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The Patimokkha

The Bhikkhus' Code of Discipline

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


Contents


Parajika

1. Should any bhikkhu -- participating in the training and livelihood of the bhikkhus, without having renounced the training, without having declared his weakness -- engage in the sexual act, even with a female animal, he is defeated and no longer in communion.

2. Should any bhikkhu, in the manner of stealing, take what is not given from an inhabited area or from the wilderness -- just as when, in the taking of what is not given, kings arresting the criminal would flog, imprison, or banish him, saying, "You are a robber, you are a fool, you are benighted, you are a thief" -- a bhikkhu in the same way taking what is not given is defeated and no longer in communion.

3. Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive a human being of life, or search for an assassin for him, or praise the advantages of death, or incite him to die (thus): "My good man, what use is this wretched, miserable life to you? Death would be better for you than life," or with such an idea in mind, such a purpose in mind, should in various ways praise the advantages of death or incite him to die, he also is defeated and no longer in communion.

4. Should any bhikkhu, without direct knowledge, boast of a superior human state, a truly noble knowledge and vision as present in himself, saying, "Thus do I know; thus do I see," such that regardless of whether or not he is cross-examined on a later occasion, he -- being remorseful and desirous of purification -- might say, "Friends, not knowing, I said I know; not seeing, I said I see -- vainly, falsely, idly," unless it was from over-estimation, he also is defeated and no longer in communion.


Sanghadisesa

1. Intentional discharge of semen, except while dreaming, entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

2. Should any bhikkhu, overcome by lust, with altered mind, engage in bodily contact with a woman, or in holding her hand, holding a lock of her hair, or caressing any of her limbs, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

3. Should any bhikkhu, overcome by lust, with altered mind, address lewd words to a woman in the manner of young men to a young woman alluding to sexual intercourse, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

4. Should any bhikkhu, overcome by lust, with altered mind, speak in the presence of a woman in praise of ministering to his own sensuality thus: "This, sister, is the highest ministration, that of ministering to a virtuous, fine-natured follower of the celibate life such as myself with this act" -- alluding to sexual intercourse -- it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

5. Should any bhikkhu engage in conveying a man's intentions to a woman or a woman's intentions to a man, proposing marriage or paramourage -- even if only for a momentary liaison -- it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

6. When a bhikkhu is building a hut from (gains acquired by) his own begging -- having no sponsor, destined for himself -- he is to build it to the standard measurement. Here the standard is this: twelve spans, using the sugata span, in length (measuring outside); seven in width, (measuring) inside. Bhikkhus are to be assembled to designate the site. The site the bhikkhus designate should be without disturbances and with adequate space. If the bhikkhu should build a hut from his own begging on a site with disturbances and without adequate space, or if he should not assemble the bhikkhus to designate the site, or if he should exceed the standard, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

7. When a bhikkhu is building a large dwelling -- having a sponsor and destined for himself -- he is to assemble bhikkhus to designate the site. The site the bhikkhus designate should be without disturbances and with adequate space. If the bhikkhu should build a large dwelling on a site with disturbances and without adequate space, or if he should not assemble the bhikkhus to designate the site, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

8. Should any bhikkhu, malicious, angered, displeased, charge a (fellow) bhikkhu with an unfounded case involving defeat, (thinking), "Surely with this I may bring about his fall from the celibate life," then regardless of whether or not he is cross-examined on a later occasion, if the issue is unfounded and the bhikkhu confesses his anger, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

9. Should any bhikkhu, malicious, angered, displeased, using as a mere ploy an aspect of an issue that pertains otherwise, charge a bhikkhu with a case involving defeat, (thinking), "Surely with this I may bring about his fall from the celibate life," then regardless of whether or not he is cross-examined on a later occasion, if the issue pertains otherwise, an aspect used as a mere ploy, and the bhikkhu confesses his anger, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

10. Should any bhikkhu agitate for a schism in a Community in concord, or should he persist in taking up an issue conducive to schism, the bhikkhus should admonish him thus: "Do not, Ven. sir, agitate for a schism in a Community in concord or persist in taking up an issue conducive to schism. Let the venerable one be reconciled with the Community, for a Community in concord, on complimentary terms, free from dispute, having a common recitation, dwells in peace."

And should that bhikkhu, admonished thus by the bhikkhus, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke him up to three times so as to desist. If while being rebuked up to three times he desists, that is good. If he does not desist, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

11. Should bhikkhus -- one, two, or three -- who are followers and partisans of that bhikkhu, say, "Do not, Ven. sirs, admonish that bhikkhu in any way. He is an exponent of the Dhamma, an exponent of the Vinaya. He acts with our consent and approval. He knows, he speaks for us, and that is pleasing to us," other bhikkhus are to admonish them thus: "Do not say that, Ven. sirs. That bhikkhu is not an exponent of the Dhamma and he is not an exponent of the Vinaya. Do not, Ven. sirs, approve of a schism in the Community. Let the venerable ones' (minds) be reconciled with the Community, for a Community in concord, on complimentary terms, without dispute, with a common recitation, dwells in peace."

