English translations of sarvastivada vinaya

Are there any English translations of sarvastivada and mulasarvastivada vinaya?
I am more concerned about civara vastu and kathina vastu (from Gilgit manuscripts volume III)

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There seems to be something for Mūlasarvāstivāda, but not for Sarvāstivāda.

You can easily see this in the menu bar: If you have selected the language you are looking for (in this case English) you can see green dots everywhere where there are English translations:


Follow the dots further; they’ll guide you to all English texts.

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Thank you so much for the information, I’ll check these pages


By the way, welcome to the forum, Bhante! :anjal:

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Thank you @sabbamitta
Actually I want some English translations. Manuscripts in sutracentral are in Chinese and Sanskrit.

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Yes, it’s a bit strange. There seem to be more green dots than English translations. Bhante @sujato?

But I find one Patimokkha: SuttaCentral

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Edited the question, I actually need information on civara vastu and kathina vastu.

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I don’t think there are translations of these, unfortunately. Is there anything specific you’re looking for?

Yes, thanks for pointing that out, it is a bug. Looks like it is giving positive results based on school, not text, I have made an issue for it.


Thank you bhante! @sujato
Yes I do, civara vastu and kathina vastu.

I found many issues in kathina chivara sikka.
There are few facts to find better explainations.

Related texts explain katina can not be layed (katthinattara) using incomplete robe. But the vinaya pitaka explains the robe can be taken to another place and finish.

  1. In kathinuddara, it says "a monk, after kaṭhina -cloth has been made, taking robe-material goes away. When he has gone outside the boundary, it occurs to him, “I will get this robe-material made up here, I will not come back”, and he gets that robe-material made up. That monk’s kaṭhina (privileges) are removed because of (his robes) being settled.
    From sutracentral,
    “And how, monks, does kaṭhina -cloth come to be made? Kaṭhina -cloth comes to be made when it is unsoiled; kaṭhina -cloth comes to be made when what is allowable is unsoiled; etc.”
    When we consider all the facts explained about what kind of robes cannot be used to kathia to come be made, it seems monks in the place would have to complete the robe in one day and then make the kathina (kathinattara).
    Problem here is how one can take the comlete robe (made kathina) and complete it there which is already complete?

  2. In cullavagga kuddakavattukkandaka, there is a rule regarding katina frame (kathina) and kathina string (kathinarajju) to sew robes. I think this may have something to do with laying of the kathina robe.
    From sutracentral,
    “I allow you, monks, a kaṭhina -frame (and) strings for the kaṭhina -frame (and) to sew robe-material having tied it down here and there.” They spread out a kaṭhina -frame in an uneven place; the kaṭhina -frame was split. “Monks, a kaṭhina -frame should not be spread out in an uneven place. Whoever should (so) spread one out, there is an offence of wrong-doing.”
    Pi Tv Kd 15: Minor matters (Khuddaka) (English) - Khandhaka - SuttaCentral

What I wanted to figure out about this is what is the connection of the frame with making a kathina. (I wanted above texts to find some solution to this issue.)

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Let me tag ven @Brahmali in on this, he knows more than I do. Also ven @Dhammanando


Tibetans use the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya I think, so I would go looking into Tibetan monastic resources. I can’t imagine there’s nothing translated, but huge chunks may well be untranslated.

I hate to be pessimistic, but I assume you’ll find a fair amount of quoted material, potentially relevant, in the context of critiques of and polemics against the practices of the earlier/historical dispensation.

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The reliance on Mu-sarv Vinaya is more a matter of theory than practice; practically speaking they rely on Gunaprabha’s Vinayasutra and later commentaries. Little has been translated, but 84000 is making a start, and have published the Pabbajjavatthu:


Hi Venerable, I shall be happy to comment on this. The point is that only one official kathina robe is made for an entire community of monastics. A single monastic is chosen to receive this robe. Once this official robe had been made, all the monks who take part in the ceremony get kathina privileges. These privileges include the ability to store robe-cloth until the end of the cold season. This robe-cloth can be sewn into a robe anywhere. So the finishing of a robe elsewhere does not refer to the actual kathina robe, but to the privileges gained by taking part in the kathina ceremony.

Here is my translation of the passage from the Khuddakavatthukkhandhaka that you mention:

At that time the monks erected posts here and there, bound them together, and sewed robes. The corners of the robes were deformed. They told the Master and he said:

“I allow a frame (kathina) and a string. You should tie down the robe cloth to the frame as required, before sewing the robe.”

