as in phone chat LOL) and I'd like to be clear that I am more interested in a non-sectarian POV. Edit: Perhaps the party line needs to be reiterated anyway.

metta
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A "non-sectarian POV"? They are all kind of sectarian. The big trouble is, how to go from a whole lot of sectarian to a non-sectarian, that is the trick!
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby cooran » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:47 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
BlackBird wrote:Hi all

- Is the Vinaya pitaka we have in the present Pali Canon the same Vinaya laid down by the historical Buddha?


Most professors of Buddhism wouldn't even touch a question like that! haha!
But, in short, no. But this has to do more with the actual contents of the Vinaya, than it not being the Buddha's teaching.

- What are the key differences between the Theravadin Vinaya, the Dharmagupta Vinaya and the Mulasarvastivadin Vinaya?


Whew! You have to really look at them all, not just these (eclectic) three.

- Does the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya, or the Mulasarvastivadin Vinaya espouse to be the historical word of the Buddha, with the same tenacity as the Theravadin Vinaya?


Of course, they all do.

I am somewhat aware of the Theravadin 'party line' (not as in phone chat LOL) and I'd like to be clear that I am more interested in a non-sectarian POV. Edit: Perhaps the party line needs to be reiterated anyway.

metta
Jack :heart:


A "non-sectarian POV"? They are all kind of sectarian. The big trouble is, how to go from a whole lot of sectarian to a non-sectarian, that is the trick!



Hello Venerable,

Are you saying that the Theravada Vinaya has not been kept in the pristine form it was handed down from the Buddha? That it has been altered from when it was sung by the Arahants at the Councils?
What has been altered or distorted - and for what reason? How was it that this occurred?

metta
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:47 am

I'll refer you to the article mentioned above.

A very brief look that compares the basic contents of the various Vinayas shows that they differ. The number of precepts, etc. are not the same.

Although earlier studies which focused almost exclusively on the Pali tended to suggest that the Pali Vinaya was perfectly unaltered and it was the others that had been "tampered" with (and other loaded words), there is also very good evidence to suggest that many schools had added a few more precepts to their Vinayas. Mostly fairly minor stuff, actually. The major precepts are largely left unchanged in all the schools.

Alteration does not imply distortion. There is plenty of evidence that most of the early Buddhist material has developed somewhat over a period of time, but this does not necessarily mean that it is distorted, ie. erroneous, false, incorrect, etc.

Often people think that being different, or altered, is always through some sort of nefarious "tampering" and "meddling" and other such ideas which are largely derogatory. However, given the nature of development of oral literature, and even early forms of written literature, this may be be the case. Small changes may occur for other reasons. And these reasons may be fully in the same intent and spirit as the original.

I am not sure which council you are referring to? The first, second, third ... seventh?
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:57 am

Thank you Bhante.

What is growing on me is the idea that Buddhavacana does not have to be the word of the historical Buddha (as we discussed in a previous thread).

I'm okay with that. Actually it's a bit of a relief.

metta
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:59 am

BlackBird wrote:Thank you Bhante.

What is growing on me is the idea that Buddhavacana does not have to be the word of the historical Buddha (as we discussed in a previous thread).

I'm okay with that. Actually it's a bit of a relief.

metta
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:group:
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:45 am

hi Jack, Paññāsikhara & All

Paññāsikhara wrote:Although earlier studies which focused almost exclusively on the Pali tended to suggest that the Pali Vinaya was perfectly unaltered and it was the others that had been "tampered" with (and other loaded words), there is also very good evidence to suggest that many schools had added a few more precepts to their Vinayas. Mostly fairly minor stuff, actually. The major precepts are largely left unchanged in all the schools.


Without looking for the quote, the Buddha did allow for minor rules to be discarded or altered, but didn't mention what they are,in the Parinibbana sutta, if I remember correctly?
but jack contact Ashin! our teacher, Ashin Nyanissara, has talked about certain differences such as the rules regarding vegetarianism and why they developed in a video I watched a while ago, plus he is the head/patron(?) of the International Buddhist Missionary university in Burma, so may have some more specific info.
There is a book about the Bhikkhuni rules of the six schools, but don't know a direct link & it is only mentioned not linked to on A2I

BlackBird wrote:What is growing on me is the idea that Buddhavacana does not have to be the word of the historical Buddha (as we discussed in a previous thread)

I wonder if you were thinking of the Abhiddhama Authenticity debate (pinned thread)? myself and retro were talking about this there.
personally I think anyone can say something which could be considered Buddhavacana, but it shouldn't necessarily be considered as such, even if they are enlightened. only if it rouses samvega and conforms to what the Buddha Taught (Dhp 183/samsipa sutta) should it be considered as such on a personal level, and I tend to agree with retro on the general side, i.e., the Buddha gave his stamp of approval.
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby Chula » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:36 pm

Somewhat unrelated, but I recall a passage where a bhikkhu tells the Buddha that he can't remember the Vinaya, and the Buddha tells him to train in "heightened virtue, heightened mind and heightened discernment" in that case.

If I haven't remembered wrong the bhikkhu was complaining that the Patimokkha now had 150 rules.. Interesting since now it contains 227..
Does anyone know where this passage is from? I'll try to find it later today otherwise..
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:49 pm

Greetings Chula,

Patimokkha rules were added as cause to arose them add.

It's entirely plausible that at the time the bhikkhu spoke to the Buddha the count was up to 150... and that there was still time prior to the Buddha's final nibbana for more to be added as a result of later indiscretions by members of the Sangha.

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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby puthujjana » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:00 pm

Chula wrote:If I haven't remembered wrong the bhikkhu was complaining that the Patimokkha now had 150 rules.. Interesting since now it contains 227..
Does anyone know where this passage is from?

