Logical Expression in the Tipitaka: A Case Study of the Use of Definition in the Sikkhãpadavibhamga and the Pãdabhãjanĩya of the Four Pãrãjikas of the Bhikkhu’s Discipline


  • Widya Sakyabhinand


This research article deals with 1) logical definition 2) definitions of the Sikkhãpadavibhaṁga (Definition on the Training Rules) (SVBH) and the Pãdabhãjanĩya (Classification of Words) (PBH) of the four Pãrãjikas of the bhikkhu’s discipline and 3) a synthesis of SVBH and PBH with the definition principle so as to evaluate them with the Theravãda Buddhist philosophical outlook. There are two categories of definition: real definition and nominal definition. The former explains the essential meaning of words while the latter explains the verbal meaning. A good definition must be equivalent in meaning between definiendum, the term to be defined, and definiens, the defining term. For instance, an offence involving expulsion from a Buddhist monkhood is called Pãrãjikas (Defeat). There are four Pãrãjikas out of 237 Sikkhãpada (training rules) formulated by the Buddha for training behavior of bhikkhus. The four Pãrãjikas consist of six segments embodied as the training rules, one of which is the SVBH & PBH. The definition of words in the four Pãrãjikas is  related to the SVBH and the classification used to define them more is related to the PBH. There are 379 definitions in total used in SVBH & PBH: 0.5% are real definition and 99.5% are nominal definition. It could be asserted that definitions in the SVBH & PBH are all nominal because they state something natural, though their 0.5% might be understood as real definition. This is compatible with the Theravãda Buddhist philosophy that rejects anything ‘supernatural’ in metaphysics, epistemology and ethics.

Author Biography

Widya Sakyabhinand

Widya Sakyabhinand teaches in the Department of Philosophy
and Religion, Kasetsart University, Thailand. He can be reached at: