This term means "involving the Community in the initial (adi) and subsequent (sesa) acts." It refers to the fact that the Community is the agent that initially calls on the bhikkhu who breaks any of the rules in this category to undergo the penalty (of manatta, penance, and parivasa, probation), subsequently reimposes the penalty if he does not properly carry it out, and finally lifts the penalty when he does. There are thirteen training rules here, the first nine entailing a sanghadisesa immediately on transgression, the last four only after the offender has been rebuked three times as a formal act of the Community.
1. Intentional discharge of semen, except while dreaming, entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.
The origin story to this rule is as follows:
"Now at that time Ven. Seyyasaka was leading the celibate life dissatisfied. Because of this, he was thin, wretched, unattractive, and jaundiced, his body covered with veins. Ven. Udayin saw that Ven. Seyyasaka was thin...his body covered with veins; and seeing him, said to him, 'Seyyasaka, my friend, why are you thin...your body covered with veins? Could it be that you're leading the celibate life dissatisfied?'
"'In that case, eat as you like and sleep as you like and bathe as you like; and having eaten, slept, and bathed as you like, when dissatisfaction arises and lust assails the mind, emit semen making do with your hand.'
"'But is it okay to do that?'
"'Of course. I do it myself.'
"So then Ven. Seyyasaka ate as he liked and slept as he liked...and when dissatisfaction arose and lust assailed his mind, he would emit semen making do with his hand. Then it wasn't long before he became attractive, with rounded features, a clear complexion, and very bright skin. So the bhikkhus who were his friends said to him, 'Before, friend Seyyasaka, you were thin...your body covered with veins. But now you are attractive, with rounded features, a clear complexion, and very bright skin. Could it be that you're taking medicine?'
"'No, I'm not taking medicine, my friends. I just eat as like and sleep as I like...and when dissatisfaction arises and lust assails my mind, I emit semen making do with my hand.'
"'But do you emit semen making do with the same hand you use to eat the gifts of the faithful?'
"'Yes, my friends.'
"So the bhikkhus...were offended and annoyed and spread it about, 'How can this Ven. Seyyasaka emit semen making do with the same hand he uses to eat the gifts of the faithful?'"
This rule, in its outline form, is one of the simplest to explain. In its details, though, it is one of the most complex, not only because the subject is a sensitive matter, but also because the Commentary deviates somewhat from the Vibhanga in its explanations of two of the three factors that constitute the full offense.
The three factors are result, intention, and effort: Emission of semen caused by an intentional effort. When all three factors are present, the offense is a sanghadisesa. If the last two -- intention and effort -- are present, the offense is a thullaccaya. Any single factor or any other combination of two factors -- i.e., intention and result without making a physical effort, or effort and result without intention -- is not grounds for an offense.
It may seem strange to list the factor of result first, but I want to explain it first partly because, in understanding the types of intention and effort covered by this rule, it is necessary to know what they are aimed at, and also because result is the one factor where the Vibhanga and Commentary are in basic agreement.
Result. The Commentary discusses the physiology of semen as it was understood at the time, and in passing touches on the question of whether the word semen refers to the clear liquid produced in small quantities by the prostate and Cowper's glands prior to ejaculation, or to the seminal fluid released at orgasm (in its words, "having made the whole body shake, it is released and descends into the urinary tract.") It concludes that the latter is what is meant here.
As for the Vibhanga, it devotes long passages to the various colors and qualities that semen can come in, only to conclude that the color and quality are irrelevant to the offense. This suggests that a bhikkhu who has had a vasectomy can still commit an offense under this rule, since he can still discharge the various components that go into seminal fluid -- minus only the sperm -- at orgasm.
Discharge, according to the Vibhanga, refers to the point in time when the semen "falls from its base." The Commentary explains this as the point when the semen enters the urinary tract, because from that point on the process is irreversible. Thus if the process of sexual stimulation has reached this point, the factor of result has been fulfilled, even if one tries to prevent the semen from leaving the body by pinching the end of one's penis.
