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A collection of Kammavacas trans. by Herbert Baynes

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HAVING recently received from Mandalay through the kindness of an uncle, several interesting and important Buddhist MSS. in Pâli, Burmese and Shan, I venture to lay before the Society a Collection of Kammavâcâs, some of which, though known to European scholars, have hitherto remained inedited.
The first Manuscript is a very handsome copy of the Kammavâcâs in Burmese Ritual, or 'tamarind-seed' letters painted with a thick black resinous gum on 16 leaves of royal discarded pasohs, each leaf containing 6 lines each side.
It begins with the Upasampadâ or Buddhist Ordination Service, which is perhaps the best known of all the Kammavâcâs, having been edited by Spiegel in 1841, by Dickson in 1881, and by Frankfurter in 1883. Then follow eight others, namely:--
2. Ka.thinadussa.m uppanna.m, 'the Bestowment of the Ka.thina Robe.'
3. Ticîvarena avippavâsa, 'the Investiture of a Bhikkhu with the three Robes.'
4. Sîmâ-sammannitâ samâna-samvâsâ ekuposathâ, 'the fixing of a Boundary for the Performance of the Uposathâ.'
5. Thera-Sammuti, 'the Election of an Elder.'
6. Nâma-Sammuti, 'naming a Bhikkhu.'
7. Vihâra-kappiyabhûmi-Sammuti, 'the Dedication of a Vihâra.'
8. Ku.tivatthu-Sammuti, 'fixing a Site for a Bhikkhu's Residence.'
9. Nissaya-mutta-Sammuti, 'Consent to a Release from Nissaya.'
p. 54
The first seven are given by Dr. Frankfurter in his Handbook of Pâli, but whilst in his MS. the Bestowment of the Ka.thina Robe comes fourth in the series, in mine it occupies the second place. So far as I know, the eighth and ninth Kammavâcâs have never been published. They are as follows:--
VIII.
Let the Venerable Assembly hear me! A certain Bhikkhu, at his own instance, is about to build a house, not by the direction of others, for himself to live in. So he asks the Sa.mgha to inspect the site. If it seem meet to the Sa.mgha, let it appoint such and such Bhikkhus to inspect the site of the house with the said Bhikkhu. This is the motion.
Venerable Sirs, let the Brotherhood hear me! A certain Bhikkhu, at his own instance, and not by the direction of others, is about to build a house to live in. So he asks the Sa.mgha to inspect the site. The Sa.mgha appoints such and such Bhikkhus to inspect the site for the house with the said Bhikkhu.
p. 55
Whosoever is in favour of appointing such and such of the Bhikkhus to inspect the site with the said Bhikkhu, let him be silent; whosoever does not approve, let him speak.
Such and such Bhikkhus have been elected by the Sa.mgha to inspect the site of the house with the said Bhikkhu. By its silence the Sa.mgha approves; thus I understand it.
In connexion with this Act of the Buddhist Chapter it is well to remember the following instructions given in the Pâtimokkha (iv. 6):--
If any Bhikkhu, at his own instance, and not by the direction of others, should get a house built for himself to live in, he must have it built of the following dimensions. The length twelve spans of the span of Buddha, the breadth inside seven such spans. He must assemble the priests to lay out the site. The site must be laid out by them so as to do no damage [i.e. so as not to destroy white ants' nests or the abodes of other living things], and, so as to have a clear space round it sufficient for a cart drawn by a yoke of oxen to pass. If any Bhikkhu, at his own instance, gets a house built on a site where life will be destroyed, and which has not sufficient space around, or if he fails to assemble the Bhikkhus to lay out the site, or if he exceed the limits (named above), he is guilty of an offence involving temporary separation from the Brotherhood.
IX.
p. 56
Deing desirous, Venerable Sirs, of your consent to a release from Nissaya, I hereby ask the Sa.mgha, formally, for such release. [This should be asked a second and a third time.]
Venerable Sirs, may the Brotherhood hear me! If it seem meet to the Sa.mgha, let it consent to the said Bhikkhu's being released from Nissaya. This is the motion.
