Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Khandhaka (Mahāvagga)

5. Leather (Camma)

The story of Soṇa Koḷivisa

At one time the awakened one, the Lord, was staying at Rājagaha on Mount Vulture Peak. Now at that time King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha ruled with supreme authority over eighty thousand villages. Now at that time, at Campā, a merchant’s son called Soṇa Koḷivisa was delicately nurtured and down came to have grown on the soles of his feet. Then King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha, having had those eighty thousand village overseers convened, sent a messenger to Soṇa Koḷivisa on some business, saying: “Let Soṇa come, I want Soṇa to come.”

Then Soṇa Koḷivisa’s parents spoke thus to Soṇa Koḷivisa: “The king, dear Soṇa, wants to see your feet. Do not you, dear Soṇa, stretch out your feet towards the king; sit down cross-legged in front of the king, and as you are sitting down the king will see your feet.” Then they sent Soṇa Koḷivisa away in a palanquin. Then Soṇa Koḷivisa approached King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha, having approached, having greeted. King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha, he sat down cross-legged in front of the king. So King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha saw the down that was growing on the soles of Soṇa Koḷivisa’s feet.

Then King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha, having instructed those eighty thousand village overseers in matters concerning this world, dismissed them, saying: “You, good sirs, are now instructed by me in matters concerning this world; go along, pay homage to this Lord, and our Lord will instruct you in transcendental matters.” Then those eighty thousand village overseers approached Mount Vulture Peak.


Now at that time the venerable Sāgata was the Lord’s attendant. Then those eighty thousand village overseers approached the venerable Sāgata; having approached, they spoke thus to the venerable Sāgata: “Honoured sir, these eighty thousand village overseers are approaching here to see the Lord. It were good, honoured sir, if we might have a chance to see the Lord.”

“Well, then, do you, venerable ones, remain here for a moment until I have let the Lord know.”

Then the venerable Sāgata, having stepped down from the moonstone (step) in front of the eighty thousand watching village overseers, having stepped up in front of the Lord, spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, these eighty thousand village overseers are approaching here to see the Lord. Lord, does the Lord think it is now the right time for this?”

“Well, then, do you, Sāgata, make a seat ready in the shade of the dwelling-place.”

“Very well, Lord,” and the venerable Sāgata having answered the Lord in assent, having taken a chair, having stepped down from in front of the Lord, having stepped up on the moonstone (step) in front of the eighty thousand watching village overseers, made ready a seat in the shade of the dwelling-place. Then the Lord, having issued from the dwelling-place, sat down on the seat made ready in the shade of the dwelling-place.

Then those eighty thousand village overseers approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, they sat down at a respectful distance. Then those eighty thousand village overseers paid respect only to the venerable Sāgata, not likewise to the Lord. Then the Lord, knowing by reasoning of mind the minds of those eighty thousand village overseers, addressed the venerable Sāgata, saying: “Well then, do you, Sāgata, abundantly show a state of further-men, a wonder of psychic power.”

“Very well, Lord,” and the venerable Sagata, having answered the Lord in assent, having risen above the ground, paced up and down in the air, in the atmosphere, and he stood, and he sat down, and he lay down, and he smoked and he blazed, and then he vanished.

Then the venerable Sagata, having shown in the air, in the atmosphere, various states of further-men and wonders of psychic power, having inclined his head towards the Lord’s feet, spoke thus to the Lord: “Lord, the Lord is my teacher, I am a disciple; Lord, the Lord is my teacher, I am a disciple”. Then those eighty thousand village overseers, saying: “Indeed it is marvellous, indeed, it is wonderful, that even a disciple can be of such great psychic power, of such great might. What must the teacher be?” paid respect only to the Lord, not likewise to the venerable Sagata.

Then the Lord, knowing by reasoning of mind the minds of those eighty thousand village overseers, talked a progressive talk, that is to say talk on giving, talk on moral habit, talk on heaven, he explained the peril, the vanity, the depravity of pleasures of the senses, the advantage in renouncing (them). When the Lord knew that their minds were ready, malleable, devoid of the hindrances, uplifted, pleased, then he explained to them that teaching on dhamma which the awakened ones have themselves discovered: ill, uprising, stopping, the way. And as a clean cloth without black specks will easily take dye, even so as those eighty thousand village overseers were (sitting) on that very seat, dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose: that, “whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop.”

These, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma, plunged into dhamma, having crossed over doubt, having put away uncertainty, having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “Excellent, Lord, it is excellent, Lord. Just as, Lord, one should set upright what has been upset or should uncover what is covered or should point out the way to one who is astray or should bring a lamp into the darkness so that those with eyes might see forms, even so is dhamma explained in many a figure by the Lord. We, Lord, are those going to the Lord for refuge, to dhamma and to the Order of monks. May the Lord receive us as lay-followers gone for refuge on this day for as long as life lasts.”

Then it occurred to Soṇa Koḷivisa: “In so far as I understand dhamma taught by the Lord it is not easy for those who live in a house to lead the Brahma-faring that is wholly complete, wholly pure, and polished like a conch-shell. What now if I, having cut off hair and beard, having donned yellow robes, should go forth from home into homelessness?” Then those eighty thousand village overseers, delighted with the Lord’s speech, having given thanks for it, having risen from the seat, having greeted the Lord, departed keeping their right sides towards him.