Intention. The Vibhanga defines intentionally as "having made the decision knowingly, consciously, and purposefully." According to the Commentary, "having made the decision" refers to the moment when one "crushes" one's indecisiveness by taking an act. (These are the same terms it uses to explain the same phrase under Parajika 3 and several other rules. The meaning is that one has definitely made up one's mind to start with the act and is not simply toying with the idea.) Knowingly means that one knows that, "I am making an exertion." Consciously means that one is aware that one's efforts are bringing about an emission of semen. Purposefully means that one's purpose is to enjoy the bringing about of an emission.
This last point is where the Commentary deviates from the Vibhanga's discussion of the factor of intention. The Vibhanga, throughout its analysis, expresses the factor of purpose simply as "aiming at causing an emission," and it lists ten possible reasons for wanting to bring the emission about:
for the sake of health,
for the sake of pleasure,
for the sake of a medicine,
for the sake of a gift (to insects, says the Commentary),
for the sake of merit,
for the sake of sacrifice,
for the sake of heaven,
for the sake of seed (to produce a child -- a bhikkhu who gave semen to be used in artificial insemination would fit in this category),
for the sake of investigating (to see what color it will be -- ancient medicine sometimes used this as a way of diagnosing disease), or
for the sake of fun.
Each of these reasons, the Vibhanga says, fulfills the factor of intention here. Thus for the Commentary to limit the question of "purpose" strictly to the enjoyment of the act of bringing about an emission (numbers 2 and 10 in the Vibhanga's list) has no basis in the Canon. And so the factor of intention under this rule is fulfilled when one wants to cause an emission of semen, for no matter what reason.
Given the way intention is defined, there is no offense for a bhikkhu who brings on an emission of semen --
accidentally -- e.g., toying with his penis simply for the pleasure of the contact, when it suddenly and unexpectedly goes off;
not knowing that he is making an effort -- e.g., when he is dreaming or in a semi-conscious state before fully waking up from sleep;
not conscious that his efforts are bringing about an emission of semen -- e.g., when he is so engrossed in applying medicine to a sore on his penis that he doesn't realize that he is bringing on an ejaculation;
or when his efforts are motivated by a purpose other than that of causing an emission -- e.g., when he wakes up, finds that he is about to have a spontaneous ejaculation, and grabs hold of his penis to keep the semen from soiling his robes or bedding.
Effort. The Vibhanga defines four types of effort that fulfill this factor: A bhikkhu causes an emission making an effort (1) at an internal object, (2) at an external object, (3) at both an internal and an external object, or (4) by shaking his pelvis in the air. It then goes on to explain these terms: The internal object is one's own living body. External objects can either be animate or inanimate objects. The third type of effort involves a combination of the first two, and the fourth covers cases when one makes one's penis erect ("workable") by making an effort in the air.
The extremely general nature of these definitions gives the impression that the compilers of the Vibhanga wanted them to cover every imaginable type of bodily effort aimed at arousing oneself sexually, and this impression is borne out by the wide variety of cases covered in the Vinita Vatthu. They include, among others, a bhikkhu who squeezes his penis with his fist, one who rubs his penis with his thumb, one who rubs his penis against his bed, one who inserts his penis into sand, one who bathes against the current in a stream, one who rubs his preceptor's back in the bathing room, one who gets an erection from the friction of his thighs and robes while walking along, one who has his belly heated in the bathing room, and one who stretches his body. In each of these cases, if the bhikkhu aims at and succeeds in causing an emission, he incurs a sanghadisesa.
The Vinita Vatthu also includes a case in which a bhikkhu, desiring to cause an emission, orders a novice to take hold of his (the bhikkhu's) penis. He gets his emission and a sanghadisesa to boot, which shows that getting someone else to make the effort for one fulfills the factor of effort here.
In discussing the factor of effort, though, the Commentary makes a slight change in the Vibhanga's definition -- that one makes an effort with or upon one's own body, etc., rather than at one's own body, etc. -- and adds an additional factor: that the effort must be directed at one's own penis. If this is so, then a bhikkhu who succeeds in causing an emission by stimulating any of the erogenous zones of his body aside from his penis would incur no penalty. The Commentary itself actually makes this point, and the Sub-commentary seconds it, although the V/Sub-commentary says that such a bhikkhu would incur a dukkata -- what it bases this opinion on, it doesn't say: perhaps a misreading of the Case of the Sleeping Novice, which we will discuss below.
At any rate, the Commentary in adding this last factor runs up against a number of cases in the Vinita Vatthu in which the effort does not involve the penis: the bhikkhu warming his belly, the bhikkhu rubbing his preceptor's back, a bhikkhu having his thighs massaged, and others. The Commentary deals with these cases by rewriting them, stating in most cases that the effort somehow had to involve the penis. This in itself is questionable, but when the Commentary actually contradicts the Vinita Vatthu in the case of the bhikkhu who warms his belly, saying that this sort of effort could not involve an offense at all even if one aims at and succeeds in causing an emission, the commentators have moved beyond the realm of commenting into the realm of rewriting the rule.
As stated in the Introduction, we have to go on the assumption that the compilers of the Vibhanga knew the crucial factors well enough to know what is and is not an offense, and were careful enough to include all the relevant facts when describing the precedents in the Vinita Vatthu in order to show how the Buddha arrived at his judgments. Since the Commentary's position -- adding the extra factor that the physical effort has to involve one's own penis -- directly contradicts the Vibhanga on this point, the extra factor cannot stand.
The question then is why the commentators added the extra factor in the first place. An answer may be found in one of the cases in the Vinita Vatthu: the Case of the Sleeping Novice.
"On that occasion a certain bhikkhu grabbed hold of the penis of a sleeping novice. His semen was emitted. He felt remorseful....'Bhikkhu, there is no sanghadisesa offense. There is a dukkata offense.'"
The issue here is whose semen was emitted. Pali syntax, unlike English, doesn't give us a clue, for there is no rule that the pronoun in one sentence should refer to the subject of the preceding sentence. There are many cases under Parajika 3 that follow the form, "A stone badly held by the bhikkhu standing above hit the bhikkhu standing below on the head. The bhikkhu died. He felt remorseful." In these cases it is obvious from the context within the story which bhikkhu died and which one felt remorseful, while with the sleeping novice we have to look for the context in terms of the other parts of the Vibhanga.
If the bhikkhu was the one who emitted semen, then perhaps there is a contradiction in the Vibhanga, and the Commentary is justified in saying that the effort must involve one's penis, for otherwise the case would seem to fulfill the Vibhanga's general definition for the factor of effort: The bhikkhu is making an effort at an outside body and has an emission. Following the general pattern of the rule, he would incur a sanghadisesa if he intended emission, and no penalty at all if he didn't. Yet the question of intention is not mentioned at all, and the bhikkhu is given a dukkata, which suggests an inconsistency.
If, however, the novice was the one who emitted, there is no inconsistency at all: The bhikkhu gets his dukkata for making lustful bodily contact with another man (see the discussion under Sanghadisesa 2, below), and the case is included here to show that the full offense under this rule concerns instances where one makes oneself emit semen, and not where one makes others emit. (Other than this case, there is nothing in the rule or the Vibhanga that expressly makes this point. The rule simply mentions bringing about the emission of semen, without explicitly mentioning whose. This would explain the bhikkhu's uncertainty as to whether or not he had committed a sanghadisesa.) And the reason there is no mention of whether or not the bhikkhu intended to emit semen is because -- as it comes under another rule -- it is irrelevant to the case.
Thus, since the second reading -- the novice was the one who had an emission -- does no violence to the rest of the Vibhanga, it seems to be the preferable one. So if this was the case that led the commentators to add their extra factor, we can see that they misread it, and that the Vibhanga's original definition for the factor of effort still stands: Any bodily effort made at one's own body, at another body or physical object, at both, or any effort made in the air -- like shaking one's pelvis or stretching one's body -- fulfills the factor of effort here.