Let the Venerable Assembly hear me! The Sa.mgha consents to the said Bhikkhu's release from Nisaya. Whosoever is in favour of the motion, let him be silent; whosoever does not approve, let him speak.
Release has been granted to the said Bhikkhu by the Sa.mgha. By its silence the Sa.mgha approves; thus I understand.
The second MS. consists of 58 Talipat leaves of 5 lines in characters which are midway between Burmese and Kambodian. Like the first it begins with the Upasampadâ. Then comes what may be called the Act of the Chapter with regard to Bhikkhus who have committed offences involving temporary separation from the Fraternity. We have, in fact, to deal with those questions of Probation, Penance and Rehabilitation which are discussed in the first three Khandhakas of the Cullavagga.
p. 58
Probation of Complete Purification.
Venerable Sirs, I have been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, but I am not aware of the degree of the offences and am unaware of the duration of the times. I do not remember the degree of the offences, nor do I remember the duration of the times. I am uncertain as to the degree of the offences and as to the duration of the times. So I ask the Venerable Assembly for a probation of Complete Purification on account of these offences.
Let the Venerable Fraternity hear me! A certain Bhikkhu has committed numerous offences involving temporary separation from the Brotherhood, but he is not aware of the degree of the offences and is unaware of the duration of the times. He does not remember either the one or p. 59 the other, and is, in fact, uncertain as to both. So he asks the Sa.mgha for a probation of Complete Purification on account of these offences. If it seem meet to the Sa.mgha, let it impose upon the said Bhikkhu a probation of Complete Purification on account of these offences.
This is the motion.
Venerable Sirs, may the Sa.mgha hear me! A certain Bhikkhu has committed numerous Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, but he knows neither the degrees of the offences nor the duration of the times. He neither remembers the degree nor the duration of the times of such offences, and is, in fact, uncertain as to both. So he asks the Sa.mgha to impose upon him a probation of Complete Purification in respect of these offences. The Sa.mgha accordingly imposes upon this Bhikkhu such probation. Whosoever is in favour of the motion, let him be silent. I say the same thing twice, nay, thrice.
Let the venerable Assembly hear me! A certain Bhikkhu has been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, but he knows neither the degree of the offences nor the duration of the times. Of such offences he cannot call to mind either the degree or the duration of the times, and is, in fact, uncertain as to both. So he asks the Sa.mgha for a probation of Complete Purification on account of such offences. Accordingly the Sa.mgha imposes upon him such probation, Whosoever is in favour of the motion, let him be silent; whoso does not approve, let him speak! I say the same thing thrice.
Venerable Sirs, let the Brotherhood hear me! A certain Bhikkhu has been guilty of several offences involving temporary separation from the Sa.mgha, but he is ignorant alike of the degree of the offences and of the duration of the times. He does not recollect either, and is, indeed, uncertain as to both. So he asks the Sa.mgha for a probation of Complete Purification on account of these offences. And the Sa.mgha accordingly imposes such probation upon this Bhikkhu. Whosoever is in favour of granting to this Bhikkhu a probation of Complete Purification on account p. 60 of these offences, let him be silent; whoever does not approve, let him speak! A probation of Complete Purification has been imposed by the Sa.mgha upon this Bhikkhu on account of these offences. By its silence the Sa.mgha approves; thus I understand it. I appreciate the probation, yea, I appreciate it in its fulness!
Venerable Sirs, I have committed numerous Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, but I am ignorant alike of the degree of the offences and of the duration of the times. I recollect neither, and am, indeed, uncertain as to both. So I asked the Sa.mgha for a probation of Complete Purification on account of these offences, and the venerable Assembly granted me such probation. Having been thus put under probation, let the Sa.mgha understand that I will carry it through to the end. I keep the probation, yea, I keep it.
The complete Probation is ended.--
p. 62
The Mânatta Discipline.