Then Soṇa Koḷivisa, soon after those eighty thousand village overseers had departed, approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, Soṇa Koḷivisa spoke thus to the Lord: “In so far as I, Lord, understand dhamma taught by the Lord it is not easy for those who live in a house to lead the Brahma-faring that is wholly complete, wholly pure and polished like a conch-shell. I want, Lord, having cut off hair and beard, having donned yellow robes, to go forth from home into homelessness. Lord, may the Lord let me go forth.” So Soṇa Koḷivisa received the going forth in the Lord’s presence, he received ordination. And soon after he was ordained the venerable Soṇa stayed in the Cool Grove.

Because of his great output of energy in pacing up and down his feet broke, the place for pacing up and down in became stained with blood as though there had been slaughter of cattle. Then as the venerable Soṇa was meditating in private a reasoning arose in his mind thus: “Those who are the Lord’s disciples dwell putting forth energy; I am one of these, yet my mind is not freed from the cankers with no grasping, and moreover there are my family’s possessions. It might be possible to enjoy the possessions and to do good. Suppose that I, having returned to the low life, should enjoy the possessions and should do good?”

Then the Lord, knowing by mind the venerable Soṇa’s reasoning of mind, as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm, or might bend back his outstretched arm, so did he, vanishing from Mount Vulture Peak, appear in the Cool Grove. Then the Lord, touring the lodgings together with several monks, approached the venerable Soṇa’s place for pacing up and down in. The Lord saw that the venerable Soṇa’s place for pacing up and down in was stained with blood, and seeing (this), he addressed the monks, saying:

“Now why, monks, is this place for pacing up and down in stained with blood as though there has been slaughter of cattle?”

“Lord, because of the venerable Soṇa’s great energy in pacing up and down his feet broke, and this place for pacing up and down in is stained with his blood as though there had been slaughter of cattle.”

Then the Lord approached the venerable Soṇa’s dwelling-place, and having approached he sat down on an appointed seat. And the venerable Soṇa, having greeted the Lord, sat down at a respectful distance. The Lord spoke thus to the venerable Soṇa as he was sitting at a respectful distance:

“Soṇa, as you were meditating in private did not a reasoning arise in your mind like this: ‘Those who are the Lord’s disciples dwell putting forth energy … as in Kd.5.1.13 … Suppose that I, having returned to the low life, should enjoy the possessions and should do good’?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“What do you think about this, Soṇa? Were you clever at the lute’s stringed music when formerly you were a householder?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“What do you think about this, Soṇa? When the strings of your lute were too taut, was your lute at that time tuneful and fit for playing?”

“No, indeed, Lord.”

What do you think about this, Soṇa? When the strings of your lute were too slack, was your lute at that time tuneful and fit for playing?”

“No, indeed, Lord.”

“What do you think about this, Soṇa? When the strings of your lute were neither too taut nor too slack, but were keyed to an even pitch, was your lute at that time tuneful and fit for playing?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“Even so, Soṇa, does too much output of energy conduce to restlessness, does too feeble energy conduce to slothfulness.

“Therefore do you, Soṇa, determine upon evenness in energy and pierce the evenness of the faculties and reflect upon it.”

“Yes, Lord,” the venerable Soṇa answered the Lord in assent. Then the Lord, having exhorted the venerable Soṇa with this exhortation, as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm or might bend back his outstretched arm, so did he, vanishing from in front of the venerable Soṇa in the Cool Grove, appear on Mount Vulture Peak.

After that the venerable Soṇa determined upon evenness in energy and he pierced the evenness of the faculties and reflected upon it. Then the venerable Soṇa, dwelling alone, aloof, earnest, ardent, self-resolute, having soon realised here and now by his own super-knowledge that supreme goal of the Brahma-faring for the sake of which young men of family rightly go forth from home into homelessness, abided in it, and he understood: Destroyed is birth, lived is the Brahma-faring, done is what was to be done, there is no more of being such and such. And so the venerable Soṇa became one of the perfected ones.

When the venerable Soṇa had attained perfection, it occurred to him: “Suppose I were to declare profound knowledge in the Lord’s presence?” Then the venerable Soṇa approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, the venerable Soṇa spoke thus to the Lord:

“Lord, that monk who is one perfected, who has destroyed the cankers, lived the life, done what was to be done, shed the burden, won his own goal, destroyed utterly the fetter of becoming, and is wholly freed by profound knowledge, he comes to be intent upon six matters: he comes to be intent upon renunciation, he comes to be intent upon aloofness, he comes to be intent upon non-harming, he comes to be intent upon the destruction of grasping, he comes to be intent upon the destruction of craving, he comes to be intent upon non-confusion.

“Perhaps, Lord, one of the venerable ones here might think: ‘Could it be that this venerable one is intent upon renunciation depending upon mere faith alone?’ But this, Lord, is not to be regarded thus. Lord, the monk who has destroyed the cankers, has lived the life, done what was to be done, not seeing aught in himself to be done or to be added to what has been done, being passionless comes to be intent on renunciation because of the destruction of passion, being without hatred comes to be intent on renunciation because of the destruction of hatred, being without confusion comes to be intent on renunciation because of the destruction of confusion.

