Skip to main content


Vinaya (‘that which separates’). The rules which govern the saṅgha, and thus lives of Buddhist bhikkhus and bhikkunīs. It is one of the three parts (‘baskets’) of the Tripiṭaka. It is divided into three parts: Sutta Vibhaṅga (Sūtravibhaṅga, also known as Vinayavibhaṅga), which has incorporated an earlier disciplinary text, Pratimokṣa Sūtra: it thus becomes a statement and explication of the pratimokṣa rules. The second part is Skandhaka (Khandhaka, ‘Chapters’, also called Vinayavastu), of more diverse materials, and itself divided into Mahāvagga (‘Greater Section’) and Cūlavagga (‘Smaller Section’): in addition to rules governing rituals and communal occasions, e.g. uposatha, vassa, admission to the order, schism, it contains a partial biography of the Buddha and an account of the first two Councils; it also establishes the importance of sīmā, ‘boundary’, which establishes much more than territory: it designates a sacred space in which all new members of the community are ordained, thus securing the continuity of the community. The third part is Parivāra, a kind of appendix which organizes the material of the other parts in ways which make it easier to learn. See also TAO-HSÜAN; RITSU.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Vinaya." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 18 Jul. 2018 <>.

"Vinaya." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (July 18, 2018).

"Vinaya." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved July 18, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.