Venerable Sirs, I have been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, but I am ignorant alike of the degree of the offences and of the duration of the times. I can recollect neither, and am, indeed, uncertain as to both. On account of these offences I asked the Sa.mgha for a probation of Complete Purification, and the Sa.mgha gave it me. After completing this probation I committed numerous unconcealed Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, so I ask the Sa.mgha, on account of these many offences, to impose upon me the Mânatta penalty.
Let the venerable assembly hear me! A certain Bhikkhu committed many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, but being ignorant, uncertain, and unmindful alike of the degree of the offences and of the duration of the times, he asked the Sa.mgha, on account of such offences, to impose upon him a probation p. 63 of Complete Purification. The Sa.mgha accordingly imposed upon him such probation. Since completing this probation this Bhikkhu has been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences which he has not hidden. So he asks the Sa.mgha, on account of the many offences, both hidden and unhidden, to impose upon him the Mânatta penalty. If the Sa.mgha is ready, let it impose upon the said Bhikkhu, on account of the said hidden and unhidden offences, the said penance.
This is the motion.
Venerable Sirs, may the Brotherhood hear me!
A certain Bhikkhu has been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, but he is unaware of the degree of the offences and of the duration of the times. He recollects neither, and is, in fact, uncertain as to both. He asked and obtained from the Sa.mgha a probation of Complete Purification on account of these offences. Since completing this probation he has committed numerous like offences which he has not concealed, so he asks the Sa.mgha, in respect of such numerous offences, to impose upon him the Mânatta penalty. The Brotherhood accordingly gives him such penalty. Whoever is in favour of the motion, let him be silent; whosoever does not approve, let him speak. I say it thrice.
Let the venerable assembly hear me! A certain Bhikkhu has been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences; but being ignorant, unmindful, and uncertain alike as to the degree of the offences and as to the duration of the times, he asked of the Sa.mgha, and duly obtained from it, a probation of Complete Purification. Since completing this probation the said Bhikkhu has been guilty of many open offences, involving temporary separation from the Brotherhood. On account of these many open and hidden offences he asked the Sa.mgha for the Mânatta penalty. The Sa.mgha accordingly gives the said Bhikkhu the said penalty. Whosoever is in favour of the motion, let him be silent; on the contrary, let him speak.
The Mânatta penalty has been imposed upon the said Bhikkhu by the Sa.mgha on account of these numerous offences, concealed and unconcealed. By its silence the Sa.mgha approves; thus I understand it.
p. 64
Venerable Sirs, I have been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences; but being ignorant, unmindful and uncertain alike of the degree of the offences and of the duration of the times, I asked the Sa.mgha for a probation of Complete Purification on account of these offences, and my request was granted. After undergoing that probation I committed numerous open Sa.mghâdisesâ offences; so I asked the Sa.mgha, on account of the said many offences, open and hidden, for the Mânatta penalty. My request was granted. Let, therefore, the Sa.mgha understand, that I will fully undergo the said penance.
I keep it yea, I keep it!
p. 66
The Act of Rehabilitation.
Venerable Sirs; having been guilty of many offences involving temporary separation from the Brotherhood, and having been ignorant, unmindful and uncertain alike of the degree of the offences and of the duration of the times, I asked the Sa.mgha for a probation of Complete Purification on account of such offences, and my request was granted. After undergoing this probation, Venerable Sirs, I committed many open Sa.mghâdisesâ offences; so I asked the Sa.mgha to impose upon me, on account of these numerous open and hidden offences, the Mânatta penalty, and my request was granted. Having been subjected to that discipline, I now ask for rehabilitation.
p. 67
Let the venerable assembly bear me! A certain Bhikkhu having been guilty of numerous Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, and having been ignorant, unmindful, and uncertain alike as to the degree of the offences and as to the duration of the times, asked the Sa.mgha for a probation of Complete Purification, and his request was granted. After undergoing such probation the said Bhikkhu committed many open Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, so he asked the Sa.mgha on account of the numerous open and hidden offences to put him under the Mânatta discipline. His request was granted, and now, having accomplished that penance, he asks the Sa.mgha for rehabilitation. If it seem meet to the Sa.mgha, let it rehabilitate the said Bhikkhu.