“Perhaps, Lord, one of the venerable ones here might think: ‘Could it be that this venerable one is intent on aloofness while hankering after gains, honour, fame?’ But this, Lord, is not to be regarded thus. Lord, the monk who has destroyed the cankers … or to be added to what has been done, being passionless comes to be intent on aloofness because of the destruction of passion, being without hatred … being without confusion comes to be intent on aloofness because of the destruction of confusion.

“Perhaps, Lord, one of the venerable ones here might think: ‘Could it be that this venerable one is intent on non-harming, is backsliding from the essence to the contagion of habit and custom?’ But this, Lord, is not to be regarded thus. Lord, the monk who has destroyed the cankers … or to be added to what has been done, being passionless comes to be intent on non-harming because of the destruction of passion, being without hatred … being without confusion comes to be intent on non-harming because of the destruction of confusion.

“Being passionless he comes to be intent on the destruction of grasping because of the destruction of passion, being without hatred he comes to be intent on the destruction of grasping because of the destruction of hatred, being without confusion he comes to be intent on the destruction of grasping because of the destruction of confusion; being passionless he comes to be intent on the destruction of craving because of the destruction of passion, being without hatred he comes to be intent on the destruction of craving because of the destruction of hatred, being without confusion he comes to be intent on the destruction of craving because of the destruction of confusion; being passionless he comes to be intent on non-confusion because of the destruction of passion, being without hatred he comes to be intent on non-confusion because of the destruction of hatred, being without confusion he comes to be intent on non-confusion because of the destruction of confusion.

“Thus, Lord, even if shapes cognisable by the eye come very strongly into the field of vision of a monk whose mind is wholly freed, they do not obsess his mind for his mind comes to be undefiled, firm, won to composure, and he notes its passing hence. If sounds cognisable by the ear … if scents cognisable by the nose … if tastes cognisable by the tongue … if touches cognisable by the body … if mental objects cognisable by the mind come very strongly into the field of thought of a monk whose mind is wholly freed, they do not obsess his mind for his mind comes to be undefiled, firm, won to composure, and he notes its passing hence.

“It is as if, Lord, there were a rocky mountain slope without a cleft, without a hollow, of one mass, and as if wild wind and rain should come very strongly from the eastern quarter—it would neither tremble nor quake nor shake violently; and as if wild wind and rain should come very strongly from the western quarter … from the northern quarter … from the southern quarter—it would neither tremble nor quake nor shake violently. Even so, Lord, if shapes cognisable by the eye come very strongly into the field of vision of a monk whose mind is wholly freed … if mental objects cognisable by the mind come very strongly into the field of thought of a monk whose mind is wholly freed, they do not obsess his mind, for his mind comes to be undefiled, firm, won to composure, and he notes its passing hence.”

If one is intent upon renunciation and mind’s aloofness,
If one is intent upon non-harming and destruction of grasping,
If one is intent upon destruction of craving and mind’s non-confusion,
Having seen sensations’ rise, his mind is wholly freed.
For that monk whose mind is calmed and wholly freed
There is nothing to add to what has been done, there is naught to be done.
As a rock of one mass by wind is never moved,
So shapes, tastes, sounds, scents, touches and all
Pleasant and unpleasant mental objects stir not a man like this.
His mind is firm, well freed, and he notes its passing hence.

Rejection of double-lined sandals

Then the Lord addressed the monks, saying: “Thus, monks, do young men of family declare profound knowledge. The goal is spoken of but the self is not obtruded. But then it seems to me that there are some foolish men here who declare profound knowledge for fun; these afterwards come to disaster.”

Then the Lord addressed the venerable Soṇa, saying: “You, Soṇa, have been delicately nurtured. I allow for you, Soṇa, sandals with one lining.

“But I, Lord, gave up eighty cartloads of gold when I went forth from home into homelessness, and a herd of seven elephants. Because of this there will be speakers against me, saying: ‘Soṇa Koḷivisa gave up eighty cartloads of gold when he went forth from home into homelessness, and a herd of seven elephants; and now this very (person) is clinging on to sandals with one lining.’

“If the Lord will allow them to the Order of monks, I too will make use of them, but if the Lord will not allow them to the Order of monks, neither will I make use of them.” Then the Lord on this occasion, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, I allow sandals with one lining. Monks, doubly lined sandals should not be worn, trebly lined sandals should not be worn, sandals with many linings should not be worn. Whoever should wear (any of these), there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Rejection of all dark green, etc.

