CHAPTER X Penalties and Punishments
Nevertheless, in the matter of details, we see a divergence in these two accounts.
As against the fossilised traditions of the Suttas which refer to monastic practices, the Vinaya Piṭaka, specially the Khandhakas, reveal a more active and living spirit. As such, it provides within its framework for new situations and changing conditions. This tendency becomes abundantly clear when we study in the Khandhakas the history of the acts of pabbajjā and upasampadā. In the early history of the Sāsana, all new converts to the faith who wished to enter the monastic life were admitted by the Buddha himself at their request. They express their desire in the stereotyped formula which states that they seek pabbajjā and upasampadā under the Buddha (Labheyyā'haṃ bhante bhagavato santike pabbajjaṃ labheyyaṃ upasampadan'ti. Vin.I.12). The Buddha then merely invites them to come and live the monastic life, practising the Dhamma which is open to all, so that they may make a perfect end of all suffering (Ehi bhikkhu cara brahmacariyaṃ sammā dukkhassa antakiriyāyā'ti. Ibid.). That invitation alone,says the text, constituted the conferment of full monastic status (Sā'va tassa āyasmato upasampadā ahosi. Ibid.). But as Buddhism spread over wider territories and the new converts who sought the monastic life increased in numbers, the authority for admission could no longer be centralised in the person of the Buddha. Considering the practical difficulties of time and distance involved, the Buddha deems it fit to transfer this authority to his disciples (Etarahi kho bhikkhū nānā disā nānā janapadā pabbajjāpekkhe ca upasampadāpekkhe ca ānenti bhagavā ne pabbājessati upasampādeasatī'ti. Tattha bhikkhū c'eva kilamanti pabbajjāpekkhā ca upasampadāpekkhā ca. Yannūnā'haṃ bhikkhūnaṃ anujāneyyaṃ tumh'eva'dāni bhikkhave tāsu tāsu disāsu tesu tesu janapadesu pabbājetha upasampādethā'ti. Vin.I.22). Henceforth, by a simple avowal of faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha the new converts are to gain both pabbajjā and upasampadā (Anujānāmi bhikkhave imehi tīhi saraṇagamanehi pabbajjaṃ upasampadan'ti. Ibid.). But the power vested in the disciples, as individuals, for the conferment of upasampadā in the above manner was soon withdrawn and the collective organization of the Saṅgha made the sole authority for that. This change, no doubt, must have come about with the growing importance of upasampadā as the hallmark of full membership in the monastic Order and the possible indiscreet conferment of it according to individual whims and fancies. Upasampadā is now to be conferred by a formal resolution before the Saṅgha, informing the members of the Saṅgha of the identity of the applicant and his preceptor (Yā sā bhikkhave mayā tīhi saraṇagamanehi upasampadā anuññātā tā'haṃ ajjatagge paṭikkhipāmi. Anujānāmi bhikkhave ñatticatutthena kammena upasampādetuṃ. Evañ ca pana bhikkhave upasampādetabbo. Vyattena bhikkunā paṭibalena saṅgho ñāpetabbo suṇātu me bhante saṅgho ayaṃ itthannāmo itthannāmassa āyasmato upasampadāpekkho. Yadi saṅghassa pattakallaṃ saṅgho itthannāmaṃ upasampādeyya itthannāmena upajjhāyena. Esā ñatti. Vin.1.56). The Samantapāsādikā, in explaining the circumstances which brought about this change, says that the Buddha wished to attach greater dignity to the conferment of upasampadā by bringing it under the authority of the collective organization of the Saṅgha (Rādhabrāhamaṇavatthusmiṃ kinñcā'pi āyasmā sāriputto bhagavatā bārāṇasiyaṃ tīhi saraṇagamanehi anuññātaṃ pabbajjañ c'eva upasampadañ ca jānāti bhagavā pana taṃ lahukaṃ upasampadaṃ paṭikkhipitvā ñatticatutthakammena garukaṃ katvā upasampadaṃ anuññātukāmo. Atha'ssa thero ajjhāsayaṃ viditvā kathā'haṃ bhante taṃ brāhmaṇaṃ pabbājemi upasampādemī'ti āha. VinA.V.983).
On the other hand, we find the earlier act of pabbajjā by the avowal of faith in the tisaraṇa which was coupled with the act of upasampadā reaffirmed in isolation under the new name of sāmaṇerapabbajjā (Anujānāmi bhikkhave imehi tīhi saraṇagamanehi sāmaṇerapabbajjan'ti. Vin.I.82). This apparently reflects the phase of monasticism in which young converts were being admitted into the Order as noviciates or sāmaṇera with no immediate thoughts of upasampadā. Here, the Samantapāsādikā suggests that this reaffirmation was necessary because of the possible misunderstanding regarding the performance of the act of pabbajjā after the act of upasampadā was isolated from it. Arguing that in the past pabbajjā and upasampadā were closely identified, the monks would be in doubt, it is said, whether the pabbajjā should now be performed like the upasampadā by the method of kammavācā or by the threefold avowal of faith in the original manner.1 The details of procedure in the imposition of Titthiyaparivāsa as are described in the Khandhakas thus seem to follow from this distinction between the sāmanerapabbajjā and upasampadā and hence the consequent deflection of the tradition in the Vinaya Piṭaka which now stands in marked contrast to the fossilised version of the Sutta Piṭaka.
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