Vinaya and it's modern application

Was told by a practitioner that there is ‘modern interpretation’ of the Vinaya that shows how the training rules are applied currently in Theravada tradition. Perhaps I misunderstood, but it seemed to be a book of some sort. Anyone know what this maybe?

No sorry, no idea. I think this is unlikely to be the title of a book, your informant may have been referencing the sum total of modern published and oral vinaya teaching.

Given that we all presumably live in the modern world, any vinaya interpretation is bound to be modern vinaya interpretation…


It very well might be the Buddhist Monastic Code I and II, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Very common for Vinaya studies in the West/English-speaking places. It provides commentary and compiles traditional vinaya information afaik.

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I think this is perhaps right, the individual I talked to had a preference for Ajahn Geoff’s translations. I’m going to put this question as solved. Thank you!

I wonder how Ajahn Thanissaro would feel about his book being called a modern interpretation. If I had to guess, I think he might say that in the book he is using the standards that the Buddha laid down for figuring out the Vinaya is applied to new situations. Which is not always straightforward, and reasonable people often disagree on.

Of course it’s a very useful and well respected book. But he is dealing with so many sources other than the “canonical” Vinaya (commentary, sub commentary, modern Thai commentary, and his own opinion) that it is very, very, very easy to loose track of what he is actually quoting some times. Discussions can be long and winding. So you just have to keep your wits about you when reading to know who is saying what. Unless you are already trained in the Vinaya, it’s a good idea to read the whole chapter on any particular rule or topic rather than pick out paragraphs.

Also, as I recall he doesn’t say much about Vinaya practice in Sri Lanka or Burma.

If you are looking for a true “modern version” of the Vinaya, you could find one in the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition where he changes many rules outright.