Hej Chula,

it's from AN 3:83.

Bhikkhu Bodhi's note on the 150-rules-passage:

"This is said with reference to the Patimokha, the code of monastic rules, which in its Pali version actually contains 227 rules. Perhaps at this time the Patimokha had not yet reached its final shape."

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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby Chula » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:31 pm

Thanks puthujjana for the reference.

And yes retro I agree that it's entirely plausible that the remaining rules were set later by the Buddha himself. I was just curious because this is the only explicit reference to the number of Vinaya rules in the Sutta Pitaka to my knowledge..
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby suanck » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:41 am

puthujjana wrote:
Chula wrote:If I haven't remembered wrong the bhikkhu was complaining that the Patimokkha now had 150 rules.. Interesting since now it contains 227..
Does anyone know where this passage is from?

Hej Chula,

it's from AN 3:83.

Bhikkhu Bodhi's note on the 150-rules-passage:

"This is said with reference to the Patimokha, the code of monastic rules, which in its Pali version actually contains 227 rules. Perhaps at this time the Patimokha had not yet reached its final shape."

:anjali:


That's why B.C. Law wrote an article entitled "Chronology of the Pali Canon", in which he suggested the Vinaya Pitaka was developed in stages over the period of 300 years, after the Buddha's Parinibbana:

1) earlier Patimokkha code of 152 rules; then
2) the Suttavibhanga; then
3) the Mahavagga and the Cullavagga, the Patimokkha code completing 227 rules; then
4) the Parivarapatha.

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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:39 am

suanck wrote:
puthujjana wrote:
Chula wrote:If I haven't remembered wrong the bhikkhu was complaining that the Patimokkha now had 150 rules.. Interesting since now it contains 227..
Does anyone know where this passage is from?

Hej Chula,

it's from AN 3:83.

Bhikkhu Bodhi's note on the 150-rules-passage:

"This is said with reference to the Patimokha, the code of monastic rules, which in its Pali version actually contains 227 rules. Perhaps at this time the Patimokha had not yet reached its final shape."

:anjali:


That's why B.C. Law wrote an article entitled "Chronology of the Pali Canon", in which he suggested the Vinaya Pitaka was developed in stages over the period of 300 years, after the Buddha's Parinibbana:

1) earlier Patimokkha code of 152 rules; then
2) the Suttavibhanga; then
3) the Mahavagga and the Cullavagga, the Patimokkha code completing 227 rules; then
4) the Parivarapatha.

Suan.


Well, one must keep in mind how many of the rules are also found in the Mahasamghika Vinaya, if we suppose that the first schism occurred about 70-116 after the Parinibbana. I don't think BC Law referred to the Chinese Vinaya texts (much, if at all). Such is old scholarship. For 227 years, 300 years seems probably far to long to me. Should be about the time of the second council.
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:40 am

Chula wrote:Somewhat unrelated, but I recall a passage where a bhikkhu tells the Buddha that he can't remember the Vinaya, and the Buddha tells him to train in "heightened virtue, heightened mind and heightened discernment" in that case.

If I haven't remembered wrong the bhikkhu was complaining that the Patimokkha now had 150 rules.. Interesting since now it contains 227..
Does anyone know where this passage is from? I'll try to find it later today otherwise..


And just think how many arhats there were, who may have spread far and wide to teach the Dhamma, before even the first rule of the Vinaya was established. Many would have been forest meditators, highly realized and wise - yet not a single rule of Vinaya. Of course, they would still have natural restraint as their kilesas would have been completely removed, but that is not the "Vinaya" we are referring to here.
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby Bankei » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:17 am

As religions develop they tend to get more complex. There is an argument that the dating of the vinayas can be determined by the number of rules they contain - look at the Mulasarvastivada it is clearly late and has the most rules. There seems to be a tendency to add rules when new situations arise - this is the same with secular law too. It is interesting to note the Mahasamghika have the least number of rules. The common rules in the vinaya could be the core rules before the schisms into various schools. But Gregory Schopen has pointed out the vinaya/suttas could have common parts because of later borrowings from other schools.

The article by Prebish and Nattier also provide some evidence that the Theravada added to their vinaya rules.

K.R. Norman has also commented on the language of the Pali vinaya and said it was so corrupt in some places as to be incomprehensible. I can't remember where I read this, but think he was referring to the section on Kathina, and that it can only be properly understood by referring to other traditions and translations.

Bhikkhuni Dhammananda (Chatsumarn Kabilsingh), wrote her Ph.D. thesis on a comparison of the six different vinayas and wrote a book including a translating them all, see:
The Bhikkhuni Patimokkha of the Six Schools
By Chatsumarn Kabilsingh Ph.D.
A translation the monastic rules of Buddhist nuns or the Patimokkha of the Six Schools.
http://www.buddhist-elibrary.org/librar ... adpath=112 (free download)
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Re: Vinaya Pitaka

Postby suanck » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:56 am

Bankei wrote:
Bhikkhuni Dhammananda (Chatsumarn Kabilsingh), wrote her Ph.D. thesis on a comparison of the six different vinayas and wrote a book including a translating them all, see:
The Bhikkhuni Patimokkha of the Six Schools
By Chatsumarn Kabilsingh Ph.D.
A translation the monastic rules of Buddhist nuns or the Patimokkha of the Six Schools.
http://www.buddhist-elibrary.org/librar ... adpath=112 (free download)


It should be noted that in the Introduction, Ven Dhammananda wrote that the 5 Chinese Vinayas were translated from Chinese to Thai by a Chinese-Thai scholar. Subsequently, she used the Thai translation for her research and later translated from Thai to English.

Suan.
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