The Vinayapitaka, Vinaya Pitaka also, ( Pali and Sanskrit, literally Basket of Discipline) is a collection of Buddhist monastic rules. It forms the first section ( "Basket of Order Rules") of the Pali canon ( Tipitaka, " three baskets "). It is the basis for the Buddhist monkhood. It contains rules for the daily routine of the monks ( bhikkhu ) and nuns ( bhikkhuni ), and rules for handling forms with which a harmonious coexistence both in the monastery itself, as it should also be ensured between monastic and lay community.

Indian tradition

There are various traditions of the Vinaya, including one in Pali and six in Sanskrit.

The basket of monastic rules is divided into two main divisions:

  • The Suttavibhanga, the actual monastic rules ( Patimokkha ). The most important 227 Buddhist monastic rules are included. They regulate all aspects of monastic life. The Patimokkha Sutta is divided into two sections: one for bhikkhus - Bhikkhu - Patimokkha Sutta or Bhikkhu Vinaya - Vibhanga - and one for bhikkhunis - bhikkhuni Patimokkha Sutta.
  • And the Khandakas or " chapters ". The chapters are divided into: Mahavagga, which are 12 chapters, which report incidents in the monastic community, which then led to the corresponding rules of the order ( Patimokkha ). This affected all areas of life and also offers a bizarre part. It creates a vivid picture of the former monastic life.
  • Chulla Vagga, the " minor subdivision "
  • Parivara, the summary

Fully is the only version of the Pali canon, but there is a rich literature on the comment into Chinese transferred versions.


Buddhist monastics of the Theravada tradition, so in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, have a set of rules to 227 rules for monks and 311 for nuns.

Sino - Japanese tradition

The real monastic rules ( Patimokkha ) deviates only slightly from the Indian tradition. For monks 250 rules, 348 for nuns

The first section Parajika (Chinese波罗夷) contains the violations leading to exclusion from the community of monks. In Mahāyāna there are ten.

Prāyaścitta (堕) are the 90 offenses that require repentance. In Chapter pratideśanīya (Chinese波罗提舍尼, also波罗提提舍尼) the corresponding Beichtvorschriften are summarized.

Saptaādhikaraṇa - Samatha (七 灭 诤 法) are the seven rules governing the inconsistencies of monks among themselves.

Fully is the only version of the Pali canon, but there is a rich literature on the comment into Chinese transferred versions.

Chinese translations

1) From the year 404 of Puṇyatara (弗 若 多 罗; jp: Futsu'nyantara ). Monk from Kubha (Chinese罽 宾 国; Kabul ), together with Kumarajiva. Known as the Sarvastivada vinaya (十 诵 律; jp: . Juju Ritsu ), is the version of ( Hinayana ) Saravāstivāda School [T. XXIII, S 1-449 ].

2) 416-18: by Buddhabhadra (佛陀 跋陀罗​​; 359-429; jp: Butsudabatsudara ) with Fa -hsien ( jp.: Hokken ), who had set off 399 to India to fetch the original Vinaya to China.. Known as the Mahasanghika Vinaya (摩诃 僧 只 律; Makasōgi Ritsu ) in 40 fascicles.

3) By Buddhajīva (佛陀 什;觉 寿; † ca 423; jp: Butsudajū ) created the Mahīśāsaka Vinaya (五分 律; jp: .. Gobun Ritsu, in 30 fascicles ).

4) The written by Jinamitra 's Nalanda around 630 Sarvāstivōdavinaya - Sangraha, translated to 700

In Japan, a separate Vinaya school that Ritsu was formed.

The Taishō canon, whose references are given above, contains, inter alia, nor Vinaya - kyō [T. XXIV, 893 ] and Ris -shu- kō - yo [T. No 2348 ]. ( Taishō = T. denotes the same Sino- Japanese canon catalog, NJ older directory Nanjio 's. )

Tibeto -Mongolian tradition

This tradition follows the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya with 253 rules for monks and 364 for nuns.