One case that does not fulfill the factor of effort is when one is filled with lust and stares at the private parts of a woman or girl. In the case dealing with this contingency, the bhikkhu emits semen, but again no mention is made of whether he intended to. In any event, the Buddha lays down a separate rule, imposing a dukkata for staring lustfully at a women's private parts. This suggests that efforts with one's eyes do not count as bodily efforts under this sanghadisesa, for otherwise the penalty would have been a sanghadisesa if the bhikkhu had intended emission, and no offense if he hadn't. And this also suggests that the dukkata under this separate rule holds regardless of intention or result. The Commentary adds that this dukkata applies also to staring lustfully at the genitals of a female animal or at the area of a fully-clothed woman's body where her sexual organ is, thinking, "Her sexual organ is there." At present we would impose the penalty on a bhikkhu who stares lustfully at a woman's private parts in a pornographic photograph.
With reference to conscious efforts leading to nocturnal emissions, the Commentary discusses two cases. The first is the case of a bhikkhu who makes an effort aiming at emission but, before it occurs, stops and purifies his mind of that intent. He then dozes off and has an emission in his sleep. Its verdict: he does not incur the full offense. It contrasts this case with one in which a bhikkhu grabs his penis tightly or presses it between his thighs, and then drops off to sleep maintaining that position with the intent that it will induce the emission. He succeeds and incurs the full offense. To generalize from these two cases, it would appear that effort and intent in such cases count toward a full offense only if one's effort and intent aimed at emission were maintained up to the last moment of waking consciousness. A conscious, clean, and honest break in one's intention and effort prior to emission would absolve one of an offense even if emission later occurred.
Consent. A special contingency covered by this rule is mentioned twice in the Vinita Vatthu for Parajika 1: A woman approaches a bhikkhu and offers to make him emit semen by making do with her hand (%). The bhikkhu lets her go ahead, and the Buddha says that he incurs a sanghadisesa in doing so. The commentaries treat the case as self-evident and offer no extra details. Thus, given the facts as we have them, it would seem that consent under this rule can be expressed physically simply by letting the act happen. A bhikkhu who acquiesces mentally when someone tries and succeeds in making him emit semen is not absolved from the full offense here even if he otherwise lies perfectly still throughout the event.
Derived offenses. As stated above, a bhikkhu who fulfills all three factors -- result, intention, and effort -- incurs a sanghadisesa. One who fulfills only the last two -- intention and effort -- incurs a thullaccaya.
People have sometimes asked how much of an effort is necessary to incur a thullaccaya and, in particular, whether the thullaccaya is only for cases where a bhikkhu tries to go all the way to an emission but cannot have one for physical reasons beyond his control -- e.g., he is unable to have an erection or to produce semen -- or whether it also covers cases where a bhikkhu starts out trying to cause an emission but stops short and changes his mind before the emission can come.
The Vibhanga suggests indirectly that the penalty covers both cases when it says simply that the thullaccaya is for one who intends, makes the effort, but does not emit. If it had meant to limit the penalty to those who cannot emit, it would have said so and would have set some kind of standard for determining when the bhikkhu passed the threshold from does not to cannot so that there would be no doubt as to where the realm of non-offense ends and thullaccaya begins. But it doesn't.
The Commentary's discussion of a case mentioned above -- the bhikkhu who intentionally sets up a nocturnal emission prior to going to sleep -- throws light on this topic. The fact that he incurs the full offense if he succeeds, and in light of the fact that efforts made during sleep do not count (see below), shows that the factor of effort does not need to go all the way to ejaculation in order to count.
In discussing the case of a bhikkhu with fat thighs who develops an erection simply by walking along, the Commentary mentions that if one finds sensual "fever" arising in such a case, one must immediately stop walking and start contemplating the foulness of the body so as to purify the mind before continuing on one's way. Otherwise, one would incur a thullaccaya simply for moving one's legs. Sensual fever, here, probably refers to the desire to cause an emission, for there are several spots where the Commentary discusses bhikkhus who stimulate an erection simply for the enjoyment of the contact rather than to cause an emission, and the judgment is that they incur no penalty, even if an emission does inadvertently result.