“Now at that time the group of six monks wore sandals that were entirely dark green … that were entirely yellow … that were entirely red … that were entirely crimson … that were entirely black … that were dyed entirely orange … that were dyed entirely multi-coloured. People looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “Like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses.” They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, sandals that are entirely dark green are not to be worn … sandals that are dyed entirely multi-coloured are not to be worn. Whoever should wear (any of these), there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Now at that time the group of six monks wore sandals with dark green straps … with yellow straps … with red straps … with crimson straps … with black straps … with dyed orange straps … with dyed multi-coloured straps. People … spread it about, saying: “Like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses”. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, sandals with dark green straps … sandals with dyed multi-coloured straps are not to be worn. Whoever should wear (any of these), there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Now at that time the group of six monks wore sandals with heel-coverings … sandals that were knee-boots… sandals that were top-boots … sandals that were filled with cotton … sandals of (many hues., like) partridges’ wings … sandals pointed with rams’ horns … sandals pointed with goats’ horns … sandals (ornamented) with scorpions’ tails … sandals sewn round with peacocks’ tail feathers … embroidered sandals. People looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “Like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses”. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, sandals with heel-coverings should not be worn … embroidered sandals should not be worn. Whoever should wear (any of these), there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Now at that time the group of six monks wore sandals decorated with lion-skins… with tiger-skins … with panther-skins … with black antelope-skins … with otter-skins … with cat-skins … with squirrel-skins … with owl-skins. People … spread it about, saying: “Like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses.” They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, sandals decorated with lion-skins … with owl-skins are not to be worn. Whoever should wear (any of these) there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Allowance for cast off sandals with many linings

Then the Lord, having dressed in the morning, taking his bowl and robe, entered Rājagaha for almsfood with a certain monk as his attendant. Then that monk went limping along behind the Lord. A certain lay follower, having put on sandals with many linings, saw the Lord coming from afar; seeing him, having taken off his sandals, he approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, he approached that monk; having approached, having greeted that monk, he spoke thus:

“Why, honoured sir, does the master limp?”

“My feet are split, sir.”

“See, honoured sir, here are sandals.”

“No, sir, sandals with many linings are objected to by the Lord.”

“Take these sandals, monk.” Then the Lord in this connection having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

I allow you, monks, sandals with many linings that have been cast off. Monks, new sandals with many linings are not to be worn. Whoever should wear (these), there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Rejection of sandals inside a monastery

Now at that time the Lord was pacing up and down without sandals in the open air. Monks who were elders, thinking: “The teacher is pacing up and down without sandals”, also paced up and down without sandals. The group of six monks, while the teacher was pacing up and down without sandals and while monks who were elders were pacing up and down without sandals, paced up and down with sandals on. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: How can this group of six monks, while the teacher is pacing up and down without sandals, and while monks who are elders are pacing up and down without sandals, pace up and down with sandals on?”

Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said: “Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six monks, while the teacher … with sandals on?”

“It is true, Lord.” The awakened one, the Lord, rebuked them, saying:

“How monks, can these foolish men, while the teacher was pacing up and down without sandals, and while monks who are elders were pacing up and down without sandals, pace up and down with sandals on? For, monks, even these white-frocked householders, on account of procuring a craft for their livelihood, will be respectful, deferential, courteous towards their teachers.

“Herein, monks, let your light shine forth so that you who have thus gone forth in this dhamma and discipline which are well taught may be respectful, deferential, courteous towards teachers, grades of teachers, preceptors, grades of preceptors. It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …” and having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, you should not pace up and down with sandals on while teachers, grades of teachers, preceptors, grades of preceptors are pacing up and down without sandals. Whoever should (so) pace up and down, there is an offence of wrong-doing. And, monks, you should not wear sandals within a monastery. Whoever should wear them (there), there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Now at that time a certain monk came to have an affliction of corns on his feet. Having taken hold of that monk, they made him go out to relieve himself. As the Lord was touring the lodgings he saw those monks who, having taken hold of that monk, were making him go out to relieve himself, and seeing (this), he approached those monks, having approached, he spoke thus to those monks:

“What, monks, is this monk’s disease?”

“Lord, this venerable one has an affliction of corns on the feet, and having taken hold of him, we are making him go out to relieve himself.” Then the Lord in this connection having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

I allow, monks, he whose feet are painful or he whose feet are split or he who has an affliction of corns on the feet, to wear sandals.


Now at that time monks got up on to couches and chairs with unwashed feet, and robes and lodgings were soiled. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

I allow you, monks, when you think: ‘I will get up now on to a couch or a chair’, to wear sandals.


Now at that time, monks, going to an Observance-hut and to a meeting-place at night, in the dark trod upon stumps of trees and on thorns, and their feet became painful. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

I allow you, monks, to use sandals within a monastery, a torch, a light, a staff.

Rejection of wooden sandals

Now at that time the group of six monks, getting up in the night towards dawn, having put on wooden shoes, paced up and down in the open air talking in high, loud, rasping tones a variety of worldly talk, that is to say talk of kings, talk of thieves, talk of great ministers, talk of armies, talk of dangers, talk of battles, talk of food, talk of drink, talk of clothes, talk of beds, talk of garlands, talk of scents, talk of relations, talk of vehicles, talk of villages, talk of little towns, talk of towns, talk of the country, talk of women, talk of heroes, talk of streets, talk of wells, talk of those departed before, talk of diversity, speculation about the world, speculation about the sea, talk on becoming and not becoming thus or thus; and they both killed insects, having trodden on them, and also made monks fall away from contemplation.

Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticized, spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six monks getting up in the night towards dawn, having put on wooden shoes, pace up and down in the open air talking in high, loud rasping tones a variety of worldly talk … and both kill insects, having trodden on them, and also make monks fall away from contemplation?” Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six monks, getting up in the night towards dawn … and made monks fall away from contemplation?”

