1. Now when the Blessed One had stayed at Râgagaha as long as he thought fit, he set out towards Vesâlî; and journeying straight on he in due course arrived there. And there at Vesâlî the Blessed One stayed in the peak-roofed hall at the Mahâvana.
Now at that time the people were zealously engaged in putting up new buildings (for the use of the Order) 5, and as zealously provided with the
requisite clothes, and food, and lodging, and medicine for the sick, all such Bhikkhus as superintended their work.
Now a certain poor tailor thought; 'This can be no every-day matter on which the people are so zealously engaged. Let me too set to work on a new building.' And that poor tailor himself kneaded the clay, and laid the bricks, and raised the walls. But by his want of experience the laying was out of line and the wall fell down. And a second and a third time he [repeated his work, and with the same result].
2. Then that poor tailor murmured, was annoyed, and became indignant, saying, 'These Sakyaputtiya Samanas exhort and teach those men who provide them with the requisite clothes, food, lodging, and medicine, and superintend their buildings for them. But I am poor, and no one exhorts or teaches me, or helps me in my building!'
The Bhikkhus heard him so murmuring, and told the matter to the Blessed One. Then the Blessed One on that occasion and in that connection made a religious discourse, and gave command to the Bhikkhus, saying, 'I permit you, O Bhikkhus, to give new buildings in course of erection (for the use of the Order) in charge (to a Bhikkhu who shall superintend 1 the work). And the Bhikkhu who
is overseer shall zealously exert himself to the end that the work on the Vihâra may be brought to a rapid conclusion, and shall afterwards cause repairs to be executed wherever the buildings have become broken or worn out 1.
3. 'And thus, O Bhikkhus, is the work to be given in charge. In the first place a Bhikkhu is to be asked (whether he will undertake the duty). When he has been asked, some able and discreet Bhikkhu is to lay the matter before the Samgha, saying, "Let the venerable Samgha hear me. If the time seems meet to the Samgha, let the Samgha give in charge to such and such a Bhikkhu the Vihâra of such and such a householder as a navakammam. This is the motion (ñatti). Let the venerable Samgha hear me. The Samgha hereby gives in charge . . . . (&c., as before). Whosoever of the venerable ones approves thereof, let him keep silence; whosoever approves not thereof, let him speak. The Samgha has given in charge . . . . (&c., as before). Therefore is it silent. Thus do I understand."'
189:5 Navakammam karonti. This idiom always connotes buildings for the use of the Order. See the passages quoted in our note on Kullavagga I, 18, I. If the buildings were for the Bhikkhus, then a Bhikkhu, if for the Bhikkhunîs, then a Bhikkhunî, was appointed to superintend the works in order to ensure the p. 190 buildings being in accordance with the rules of the Order as to size, form, and object of the various apartments.
The buildings referred to in this section are no doubt intended to be the same as those referred to in Kullavagga V, 13, 3.
190:1 Navakammam dâtum. For the works which ought not to be included, and for those which might be lawfully included. in this term, see below, Kullavagga VI, 17. Hence the overseer is called navakammika.
191:1 Khandan ti bhinnokâso: phullan ti phalitokâso (B.). The expression recurs below at VI, 17, I.