This volume is an attempt to give an organized, detailed account of the training rules found in the Khandhakas that govern the life of bhikkhus, together with the traditions that have grown up around them. It is a companion to The Buddhist Monastic Code, Volume One (BMC1), which offers a similar treatment of the Pāṭimokkha training rules.

There is some overlap between the material in this volume and that in BMC1, primarily because the Khandhaka rules and Pāṭimokkha rules also overlap. Although each set of rules has some topics to itself, there are other topics covered by both sets, and a full knowledge of the topic requires acquaintance with both. In some cases, the Pātimokkha rules and the explanations that accompany them in the Sutta Vibhaṅga seem to presuppose the Khandhaka rules; in other cases, the relationship is the other way around. Thus, just as it was necessary in BMC1 to make frequent references to the Khandhakas to gain a full sense of the range of some of the Pāṭimokkha rules, I have found it necessary in this volume to refer to material in BMC1 to make the Khandhaka rules more fully intelligible. In some instances, this has simply meant cross-referencing; in others, it has meant lifting whole passages from BMC1 into the discussion. I hope that the reader will not find these recapitulations tedious, for they give a sense of the complex interrelationships among the rules and help provide the sort of understanding that comes with viewing an item in all its relevant contexts.

Many people have helped with the writing of this book. Most responsible for my originally undertaking the task was Ajaan Suwat Suvaco (Phra Bodhidhammācariya Thera), who in 1997 convinced me that the job had to be done and that I was in a good position to do it. When the draft of the first edition was completed, Ven. Vajiro Bhikkhu and the bhikkhus at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery and Wat Pa Nanachat all read it and offered useful suggestions for improvements, as did the late Paññāvuḍḍho Bhikkhu. In Bangkok, Phra Ñāṇavorodom also offered encouragement and support. For this second edition, Ven. Ñāṇatusita, of the Forest Hermitage in Kandy, Sri Lanka, provided a detailed critique that helped clear up many of the inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the first edition. The bhikkhus here at Metta Forest Monastery also provided valuable feedback on the many drafts leading to this revision. Any errors remaining in the book, of course, are my own responsibility. If you spot them, please let me know so that they can be corrected in future editions.

I ask to dedicate this volume to the memory of Ajaan Suwat Suvaco, in gratitude not only for his encouragement in this endeavor, but also for the many valuable lessons he has kindly taught me in Dhamma and Vinaya, through word and example, over the years.

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

(Geoffrey DeGraff)

Metta Forest Monastery

Valley Center, CA 92082-1409 U.S.A.

March, 2007