Vinaya Pitaka (Pali Canon)

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The Vinaya Pitaka of the Pali Canon has the following sections:

  • Suttavibhanga (-vibhaṅga): commentary on the Patimokkha, with much of its text embedded
    • Mahavibhanga (mahā-) dealing with monks
    • Bhikkhunivibhanga (bhikkhunī-) dealing with nuns
  • Khandhaka: 22 chapters on various topics
  • Parivara: analyses the rules from various points of view

The Pali version of the Patimokkha, the code of conduct that applies to Buddhist monastics, contains 227 rules for bhikkhus and 311 rules for bhikkhunis. The Vibhanga section(s) of Vinaya Pitaka constitute(s) a commentary on these rules, giving detailed explanations of them along with the origin stories for each rule. The Khandhaka/Skandhaka sections give numerous supplementary rules grouped by subject, again with origin stories. The Buddha called his teaching the "Dhamma-Vinaya", emphasizing both the philosophical teachings of Buddhism as well as the training in virtue that embodies that philosophy.


For English translations of texts of the Pali Canon, see:

See also