Seven: The Animal Chapter
Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive an animal of life, it is to be confessed.
There are five factors for the full offense here.
1) Object: a living animal.
2) Perception: One perceives it to be a living animal.
3) Intention: One knowingly, consciously, deliberately, and purposefully wants to cause its death.
4) Effort: whatever one does with the purpose of causing it to die.
5) Result: It dies as a result of one’s action.
Animal here covers all common animals. As the Commentary notes, whether the animal is large or small makes no difference in terms of the penalty, although the size of the animal is one of the factors determining the moral gravity of the act.
Apparently, this factor does not include beings too small to be seen with the naked eye, inasmuch as the classes of medicine allowed in Mv.VI include a number of anti-bacterial and anti-viral substances—some mineral salts and the decoctions made from the leaves of some trees, for example, can be antibiotic. The Commentary’s example of the smallest extreme to which this rule extends is a bed bug egg. The four “Things Not To Be Done” taught to every new bhikkhu immediately after his full Acceptance (Mv.I.78.4) say that one should not deprive an animal of life “even if it is only a black or white ant.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Pr 3 imposes a pārājika for deliberately killing a human being, and a thullaccaya for deliberately killing a peta, yakkha, or nāga.
If one is in doubt as to whether something is a living animal, it is grounds for a dukkaṭa regardless of whether it actually is. If one perceives an inanimate object to be a living animal, it is grounds for a dukkaṭa. If one perceives an object to be inanimate, then regardless of whether it actually is, it is not grounds for an offense. Thus, for example, if—with murderous intent—one steps on a spot of dirt thinking it to be a bed bug egg, the penalty is a dukkaṭa. If one steps on bed bug eggs thinking them to be spots of dirt, there is no penalty.
Intention, in the Vibhaṅga, is described as “having willed, having made the decision knowingly and consciously”—the same phrase used to define intention under Pr 3. The Commentary to this rule refers back to the Commentary to that rule, where having willed means having willed, having planned, with a murderous intention. Having made the decision means “having summoned up a reckless mind-state, ‘crushing’ through the power of an attack.” Knowingly means knowing that, “This is a living being.” Consciously means being aware that one’s action is depriving the animal of life.
All of this indicates that this factor is fulfilled only when one acts on a clear and consciously made decision to deprive the animal of life. Thus, for example, if one is sweeping a walk, trying carefully not to kill any insects, and yet some ants happen to die, one does not commit an offense even if one knew that there was the possibility that some might die, because one’s purpose in acting was not to cause their death.
Motive, here, is irrelevant to the offense. Even the desire to kill an animal to “put it out of its misery” fulfills the factor of intention all the same.
The Vibhaṅga is silent on what ways of taking life would fall under this rule. The Commentary says that explanations for this rule may be inferred from its discussion to Pr 3. Thus the four ways of taking life listed in the Vibhaṅga to that rule would apply here as well:
using one’s own person (e.g., hitting with the hand, kicking, using a knife or a club);
throwing (hurling a stone, shooting an arrow or a gun);
using a stationary device (setting a trap, placing poison in food);
Mv.V.10.10 discusses a case of this last instance, in which a depraved bhikkhu tells a layman that he has use for a certain calf’s hide, and the layman kills the calf for him. Because the bhikkhu did not give a specific command that the calf be killed, and yet the Buddha said that his action did come under this rule, we can conclude that there is no room for kappiya-vohāra in this context. Whatever one says in hopes of inciting someone else to kill an animal would fulfill this factor. This rule thus differs from Pr 3, under which commanding covers only clear imperatives.
Two other ways of taking life, listed in the Commentary to Pr 3, would apparently also apply here:
using magical formulae;
using psychic powers.
Only if the animal dies does one incur the pācittiya here. The Vibhaṅga here mentions no penalty for the case where one tries to kill an animal but the animal does not die. However, under Pr 3—in its discussion of a pitfall arranged with the intent of causing the death of any living being falling into it—it assigns the following penalties: if an animal falls into the pitfall, a dukkaṭa; if it experiences pain as a result, another dukkaṭa; if it dies, a pācittiya. Thus it seems reasonable to extrapolate from this specific example to make these penalties general: For a bhikkhu making an intentional effort to kill an animal, there is a dukkaṭa for the first effort that touches the animal’s body; another dukkaṭa if the animal experiences pain because of one’s effort; and the full offense if, as a result, it dies.
There is no offense in killing an animal—
unintentionally—e.g., accidentally dropping a load that crushes a cat to death;
unthinkingly—e.g., absent-mindedly rubbing one’s arm while it is being bitten by mosquitoes;
unknowingly—e.g., walking into a dark room and, without realizing it, stepping on an insect; or
when one’s action is motivated by a purpose other than that of causing death—e.g., giving medicine to a sick dog whose system, it turns out, cannot withstand the dosage.
Still, the Commentary states that if one notices even bed bug eggs while cleaning a bed, one should be careful not to damage them. Thus, “out of compassion, one’s duties are to be done carefully.” Or, in the words of the Sub-commentary: “One’s duties in looking after one’s dwelling are to be done with mindfulness well-established so that such creatures do not die.”
Summary: Deliberately killing an animal—or having it killed—is a pācittiya offense.
* * *
Should any bhikkhu knowingly make use of water containing living beings, it is to be confessed.
This rule is similar to Pc 20, differing only in the factor of effort and in the fact that intention is not a factor for an offense. So here the factors for the full offense are three: object, perception, and effort.
Water containing living creatures. This includes things like mosquito larvae, but not beings too small to be seen.
One knows that they are there—either from having sensed their presence on one’s own or from having been told of their presence—and that they will die from the factor of effort, defined below.
If one is in doubt as to whether water contains living beings, or if one perceives living beings in the water when there actually aren’t, then to use it in a way that would cause their death if they were there is to incur a dukkaṭa.
The Vibhaṅga does not go into detail on this factor, while the Commentary defines it with examples: drinking the water, using it to wash one’s bowl, using it to cool hot porridge, dipping it out of a tank or pond to bathe with it, making waves in a pool so that the water will splash over its banks. The Sub-commentary suggests that this rule covers only cases in which one is using water for one’s own personal consumption, but this does not fit with the fact that, under this rule, the Commentary explains how one should go about cleaning out a dirty pool. (Place eight to ten potfuls of water containing no living beings in another place that will hold the water, and then dip the water from the pool into it.) The Commentary to Pr 3 states that using water to put out a fire—even an approaching wildfire that threatens one’s dwelling—would also come under this rule.
From all of this, it would appear that this rule covers all cases of using water containing living beings that are not covered by Pc 20.
Unlike that rule, though, the Vibhaṅga does not include the act of getting other people to make use of water containing living beings under the factor of effort here, although the Commentary and K/Commentary do. On the surface, the commentaries’ position seems reasonable. However, the compilers of the Vibhaṅga may have been taking into account the fact that, unlike telling a person to pour water on the ground, telling a person simply to use water containing living beings is not an order that, if carried out, would automatically doom those beings to death. For example, if one told another bhikkhu to drink water containing living beings, he would be the one responsible for deciding whether to strain the water first (see below). If he did, no damage would be done. If he didn’t, the offense under this rule would be his. Thus the Vibhaṅga seems correct in not including the act of getting other people to use such water under this rule. In fact, this distinction between this rule and Pc 20 may be one of the reasons why this topic is covered by two separate rules.
The K/Commentary claims that intention is also a factor here, and—as under Pc 20—it states that the intention has to be non-murderous—the implication being that if it were murderous, the case would come under Pc 61. However, unlike the non-offense clauses to Pc 20, the Vibhaṅga’s non-offense clauses here make no exception for a bhikkhu who uses water containing living beings either unthinkingly or unintentionally. The only exemptions deal with what one knows or does not know about the water. This means that if one knows the water contains living beings that would die from using it, then even if one spills the water accidentally, one’s action would incur a penalty all the same.
Result is not a factor here. Whether the living beings actually die is of no consequence in determining the offense.
There is no offense in using water—
if one does not know that it contains living beings;
if one knows that it does not contain living beings; or
if one knows that the living beings it contains will not die from the use one has in mind.
Cv.V.13.1 gives permission for one to use a water strainer to remove dirt and living beings from water before using it, and such strainers eventually became one of a bhikkhu’s eight basic requisites. According to Cv.V.13.2, one must take a water strainer along when going on a journey. If one has no strainer, one may determine the corner of one’s outer robe as a strainer and use it to filter water.
Summary: Using water, or getting others to use it, knowing that it contains living beings that will die from that use, is a pācittiya offense.
* * *
Should any bhikkhu knowingly agitate for the reviving of an issue that has been rightfully dealt with, it is to be confessed.
An issue (adhikaraṇa) is a matter that, once arisen, must be dealt with formally in a prescribed manner. The Vibhaṅga lists four sorts:
1) dispute-issues (vivādādhikaraṇa) concerning Dhamma and Vinaya (see Sg 10), which the Community must deal with by declaring which side is right and which wrong;
3) offense-issues (āpattādhikaraṇa), in other words, the commission of offenses, which are to be dealt with by the offender’s undergoing the prescribed penalties (confession, penance, or expulsion from the Community); and
4) duty-issues (kiccādhikaraṇa)—Community transactions, such as giving ordination and holding the Pāṭimokkha recitation—which the Community must deal with by performing them properly.
An issue rightfully dealt with is one that has been handled properly in accordance with the procedures given in the Vinaya. Some of these procedures are discussed under Pc 79 & 80, the Adhikaraṇa-samatha rules, and in BMC2, Chapters 12-22. If an issue has been dealt with improperly, it may be reopened for reconsideration, but once it has been dealt with properly it is considered closed for good.
The factors for an offense under this rule are three.
1) Object: an issue that has been dealt with properly.
2) Perception: One knows that it was dealt with properly, either because one was directly involved or one has been told of the matter.
3) Effort: One says—in the presence of another bhikkhu—that it was dealt with improperly. The Vibhaṅga gives the following examples of statements that would fulfill this factor: “The issue was not carried out.” “It was poorly carried out.” “It should be carried out again.” “It was not settled.” “It was poorly settled.” “It should be settled again.”
Pv.IX.3 contains a short discussion of this rule, making the point that one is subject to this rule regardless of whether one was involved in dealing with the issue the first time around.
If the transaction dealing with the issue was invalid but one perceives it as valid, it is grounds for a dukkaṭa. If one is in doubt about the validity of the transaction, then it is grounds for a dukkaṭa regardless of whether it was actually valid or not. What this last point means in practice is that if one is in doubt about the transaction, one may declare one’s doubt, but to state baldly that the issue needs to be reopened is to incur a dukkaṭa.
The Commentary to Cv.IX.3 states that in committing this offense one is subject to having one’s Pāṭimokkha canceled (see BMC2, Chapter 15). This would provide an opportunity for the Community to look into one’s attitude to see if one is still insistent on having the issue revived. If one continues to make a concerted effort to reopen an issue, knowing that it was properly dealt with, one is considered a maker of strife, and as such is subject to an act of censure, banishment, or suspension, depending on the gravity of the case (see BMC2, Chapter 20).
There is no offense in agitating to have an issue re-opened if one perceives it to have been improperly dealt with: e.g., dealt with not in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Vinaya, dealt with by an incomplete group, or—in the case of an accusation or similar acts—performed against someone who did not deserve it. This allowance holds regardless of whether, in actuality, the issue was properly dealt with. For example: A Community has performed a censure transaction against Bhikkhu X. One honestly believes that X did not deserve the act, and says so to a fellow bhikkhu. In this case, one commits no offense even if it turns out that X did in fact deserve censure.