Aside from the thullaccaya, there are no other derived offenses under this rule. A bhikkhu who has an ejaculation while thinking sensual thoughts but without making any physical effort to cause it, incurs no penalty regardless of whether or not the idea crosses his mind that he would like to have an emission, and whether or not he enjoys it when it occurs. However, the Commentary notes here that even though there is no offense involved, one should not let oneself be overcome by sensual thoughts in this way. This point is borne out by the famous simile that occurred to Prince Siddhattha before his Awakening and that later, as Buddha, he related to a number of listeners:
"'Suppose there were a wet sappy piece of timber lying on dry ground far from water, and a man were to come along with an upper fire-stick, thinking, "I'll light a fire. I'll produce heat." Now what do you think? Would he be able to light a fire and produce heat by rubbing the upper fire-stick in the wet sappy timber...?'
"'No, Master Gotama. And why not? Because the wood is wet and sappy, even though it is lying on dry ground far from water. The man would reap nothing but weariness and disappointment.'
"'So it is with any priest or contemplative who lives withdrawn from sensuality only in body, but whose desire, infatuation, urge, thirst, and fever for sensuality is not relinquished and stilled within him: Whether or not he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings due to his striving (for Awakening), he is incapable of knowledge, vision, and unexcelled self-awakening.'" (M.36)
Non-offenses. In addition to the cases already mentioned -- the bhikkhus who bring about emissions accidentally, not knowing that they are making an effort, not conscious that their efforts are bringing about an emission, whose efforts are motivated by a purpose other than that of causing an emission, or who without making any physical effort have an ejaculation while overcome by sensual thoughts -- there is no offense for a bhikkhu who has an ejaculation during a dream.
In the wording of the rule, the phrase "except while dreaming" is expressed by an idiom that could also mean "at the end of a dream." This second possibility, though, is ruled out by the Commentary, which states that what happens in the mind while one is sleeping falls in the bounds of the Abhidhamma, but what happens after one awakens falls within the bounds of the Vinaya; and that there is no such thing as a misdeed performed when one is in a "non-negligible" state of mind that does not count as an offense. ("Non-negligible," according to the Sub-commentary, means "normal.")
In making the exception for what happens while asleep, the Buddha states that even though there may be the intention to cause an emission, it doesn't count. The Commentary goes on to say, however, that if a bhikkhu fully awakens in the course of a wet dream, he should lie still and be extremely careful not to make a move that would fulfill the factor of effort under this rule. If the process has reached the point where it is irreversible, and the ejaculation occurs spontaneously, he incurs no penalty regardless of whether or not he enjoys it. And as the Commentary quotes from the Kurundi, one of the ancient Sinhalese commentaries on which it is based, if he wakes up in the course of a wet dream and grabs hold of his penis so that the ejaculation will not soil his robes or bedding, there is no offense.
However, the case from the Commentary mentioned above -- the bhikkhu who had the desire and made the effort towards an emission before falling off to sleep -- suggests that the exemption for emissions during a dream does not extend to cases where both the intention and the effort occur while one is fully conscious, for all three factors under this rule are fully present: One makes the conscious decision to cause an emission, makes a conscious effort aimed at causing the emission, and the emission occurs. Whether or not one is conscious that it is occurring is of no account.
Summary: Intentionally causing oneself to emit semen, or getting someone else to cause one to emit semen -- except during a dream -- is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
This rule has sometimes been viewed as a sign of prejudice against women. But, as the origin story makes clear, the Buddha formulated the rule not because women are bad, but because bhikkhus sometimes can be.
