Open main menu

Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 13.djvu/24

This page needs to be proofread.
xviii
VINAYA TEXTS FROM THE PÂLI.

literature of the Buddhist Dhamma—much of which was no doubt in existence at a very early date—should have reacted upon the literature of the Buddhist Vinaya. The members of the Order were no longer contented to learn, and to understand the meaning of, the various Rules of the P&timokkha. A desire sprang up to have, for each one of them also, a kind of historical basis; to know the story of how the Buddha himself came to lay down the Rule to his disciples. And it was only the Brother who was properly acquainted with all this who was accounted a real 'Doctor of the Law.'

So it is said in the Kullavagga (IX, 5, 1): — 'If a Brother, Up£li, has not received gladly both the Patimokkhas in their full extent, has not well divided them, well established them, well investigated them, both sutta by sutta, and in every detail; if when asked," Where was this spoken by the Blessed One?" he fail to solve the question: then there will be some who will say to him, " But then, let the venerable one still devote himself to learning the Vinaya!" thus will they say1.'

It is evident from this passage that, at the time when it was written, such a tradition regarding each Rule was in existence ; and that the knowledge of these traditions was held in high esteem. It is therefore a reasonable conjecture that steps were taken to amalgamate these traditions with the Text and the Old Commentary in a complete work, which should also contain what we may call Notes on the Rules — that is, decisions on points of Law involved, though not expressed in so many words, in the Rules; discussions on what cases were really included and what were not, in particular regulations; enumeration of exceptions to the Rules; and so on.

Whether this conjecture be right or not, it is precisely such a work that we have now before us in that part of the Vinaya Pi/aka called the Sutta-vibhanga, and divided

No ke Upali bhikkhuno ubhayani P&timokkh&ni vitthirena sv&gatani honti suvibhattani suppavattlni suvihi££Aitani suttato anuvyarc^anaso, idam pan' &vuso kattha vuttam Bhagavati 'ti iti putfAo na sampayati, tassa bhavanti vattaro : Ingha tava ayasm& Vinayam pariyapu/iassfi 'ti : iti 'ssa bhavanti vattdro.