Summary: Agitating to re-open an issue, knowing that it was properly dealt with, is a pācittiya offense.
* * *
Should any bhikkhu knowingly conceal (another) bhikkhu’s serious offense, it is to be confessed.
Here there are four factors for the full offense.
1) Object: a serious offense committed by another bhikkhu.
2) Perception: One perceives the offense as serious—either from knowing on one’s own, from having been told by the bhikkhu, or from having been told by others.
3) Intention: One wants to hide the offense from other bhikkhus, one’s motive being either (a) fear that they will charge him with the offense or interrogate him about it (steps in the formal inquiry into the offense) or (b) fear that they will jeer, scoff, or make him feel abashed (steps in his enemies’ informal reaction to the news). In other words, this factor is fulfilled if one wants to prevent a Community transaction from being carried out against the offender or simply to protect him from the jeering remarks of other bhikkhus who may dislike him.
4) Effort: One sees a bhikkhu suitable to be informed of the matter but abandons one’s duty to report the offense.
Object & perception
Serious offense, according to the Vibhaṅga, means a pārājika or a saṅghādisesa. As under Pc 9, the Commentary states that, despite what the Vibhaṅga actually says here, its compilers meant to include only saṅghādisesa offenses under this definition. But, as was also the case under Pc 9, this explanation clearly contradicts the Vibhaṅga, so it cannot stand.
Another bhikkhu’s non-serious offenses are grounds for a dukkaṭa here, as are the misdeeds—serious or not—of an unordained person. None of the texts explicitly define the term unordained person here, but because bhikkhus have no responsibility to tell other bhikkhus of the misdeeds of lay people, the sense of the rule would seem to require that it cover only bhikkhunīs, female trainees, male novices, and female novices. (Again, none of the texts state explicitly whether a bhikkhunī counts as ordained or unordained in the context of this rule, but because the Vibhaṅga defines serious offenses as the four pārājikas and the thirteen saṅghādisesas, and because the bhikkhunīs have different numbers of these two classes of rules, it would appear that a bhikkhunī would count as an unordained person here.) According to the Commentary, a breach of any of the first five precepts would count as serious for an unordained person (presumably meaning a novice or female trainee), whereas any other misdeed would count as not serious.
As for a bhikkhu’s offenses, the Vibhaṅga states that only a serious offense that one perceives to be serious is grounds for a pācittiya. All other possible combinations of object and perception—a serious offense about which one is in doubt, a serious offense that one perceives to be non-serious, a non-serious offense that one perceives to be serious, a non-serious offense about which one is in doubt, and a non-serious offense that one perceives to be non-serious—are grounds for a dukkaṭa.
Effort & intention
The K/Commentary defines the factor of effort here as if it were a simple act of mind—one decides that, “I won’t tell any bhikkhu about this”—but this goes against the principle that the commentaries themselves derive from the Vinita-vatthu to Pr 2 and apply to all the rules: that the mere arising of a mind state is never sufficient for an offense. It would seem better to argue from the Vibhaṅga’s non-offense clauses to this rule and say that this factor is fulfilled if one comes to this decision when seeing a bhikkhu who is suitable to tell and yet decides not to tell him.
None of the texts define suitable bhikkhu here, but—following the Commentary to Cv.III—it would probably mean one who is of common affiliation and in good standing, i.e., neither suspended or undergoing penance or probation. Because of the way in which the factor of intention is worded here, a suitable bhikkhu in this case—unlike the case in which a bhikkhu needs to report his own saṅghādisesa offense—would not have to be on congenial terms with either the bhikkhu who committed the offense that needs to be reported or the bhikkhu responsible for reporting it. If the only bhikkhu available to be told is uncongenial, one must be scrupulously honest with oneself about any disinclination to inform him of the offense. If one’s only fear is that he will jeer at the offender or initiate a Community transaction to look into the offense, one is duty bound to tell him. If one feels that telling him will lead to strife in the Community or retaliation from the original offender—as the non-offense clauses note—one may wait and tell a more suitable bhikkhu.
Because the non-offense clauses also state that there is no offense in not reporting the offense if one’s motive is not to hide it, one need not inform the first suitable bhikkhu one meets if one is planning to inform a more appropriate bhikkhu, such as a senior member of the Community, a Vinaya expert, or the offender’s mentor or preceptor.
Apparently, once one has told a suitable bhikkhu, one is absolved of the responsibility of having to tell anyone else. However, none of the texts discuss the question of what one’s duty is if, after informing another bhikkhu, one realizes that he wants to conceal the offense. A responsible course of action, if none of the dangers listed in the non-offense clauses apply, would be to find and inform a more responsible bhikkhu, but this is a matter of one’s conscience and not of the rules.
The Commentary says that if, out of a desire to hide the original offense, one neglects to inform a suitable bhikkhu but then later changes one’s mind and tells either him or yet another bhikkhu, one has committed the offense all the same.
It also says that if one tells Bhikkhu X, asking him to help hide Bhikkhu Y’s offense, this also fulfills the factors of effort and intention here. If X then abandons his responsibility to tell, he too commits the corresponding offense under this rule. Regardless of how many co-conspirators would end up trying to keep the original offense secret enough to prevent a formal inquiry into it, all of them would be guilty of the offense here.
There is no offense in not telling another bhikkhu—
if one thinks that telling will lead to strife or a split in the Community;
if, seeing that the bhikkhu who has committed the offense is violent by nature, one feels that he might create “dangers to life” or “dangers to the celibate life”;
if one sees no suitable bhikkhu to tell;
if one has no desire to hide the offense; or
if one feels that the wrong-doer’s own behavior will betray him and thus there is no need to tell.
