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Khandhakā

The name given to a portion of the Vinaya Piṭaka. This is generally further divided into two parts, the Mahā Vagga and the Cūḷavagga.

It contains an attempt to give a coherent picture of the whole legal life of the Saṅgha, with detailed and connected accounts of the admission thereto, the ceremony of the uposatha, the annually recurring observances connected with the rainy season, etc. An account is given, in the case of each regulation, of the occasion on which it was formulated by the Buddha. The separate chapters are arranged in chronological order, and are intended to present a connected account of ecclesiastical history from the time of the Enlightenment of the Buddha down to that of the Second Council, convened one hundred years after the death of the Buddha. (See Oldenberg, Vinaya Piṭaka I., Introd., xxii.f; Law, Pāḷi Lit., i.14 f).

In many ways the Khandhakā, resemble the Sutta Vibhaṅga of the Vinaya, but while in the case of the Vibhaṅga the stories were added later to an original basis of regulations, the Pāṭimokkha, in that of the Khandhakā the regulations and the stories were contemporary.

The Khandhakā consists of eighty sections for recitation (bhāṇavāra) (DA.i.13), and are divided into twenty-two chapters, ten in the Mahā Vagga and twelve in the Cūḷavagga. Each chapter is called a khandhaka. Thus, the first chapter is the Mahākhandaka; the second, the Uposathakhandhaka, and so on.

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