Vinaya Pitaka (Pali Canon)
|Sutta Pitaka (Nikayas)|
About the Vinaya
The texts of the Vinaya "comprise the monastic code, its history, and commentaries on it. As well as detailing all the rules to be kept by monks, nuns, male and female novices, and male and female lay practitioners, they include a wealth of history, biography, and narrative recording the circumstances under which each rule was originally introduced by the Buddha."
The Pali Vinaya Pitaka 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: