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19912 Wednesday LESSON 705 Vinaya Pitaka from FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY through
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19912 Wednesday LESSON 705 Vinaya Pitaka from FREE ONLINE  eNālāndā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY through

Vinaya Pitaka

The Vinaya pitaka, which is regarded as the sheet anchor of the Holy
Order, deals mainly with the rules and regulations of the Order of Bhikkhus (monks)
and Bhikkhunis (nuns). For nearly twenty years after the Awakenment
of the Buddha, no definite rules were laid down for control and discipline of
the Sangha (Order). Subsequently as occasion arose, the Buddha
promulgated rules for the future discipline of the Sangha. Reasons for the
promulgation of rules, their various implications, and specific Vinaya
ceremonies of the Sangha are fully described in the Vinaya pitaka. The history
of the gradual development of Sāsana [5]
from its very inception, a brief account of the life and ministry of the
Buddha, and details of the three Councils are some other additional relevant
contents of the Vinaya Pitaka. Indirectly it reveals useful information about
ancient history, Indian customs, ancient arts and sciences. One who reads the
Vinaya Pitaka cannot but be impressed by the democratic constitution of the
Sangha, their holding of possessions in common, the exceptionally high moral
standard of the Bhikkhus, and the unsurpassed administrative abilities of the
Buddha, who anticipated even the present Parliamentary system. Lord Zetland
writes; “And it may come as a surprise to many to learn that in the
Assemblies of the Buddhists in India two thousand years and more ago are to be
found the rudiments of our own Parliamentary practice of the present day. [6]

The Vinaya Pitaka consists of the following five books:

1. Pārājika Pāli


(Major Offences)

2. Pācittiya Pāli

(Minor Offences)

3. Mahāvagga Pāli


(Greater Section)

4. Cullavagga Pāli

(Lesser Section)

5. Parivāra Pāli

(Epitome of the Vinaya)

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