They put up the frame on uneven ground. The frame broke.

“You should not put up the frame on uneven ground. If you do, you commit an offense of wrong conduct.”

They placed the frame on the ground. The frame became dirty.

“I allow a straw-mat.”

The edges of the frame decayed.

“I allow you to add an edge.”

The frame was not the right size.

“I allow an inner frame (1), folding the straw-mat to fit the frame (2), spacers (3), strings for tying together (4), and strings for tying down (5). After tying it together, you should sew the robe.”

(1) Daṇḍakathina. Sp.4.256: Kathinaṃ nappahotīti dīghassa bhikkhuno pamāṇena kataṃ kathinaṃ; tattha rassassa bhikkhuno cīvaraṃ patthariyamānaṃ nappahoti, antoyeva hoti; daṇḍake na pāpuṇātīti attho. Daṇḍakathinanti tassa majjhe itarassa bhikkhuno pamāṇena aññaṃ nisseṇiṃ bandhituṃ anujānāmīti attho. “The frame was not the right size: the frame had been made to fit the size of a tall monk and it was not the right size for spreading out the robe-cloth for a short monk—it fell within; the meaning is the sticks (of the frame) are the wrong size. Daṇḍakathina: the meaning is ‘I allow you to bind another frame to fit the size of another monk in the middle of that (large frame)ʼ.”

(2) Bidalaka. Sp.4.256: Bidalakanti daṇḍakathinappamāṇena kaṭasārakassa pariyante paṭisaṃharitvā duguṇakaraṇaṃ, “Bidalaka: making a double layer by folding the ends of the straw mat to fit the inner frame.”

(3) Salāka. Sp.4.256: Salākanti dupaṭṭacīvarassa antare pavesanasalākaṃ, “Salāka: a salāka for inserting between a double-layer robe-cloth.”

(4) Vinandhanarajju.Sp.4.256: Vinandhanarajjunti mahānisseṇiyā saddhiṃ khuddakaṃ nisseṇiṃ vinandhituṃ rajjuṃ, “Vinandhanarajju: a string to tie the small frame to the large frame.”

(5) Vinandhanasutta. Sp.4.256: Vinandhanasuttanti khuddakanisseṇiyā cīvaraṃ vinandhituṃ suttakaṃ, “Vinandhanasutta: a string to tie the robe-cloth to the small frame.”

The connection between the frame and the making of the kathina robe is that the frame was used to stretch the cloth and thereby make the work easier. Not only the official kathina robe, but all robes made in the robe-season (until the end of the cold season) would normally be made on this frame.


Bhante, @Brahmali
Thank you so much for this valuable information

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I don’t think this that we can conclude the robe that monk is taking is not actual kathina robe when we cnsider pali phrase from chatta samgayana,
Bhikkhu atthatakathino cīvaraṃ ādāya pakkamati. Tassa bahisīmagatassa evaṃ hoti – “Idhevimaṃ cīvaraṃ kāressaṃ, na paccessa”nti. So taṃ cīvaraṃ kāreti. Tassa bhikkhuno niṭṭhānantiko kathinuddhāro.

Bhikkhu atthatakathino - monk, after kaṭhina -cloth has been made
When it says cīvaraṃ there is no adjective to explain what exactly is the cīvara he is taking

Cīvaraṃ ādāya pakkamati - taking robe, goes away: here this robe can be taken as the robe, or a robe not robe-material as in sutracentral translation. As long as there is no other robe mentioned this robe might be the kathina robe, at least there is a possibility to take it that way.

Then there is another part about finishing the cīvara.
So taṃ cīvaraṃ kāreti- he gets that robe made up

Then is it possible to take the cīvaraṃ mentioned here is not kathina robe but another robe or robe material?
Can you please explain this bhante @Brahmali.

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I am not sure why you wish to question the usual interpretation of this rule. Is it just an academic exercise, or are there practical implications you would like to explore? Anyway, I will reply briefly to your points.