Summary: Not informing another bhikkhu of a serious offense that one knows a third bhikkhu has committed—out of a desire to protect the third bhikkhu either from having to undergo the penalty or from the jeering remarks of other bhikkhus—is a pācittiya offense.
* * *
Should any bhikkhu knowingly give full Acceptance (ordination) to an individual less than twenty years old, the individual is not accepted and the bhikkhus are blameworthy; and as for him (the preceptor), it is to be confessed.
The origin story here tells how the group of seventeen came to be ordained.
“Now at that time in Rājagaha, a group of seventeen boys were friends, with the boy Upāli as their leader. Then the thought occurred to Upāli’s parents, ‘By what means could Upāli, after our death, live pleasantly and not suffer?… If he studies writing, his fingers will hurt…. If he studies calculation, his breast will hurt…. If he studies money changing, his eyes will hurt. Now, these Sakyan-son monks are of pleasant virtue and conduct. Having eaten good meals, they lie down in beds sheltered from the wind. If Upāli went forth among the Sakyan-son monks, he would live pleasantly after our death and not suffer.’
“The boy Upāli heard his parents’ conversation. So he went to the boys… and said, ‘Come, masters, let’s go forth among the Sakyan-son monks.’
“‘If you go forth, master, so will we.’
“So each of the boys, having gone to his parents, said, ‘Permit us to go forth from home into homelessness.’ Then the parents of the boys gave their permission, (thinking,) ‘All these boys are unanimous in their desire. Their motives are noble.’
“(The boys) having gone to the bhikkhus, asked for the Going-forth. The bhikkhus gave them the Going-forth and full Acceptance. Then, waking up in the last watch of the night, the boys (now bhikkhus) cried out, ‘Give us porridge! Give us a meal! Give us food!’
“The bhikkhus said, ‘Wait, friends, until the night turns light. If there is porridge, you will drink it. If there is a meal, you will eat it. If there is food, you will eat it. But if there is no porridge or meal or food, then you will eat having gone for alms.’
“But even then, those (new) bhikkhus cried out as before, ‘Give us porridge! Give us a meal! Give us food!’ And they wet the bedding and soiled it.”
The Buddha, in rebuking the bhikkhus who had given full Acceptance to the seventeen boys, painted a picture of the bhikkhus’ life very different from that imagined by Upāli’s parents:
“Bhikkhus, how can these worthless men knowingly give full Acceptance to an individual less than 20 years old? An individual less than 20 years old is not resistant to cold, heat, hunger, thirst, the touch of gadflies and mosquitoes, wind and sun and creeping things; or to abusive, hurtful language. He is not the sort who can endure bodily feelings that, when they arise, are painful, sharp, stabbing, fierce, distasteful, disagreeable, deadly.’”
The factors for the full offense here are three.
1) Object: a man less than 20 years old.
2) Perception: One knows that he is less than 20 years old—either from knowing on one’s own, from having been told by the man, or from having been told by others.
3) Effort: One acts as the preceptor in his full Acceptance as a bhikkhu.
As Mv.I.75 makes clear, a person’s age for the purpose of this rule is counted from the time he becomes a fetus in his mother’s womb. Because this is difficult—if not impossible—to date with any accuracy, the usual practice in calculating a person’s age is to add six months to the number of years since his birth, to allow for the possibility of his having been born prematurely. As the Commentary notes, a baby born after seven months in the womb may survive, but one born after only six months in the womb won’t.
If one is in doubt as to whether an individual is less than 20, but goes ahead and ordains him anyway, one incurs a dukkaṭa regardless of his actual age. If one perceives him as less than 20 when he is actually 20 or older, he is grounds for a dukkaṭa. If one perceives him as 20 or older, then regardless of his actual age he is not grounds for an offense.
There is a dukkaṭa for every step in arranging the Acceptance of an individual one knows to be less than 20 years old, beginning with the act of searching out a group to join in the transaction, looking for robes and a bowl for him to use, etc., all the way to the second announcement in the Acceptance transaction. Once the third and final announcement has been made, the preceptor incurs a pācittiya, and all other bhikkhus in the group who know that the individual is less than 20 years old, a dukkaṭa.
In any case, if the individual is really less than 20 years old when he is accepted, then—regardless of whether he or anyone else knows of the fact—he does not count as a bhikkhu and is only a novice. The Commentary notes here that if he continues in this state for long enough to become a preceptor or teacher in another person’s Acceptance, that person counts as rightly accepted only as long as there are enough true bhikkhus in the group accepting him, not counting the improperly accepted “bhikkhu” in question. (See BMC2, Chapter 14 for more details on this issue.)
The Commentary adds that if one is less that 20 when being accepted, without knowing the fact, it does not act as an obstacle to one’s qualifying for heaven or the transcendent states; but if one ever finds out the truth that one was improperly accepted, one should immediately arrange for a proper Acceptance.
Summary: Acting as the preceptor in the full Acceptance of a person one knows to be less than 20 years old is a pācittiya offense.
* * *
Should any bhikkhu knowingly and by arrangement travel together with a caravan of thieves, even for the interval between one village and the next, it is to be confessed.
Here the full offense has three factors.
1) Object: a caravan of thieves.
2) Perception: One knows that it is a caravan of thieves—either from knowing on one’s own, from having been told by one of the thieves, or from having been told by others.
3) Effort: (a) Having made an arrangement together with the caravan to travel together, (b) one actually travels together with them as arranged (c) from one village to another.
A caravan of thieves, according to the Vibhaṅga, is any group that has committed a theft, is on its way to commit a theft, is planning to evade a tax, or is planning to “rob the king,” which the Commentary translates as planning to cheat the government in one way or another. At present this would include any person or group of people smuggling or trading in contraband goods.
