Patimokkha in Theravada Buddhism

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For Patimokkha in Indian Buddhism and in other Buddhist traditions, see Pratimokṣa.
Buddhist monks Patimokkha pali chanting in the Buddhist church on Uposatha Day, recorded from Wat Khung Taphao, Uttaradit Province, Thailand.

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In Theravada Buddhism, the Patimokkha is the basic code of monastic discipline, consisting of 227 rules for fully ordained monks (bhikkhus) and 311 for nuns (bhikkhunis). It is contained in the Suttavibhanga, a division of the Vinaya Pitaka.

Parajika[edit]

The four parajikas (defeats) are rules entailing expulsion from the sangha for life. If a monk breaks any one of the rules he is automatically 'defeated' in the holy life and falls from monkhood immediately. He is not allowed to become a monk again in his lifetime. Intention is necessary in all these four cases to constitute an offence. The four parajikas for bhikkus are:

  1. Sexual intercourse, that is, any voluntary sexual interaction between a bhikku and a living being, except for mouth-to-mouth intercourse which falls under the Sanghadisesa.
  2. Stealing, that is, the robbery of anything worth more than 1/24 troy ounce of gold (as determined by local law).
  3. Intentionally bringing about the death of a human being, even if it is still an embryo — whether by killing the person, arranging for an assassin to kill the person, inciting the person to die, or describing the advantages of death.[1]
  4. Deliberately lying to another person that one has attained a superior human state, such as claiming to be an arahant when one knows one is not, or claiming to have attained one of the jhanas when one knows one has not.

The parajikas are more specific definitions of the first four of the Five Precepts.

Sanghadisesa[edit]

The thirteen sanghadisesas are rules requiring an initial and subsequent meeting of the sangha (communal meetings). If the monk breaks any rule here he has to undergo a period of probation or discipline after which, if he shows himself to be repentant, he may be reinstated by a sangha of not less than twenty monks. Like the parajikas, the sanghadisesas can only come about through the monk's own intention and cannot be accidentally invoked. The thirteen sanghadisesas for bhikkus are:

  1. Discharge of semen or getting someone to discharge your semen, except while dreaming
  2. Lustful bodily contact with a woman, including kissing or holding hands
  3. Making lustful remarks to a woman alluding to her genitals or sexual intercourse
  4. Requesting sexual favors from a woman, or telling her that she would benefit spiritually from having sex with the monk.
  5. Arranging for a date, affair, or marriage between a man and woman
  6. Building a hut without permission from the sangha, or building a hut that exceed 3 x 1.75 meters in size
  7. Having someone else build a hut for you without permission from the sangha, or exceeding 3 x 1.75 meters in size
  8. Making unfounded charges about another bhikkhu in the hopes of having him disrobed
  9. Making deceitfully worded charges about another bhikkhu in the hopes of having him disrobed
  10. Agitating for a schism, even after having been rebuked three times
  11. Supporting an agitator, even after he was rebuked three times (only applies if there are fewer than four supporters)
  12. Rejecting well-grounded criticism, even after having been rebuked three times
  13. Criticizing the justice of one's own banishment, even after having been rebuked three times

Aniyata[edit]

The aniyata are two indefinite rules where a monk is accused of having committed an offence with a woman in a screened (enclosed) or private place by a lay person. It is indefinite because the final outcome depends on whether the monk acknowledges the offence. Benefit of the doubt is given to the monk unless there is over-riding evidence.

Thus it is not proper for a monk to be alone with a woman, especially in screened or private places.

  1. Sitting in private with a woman on a seat secluded enough for sexual intercourse and the monk acknowledges the offense
  2. Sitting in private with a woman on a seat not sufficiently secluded for sexual intercourse but sufficiently so to address lewd words and the monk acknowledges the offense

Nissaggiya pacittiya[edit]

The nissaggiya pacittiya are thirty rules entailing "confession with forfeiture." They are mostly concerned with the possessing of items which are disallowed or obtained in disallowable ways. The monk must forfeit the item and then confess his offense to another monk. The thirty nissaggiya pacittiya for bhikkhu are:

  1. Keeping an extra robe for more than ten days after receiving a new one
  2. Sleeping in a separate place from any of his three robes
  3. Keeping an out-of-season robe for more than thirty days when one has expectation for a new robe
  4. Getting an unrelated bhikkhuni to wash your robes for you
  5. Accepting robes from a bhikkhuni as a gift
  6. Accepting robes from the laity, except when one's own robes have been destroyed, or one is asking for the sake of another bhikkhu
  7. Accepting too many robes from the laity when one's own robes have been destroyed
  8. Accepting a robe from a lay person after telling them that their robe is too cheap for you
  9. Accepting a robe from the laity after asking two or more of them to pool their funds in order to buy a nicer robe
  10. Accepting a robe after coming to the treasurer to get the robe more than six times (since this indicates an excess of desire)
  11. Owning a blanket or rug made of silk
  12. Making or accepting a blanket or rug made from pure black wool
  13. Making or accepting a blanket or rug made from more than 50% black wool
  14. Making or accepting a blanket or rug fewer than six years after you last made or accepted one
  15. Making or accepting a sitting rug without incorporating at least one old piece of felt 25 cm. square, for the sake of discoloring it
  16. Carrying raw wool for more than 48 km
  17. Getting a bhikkhuni to wash, dye, or card raw wool
  18. Accepting gold or money, or telling someone how to donate it. If money is placed in a bhikkhu's presence he may not recognize it as his nor tell someone else to take care of it for him. Bhikkhus often have stewards who will take care of donations, but the stewards are always free to take the money and leave
  19. Buying or selling goods
  20. Trading goods with anyone besides other bhikkhus
  21. Keeping an extra alms bowl for more than ten days after receiving a new one
  22. Asking for a new bowl when your old bowl is not beyond repair
  23. Taking a medicine from storage for more than seven days
  24. Using a rains-bathing cloth before the last two weeks of the fourth month of the hot season, or accepting one before the fourth month
  25. Taking back a loaned robe out of anger
  26. Getting thread, and getting people to weave thread for you
  27. Receiving cloth after telling its weavers to increase the quality for you
  28. Keeping robes past the end of the season after accepting them during the last eleven days of the Rains Retreat (Vassa)
  29. Being separated from your robes for more than six nights if you are living in a dangerously distant village and need to separate yourself from your robes after the Rains Retreat
  30. Persuading a donor to give gifts to oneself, when they were previously intended for the sangha at large

Pacittiya[edit]

Pacittiya are rules entailing confession. There are ninety-two Pacittiya, prohibiting monks from lighting a fire, tickling a bhikkhu, trying to surprise a bhikkhu, and so forth.

Patidesaniya[edit]

Patidesaniya are violations which must be verbally acknowledged.

  1. Accepting and eating food from an unrelated bhikkuni.
  2. Accepting and eating food after a bhikkuni has instructed the donors on who to give what food, and none of the bhikkus rebuke the bhikkuni.
  3. Accepting and eating food from a family that the sangha designates as "in training", that is, preparing to becoming arahants, unless if the monk is sick.
  4. Accepting and eating food from a family living in a dangerous location, unless if the monk is sick.

Sekhiyavatta[edit]

There are seventy five sekhiya or rules of training,[2] which are mainly about the deportment of a monk. In many countries, it is also standard for novice monks (samanera) to follow the Sekhiyavatta rules in addition to the Ten Precepts.

Sāruppa (proper behavior)[edit]

  1. I will wear the under robe properly.
  2. I will wear the upper robe properly.
  3. I will cover my body properly when going in inhabited areas.
  4. I will cover my body properly when sitting in inhabited areas.
  5. I will properly restrain the movements of hands and feet when going in inhabited areas.
  6. I will properly restrain the movements of hands and feet when sitting in inhabited areas.
  7. I will keep my eyes looking down when going in inhabited areas.
  8. I will keep my eyes looking down when sitting in inhabited areas.
  9. I will not hitch up my robes when going in inhabited areas.
  10. I will not hitch up my robes when sitting in inhabited areas.
  11. I will not laugh loudly when going in inhabited areas.
  12. I will not laugh loudly when sitting in inhabited areas.
  13. I will not speak loudly when going in inhabited areas.
  14. I will not speak loudly when sitting in inhabited areas.
  15. I will not sway my body about when going in inhabited areas.
  16. I will not sway my body about when sitting in inhabited areas.
  17. I will not swing my arms about when going in inhabited areas.
  18. I will not swing my arms about when sitting in inhabited areas.
  19. I will not shake my head about when going in inhabited areas.
  20. I will not shake my head about when sitting in inhabited areas.
  21. I will not put my arms akimbo when going in inhabited areas.
  22. I will not put my arms akimbo when sitting in inhabited areas.
  23. I will not cover my head with a cloth when going in inhabited areas.
  24. I will not cover my head with a cloth when sitting in inhabited areas.
  25. I will not walk on tiptoe when going in inhabited areas.
  26. I will not sit clasping the knees in inhabited areas.