You are right, but I think the text gives us a number hints. Here is the story that leads up to the phrase you are quoting (Pali plus my translation):

Atha kho bhagavā etasmiṃ nidāne etasmiṃ pakaraṇe dhammiṃ kathaṃ katvā bhikkhū āmantesi— “anujānāmi, bhikkhave, vassaṃvuṭṭhānaṃ bhikkhūnaṃ kathinaṃ attharituṃ. Atthatakathinānaṃ vo, bhikkhave, pañca kappissanti— anāmantacāro, asamādānacāro, gaṇabhojanaṃ, yāvadatthacīvaraṃ, yo ca tattha cīvaruppādo so nesaṃ bhavissatīti. Atthatakathinānaṃ vo, bhikkhave, imāni pañca kappissanti.

Soon afterwards the Master gave a teaching and addressed the monks: “I allow monks who have completed the rains residence to do a robe-making ceremony. Once you have done the robe-making ceremony, five things are allowable for you: visiting families before or after a meal invitation, staying apart from your robe for more than a day, eating in a group, keeping as much extra robe-cloth as you need, and whatever robe-cloth is given is only for those who have participated in the robe-making ceremony.”

As far as robes are concerned, there are two important privileges here for those who have done the kathina ceremony (atthatakathina): (1) you can keep as much cloth as you like (until a certain point, which is not specified here); (2) all monastics who participate in the ceremony get an (equal) share of robe-cloth.

This leaves open the question of when these privileges come to an end. This, to my mind, is what the rest of the kathina chapter is about. And it is summarised nicely at the end of the chapter, in this way:

Dveme, bhikkhave, kathinassa palibodhā, dve apalibodhā. Katame ca, bhikkhave, dve kathinassa palibodhā? Āvāsapalibodho ca cīvarapalibodho ca. Kathañca, bhikkhave, āvāsapalibodho hoti? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu vasati vā tasmiṃ āvāse, sāpekkho vā pakkamati “paccessan”ti. Evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, āvāsapalibodho hoti. Kathañca, bhikkhave, cīvarapalibodho hoti? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno cīvaraṃ akataṃ vā hoti vippakataṃ vā, cīvarāsā vā anupacchinnā. Evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, cīvarapalibodho hoti. Ime kho, bhikkhave, dve kathinassa palibodhā.

Katame ca, bhikkhave, dve kathinassa apalibodhā? Āvāsaapalibodho ca cīvaraapalibodho ca. Kathañca, bhikkhave, āvāsaapalibodho hoti? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu pakkamati tamhā āvāsā cattena vantena muttena anapekkho “na paccessan”ti. Evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, āvāsaapalibodho hoti. Kathañca, bhikkhave, cīvaraapalibodho hoti? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno cīvaraṃ kataṃ vā hoti, naṭṭhaṃ vā vinaṭṭhaṃ vā daḍḍhaṃ vā, cīvarāsā vā upacchinnā. Evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, cīvaraapalibodho hoti. Ime kho, bhikkhave, dve kathinassa apalibodhā”ti.

“Monks, there are two obstacles for the ending of the robe-making season: the monastery obstacle and the robe-cloth obstacle. What is the monastery obstacle? A monk stays on in that monastery or he leaves intending to return. What is the robe-cloth obstacle? A monk has not made a robe, or he has not finished it, or he is expecting more robe-cloth.

There are two removals of obstacles for the ending of the robe-making season: the removal of the monastery obstacle and the removal of the robe-cloth obstacle. What is the removal of the monastery obstacle? A monk leaves that monastery without intending to return. What is the removal of the robe-cloth obstacle? A monk has made a robe; or the robe-cloth is lost, stolen, or burnt; or his expectation of more robe-cloth is disappointed.”

This tells us in summary the point at which the kathina privileges come to an end for all monastics who took part in the kathina ceremony, not just the receiver of the kathina robe. And as you can see, the privileges come to an end when the robe has been made (and you have left the monastery where you spent the rainy season).

I understand cīvara in both these cases to refer back to the robe material that is offered after the rains retreat, and which is then shared out to all the monastics who stayed in that monastery for the rains retreat. This is mentioned above in the following way: “whatever robe-cloth is given is only for those who have participated in the robe-making ceremony”. To me this is the only sensible explanation, since the robe for the kathina ceremony has already been made up. And in any case, rules are needed for all those monks who have received robe cloth after the vassa.

I suspect you will not agree with this interpretation. Are you trying to make a specific point? If you would let me know whether you are proposing a particular interpretation and what that interpretation might be, then perhaps our discussion will be more fruitful.


Thank you so much bhante, for valuable information
Many merits!