None of the texts mention the minimum number of thieves needed to form a “group,” but because the Vibhaṅga consistently uses plural forms to describe the thieves, it would appear that at least two thieves are needed to fulfill this factor.
If one is in doubt as to whether a group would count as a caravan of thieves, there is a dukkaṭa for traveling with them regardless of whether they actually are a caravan of thieves or not. If one perceives them to be a caravan of thieves when they actually aren’t, they are grounds for a dukkaṭa. If one does not perceive them to be a caravan of thieves, then regardless of whether they are or aren’t, they are not grounds for an offense.
Making an arrangement
According to the Vibhaṅga, both the bhikkhu and the thieves must give their verbal assent to the arrangement for this part of the factor to be fulfilled. If the bhikkhu proposes the arrangement but the thieves do not give their verbal assent, then even if they later travel together as he proposed, he incurs a dukkaṭa. If they propose the arrangement but he does not give his verbal assent, then even if they later travel together as proposed, he incurs no penalty. As under Pc 27, verbal assent expressed by writing would fulfill this factor as well.
As mentioned under Pc 27, a statement or set of statements mentioning both sides of the arrangement in connection with the journey—“We’ll go”; “Let’s go”; “You and I will go together”—would count as verbal assent here, whereas a statement or set of statements mentioning only one’s own plans with regard to the journey—“I’ll go”—would not. Thus if a bhikkhu states, “I’m going to cross the border tomorrow,” and a group of thieves says, “Let’s go together,” then if he says nothing more on the topic, he has not expressed verbal assent.
According to the Commentary, the defining feature of the arrangement is that it specifies the time at which they will leave together. But as we noted under Pc 27, many examples of arrangements in the Vibhaṅga do not explicitly mention a time frame for leaving, so the Commentary’s stipulation here cannot stand. Any expressed agreement to go together would fulfill this factor, regardless of whether the time frame is explicitly stated.
The texts do not address the case in which another person initiates the arrangements for a bhikkhu to travel together with a caravan of thieves, say, as part of a larger group. However, as under Pc 27, the examples of arrangements given in the Vibhaṅga suggest that as long as the bhikkhu and the thieves do not address each other—directly or through an intermediary—about traveling together, there would be no offense in joining the group.
Going as arranged
The two parties must travel together as specified in the arrangement for this sub-factor to be fulfilled. If the arrangement is minimal or spur-of-the-moment, with no time frame explicitly specified, then simply leaving together at any time would fulfill this sub-factor. If a time frame is explicitly specified, then this sub-factor is fulfilled only if they leave within the time frame. If they happen to start out earlier or later than arranged, the bhikkhu incurs no penalty. As under Pc 27, the Commentary suggests that “earlier“ or “later” here involve fairly substantial amounts of time, i.e., going one day later than arranged, or going before the meal when the arrangement was to go after the meal. However, if they leave from a different spot than the one they had arranged or go by a different route, that does not absolve the bhikkhu from the offense.
From one village to another
There is a pācittiya for every village-to-village interval one passes. In an area where there are no villages—i.e., says the Sub-commentary, where villages are farther than half a yojana (8 km. or 5 miles) apart—there is a pācittiya for every half-yojana one travels together with the thieves as arranged.
None of the texts mention cases of traveling long distances within a large city, but it would seem that in such cases—arguing from the Great Standards—one would incur the full penalty in traveling from one administrative district to the next.
There is no offense—
if the bhikkhu and thieves happen to travel together without having made an arrangement;
if the thieves propose an arrangement, but the bhikkhu does not give his verbal assent;
if the bhikkhu leaves not as specified in the arrangement (§); or
if there are dangers (and the bhikkhu must join the caravan for his safety).
A peculiarity of the third non-offense clause here, is that—unlike its parallels in Pc 27 & 28—all the major Asian editions of the Canon express it in the singular (he leaves) rather than the plural (they leave). Only the PTS edition puts it in the plural. In the following rule, all the major editions, including the PTS, put the parallel clause in the singular. None of the commentaries call attention to these disparities, and apparently they make no difference in practice.
Summary: Traveling by arrangement with a group of thieves from one village to another—knowing that they are thieves—is a pācittiya offense.
* * *
Should any bhikkhu, by arrangement, travel together with a woman, even for the interval between one village and the next, it is to be confessed.
“Now at that time a certain bhikkhu, going through the Kosalan districts on his way to Sāvatthī, passed by the gate of a certain village. A woman, leaving the village after quarreling with her husband, saw the bhikkhu and said, ‘Where are you going, venerable sir?’
“‘I’m going to Sāvatthī, sister.’
“‘Then I’m going with you.’
“‘As you wish, sister.’
“Then the woman’s husband, leaving the village, asked people, ‘Have you seen such-and-such a woman?’
“‘She’s going along with a monk.’
“So the man, having caught up with them, seized the bhikkhu, gave him a good thrashing, and set him free. The bhikkhu went and sat fuming under a certain tree. The woman said to the man, ‘That bhikkhu didn’t abscond with me. I was the one who went with him. He’s innocent. Go and ask his forgiveness.’
“So the man asked the bhikkhu for his forgiveness.”
A female human being, experienced enough to know what is properly and improperly said, what is lewd and not lewd, is grounds for a pācittiya here. Paṇḍakas, female yakkhas and petas, and animals in the form of a female human being are all grounds for a dukkaṭa. Woman here also includes women. In other words, the inclusion of one or more extra women in the travel arrangement is not a mitigating factor; and, in fact, there is an offense for every woman included in the travel arrangement. The inclusion of men in the travel arrangement, however, is a controversial issue at present, and is discussed below.
Perception as to whether the person is actually a woman is not a mitigating factor here (see Pc 4).
Similarly, if one travels by arrangement with a paṇḍaka, not knowing that that’s what he is, one still incurs a dukkaṭa.