"Now at that time, Ven. Udayin was living in the forest. His dwelling was beautiful, attractive, and appealing. The inner chamber was in the middle, entirely surrounded by the outer rooms. The bed and chair, the pillows and bolsters were well arranged, the water for washing and drinking well placed, the surrounding area well swept. Many people came to admire it. Even a certain Brahmin together with his wife went to where Ven. Udayin was staying and on arrival said, 'We would like to admire your dwelling.'
"'Very well then, Brahmin, have a look.' Taking the key, unfastening the lock, and opening the door, he entered the dwelling. The Brahmin entered after Ven. Udayin; the Brahmin lady after the Brahmin. Then Ven. Udayin, opening some of the windows and closing others, walking around the inner room and coming up from behind, rubbed up against the Brahmin lady limb by limb.
"After a while the Brahmin exchanged pleasantries with Ven. Udayin and left. Delighted, he burst out with an exclamation of joy: 'How splendid are are these Sakyan contemplatives who live in the forest like this! And how splendid is Ven. Udayin who lives in the forest like this!'
"When he had said this, his wife said to him, 'What's so splendid about him? He rubbed up against me limb by limb just the way you do!'
"So the Brahmin was offended and annoyed and spread it about: 'How shameless these bhikkhus are, how immoral and hypocritical!...How can this contemplative Udayin rub up against my wife limb by limb? It isn't possible to go with your women-folk to a monastery or dwelling. If you go to a monastery or dwelling with your womenfolk, the Sakyan contemplatives will molest them!'"
There are two ways in which a bhikkhu can come into contact with a woman: either actively (the bhikkhu makes the contact) or passively (the woman does). Since the Vibhanga uses different terms to analyse these two possibilities, we will discuss them separately.
Active contact. The full offense for active contact here is composed of four factors:
1) Object: a living woman -- "even one born on that very day, all the more an older one." Whether or not she is awake to realize what is going on is irrelevant to the offense.
2) Perception: The bhikkhu correctly perceives her to be a woman.
3) Intention: He is acting under the influence of lust.
4) Effort: He comes into physical contact with her.
Since the system of derived offenses based on the various permutations of these factors is one of the most complex in the Vibhanga, we will limit our discussion first to the full offense before going into the permutations.
Of the four factors listed above, only two -- intention and effort -- require detailed explanation.
Intention. The Vibhanga explains the term overcome with lust as meaning "impassioned, desiring, a mind bound by attraction." Altered, it says, can refer in general to one of three states of mind -- passion, aversion, or delusion -- but here it refers specifically to passion.
The Commentary adds a piece of Abhidhamma analysis at this point, saying that altered refers to the moment when the mind leaves its state of pure neutrality in the bhavanga under the influence of desire. Thus the factor of intention here can be fulfilled not only by a prolonged or intense feeling of desire, but also by a momentary infatuation.
The Commentary also tries to limit the range of passion to which this rule applies, saying that it covers only desire for the enjoyment of contact. As we noted under Parajika 1, the ancient commentators formulated a list of eleven types of lust, each mutually exclusive, and the question of which rule applies to a particular case depends on which type of lust provokes the bhikkhu's actions. Thus if a bhikkhu lusting for intercourse touches a woman, it says, he incurs only a dukkata as a preliminary to sexual intercourse under Parajika 1. If he touches her from his lust for an ejaculation, he incurs a thullaccaya as a preliminary to causing an emission under Sanghadisesa 1. Only if he touches her with the simple desire to enjoy the sensation of contact does he incur a sanghadisesa under this rule.
This system, though very neat and orderly, flies in the face of common sense and, as we noted under Parajika 1, contradicts the Vibhanga as well, so there is no need to adopt it. We can stick with the Vibhanga to this rule and say that any state of passion fulfills the factor of intention here. The Commentary's discussion, though, is useful in showing that the passion needn't be full-scale sexual lust. Even a momentary desire to enjoy the sensation of physical contact -- overwhelming enough that one acts on it -- is enough to fulfill this factor.