And should those bhikkhus, thus admonished, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke them up to three times so as to desist. If while being rebuked up to three times by the bhikkhus they desist, that is good. If they do not desist, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

12. In case a bhikkhu is by nature difficult to admonish -- who, when being legitimately admonished by the bhikkhus with reference to the training rules included in the (Patimokkha) recitation, makes himself unadmonishable (saying), "Do not, venerable ones, say anything to me, good or bad; and I will not say anything to the venerable ones, good or bad. Refrain, venerable ones, from admonishing me" -- the bhikkhus should admonish him thus: "Let the venerable one not make himself unadmonishable. Let the venerable one make himself admonishable. Let the venerable one admonish the bhikkhus in accordance with what is right, and the bhikkhus will admonish the venerable one in accordance with what is right; for it is thus that the Blessed One's following is nurtured: through mutual admonition, through mutual rehabilitation."

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to be rebuke him up to three times so as to desist. If while being rebuked up to three times he desists, that is good. If he does not desist, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

13. In case a bhikkhu living in dependence on a certain village or town is a corrupter of families, a man of depraved conduct -- whose depraved conduct is both seen and heard about, and the families he has corrupted are both seen and heard about -- the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: "You, Ven. sir, are a corrupter of families, a man of depraved conduct. Your depraved conduct is both seen and heard about; the families you have corrupted are both seen and heard about. Leave this monastery, Ven. sir. Enough of your staying here."

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, say about the bhikkhus, "The bhikkhus are prejudiced by favoritism, prejudiced by aversion, prejudiced by delusion, prejudiced by fear, in that for this sort of offense they banish some and do not banish others," the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: "Do not say that, Ven. sir. The bhikkhus are not prejudiced by favoritism, are not prejudiced by aversion, are not prejudiced by delusion, are not prejudiced by fear. You, Ven. sir, are a corrupter of families, a man of depraved conduct. Your depraved conduct is both seen and heard about, and the families you have corrupted are both seen and heard about. Leave this monastery, Ven. sir. Enough of your staying here."

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke him up to three times so as to desist. If while being rebuked up to three times he desists, that is good. If he does not desist, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.


Aniyata

1. Should any bhikkhu sit in private, alone with a woman in a seat secluded enough to lend itself (to the sexual act), so that a female lay follower whose word can be trusted, having seen (them), might describe it as constituting any of three cases -- involving either defeat, communal meetings, or confession -- then the bhikkhu, acknowledging having sat (there), may be dealt with for any of the three cases -- involving defeat, communal meetings, or confession -- or he may be dealt with for whichever case the female lay follower described. This case is undetermined.

2. In case a seat is not sufficiently secluded to lend itself (to the sexual act) but sufficiently so to address lewd words to a woman, should any bhikkhu sit in private, alone with a woman in such a seat, so that a female lay follower whose word can be trusted, having seen them, would describe it as constituting either of two cases -- involving communal meetings or confession -- then the bhikkhu, acknowledging having sat (there), is to be dealt with for either of the two cases -- involving communal meetings or confession -- or he is to be dealt with for whichever case the female lay follower described. This case too is undetermined.


Nissaggiya Pacittiya


Part One: The Robe-cloth Chapter

1. When a bhikkhu has finished his robe-making and the frame is destroyed (his kathina privileges are in abeyance), he is to keep an extra robe-cloth ten days at most. Beyond that, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

2. When a bhikkhu has finished his robe-making and the frame is destroyed (his kathina privileges are in abeyance): If he dwells apart from (any of) his three robes even for one night -- unless authorized by the bhikkhus -- it is to be forfeited and confessed.

3. When a bhikkhu has finished his robe-making and the kathina privileges are in abeyance: If out-of-season robe-cloth accrues to him, he may accept it if he so desires. Once he accepts it, he is to make it up immediately (into a cloth requisite). If it should not be enough, he may lay it aside for a month at most if he has an expectation for filling the lack. Should he keep it beyond that, even when there is an expectation (for further cloth), it is to be forfeited and confessed.

4. Should any bhikkhu have a used robe washed, dyed, or beaten by a bhikkhuni unrelated to him, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

5. Should any bhikkhu accept robe-cloth from a bhikkhuni unrelated to him -- unless it is in exchange -- it is to be forfeited and confessed.

6. Should any bhikkhu ask for robe-cloth from a man or woman householder unrelated to him, except at the proper occasion, it is to be forfeited and confessed. Here the proper occasion is this: The bhikkhu's robe has been stolen or destroyed. This is the proper occasion in this case.