“It is true, Lord.” Having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, wooden shoes are not to be worn. Whoever should wear (them), there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Then the Lord, having stayed at Rājagaha for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Benares. In due course, walking on tour, he arrived at Benares. The Lord stayed there near Benares at Isipatana in the deer-park. Now at that time the group of six monks, thinking, “Wooden shoes are objected to by the Lord”, having had young palmyra palms cut, wore shoes of palmyra palm leaves; those young palmyra palms which were cut, withered. People … spread it about, saying: “How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, having had young palmyra palms cut, wear shoes of palmyra palm leaves? These young palmyra palms which were cut, are withering. These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, are harming life that is one-facultied”.

Monks heard these people who looked down upon, criticised, spread it about. Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six monks, having had young palmyra palms cut, wear shoes of palmyra palm leaves, and that those young palmyra palms which were cut are withering?” “It is true, Lord.” The awakened one, the Lord rebuked them, saying:

“How, monks, can these foolish men, having had young palmyra palms cut, wear shoes of palmyra palm leaves (so that) the young palmyra palms wither? For, monks, people think that there are living things in a tree. It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …” and having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, you should not wear shoes of palmyra palm leaves. Whoever should wear (them), there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Now at that time the group of six monks, thinking: “Shoes of palmyra palm leaves are objected to by the Lord”, having had young bamboos cut, wore shoes of bamboo leaves; those young bamboos that were cut withered … as in Kd.5.7.1, Kd.5.7.2. Read bamboo instead of palmyra palm …”… Monks, you should not wear shoes of bamboo leaves. Whoever should wear (them), there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Then the Lord, having stayed at Benares for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Bhaddiya. In due course, walking on tour, he arrived at Bhaddiya. The Lord stayed there at Bhaddiya in the Jātiyā Grove. Now at that time the monks of Bhaddiya were addicted to the practice of ornamenting their shoes in a variety of ways. They made tiṇa-grass shoes and had them made … muñja-grass shoes and had them made … shoes of reeds and had them made … marshy date-palm shoes and had them made … kamala-grass shoes and had them made, they made woollen shoes and had them made; they neglected the recitation, the interrogation, the higher morality, the higher thought, the higher wisdom.

Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “How can these monks of Bhaddiya be addicted to the practice of ornamenting shoes in a variety of ways, and make tiṇa-grass shoes and have them made … and neglect the recitation, the interrogation, the higher morality, the higher thought, the higher wisdom?” Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the monks of Bhaddiya are addicted to the practice of … and neglect the recitation … the higher wisdom?”

“It is true, Lord.” The awakened one, the Lord rebuked them saying:

“How, monks, can these foolish men be addicted to the practice of ornamenting shoes … and neglect the recitation … the higher wisdom? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …”

Having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, tiṇa-grass shoes should not be worn, muñja-grass shoes … shoes of reeds … marshy date-palm shoes … kamala-grass shoes … woollen shoes should not be worn, shoes made with gold … shoes made with silver … shoes made with gems … shoes made with lapis lazuli … shoes made with crystal … with bronze … with glass … with tin … with lead … shoes made with copper should not be worn. Whoever should wear (any of these), there is an offence of wrong-doing. And any shoes, monks, that can be handed on should not be worn. Whoever should wear (any of these), there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow, monks, three (kinds of) shoes that are in fixed places and that cannot be handed on: privy shoes, urinal shoes, rinsing shoes.”

Then the Lord, having stayed in Bhaddiya for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Sāvatthī. In due course, walking on tour, he arrived at Sāvatthī. The Lord stayed there in Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six monks caught hold of cows, which were crossing the river Aciravatī, by their horns, and they caught hold of them by their ears, and they caught hold of them by their dewlaps, and they caught hold of them by their tails, and they mounted on their backs, and they touched their privy parts with lustful thoughts, and having ducked young calves, they killed them.

People … spread it about, saying: “How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, catch hold of cows, which are crossing the river Aciravatī, by their horns … like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses?” Monks heard these people who … spread it about. Then these monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six monks caught hold of cows … and having ducked young calves, killed them?”

“It is true, Lord.”

Having rebuked them, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, you should not catch hold of cows by their horns, nor should you catch hold of them by their ears, nor should you catch hold of them by their dewlaps, nor should you catch hold of them by their tails, nor should you mount on their backs. Whoever should (so) mount, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Nor should you touch their privy parts with lustful thoughts. Whoever should (so) touch them, there is a grave offence. Nor should you kill young calves. Whoever should kill them should be dealt with according to the rule.

Rejection of vehicles, etc.

Now at that time the group of six monks went in a vehicle, and there was a bull in the middle yoked with cows and there was a cow in the middle yoked with bulls. People … spread it about, saying: “As at the festival of the Ganges and Mahī”. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, you should not go in a vehicle. Whoever should (so) go, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Now at that time a certain monk, going through the Kosala country to Sāvatthī in order to see the Lord, became ill on the way. Then that monk, stepping aside from the road, sat down at the root of a certain tree. People, seeing that monk, spoke thus: “Where, honoured sir, will the master go?”

“I will go to Sāvatthī, sirs, in order to see the Lord.”

“Come, honoured sir, we will go along.”

“I am not able to, sirs, I am ill.”

“Come, honoured sir, get into a vehicle.”