Effort here is defined in a parallel way to its definition under the preceding rule: (a) Having made an arrangement together with the woman to travel together, (b) one actually travels together with her as arranged (c) from one village to another. See the preceding rule for explanations and for the allotment of offenses.
There is no offense—
if the bhikkhu and woman happen to travel together without having made an arrangement;
if the woman proposes an arrangement, while the bhikkhu does not give his verbal assent;
if either party leaves (or, apparently, both leave together) not as specified in the arrangement (§); or
if there are dangers.
In the time of the Buddha, long-distance travel was mostly by foot, and the question of prior arrangement was what made the difference between whether one was traveling together with someone else or simply happened to be walking along the road at the same time. At present, when one is taking public transport—buses, subways, trains, and airplanes—this is still the factor determining whether one is traveling together with someone else or simply happens to be on the bus, etc., at the same time. This rule thus forbids a bhikkhu from traveling together with a woman, by prior arrangement, on the same public transport.
Private transport, though—such as automobiles, trucks and vans—is an area that different Communities treat in differing ways. Some treat it under Pc 44 rather than here, saying that a bhikkhu may sit in an automobile with a woman as long as a knowledgeable man is present. This holds regardless of whether the automobile is sitting still or traveling any number of miles, and regardless of whether the woman or the man is driving.
Other Communities treat private transport under this rule, but say that the prior arrangement is implicitly with the driver of the transport. If the driver is a woman, there is a pācittiya in riding with her from one village to the next. If the driver is a man, there is no offense, regardless of whether a woman is riding along.
The Commentary would not agree with this second interpretation, for it states explicitly when discussing Mv.V.10.3 that a bhikkhu may ride in a cart driven by a woman or a man. At any rate, though, this is another area where the wise policy is to follow the practice of the Community in which one belongs, as long as one is careful to adhere to the Vibhaṅga by not entering verbally into any arrangement with a woman to go traveling together.
Summary: Traveling by arrangement with a woman from one village to another is a pācittiya offense.
* * *
Should any bhikkhu say the following: “As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, those acts the Blessed One says are obstructive, when engaged in are not genuine obstructions,” the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: “Do not say that, venerable sir. Do not slander the Blessed One, for it is not good to slander the Blessed One. The Blessed One would not say anything like that. In many ways, friend, the Blessed One has described obstructive acts, and when engaged in they are genuine obstructions. [The Sri Lankan and Burmese recensions read: In many ways, friend, the Blessed One has described obstructive acts as obstructive, and when engaged in they are genuine obstructions.] ”
And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke him up to three times for the sake of relinquishing that. If while being rebuked up to three times he relinquishes that, that is good. If he does not relinquish (that), it is to be confessed.
The Vibhaṅga does not define obstruction in the context of this rule, although the origin story makes clear that it refers at the very least to the sexual act. The Commentary defines obstruction as anything that acts as an obstacle to the attainment of heaven or emancipation. It lists five major categories:
1) Actions, i.e., the five ānantariya/ānantarika-kamma: patricide, matricide, the murder of an arahant, the wounding of a Buddha, the creation of a schism in a Saṅgha;
2) Defilements, i.e., firmly held wrong views (the Sub-commentary lists determinism, fatalism, annihilationism, etc.);
4) Verbal abuse, i.e., reviling a Noble One—although this is an obstruction only so long as one has not asked forgiveness; and finally, for a bhikkhu,
5) Intentional transgressions of the Buddha’s ordinances, although these are obstacles only as long as one has not undergone the penalty called for in the relevant rule.
The Commentary does not say from where it derives this list. The first three categories—without explanations—are found in AN 6:86. AN 6:87 provides the examples for the first category. The statement in the Nidāna to the Pāṭimokkha that an intentional lie is an obstruction may have provided the Commentary with an example of the fifth category. (AN 3:88 states that arahants may intentionally commit offenses, but that they willingly undergo rehabilitation for them.) As for the fourth category, the primary reference in the Canon is to the case of the bhikkhu Kokālika, who spreads lies about Sāriputta and Moggallāna, comes down with a horrible disease, and then dies, reappearing in hell because he continued to harbor animosity toward them (SN 6:10). Thus reviling here would seem to mean spreading lies impelled by animosity.
The Commentary notes that this training rule deals with a bhikkhu who holds to the view that the fifth category is not an obstacle, the most common example being the bhikkhu who believes that there is nothing wrong in a bhikkhu’s having sexual intercourse in defiance of Pr 1.
There are many ways one might rationalize such an idea, and the Commentary gives an entertaining description of one of them:
“There is the case where a bhikkhu… having gone into seclusion, reasons as follows: ‘There are people living the household life, enjoying the five pleasures of the senses, who are stream-winners, once-returners, and non-returners. As for bhikkhus, they see pleasurable forms cognizable via the eye, hear… smell… taste… feel (pleasurable) tactile sensations cognizable via the body. They use soft carpets and clothing. All this is proper. Then why shouldn’t the sight, sound, smell, taste, and feel of a woman be proper? They too are proper!’ Thus… comparing a mustard seed with Mount Sineru, he gives rise to the evil view, ‘Why did the Blessed One—binding the ocean, as it were, with great effort—formulate the first pārājika training rule? There is nothing wrong with that act.’”
Simply holding such a view is not enough to bring a bhikkhu under the purview of this rule, but if he asserts it to others, the Vibhaṅga states that other bhikkhus have the duty of reprimanding him up to three times in the manner described in the rule. If, having learned of his assertion, they do not reprimand him, they each incur a dukkaṭa, for if he goes unreprimanded, he may continue with his assertions as he likes without incurring a penalty.
