Dip into the Vinaya Pitaka with Buddhist Stories from the Khandhakas

Cover: Buddhist Stories from the KhandhakasThis week we are happy to announce the publication of a new e-book:  Buddhist Stories from the Khandhakas, Translated by I. B. Horner

By now you are familiar with the Sutta Pitaka. The other section of teachings that date back to the Buddha are found in the Vinaya Pitaka. The Pali word vinaya means dicipline. The Vinaya Pitaka has two main parts. The first is a rule-by-rule explanation of the training for monastics. They give background on how the rules were formed as well as details about how to follow them.

The second part of the Vinaya Pitaka is called the Khandhakas. This section contains not only rules but also Dhamma teachings and stories about the lives of monastics and lay people. Because some of the rules are quite long and complex, it can be hard to navigate if you are just looking for the teachings and stories. This book includes only the Dhamma teachings and the other stories.  The complete translation was done by I. B. Horner and has be released by the Pali Text Society for free distribution making this edition possible.

You may like to use this text as a dail reading. But you may find that the stories keep you reading longer than you planned. 🙂

Here are some highlights:

Chapter One: The story of the creation of the monastic order starting with the moments right after the Buddha’s enlightenment, including the first three discourses.
Chapter Four: The Buddha criticizes vows of silence.
Chapter Eight: The story of the physician Jivaka’s medical training.
Chapter Fourteen and Fifteen: The scandalous accusations against Dabba the Mallian
Chapter Sixteen: The story of Anathapindaka’s conversion
Chapter Seventeen: The going forth of the six Sakyans and Devadatta’s exploits.
Chapter Twenty-One: The story of the First Council
Chapter Twenty-Two: The scandal of the Second Council

So get your free ebook now as epub, Kindle, or PDF:  Buddhist Stories from the Khandhakas

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Buddhist Stories from the Khandhakas: Selections from The Book of the Discipline—Epub, Kindle, PDF

Have you ever thought about reading the Vinaya but aren’t sure where to start? This new edition of the section called the Khandhakas was made for you.

The Vinaya is mostly guidelines for the monastic community. It also contains countless stories about both monastics and lay people. It begins with the moment after the Buddha’s enlightenment and tells the story of the founding of the Bhikkhu Sangha until the joining of Vens. Sariputta and Maha Moggallana. It then tells stories of the ways the community was guided by the Buddha. It ends with the stories of the first two great councils.

From the Preface:

The Vinaya is a source of not only valuable spiritual teachings, but a rich collection of humanizing stories. There are stories of great virtue and great vice, great wisdom and great foolishness. Because the Vinaya Pitaka also contains an impressive amount of intricate training rules for monastics, it is often skipped over by people who might otherwise benefit. The current edition of the Khandhakas is an attempt to make it easier for people to discover their next spiritual inspiration.

Although the title of this edition specifically calls out stories, many of the passages that are also found in the Sutta Pitaka are included. As well, a rather long section, chapter 18, contains detailed instructions on how to go about the daily chores of living in a monastery. Because they are the story of every day life, they have also been included.

Within chapters an ellipsis is included where material has been removed. As well, the footnotes have been removed as they rarely related to the narrative drive of the stories. All the titles remain as they are in the original edition so if you want to learn more you can. The original publication can be found on the download page of SuttaCentral.net.

This edition is only possible through the Pali Text Society’s generous release of I. B. Horner’s complete tranlsation of the Vinaya Pitaka under a Creative Commons Licence as well as the hard work of many individuals at SuttaCentral to bring it into digital form, particularly Bhante Brahmali and Bhante Sujato.