“No, sirs, a vehicle is objected to by the Lord,” and being scrupulous, he did not get into a vehicle. Then that monk, having arrived at Sāvatthī, told this matter to the monks. The monks told this matter to the Lord. He said:

I allow, monks, a vehicle to one who is ill.

Then it occurred to these monks: “Now, should (the vehicle be) yoked with cows or yoked with bulls? “They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“I allow you, monks, a handcart yoked with a bull.”


Now at that time a certain monk became extremely uncomfortable owing to the jolting of a vehicle. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

I allow, monks, a palanquin, a sedan-chair.

Rejection of high and broad seats

Now at that time the group of six monks used high and broad things to recline upon, that is to say: a sofa, a divan, a long-haired coverlet, a many-coloured coverlet, a white coverlet, a wool coverlet besprent with flowers, a cotton quilt, a wool coverlet decorated with animals’ forms, a wool covering with hair on the upper side, a wool covering with hair at one side, a silken sheet studded with jewels, a sheet made with silk threads and studded with jewels, a dancer’s carpet, an elephant rug, a horse rug, a chariot rug, rugs of black antelope skins, a splendid sheeting of the hide of the kadali-deer, a sheet with an awning above, a couch with a red cushion at either end. People, engaged in touring the dwelling-places, having seen (all this), looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “Like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses.” They told this matter to the Lord.

He said: “Monks, high and broad things to recline upon should not be used, that is to say: a sofa … a couch with a red cushion at either end. Whoever should use (any of these) there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Rejection of all leather

Now at that time the group of six monks thinking, “High and broad things to recline upon are objected to by the Lord”, used large hides: a lion’s hide, a tiger’s hide, a panther’s hide, These were cut to the measurement of a couch and they were cut to the measurement of a chair, and they were laid inside the couches and they were laid outside the couches and they were laid inside the chairs and they were laid outside the chairs. People, touring the dwelling-places, having seen (this), looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “Like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses”. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, large hides should not be used: a lion’s hide, a tiger’s hide, a panther’s hide. Whoever should use (any of these), there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Now at that time the group of six monks, thinking: “Large hides are objected to by the Lord”, used cow-hides. These were cut to the measurement of a couch … as in Kd.5.10.6 above … and they were laid outside the chairs.

A certain depraved monk came to be dependent upon a certain depraved lay-follower. Then that depraved monk, having dressed in the morning, taking his bowl and robe, approached the dwelling of that depraved lay-follower; having approached, he sat down on the appointed seat. Then that depraved lay-follower approached that depraved monk; having approached, having greeted that depraved monk, he sat down at a respectful distance.

Now at that time that depraved lay-follower had a young calf, beautiful, good to look upon, charming; it was marked like a panther cub. Then that depraved monk gazed longingly at and thought about that calf. Then that depraved lay-follower spoke thus to that depraved monk: “Why, honoured sir, does the master gaze longingly at and think about this calf?”

“Sir, this calf’s hide is of use to me.” Then that depraved lay-follower, having slaughtered that calf, having skinned it, bestowed the hide upon that depraved monk. Then that depraved monk, having hidden the hide in his outer cloak, went away.

Then that cow, longing for her calf, followed close after that depraved monk. Monks spoke thus: “Why, your reverence, is this cow following close after you?”

“I don’t know, your reverences, why this cow is following close after me.”

Now at that time this depraved monk’s outer cloak became stained with blood. Monks spoke thus: “But this outer cloak of yours, your reverence—what has happened to it?” Then that depraved monk told this matter to the monks. They said:

“But did you, your reverence, incite (someone) to onslaught on creatures?”

“Yes, your reverences.” Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can this monk incite (someone) to onslaught on creatures? Is not onslaught on creatures condemned in many a figure by the Lord, restraint from onslaught on creatures extolled?” Then these monk told this matter to the Lord.

Then the Lord on this occasion, in this connection, having had the Order of monks convened, questioned that depraved monk, saying:

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monk, incited (someone) to onslaught on creatures?”

“It is true, Lord.”

“How can you, foolish man, incite (someone) to onslaught on creatures? Foolish man, has not onslaught on creatures been condemned by me in many a figure, restraint from onslaught on creatures extolled? It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …” Having rebuked him, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:

Monks, there should be no inciting (anyone) to onslaught on creatures. Whoever should (so) incite, should be dealt with according to the rule. Nor, monks, should a cow-hide be used. Whoever should use one, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Nor, monks, should any hide be used. Whoever should use one, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Allowance for what is displayed by householders, etc.

Now at that time people’s couches and chairs came to be covered up with hides, covered over with hides. Monks being scrupulous, did not sit down on them. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, to sit down on what is displayed by householders, but not to lie down on it.


Now at that time dwelling-places were lashed together with thongs of hide. Monks, being scrupulous, did not sit down (in them). They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

I allow you, monks, to sit down against what is used only for lashing (things together).


Now at that time the group of six monks entered a village with their sandals on. People looked down upon, criticised spread it about, saying: “Like householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses.” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “Monks, you should not enter a village with your sandals on. Whoever should (so) enter it, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Now at that time a certain monk became ill; he was not able to enter the village without his sandals. They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow, monks, a monk if he is ill to enter a village with his sandals on.

