The Great Chapter
(Mahākhandhako, Mv 1-4)

An English translation of the first four sections of the Vinaya Mahāvagga, which relates the life of the Buddha from the time of Awakening to the founding of the first monastery (with an embedded reading of the text).

translated by
Ānandajoti Bhikkhu

(Ver 1.2 May, 2014)





Html Table of Contents (outline)




I: The First Teachings

II. Progress of the Sāsana

III. The Miracles at Uruvelā

IV. In Rājagaha

Html Table of Contents (detail)





I: The First Teachings

1: The Story about the Awakening (Tree) (Conditional Origination)

2: The Story about the Goatherd’s (Tree) (The Grumbling Brāhmaṇa)

3: The Story about the Mucalinda (Tree)

4: The Story about the Royal (Tree) (Tapussa and Bhallika)

5: The Story about Brahma’s request

[6: Deciding Who to Teach]

[7: The Abstainer Upaka]

[8: The Meeting at Isipatana]

[9: The Discourse Setting the Dhamma-Wheel Rolling]

[10: Further Attainments]

[11: The Discourse about the Characteristic of Non-Self] (The First Arahants)


II. Progress of the Sāsana

12: Yasa’s Going Forth

[13: Yasa’s father]

[14: Yasa’s Mother and his Former Wife]

15: The Going-Forth of (Yasa’s) Four Householder Friends

16: The Going-Forth of the Fifty Householder Friends

17: The Story about Māra

18: The Story of Full Ordination through Going to the Three Refuges

19: The Second Story about Māra

20: The Tale of the Good Group of Friends


III. The Miracles at Uruvelā

21: The First Miracle (The Dragon-king - Prose)

22: The First Miracle (The Dragon-king - Verse)

23: The Second Miracle (The Four Great Kings)

24: The Third Miracle (Sakka, the Lord of the Gods)

25: The Fourth Miracle (Brahmā Sahampati)

26: The Fifth Miracle (Mind-Reading)

[27: Rag-Robe Miracle]

[28: The Rose-Apple Miracle]

[29: The Mango Miracle]

[30: The Emblic Myrobalan Miracle]

[31: The Yellow Myrobalan Miracle]

[32: The Coral Tree Flower Miracle]

[33: The Sacred Fire Miracles]

[34: The Coal-Pan Miracle]

[35: The Island Miracle]

[36: The Ordination of Kassapa and his Followers]

[37: The Ordination of the Other Yogis]

38: The Instruction About Burning


IV. In Rājagaha

39: The Meeting with King Bimbisāra

[40: The Donation of the Bamboo Wood]

41: The Story of the Going-Forth of Sāriputta and Moggallāna

42: The Going-Forth of the Well-Known (Sons of Good Families)


Translations Consulted

BD: The Book of the Discipline, Vol I, I.B. Horner, London, 1938.

VT: Vinaya Texts, Part I, T.W. Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg, Oxford 1885, reprinted Delhi 1990

SGB: The Story of Gotama Buddha, N.A. Jayawickrama, PTS Oxford, 1990.

MT: The Mahavastu, J. J. Jones, London, 3 volumes 1949-1956.

LV: Lalitavistara, Bijoya Goswami, Kolkata, 2001.


Dictionaries, etc.:

PED: Pāḷi-English Dictionary, T.W. Rhys Davids and William Stede, 1921-25, online edition.

CPD: Critical Pāli Dictionary, 1947- (unfinished), online edition.

CPED: Concise Pāli-English Dictionary, Ven. A.P. Buddhadatta, Colombo, 1958 reprinted 1968.

BHSD: Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary, Franklin Edgerton, New Haven 1953, reprinted Delhi 1998.

SED: Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Monier-Williams, 1899, online edition.

DPPN: Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, G.P. Malalasekera, Pali Text Society, London 1937.

FF: Bhante S. Dhammika: Dictionary of the Flora and Fauna in the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka (pre-publication copy kindly given me by the Author).

Syntax: Syntax of the Cases in the Pali Nikayas, by O.H. de A. Wijesekera (Colombo 1993).



In preparing this text and translation for publication I have divided it into a number of versions. In the Buddhist Texts and Studies section will be found the Pāḷi Text together with the variant readings. This is a more technical work dealing with the establishment of the text, and considers the text from the point of view of its grammar, prosody, and how the material has been collected.

In the Texts and Translations section I present the full Text and Translation with annotations which help to explain matters that may not be clear from the text itself. I have therefore translated sections from the Commentary, and also added in information from parallels in the Jātakanidāna, the Lalitavistara and the Mahāvastu.

In the English section there is the Translation Only, with somewhat less notes than in the Text and Translations section, which is intended for the casual reader who wants a reliable translation but is not interested in the technical matters concerning the original text itself.


Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
May, 2014