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Mv I 30
PTS: Mv I 43 | CS: vin.mv.01.30
The Case of the Criminal for Whom a Warrant had been Sent Out[1]
Ven. Khematto Bhikkhu
Alternate translations/layout: 'line by line' Pāḷi - English

(Mv.I.43.1) [105] Now at that time a certain man, having committed a crime, ran away and went forth among the monks. (A warrant) had been written at the king’s inner palace that, “Wherever he is seen, he should be killed right there.”

People, on seeing him, said, “That’s the criminal for whom (a warrant) has been written. Lets kill him.”

Some said, “Don’t say that, masters. It has been allowed by King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha that for one gone forth among the Sakyan-son contemplatives, nobody can do anything to him, (as he thinks,) ‘The Dhamma is well-expounded. May they live the holy life for the right ending of stress.’”

People criticized and complained and spread it about,

“These Sakyan-son contemplatives are unrestrained by fear[2] — nobody can do anything to them.

“How can they give the Going-forth to a criminal for whom (a warrant) has been written?”

They reported the matter to the Blessed One.

“Monks, a criminal for whom a (a warrant) has been written should not be given the Going-forth. Whoever should give it: an offense of wrong doing.”


See also BMCII: Chap. 14: Undesirable.
Commentary: “Unrestrained by fear”: Here, “restrained by fear” means, “They cease out of fear.” But, because they have been granted safety, “They aren’t restrained by fear,” thus “unrestrained by fear.” It should be understood that in this case there is a ‘va-making’.[3]
This is a grammatical term, usually referring to the insertion of a ‘v’ in a compound, for example, ‘bhū’ + ‘ādayo’ > ‘bhūvādayo’. Howerever, here is seems to refer to the replacement of ‘p’ by ‘v’, which is common. So ‘abhayūvara’ is a variant of ‘abhayūpara’ = ‘a’ + ‘bhaya’ + ‘uparata’ from ‘uparamati’: ceases from motion or action, stops, is quiet, gives up, abstains. [From Cone: A Dictionary of Pāli.]
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