The story of Soṇa Kuṭikaṇṇa

Now at that time the venerable Kaccāna the Great was staying among the people of Avantī at Osprey’s Haunt on Steep Rock mountain slope. Now at that time the lay-follower, Soṇa Kuṭikaṇṇa, was a supporter of the venerable Kaccāna the Great. Then the lay-follower, Soṇa Kuṭikaṇṇa, approached the venerable Kaccāna the Great; having approached, having greeted the venerable Kaccāna the Great, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, the lay-follower, Soṇa Kuṭikaṇṇa, spoke thus to the venerable Kaccāna the Great:

“In so far as I, honoured sir, understand dhamma taught by the master, Kaccāna the Great, it is no easy matter for one living in a house to lead the Brahma-faring which is utterly complete, utterly pure and polished like a conch-shell. I want, honoured sir, having cut off hair and beard, having donned yellow robes, to go forth from home into homelessness. Honoured sir, may the master Kaccāna the Great let me go forth.”

He said: “Difficult, Soṇa, for as long as life lasts are the solitary sleeping-place, the one meal (a day), the Brahma-faring. Please do you, Soṇa, being a householder as before, practise the instruction of the awakened ones for a short time: the solitary sleeping-place, the one meal (a day), the Brahma-faring.”

Then that abated which had been the lay follower Soṇa Kuṭikaṇṇa’s strong aspiration for the going forth. But a second time did the lay follower Soṇa Kuṭikaṇṇa … But a third time did the lay follower Soṇa Kuṭikaṇṇa approach the venerable Kaccāna the Great … as in Kd.5.13.1 “… Honoured sir, may the master Kaccāna the Great let me go forth.” Then the venerable Kaccāna the Great let the lay-follower Soṇa Kuṭikaṇṇa go forth. Now at that time the southern region of Avantī came to be short of monks. Then did the venerable Kaccāna the Great at the end of three years, with difficulty, with trouble, having had convened from here and there an Order of monks consisting of ten, ordain the venerable Soṇa.

The five boons for Mahākaccana

Then as the venerable Soṇa was keeping the rains and meditating in seclusion, a reasoning arose in his mind thus: “I have only heard that this Lord is such and such a one, but I have not seen him face to face. I would go and see this Lord, the perfected, the all-awakened one, if a preceptor would allow me.” Then the venerable Soṇa, emerging from seclusion towards the evening, approached the venerable Kaccāna the Great; having approached, having greeted the venerable Kaccāna the Great, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, the venerable Soṇa spoke thus to the venerable Kaccāna the Great:

“Now, as I, honoured sir, was meditating in seclusion, a reasoning arose in my mind thus: ‘I have only heard that this Lord is such and such a one, but I have not seen him face to face. I would go to see this Lord, the perfected, the all-awakened one, if a preceptor would allow me.’ I, honoured sir, would go to see this Lord, the perfected, the all-awakened one, if the preceptor allows me.”

“Good, it is good, Soṇa. Do you, Soṇa, go to see this Lord, the perfected, the all-awakened one.

“You, Soṇa, will see this Lord, who is pleasant and inspires one to be pleased, who is calmed in his sense-organs, calmed in mind, who has attained the uttermost taming and peace, the hero tamed, guarded, controlled in his sense-organs. Well then, do you, Soṇa, in my name salute the Lord’s feet with your head, saying: ‘Lord, my preceptor, the venerable Kaccāna the Great, salutes the Lord’s feet with his head’, and then speak thus: ‘Lord, the southern region of Avantī is short of monks. At the end of three years (he), with difficulty, with trouble, having had convened for me from here and there an Order of monks consisting of ten, I received ordination. Perhaps the Lord would allow ordination by a smaller group in the southern region of Avantī.

“‘Lord, in the southern region of Avantī the surface-soil is dark, hard, trampled by the hooves of cattle. Perhaps the Lord would allow sandals with many linings in the southern region of Avantī. Lord, in the southern region of Avantī people attach importance to bathing, to purification by water. Perhaps the Lord would allow constant bathing in the southern region of Avantī. Lord, in the southern region of Avantī hides (are used as) coverings: sheep-hide, goat-hide, deer-hide. As, Lord, in the middle districts, eragu, moragu, majjhāru, jantu (are used), so, Lord, in the southern region of Avantī hides (are used as) coverings. Perhaps the Lord would allow hides (to be used as) coverings in the southern region of Avantī: sheep-hide, goat-hide, deer-hide.

“‘At present, Lord, people give robe-material to monks who have gone outside the boundaries, saying: “We are giving this robe-material for so and so.” When these have come back (the others) announce: “Your reverences, robe-material was given for you by the people so and so”. But these, being scrupulous, do not consent to it, thinking: “Let there not be an offence involving forfeiture for us.” Perhaps the Lord would explain the procedure in regard to robe-material.’”

“Yes, honoured sir”, and the venerable Soṇa having spoken in assent to the venerable Kaccāna the Great, rising from his seat, having greeted the venerable Kaccāna the Great, having kept his right side towards him, having packed away his lodging, taking his bowl and robe, set out for Sāvatthī.