This is the proposal.
Venerable Sirs, let the Brotherhood hear me! A certain Bhikkhu having been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, and having been ignorant, unmindful, and uncertain alike as to the degree of the offences and as to the duration of the times, asked the Sa.mgha for a probation of Complete Purification, and his request was granted. Since undergoing that probation the said Bhikkhu has been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, some of which he has hidden, others he has not hidden. For this cause he asked the Sa.mgha for the Mânatta discipline, and his request was granted. Having now accomplished that discipline, he asks the Sa.mgha for rehabilitation. The Sa.mgha accordingly rehabilitates the said Bhikkhu. Whosoever approves of the proposal, let him be silent; whoso is not in favour of it, let him speak. I say the same thing twice.
(Repeated) . . . . . I say the same thing for the third time.
(Repeated down to "speak"). The said Bhikkhu is rehabilitated by the Sa.mgha. By its silence the Sa.mgha approves; thus I understand it.
Venerable Sirs, I am pure. Let the Sa.mgha believe me to be pure and my character purified!
The complete purificatory Act of Rehabilitation is ended.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
p. 68
Ten lacquered Talipat leaves, five lines each side, in Burmese characters, constitute the third MS. It deals with probation, penance and rehabilitation, specifying the number of days the offences have been concealed.
p. 71
The Act of the Chapter.
Probation and Penance.
Praise be to the blessed One, the holy One, to him who has arrived at the knowledge of all Truth!
{Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammâsambuddhassa!}
Venerable Sirs, let the Brotherhood hear me! A certain Bhikkhu has committed numerous offences involving temporary separation from the Sa.mgha, some of which he has concealed for one day and others for ten days. So he asks the Sa.mgha for an inclusive probation on account of the offences which he has concealed for ten days. If it seem meet to the Sa.mgha, let it impose upon him an inclusive probation on account of the offences which he has hidden for ten days.
This is the motion.
Let the Venerable Assembly hear me! A certain Bhikkhu has been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences. Several he has hidden for one day; several for ten days; and he asks the Sa.mgha for an inclusive probation on account of the offences which he has hidden for ten days. The Brotherhood imposes upon this Bhikkhu an inclusive probation on account of the offences which he has hidden for ten days. Whosoever is in favour of granting an inclusive probation to this Bhikkhu on account of the offences which have been hidden for ten days, let him be silent; on the contrary, let him speak! I say it twice. I say it thrice.
On account of the offences which he has concealed for ten days, the Sa.mgha has imposed upon the said Bhikkhu an inclusive probation. By its silence the Sa.mgha approves. Thus I understand it.
Reverend Sirs, may the Sa.mgha hear me! A certain Bhikkhu has been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, some of which he has hidden for one day and others for ten days. On account of those concealed for ten days he asked p. 72 the Sa.mgha for an inclusive probation, and the Sa.mgha imposed upon him such probation. Since undergoing this probation he has committed numerous offences involving temporary separation from the Brotherhood, which he has not concealed. He therefore asks the Sa.mgha for the Mânatta penalty in respect of the offences which he has hidden and has not hidden. If the Sa.mgha is ready, let it impose upon the said Bhikkhu, in respect of the many offences hidden and not hidden, the Mânatta penalty.
This is the motion.
Let the Venerable Assembly hear me! A certain Bhikkhu has committed numerous Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, and has concealed many for one day, many for ten days. He asked the Brotherhood for an inclusive probation on account of the offences which he had concealed for ten days, and the Sa.mgha accordingly imposed upon him such probation. After completing this probation the said Bhikkhu was guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences which he did not conceal, and he now asks the Sa.mgha for the Mânatta discipline in respect of the many open and hidden offences. The Sa.mgha accordingly imposes upon the said Bhikkhu on account of those numerous hidden and unconcealed offences the Mânatta penalty. Whosoever is in favour of the motion, let him be silent; on the contrary, let him speak! I say the same thing twice.
