second of the three books that together make up the Tipitaka,
the sacred scriptures of the ancient Buddhist schools.
The Vinaya Pitaka contains the rules for monks and nuns, monastic jurisprudence
and the early history of the Sangha.
The Mahayana schools do not have
their own Vinaya Pitaka but use that of the Saravastaradin
school of early Buddhism which is nearly identical to
the Theravadin Vinaya Pitaka. The
227 rules for monks (the number differs slightly in different
schools) are divided according to the punishments imposed
if they are infringed. The most important rules are the
Parajika, the breaking of which are punishment by expulsion
from the Sangha. The four Parajika are sexual intercourse,
theft, murder and falsely claiming to have psychic powers
or spiritual attainments. Other important rules are the
13 Sanghadisesa, which if infringed require confession
and the Nissaggiya Pacittiya, 30 rules concerning property,
which if infringed were punished by confiscation. Other
rules govern etiquette, settlement of disputes and administration.
Wijayaratna, Buddhist Monastic Life. Cambridge,
C.S. Prebish, Buddhist Monastic Discipline.
B. Khantipalo, The Buddhist Monks Discipline.