Bhojanapatisamyutta (food)[edit]

  1. I will receive pindapāta (alms round) food attentively.
  2. When receiving pindapāta food, I will look only into the bowl.
  3. I will receive curries in the right proportion to the rice.
  4. I will receive pindapāta food only until it reached the rim of the bowl.
  5. I will eat pindapāta food attentively.
  6. When eating pindapāta food, I will look only into the bowl.
  7. I will not dig up the rice making it uneven.
  8. I will eat curries in the right proportion to the rice.
  9. I will not eat rice only working from the top down.
  10. I will not cover up curries – or curry mixed with rice – with white rice because of a desire to get a lot.
  11. When I am not sick, I will not ask for curries or rice for the purpose of eating them myself.
  12. I will not look at another's bowl with the idea of finding fault.
  13. I will not make up a very large mouthful of food.
  14. I will make food up into suitably round mouthfuls.
  15. I will not open my mouth until the portion of food has been brought to it.
  16. When eating, I will not put my fingers into my mouth.
  17. When food is still in my mouth, I will not speak.
  18. I will not throw lumps of food into my mouth.
  19. I will not eat by biting off mouthfuls of rice.
  20. I will not eat stuffing out my cheeks.
  21. I will not eat and shake my hand about at the same time.
  22. I will not eat scattering grains of rice about so that they fall back into the bowl or elsewhere.
  23. I will not eat putting my tongue out.
  24. I will not eat making a champing sound.
  25. I will not eat (or drink) making a sucking sound.
  26. I will not eat licking my hands.
  27. I will not eat scraping the bowl.
  28. I will not eat licking my lips.
  29. I will not take hold of a vessel of water with my hand soiled with food.
  30. I will not throw out bowl-washing water which has grains of rice in it in a place where there are houses.

Dhammadesanāpatisamyutta (teaching dhamma)[edit]

A bhikku should train himself thus: I will not teach Dhamma to someone who is not sick and...

  1. who has an umbrella in his hand.
  2. who has a wooden stick (club) in his hand.
  3. who has a sharp-edged weapon in his hand.
  4. who has a weapon in his hand.
  5. who is wearing (wooden-soled) sandals.
  6. who is wearing shoes.
  7. who is in a vehicle.
  8. who is on a bed (or couch).
  9. who is sitting clasping the knees.
  10. who has a head wrapping (turban).
  11. whose head is covered.
  12. who is sitting on a seat while I am sitting on the ground.
  13. who is sitting on a high seat while I am sitting on a low seat.
  14. who is sitting while I am standing.
  15. who is walking in front of me while I am walking behind him.
  16. who is walking on a pathway while I am walking beside the pathway.

Pakinnaka (miscellaneous)[edit]

A bhikku should train himself thus: If I am not sick...

  1. I will not defecate or urinate while standing.
  2. I will not defecate, urinate or spit on green vegetation.
  3. I will not defecate, urinate or spit into water.

Adhikarana-samatha[edit]

Adhikarana-samatha are seven rules for settlement of legal processes that concern monks only.

  1. When an issue is settled, the verdict should be in the presence of the sangha, the parties, the Dhamma and the Vinaya.
  2. If the bhikku is innocent, the verdict should be "mindfulness".
  3. If the bhikku was or is insane, the verdict should be "past insanity".
  4. If the bhikku confesses to the exact allegations, the verdict should be "acting in accordance with what was admitted".
  5. If the dispute cannot be unanimously settled, the sangha should take a vote and the verdict should be "acting in accordance with the majority".
  6. If the bhikku confesses only after interrogation, the verdict should be "acting in accordance with the accused's further misconduct".
  7. If both sides agree that they are not acting the way monks ought to, they can call a full assembly of the sima and confess their mistakes, and the verdict should be "covering over as with grass."

Notes[edit]

1. From Buddhist Monastic Code 1, Chapter 4: Parajika. Copyright © 1994, 2007 Thanissaro Bhikkhu Access to Insight edition © 2007

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ From Buddhist Monastic Code 1, Chapter 4: Parajika. Copyright © 1994, 2007 Thanissaro Bhikkhu Access to Insight edition © 2007
  2. ^ Somet Phra Mahā Samana Chao Phrayā Vajirañānavarorasa. "Navakovāda: Instructions for Newly-Ordained Bhikkus and Samaneras", Mahā Makuta Buddhist University, 1990. Retrieved on May 9, 2008

External links[edit]