Author Topic: The most severe punishment in the Vinaya  (Read 6356 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
The most severe punishment in the Vinaya
« on: July 24, 2012, 05:03:13 PM »
the brahma punishment, or the brahma danda is a special punishment that is imposed on a sangha member who is extremely stubborn and who refuses to listen to the advice of others. This punishment was imposed on Channa/Chandra and is the same as being exiled or ostracized. The said individual is allowed to speak but no one else is allowed to speak to them. I find this rule very interesting as it is one of the most effective ways of breaking a stubborn mind down to make the person realize it actually change. Has anyone heard of the same punishment being meted out to any  modern monks?

Similarly, DN 16 tells the story of how the Buddha, shortly before passing away, imposed a brahma-punishment (brahma-da??a) on Ven. Channa, which he defined by saying, "Channa may say what he wants but he is not to be spoken to, instructed, or admonished by the bhikkhus." This was in response to Ven. Channa's prideful unwillingness to accept admonishment from anyone (see the origin stories to Sg 12 and Pc 12). The Canon contains two accounts of how this punishment led to Ven. Channa's final Awakening. The version in Cv.XI.1.15 states that he fainted on hearing the news of the punishment. Going into seclusion, "heedful, ardent, and resolute, he in no long time reached and remained in the supreme goal of the holy life," thus becoming an arahant. He then went to Ven. ?nanda to request that his brahma-punishment be revoked, but the latter informed him that the punishment had been automatically lifted at the moment of his attaining arahantship. The version in SN XXII.90, however, tells of how Channa, after learning of his punishment, sought instruction from other bhikkhus and finally gained Awakening on hearing the Kacc?nagotta Sutta (SN XII.15) from Ven. ?nanda. None of these passages, however, describe the brahma-punishment as a Community transaction. Like the information-transaction, it is thus part of the Buddha's repertoire but not the Community's.