an almsman, a mendicant, a Buddhist monk or priest, a bhikkhu.
■ nom. sg. bhikkhu freq. passim; Vin.iii.40 (vuḍḍhapabbajita); AN.i.78 (thera bh., an elder bh.; and nava bh. a young bh.); AN.iii.299 (id.); AN.iv.25 (id.); Snp.276, Snp.360 Snp.411 sq., Snp.915 sq., Snp.1041, Snp.1104; Dhp.31, Dhp.266 sq., Dhp.364 sq. Dhp.378; Vv.80#1;
■ acc. bhikkhuṃ Vin.iii.174; Dhp.362; bhikkhunaṃ Snp.87, Snp.88, Snp.513;
■ gen. dat. bhikkhuno AN.i.274; Snp.221, Snp.810, Snp.961; Dhp.373; Pv.i.10#10; & bhikkhussa AN.i.230; Vin.iii.175;
■ instr. bhikkhunā Snp.389
■ pl. nom. bhikkhū Vin.ii.150; Vin.iii.175; DN.iii.123; Vism.152 (in sim.); Vb-a.305 (compared with amaccaputtā) & bhikkhavo Snp.384, Snp.573; Dhp.243, Dhp.283;
■ acc bhikkhu Snp.p.78; MN.i.84; Vv.22#10; & bhikkhavo Snp.384, Snp.573;
■ gen. dat. bhikkhūnaṃ Vin.iii.285; DN.iii.264; Snp.1015; Pv.ii.1#7; & bhikkhunaṃ SN.i.190; Thag.1231
■ instr. bhikkhūhi Vin.iii.175;
■ loc. bhikkhūsu AN.iv.25 & bhikkhusu Thag.241, Thag.1207; Dhp.73;
■ voc. bhikkhave (a Māgadhī form of nom. bhikkhavaḥ) Vin.iii.175; Snp.p.78; Vv-a.127; Pv-a.8, Pv-a.39, Pv-a.166; & bhikkhavo Snp.280 Snp.385.

There are several allegorical etymologies (definitions of the word bhikkhu, which occur frequently in the commentaries. All are fanciful interpretations of the idea of what a bhikkhu is or should be, and these qualities were sought and found in the word itself Thus we mention here the foll.

  1. bhikkhu = bhinnakilesa (“one who has broken the stains” i.e. of bad character) Vb-a.328; Vv-a.29, Vv-a.114, Vv-a.310; Pv-a.51.
  2. Another more explicit expln is “sattannaṃ dhammānaṃ bhinnattā bhikkhu” (because of the breaking or destroying of 7 things, viz. the 7 bad qualities leading to rebirth, consisting of sakkāyadiṭṭhi, vicikicchā sīlabbata-parāmāsa, rāga, dosa, moha, māna) This def. at Mnd.70 = Cnd.477#a
  3. Whereas in a & b the first syllable; bhi(-kkhu) is referred to bhid, in this def. it is referred to bhī (to fear), with the further reference of (bh-) ikkh(u) to īkṣ (to see) and bhikkhu defined as “saṃsāre bhayaṃ ikkhati ti bh.” Vism.3, Vism.16 (saṃsāre bhayaṃ ikkhaṇatāya vā bhinna-paṭa-dharaditāya vā)

■ A very comprehensive def. of the term is found at Vb.245–Vb.246, where bhikkhu-ship is established on the ground of 18 qualities (beginning with samaññāya bhikkhu, paṭiññāya bh., bhikkhatī ti bh., bhikkhako ti bh., bhikkhācariyaṃ ajjhupagato ti bh., bhinna-paṭa-dharo ti bh., bhindati pāpake dhamme ti bh., bhinnattā pāpakānaṃ dhammānan ti bh. etc. etc.)
■ This passage is explained in detail at Vb-a.327, Vb-a.328
■ Two kinds of bhikkhus are distinguished at Pts.i.176; Mnd.465 = Cnd.477#b, viz kalyāṇa[-ka-]puthujjana (a layman of good character and sekkha (one in training), for which latter the term paṭilīnacara (one who lives in elimination, i.e. in keeping away from the dangers of worldly life) is given at Mnd.130 (on Snp.810).

  • -gatika a person who associates with the bhikkhus (in the Vihāra) Vin.i.148.
  • -bhāva state of being a monk, monkhood, bhikkhuship DN.i.176; Snp.p.102
  • -saṅgha the community of bhikkhus, the Order of friars DN.iii.208; Snp.403, Snp.1015; Snp.p.101, Snp.p.102; Mil.209; Pv-a.19 sq. & passim.

cp. later Sk. bhikṣu, fr. bhikṣ