If, after being reprimanded, he relinquishes his view, he incurs no penalty. But if he doesn’t, he incurs a dukkaṭa. He should then be taken into the midst of the Community to be admonished and rebuked as described under Sg 10, the only difference here being that the penalty is a dukkaṭa in each of the preliminary stages, and a pācittiya after the third formal rebuke. (The formula for the rebuke is given in Appendix VIII.) Unlike the Vibhaṅga to the parallel saṅghādisesa rules, the Vibhaṅga here does not say that the penalties incurred in the preliminary stages are annulled when the full penalty is incurred.
Perception is not a mitigating factor here. If the rebuke transaction is properly carried out, then one’s offense is a pācittiya regardless of whether one regards it as such. If the transaction is improperly carried out, then again—regardless of how one perceives its validity—one incurs a dukkaṭa (§), probably for one’s unwillingness to relinquish one’s view after being reprimanded. In other words, a pattern similar to the one set out under Sg 10, rather than the one under Pc 4, holds here.
If a bhikkhu penalized under this rule persists in asserting his evil view, he is subject to an act of suspension, under which he is not allowed to commune or affiliate with bhikkhus in any Community until he sees the error of his ways and relinquishes his view (see BMC2, Chapter 20). As is the case under Sg 10-13, a Community preparing to impose this rule on a stubborn bhikkhu should also be prepared to impose a suspension transaction on him immediately in case he refuses to respond to the formal rebuke.
There is no offense for the bhikkhu if he has not been reprimanded or if, after being reprimanded, he relinquishes his view.
Summary: Refusing—after the third announcement of a formal rebuke in a meeting of the Community—to relinquish the evil view that there is nothing wrong in intentionally transgressing the Buddha’s ordinances is a pācittiya offense.
* * *
Should any bhikkhu knowingly commune, affiliate, or lie down in the same dwelling with a bhikkhu professing such a view who has not acted in compliance with the rule, who has not abandoned that view, it is to be confessed.
This rule reinforces the suggestion made under the preceding rule, that a bhikkhu who refuses to respond to the rebuke imposed by that rule should immediately be suspended. There are three factors for the full offense here.
1) Object: a bhikkhu who has been suspended by a Community transaction and has not yet been restored.
2) Perception: One knows that he has been suspended and has not yet been restored—either from knowing on one’s own, from having been told by the bhikkhu, or from having been told by others.
3) Effort: One communes with him, affiliates with him, or lies down in the same dwelling with him.
According to Cv.I.25-35, a bhikkhu may be suspended for any one of three reasons:
He refuses to relinquish an evil view, as in the preceding rule;
he refuses to see an offense (i.e., he admits to having performed an action forbidden by the rules, but refuses to concede that it is an offense); or
he refuses to make amends for an offense (again, he admits to having performed an action forbidden by the rules, but refuses to undergo the attendant penalty).
Once a bhikkhu has been suspended, it is his duty to change his ways and reject the view or position that led to his suspension, so that he may be restored to normal status.
According to the Vibhaṅga, the factor of object here is fulfilled by a bhikkhu who has been suspended for the first of these three reasons and has yet to be restored. However, because the rules governing the way in which a suspended bhikkhu is to be treated by other bhikkhus are the same for all three cases (see Cv.I.27, Cv.I.31, Cv.I.33), the Commentary argues that a bhikkhu suspended for either of the other two reasons would fulfil this factor as well. The Vibhaṅga’s non-offense clauses add, though, that if the bhikkhu was suspended for holding an evil view and has come to relinquish that view, he does not fulfill this factor even if the Community has yet to restore him to normal status. This allowance would apparently apply to bhikkhus suspended for other reasons as well.
There is no offense in communing, etc., with a suspended bhikkhu if one perceives him as unsuspended; a dukkaṭa for communing, etc., with an unsuspended bhikkhu if one perceives him as suspended; and a dukkaṭa for communing, etc., with a bhikkhu if one is in doubt as to whether he has been suspended. This last penalty holds regardless of whether he has actually been suspended.
None of the texts mention the matter, but a similar principle would also seem to apply to one’s perception of the transaction whereby the bhikkhu was suspended. Thus, there would be no offense in communing, etc., with him if one perceived a valid transaction as invalid; a dukkaṭa for communing, etc., with him if one perceived an invalid transaction as valid; and a dukkaṭa for communing, etc., with him if one was in doubt as to the transaction’s validity, regardless of whether it was actually valid or not.
Effort here covers any one of three sorts of action:
1) One communes with the bhikkhu. Communion takes one of two forms: sharing material objects, i.e., giving material objects to the bhikkhu or receiving them from him; or sharing Dhamma, i.e., reciting Dhamma for him or getting him to recite Dhamma. The penalties for sharing Dhamma are, if one recites line-by-line or gets the other to recite line-by-line, a pācittiya for each line; if syllable-by-syllable, a pācittiya for each syllable.
2) One affiliates with the bhikkhu, i.e., one participates in a transaction of the Community along with him. An example would be sitting in the same assembly with him to listen to the Pāṭimokkha.
3) One lies down in the same dwelling with him. “Same dwelling” here, unlike Pc 5 & 6, means one with the same roof. Thus, as the K/Commentary notes, if one is lying under the same roof with the bhikkhu, one falls under this factor even if one is lying in a room that is not connected by any entrance with the one he is lying in. And, we might add, one falls under this factor regardless of whether the dwelling is walled or not. Whether one lies down first, the suspended bhikkhu lies down first, or both lie down at the same time, is not an issue here. As under Pc 5, if both parties get up and then lie down again, one incurs another pācittiya.
These three actions touch on only a few of the observances a suspended bhikkhu must follow, but they are the only ones that entail a pācittiya for a regular bhikkhu who has dealings with him while he is suspended. For further details, see Cv.I.25-35 and BMC2, Chapter 20.
There is no offense in communing, affiliating, or lying down in the same dwelling with another bhikkhu if one knows that—
he has not been suspended;
he was suspended but has been restored; or
he has abandoned the evil view that led to his suspension.