In due course he approached Sāvatthī, the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery, the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. Then the Lord addressed the venerable Ānanda, saying: “Ānanda, make ready a lodging for this incoming monk”. Then the venerable Ānanda thought:

“The Lord desires to stay in the same dwelling-place together with this monk, the Lord desires to stay in the same dwelling-place together with the venerable Soṇa; it is he in regard to whom the Lord enjoined me, saying: ‘Ānanda, make ready a lodging for this incoming monk’,” and he made ready a lodging for the venerable Soṇa in that dwelling-place where the Lord was staying.

Then the Lord, having spent a great part of that night in the open air, entered the dwelling-place. The venerable Soṇa also, having spent a great part of that night in the open air, entered the dwelling-place. Then the Lord, getting up in the night towards dawn, requested the venerable Soṇa, saying:

“May (some) dhamma occur to you to speak, monk.”

“Very well, Lord”, and the venerable Soṇa, having replied in assent to the Lord, spoke from memory everything belonging to the Divisions in the Eights. Then the Lord at the end of the venerable Soṇa’s recital expressed his approbation saying:

“Good, it is good, monk, that by you, monk, the Divisions in the Eights are well learnt, well attended to, well reflected upon, and that you are endowed with lovely speech, distinct, without hoarseness, so as to make the meaning clear. Of how many years’ standing are you, monk?”

“I, Lord, am of one year’s standing.”

“But what have you, monk, done thus long?”

“For long, Lord, I have seen peril in pleasures of the senses, but household lives are crowded, there is much to be done, much business.” Then the Lord, having understood this matter, at that time uttered this utterance:

“Having seen peril in the world,
having known dhamma without attachment, /
the noble one delights not in evil,
the pure one delights in instruction.”

Then the venerable Soṇa, thinking: “The Lord is much pleased with me, this is the time for that for which the preceptor prepared me,” rising from his seat, having arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, having inclined his head to the Lord’s feet, spoke thus:

“Lord, my preceptor, the venerable Kaccāna the Great, salutes the Lord’s feet with his head, and speaks thus: ‘The southern region of Avantī, Lord … ( as in Kd.5.13.5, Kd.5.13.6) … perhaps the Lord would explain the procedure in regard to robe-material’.” Then the Lord, on this occasion, in this connection, having given reasoned talk, addressed the monks, saying:

“Monks, the southern region of Avantī is short of monks. I allow, monks, in all border districts ordination by a group with, as fifth, an expert on discipline.

“For this purpose, these are the border districts: the little town called Kajaṅgala is in the eastern direction, beyond it is Mahāsālā, further than that are border districts, on this side are the middle (districts). The river called Sallavatī is in the south-eastern direction, further than that are border districts, on this side are the middle (districts). The little town called Setakaṇṇika is in the southern direction, further than that are border districts, on this side are the middle (districts). The brahmin village called Thūna is in the western direction, further than that are border districts, on this side are the middle (districts). The mountain slope called Usīraddhaja is in the northern direction, further than that are border districts, on this side are the middle (districts). I allow, monks, in such border districts as these, ordination by a group with, as fifth, an expert on discipline.

“In the southern region of Avantī, monks, the surface-soil is dark, hard, trampled by the hooves of cattle. I allow, monks, in all border districts, sandals with many linings. In the southern region of Avantī, monks, people attach importance to bathing, to purification by water. I allow, monks, in all border districts, constant bathing. In the southern region of Avantī, monks, hides (are used as) coverings: sheep-hide, goat-hide, deer-hide. As, monks, in the middle districts eragu, moragu, majjhāra, jantu (are used), so, monks, in the southern region of Avantī hides (are used as) coverings: sheep-hide, goat-hide, deer-hide. I allow, monks, in all border districts, hides (to be used as) coverings: sheep-hide, goat-hide, deer-hide. And moreover, monks, people give robe-material for monks who have gone outside the boundaries, saying: ‘We are giving this robe-material for so and so’. I allow you, monks, to consent (to it). That reckoning is not necessary until it reaches the hand.”

The Fifth Section: that on Hides

In this Section there are sixty-three items. This is its key:

The King of Magadha, Soṇa,
and eighty-thousand chieftains,
Sāgata showed much that was further on Vulture Peak, /
They were broken by his output (of energy) on going forth,
the lute, with one lining,
dark green, yellow, red, crimson, and indeed black, /
Orange, multi-coloured, and he objected to edgings,
heels, knee-boots, top-boots,
cotton, partridges, rams, goats, /
Scorpions, peacocks, and embroidered,
decorated with lions, tigers and panthers,
antelopes, beavers and cats, squirrels, owls, /
Sandals for split (feet), corns,
unwashed, tree-stumps, rasping,
palm, bamboo, and indeed grass,
munja; babbaja, marshy date-palm, /
Kamala, woollen, golden, silver, gems, lapis lazuli,
crystal, bronze, and glass, and tin, lead, copper, /
Cows, a vehicle and ill,
yoked with bulls, a palanquin,
things to recline on, large hides,
and the depraved one with a cowhide, /
On what belongs to householders, with thongs of hide,
they enter, on one being ill,
Kaccāna the Great, Soṇa (recites) from memory
what belongs to the Divisions in the Eights, /
A group of five for ordination, many linings, constant bathing,
he allowed hides (to be used as) coverings,
reckoning not necessary until:
The leader gave these five boons to the Elder Soṇa.