In respect of the numerous offences, concealed and unconcealed, the Sa.mgha has imposed upon this Bhikkhu the Mânatta penalty. By its silence the Sa.mgha approves. Thus I understand.
Reverend Sirs, let the Assembly hear me! A certain Bhikkhu having been guilty of numerous Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, many of which he hid for one day, many for ten days, asked the Sa.mgha, on account of the offences which he concealed for ten days, for an inclusive probation, and his request was granted. After undergoing that probation the said Bhikkhu committed numerous Sa.mghâdisesâ offences which he did not hide; so he asked the Sa.mgha, on account of the many offences hidden and unhidden, for the Mânatta discipline, and his request was granted. Having fulfilled p. 73 that penance, he now asks the Sa.mgha for rehabilitation. If the Sa.mgha is ready, let it rehabilitate the said Bhikkhu.
This is the motion.
Let the Venerable Assembly hear me! Having been guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences, several of which he concealed for one day and several for ten days, a certain Bhikkhu asked the Sa.mgha for an inclusive probation, and the Assembly granted such probation in respect of the offences he had hidden for ten days. After undergoing that probation he was guilty of many Sa.mghâdisesâ offences which he did not hide; so he asked the Sa.mgha, on account of the many open and hidden offences, to impose upon him the Mânatta penalty, and his request was granted. Having completed that penance, he now asks the Sa.mgha for rehabilitation. The Sa.mgha accordingly rehabilitates the said Bhikkhu.
Whosoever is in favour of rehabilitating the said Bhikkhu, let him be silent; on the contrary, let him speak! I say the same thing twice, nay, thrice.
The said Bhikkhu is rehabilitated by the Sa.mgha. By its silence the Sa.mgha approves; thus I understand.
I appreciate the probation, yea, I appreciate it. [To be repeated a second and a third time.] I keep the probation, yea, I keep it. To be repeated twice, nay, thrice. I appreciate the penance, yea, I appreciate it. To be repeated twice, nay, thrice. I keep the penance, yea, I keep it. To be repeated twice, nay, thrice. By this Act the evil nature departs and the good survives; having thus received (rehabilitation), attain nothing better than Nirvâ.na!
A noteworthy fact about this Manuscript is the sudden appearance of a Burmese word in the Pâli text. Sunkrimvrat seems to be equivalent to vattabbo.
With the exception of the Bhikkhu's first confession, the next MS. is almost identical with the preceding. It is written on eleven leaves of lacquered royal pasohs, in letters of the tamarind-seed form.
p. 74
The Act of the Chapter.
Probation and Penance.
Praise be to the blessed One, the holy One, to him who has arrived at the knowledge of all Truth!
{Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammâsambuddhassa!}
Venerable Sirs, I have been guilty of numerous offences involving temporary separation from the Brotherhood. Many I have hidden for one day, many for two days, several for three days, several for four days, many for five days, many for six days, several for seven days, several for eight days, many for nine days and many for ten days. So I ask, reverend Sirs, the Sa.mgha to impose upon me, on account of the offences which I have hidden for ten days, an Inclusive Probation.
To be asked three times.
(Then follows the Kammavâcâ as in the preceding MS.)
In the first two Kammavâcâs the question is only put once (ñattidutiyâ), but in those of Probation and Penance it is always put thrice (ñatticatutthâ). The latter form is also used in those Acts of the Chapter which deal with the minor disciplinary proceedings, namely;--
(a) Tajjaniya Kamma (Act of Rebuke).
(b) Nissaya Kamma (Act of Subordination).
(c) Pabbâjaniya Kamma (Act of Banishment).
(d) Pa.tisâra.niya Kamma (Act of Reconciliation).
(e) Ukkhepaniya Kammas (Acts of Suspension).
p. 75
By the publication of the above Kammavâcâs may I venture to hope that, the wish expressed by the learned Translators of the Vinaya Texts,[1] Dr. Rhys Davids and Dr. Oldenberg, has been, to some extent at all events, fulfilled?
[1. Sacred Books of the East, vol. xlii. {sic. vol. xiii} p. xx.]

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