The Vibhaṅga states explicitly that the first of these three exemptions holds regardless of whether one’s perception is correct, and the same principle would seem to apply to the remaining two as well.
Summary: Communing, affiliating, or lying down under the same roof with a bhikkhu who has been suspended and not been restored—knowing that such is the case—is a pācittiya offense.
* * *
And if a novice should say the following: “As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, those acts the Blessed One says are obstructive, when engaged in are not genuine obstructions,” the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: “Do not say that, friend novice. Do not slander the Blessed One, for it is not good to slander the Blessed One. The Blessed One would not say anything like that. In many ways, friend, the Blessed One has described obstructive acts, and when engaged in they are genuine obstructions. [The Sri Lankan and Burmese recensions read: In many ways, friend, the Blessed One has described obstructive acts as obstructive, and when engaged in they are genuine obstructions.]”
And should that novice, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: “From this day forth, friend novice, you are not to claim the Blessed One as your teacher, nor are you even to have the opportunity the other novices get—that of sharing dwellings two or three nights with the bhikkhus. Away with you! Get lost!”
Should any bhikkhu knowingly befriend, receive services from, commune with, or lie down in the same dwelling with a novice thus expelled, it is to be confessed.
The factors for the full offense here are three.
1) Object: a novice who has been expelled and has not relinquished his evil view.
2) Perception: One perceives that he has been expelled and has not relinquished his evil view—either from knowing on one’s own, from having been told by him (§), or from having been told by others.
3) Effort: One befriends him, receives services from him, communes with him, or lies down in the same dwelling with him.
According to the Commentary, there are three types of expulsion: expulsion from affiliation (this applies only to bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs, and refers to the act of suspension discussed under the preceding rule); expulsion from one’s status; and expulsion as a punishment. Novices are subject to the latter two.
1) Mv.I.60 lists ten grounds for expelling a novice from his status as a novice: He breaks any of his first five precepts; he speaks in dispraise of the Buddha, Dhamma, or Saṅgha; he holds to wrong views (such things as eternalism, fatalism, or annihilationism, says the Commentary); or he rapes a bhikkhunī.
The Commentary to Mv.I.60 states that a novice who breaks any of his first five precepts has cut himself off from the Triple Refuge, from his teacher, and from his right to a dwelling in a monastery. He is still a novice, though, and if he sees the error of his ways and is determined to restrain himself in the future, he may take the Triple Refuge from his teacher again and so be restored to his former status. (The Commentary adds that a novice who knowingly drinks alcohol in defiance of the fifth precept may be restored to his status as a novice but may never ordain as a bhikkhu in this lifetime. Not all Communities share this view, as it is not supported by the Canon.) If, however, a novice breaks any of these precepts habitually and is not determined to restrain himself in the future, he is to be expelled from his status as a novice.
As for the novice who holds to wrong views or who speaks in dispraise of the Buddha, Dhamma, or Saṅgha, the bhikkhus are to instruct him to show him the error of his ways. If he abandons his views, he is to undergo punishment for an appropriate period (see Mv.I.57-58) and then be allowed to confess his error, so as to return to his former status. If he does not change his ways, he is to be expelled from his status as a novice.
And as for the novice who rapes a bhikkhunī: The Commentary notes that this comes under the breaking of the third precept, but is listed separately because a novice who has sexual intercourse with anyone but a bhikkhunī may be reinstated if he sees the error of his ways, whereas one who has raped a bhikkhunī may not—and furthermore, he can never be ordained as a novice or a bhikkhu in this lifetime. (See BMC2, Chapter 14.)
Except in the last case, a novice who has been expelled from his status as a novice may be reordained as a novice if he sees his errors and can convince the bhikkhus that he will mend his ways in the future.
2) The second form of expulsion—expulsion as punishment—is the one mentioned in this rule: A novice comes to think that there is nothing wrong with any novice’s having sexual intercourse or breaking any of his other precepts. If he asserts this view, the bhikkhus are to instruct him to show him that it is evil, but if they cannot sway him, they are to expel him in the form described in the rule: He has no right to claim the Buddha as his teacher and loses his right to live in the same dwellings with the bhikkhus, although he retains his status as a novice. This form of expulsion lasts as long as he has yet to relinquish his view. If and when he does relinquish it, he is to be reinstated. The Commentary doesn’t say how, but we can reason from the pattern mentioned above that he should take the Triple Refuge from his teacher again.
The Commentary states that the factor of object under this rule is fulfilled only by a novice who has undergone the second form of expulsion and has yet to relinquish his evil view.
There is no offense in befriending, etc., an expelled novice if one does not know that he has been expelled; a dukkaṭa for befriending, etc., a novice who has not been expelled but whom one perceives as expelled; and a dukkaṭa for befriending, etc., a novice if one is in doubt about the matter. This last penalty holds regardless of whether he has actually been expelled or not.
Effort here is fulfilled by any one of four sorts of action:
1) Befriending a novice means making friendly overtures to him with the thought of supplying him with material requisites or instruction in the Dhamma, as a mentor would.
2) Receiving services from him means to accept the services a mentor normally receives from his student—the Vibhaṅga mentions accepting powder, clay (soap) for washing, tooth-wood, or water for rinsing the mouth or washing the face (§).
3 & 4) Communing and lying down in the same dwelling are defined as under the preceding rule.
There is no offense in befriending, etc., a novice if one knows that he has not been expelled, or if one knows that he has relinquished the view that led to his expulsion in the first place. As under the preceding rule, the Vibhaṅga states explicitly that the first exemption holds regardless of whether one’s perception is correct, and the same principle would seem to apply to the second one as well.
Summary: Befriending, receiving services from, communing, or lying down under the same roof with an expelled novice—knowing that he has been expelled—is a pācittiya offense.