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Vajjiputtakā °puttiyā

The name of a large group of monks belonging to the Vajjian clan and dwelling in Vesāli, who, one century after the Buddha’s death, brought forward Ten Points (dasa vatthūni) as being permissible for members of the Order. These points are as follows:

  1. The storing of salt in a horn (siṅgilonakappa);
  2. the eating of food when the shadow of the sun had passed two fingers’ breadth beyond noon (duvaṅgulakappa);
  3. to eat once and then go again to the village for alms (gāmantarakappa);
  4. the holding of the uposatha separately by monks dwelling in the same district (āvāsakappa);
  5. the carrying out of an official act when the assembly is incomplete (anumatikappa);
  6. the following of a practice because it is so done by one’s tutor or teacher (āciṇṇakappa);
  7. the eating of sour milk by one who has already had his midday meal (amaṭhitakappa);
  8. the use of strong drink before it has fermented (jalogikappa);
  9. the use of a rug which is not of the proper size (nisīdanakappa);
  10. the use of gold and silver (jātarūparajatakappa).

The orthodox monks refused to agree to these points, and one of their leaders, Yasa Kākandakaputta, publicly condemned the action of the Vajjiputtakā. Yasa then left Kosambī, and, having summoned monks from Pāvā in the west and Avanti in the south, sought Sambhūta Sānavāsi in Ahogaṅga. On his advice they sought Soreyya-Revata, and together they consulted Sabbakāmī at Vālikārāma. In the Council that followed the Ten Points were declared invalid, and this decision was conveyed to the monks. Soon after was held a recital of the Doctrine in which seven hundred monks took part under the leadership of Soreyya-Revata. The recital lasted eight months.

The story of the Vajjiputtakā heresy is given in the twelfth chapter of the Cūḷavagga (Vin.ii.294 ff.); the Mhv.iv.9 ff. gives more details in certain respects; see also Dpv.iv.48 ff; v.17 ff; 32 ff.

It is noteworthy that even during the Buddha’s life five hundred monks, described as Vajjiputtakā, seceded from the Order and joined Devadatta though they were later brought back by Sāriputta and Mahā-Moggallāna (Vin.ii.199 f ). Buddhaghosa actually (Sp.i.228) identifies the heretics as belonging to the same party. For the part played by Yasa Thera see Yasa (2).

The Vajjiputtakā refused to accept the finding of Revata’s Council and formed a separate sect, the Mahāsaṅghikā, numbering ten thousand monks, who held a recital of their own.

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