7. If that unrelated man or woman householder presents the bhikkhu with many robes (pieces of robe-cloth), he is to accept at most (enough for) an upper and an under robe. If he accepts more than that, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

8. In case a man or woman householder prepares a robe fund for the sake of an unrelated bhikkhu, thinking. "Having purchased a robe with this robe fund, I will supply the bhikkhu named so-and-so with a robe:" If the bhikkhu, not previously invited, approaching (the householder) should make a stipulation with regard to the robe, saying, "It would be good indeed, sir, if you supplied me (with a robe), having purchased a robe of such-and-such a sort with this robe fund" -- out of a desire for something fine -- it is to be forfeited and confessed.

9. In case two householders -- men or women -- prepare separate robe funds for the sake of a bhikkhu unrelated to them, thinking, "Having purchased separate robes with these separate robe funds of ours, we will supply the bhikkhu named so-and-so with robes": If the bhikkhu, not previously invited, approaching (them) should make a stipulation with regard to the robe, saying, "It would be good indeed, sirs, if you supplied me (with a robe), having purchased a robe of such-and-such a sort with these separate robe funds, the two (funds) together for one (robe)" -- out of a desire for something fine -- it is to be forfeited and confessed.

10. In case a king, a royal official, a brahmin or a householder sends a robe fund for the sake of a bhikkhu via a messenger (saying), "Having purchased a robe with this robe fund, supply the bhikkhu named so-and-so with a robe": If the messenger, approaching the bhikkhu, should say, "This is a robe fund being delivered for the sake of the venerable one. May the venerable one accept this robe fund," then the bhikkhu is to tell the messenger: "We do not accept robe funds, my friend. We accept robes (robe-cloth) as are proper according to season."

If the messenger should say to the bhikkhu, "Does the venerable one have a steward?" then, bhikkhus, if the bhikkhu desires a robe, he may indicate a steward -- either a monastery attendant or a lay follower -- (saying), "That, my friend, is the bhikkhus' steward."

If the messenger, having instructed the steward and going to the bhikkhu, should say, "I have instructed the steward the venerable one indicated. May the venerable one go (to him) and he will supply you with a robe in season," then the bhikkhu, desiring a robe and approaching the steward, may prompt and remind him two or three times, "I have need of a robe." Should (the steward) produce the robe after being prompted and reminded two or three times, that is good.

If he does not produce the robe, (the bhikkhu) should stand in silence four times, five times, six times at most for that purpose. Should (the steward) produce the robe after (the bhikkhu) has stood in silence for the purpose four, five, six times at most, that is good.

If he should not produce the robe (at that point), should he then produce the robe after (the bhikkhu) has endeavored further than that, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

If he should not produce (the robe), then the bhikkhu himself should go to the place from which the robe fund was brought, or a messenger should be sent (to say), "The robe fund that you, venerable sirs, sent for the sake of the bhikkhu has given no benefit to the bhikkhu at all. May the you be united with what is yours. May what is yours not be lost." This is the proper course here.


Part Two: The Silk Chapter

11. Should any bhikkhu have a felt (blanket/rug) made of a mixture containing silk, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

12. Should any bhikkhu have a felt (blanket/rug) made of pure black wool, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

13. When a bhikkhu is making a new felt (blanket/rug), two parts of pure black wool are to be incorporated, a third (part) of white, and a fourth of brown. If a bhikkhu should have a new felt (blanket/rug) made without incorporating two parts of pure black wool, a third of white, and a fourth of brown, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

14. When a new felt (blanket/rug) has been made by a bhikkhu, it is to be kept for (at least) six years. If after less than six years he should have another new felt (blanket/rug) made, regardless of whether or not he has disposed of the first, then -- unless he has been authorized by the bhikkhus -- it is to be forfeited and confessed.

15. When a felt sitting rug is being made by a bhikkhu, a piece of old felt a sugata span (25 cm.) on each side is to be incorporated for the sake of discoloring it. If, without incorporating a piece of old felt a sugata span on each side, he should have a new felt sitting rug made, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

16. If wool accrues to a bhikkhu as he is going on a journey, he may accept it if he so desires. Once he accepts it, he may carry it by hand -- there being no one else to carry it -- three leagues (48 km.=30 miles) at most. Should he carry it farther than that, even if there is no one else to carry it, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

17.Should any bhikkhu have wool washed, dyed, or carded by a bhikkhuni unrelated to him, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

18. Should any bhikkhu take gold and silver, or have it taken, or consent to its being deposited (near him), it is to be forfeited and confessed.

19. Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of monetary exchange, it (the income) is to be forfeited and confessed.

20. Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of trade, (the article obtained) is to be forfeited and confessed.

21. An extra alms bowl may be kept ten days at most. Beyond that, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

22. Should a bhikkhu with an alms bowl having less than five mends ask for another new bowl, it is to be forfeited and confessed. The bowl is to be forfeited by the bhikkhu to the company of bhikkhus. That company of bhikkhus' final bowl should be presented to the bhikkhu, (saying,) "This, bhikkhu, is your bowl. It is to be kept until broken." This is the proper procedure here.

23.There are these tonics to be taken by sick bhikkhus: ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, sugar/molasses. Having been received, they are to be used from storage seven days at most. Beyond that, they are to be forfeited and confessed.

24. When a month is left to the hot season, a bhikkhu may seek a rains-bathing cloth. When a half-month is left to the hot season, (the cloth) having been made, may be worn. If when more than a month is left to the hot season he should seek a rains-bathing cloth, (or) when more than a half-month is left to the hot season, (the cloth) having been made should be worn, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

25. Should any bhikkhu, having himself given a robe-cloth to (another) bhikkhu, and then being angered and displeased, snatch it back or have it snatched back, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

26. Should any bhikkhu, having requested thread, have a robe woven by weavers, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

27. In case a man or woman householder unrelated to a bhikkhu has weavers weave robe-cloth for his sake, and if the bhikkhu, not previously invited (by the householder), having approached the weavers, should make stipulations with regard to the cloth, saying, "This cloth, friends, is to be woven for my sake. Make it long, make it broad, make it tightly woven, well woven, well spread, well scraped, well smoothed, and perhaps I may reward you with a little something;" and should the bhikkhu, having said that, reward them with a little something, even as much as almsfood, it (the cloth) is to be forfeited and confessed.

28.Ten days prior to the third-month Kattika full moon, should robe-cloth offered in urgency accrue to a bhikkhu, he is to accept it if he regards it as offered in urgency. Once he has accepted it, he may keep it throughout the robe season. Beyond that, it is to be forfeited and confessed.

29. There are wilderness abodes that are considered dubious and risky. A bhikkhu living in such abodes after the (fourth-month) Kattika full moon has passed may keep any one of his three robes in a village if he so desires. Should he have any reason to live apart from the robe, he may do so for six nights at most. If he should live apart from it longer than that -- unless authorized by the bhikkhus -- it is to be forfeited and confessed.

30. Should any bhikkhu knowingly divert to himself gains that had been intended for a Community, they are to be forfeited and confessed.


Pacittiya


Part One: The Lie Chapter

1. A deliberate lie is to be confessed.

2. An insult is to be confessed.

3. Malicious tale-bearing among bhikkhus is to be confessed.

4. Should any bhikkhu have an unordained person recite Dhamma line by line (with him), it is to be confessed.

5. Should any bhikkhu lie down in the same lodging with an unordained person for more than two or three consecutive nights, it is to be confessed.

6. Should any bhikkhu lie down in the same lodging with a woman, it is to be confessed.

7. Should any bhikkhu teach more than five or six sentences of Dhamma to a woman, unless a knowledgeable man is present, it is to be confessed.

8. Should any bhikkhu report (his own) factual superior human state to an unordained person, it is to be confessed.

9. Should any bhikkhu report (another) bhikkhu's gross offense to an unordained person -- unless authorized by the bhikkhus -- it is to be confessed.

10. Should any bhikkhu dig soil or have it dug, it is to be confessed.


Part Two: The Living Plant Chapter

11. The damaging of a living plant is to be confessed.

12. Evasive speech and uncooperativeness are to be confessed.

13. Maligning or complaining (about a Community official) is to be confessed.

14. Should any bhikkhu set a bed, bench, mattress, or stool belonging to the Community out in the open -- or have it set out -- and then on departing neither put it away nor have it put away, or should he go without taking leave, it is to be confessed.

15. Should any bhikkhu, having set out bedding in a lodging belonging to the Community -- or having had it set out -- and then on departing neither put it away nor have it put away, or should he go without taking leave, it is to be confessed.

16. Should any bhikkhu knowingly lie down in a lodging belonging to the Community so as to intrude on a bhikkhu who arrived there first, (thinking), "Whoever feels crowded will go away" -- doing it for this reason and no other -- it is to be confessed.

17. Should any bhikkhu, angry and displeased, evict a bhikkhu from a dwelling belonging to the Community -- or have him evicted -- it is to be confessed.

18. Should any bhikkhu sit or lie down on a bed or bench with detachable legs on an (unplanked) loft in a dwelling belonging to the Community, it is to be confessed.

19. When a bhikkhu is building a large dwelling, he may apply two or three layers of facing to plaster the area around the window frame and reinforce the area around the door frame the width of the door opening, while standing where there are no crops to speak of. Should he apply more than that, even if standing where there are no crops to speak of, it is to be confessed.

20. Should any bhikkhu knowingly pour water containing living beings -- or have it poured -- on grass or on clay, it is to be confessed.



NEXT

Dhamma Essay:
Laying Down the Rod by Bhikkhu Bodhi


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