Effort. The Vibhanga illustrates the effort of making physical contact with a list of activities: rubbing, rubbing up against, rubbing downwards, rubbing upwards, bending down, pulling up, drawing to, pushing away, seizing hold (or pinning down -- abhinigganhana), squeezing, grasping, or touching. The Vinita Vatthu includes a case of a bhikkhu giving a woman a blow with his shoulder: He too incurs a sanghadisesa, which shows that the Vibhanga's list is meant to cover all similar actions as well. If a bhikkhu with lustful mind does anything of this sort to a living woman's body, perceiving that she is a woman, he incurs the full penalty under this rule.
Derived offenses. Each of the factors of an offense allows a number of permutations that admit for different classes of offenses. Taken together, they form a complex system. Here we will consider each factor in turn.
Object. Assuming that the bhikkhu is acting with lustful intentions and is perceiving his object correctly, he incurs a thullaccaya for making bodily contact with a pandaka, a female yakkha, or a dead woman; and a dukkata for bodily contact with a man (or boy), a wooden doll, or a female animal.
Pandaka is usually translated as eunuch, but eunuchs are only one of five types of pandakas recognized by the Commentary:
(1) An asitta (literally, a "sprinkled one") -- a man who finds sexual fulfillment in performing fellatio on another man and bringing him to climax. (For some reason, other homosexual acts, even though they were known in ancient India, are not included under this type nor under any of the types in this list.)
(2) A voyeur -- a man who finds sexual fulfillment in watching other people have sex.
(3) A eunuch -- one who has been castrated.
(4) A half-time pandaka -- one who is a pandaka only during the waning moon. (! -- The Sub-commentary's discussion of this point shows that its author and his contemporaries were as unfamiliar with this type as we are today. Perhaps this was how bisexuals were understood in ancient times.)
(5) A neuter -- a person born without sexual organs.
According to the Commentary, the Mahavagga's statement (I.61) that pandakas cannot receive ordination refers only to the last three types, and to the half-time pandaka only during the waning moon.
As for female yakkhas, the Commentary says that this also includes female deities. There is an ancient story in Chieng Mai of a bhikkhu who was visited by a dazzling heavenly maiden late one night while he was meditating alone in a cave at Wat Umong. He couldn't resist touching her and, as soon as he did, went immediately out of his mind. The moral: This is one thullaccaya not to be taken lightly.
Also from the Commentary:
(1) The thullaccaya for lustfully touching female corpses applies only to those that would be grounds for a full offense under Parajika 1, i.e., those with an anal, oral, or genital orifice intact enough for one to perform the sexual act. Female corpses decomposed beyond that point are grounds for a dukkata here.
(2) The dukkata for lustfully touching wooden dolls (mannikins) applies also to any female form made out of other materials, and even to any picture of a woman.
(3) Female animals include female nagas and other half-animal, half-woman species as well.
According to the Sub-commentary, the dukkata for lustfully touching female animals also applies to male animals.
For some reason, male yakkhas and deities slipped out of the list. Perhaps they should come under "men."
Perception. Misperception affects the severity of the offense only in the cases of women and pandakas. A bhikkhu who makes lustful bodily contact with a woman while under the impression that she is something else -- a pandaka, a man, or an animal -- incurs a thullaccaya. If he makes lustful bodily contact with a pandaka while under the impression that the pandaka is a woman, a man, or an animal, the penalty is a dukkata. In the cases of men and animals, misperception has no effect on the severity of the case: Lustful bodily contact -- e.g., with a male transvestite whom one thinks to be a woman -- still results in a dukkata.
Intention. The Vinita Vatthu contains cases of a bhikkhu who caresses his mother out of filial affection, one who caresses his daughter out of fatherly affection, and one who caresses his sister out of brotherly affection. In each case the penalty is a dukkata.
The Vibhanga does not discuss the issue of bhikkhus who intentionally make active contact with women for purposes other than lust or affection -- e.g., helping a woman who has fallen into a raging river -- but the Commentary does. It introduces the concept of anamasa, things carrying a dukkata penalty when touched; women and clothing belonging to a woman top the list. It then goes into great detail to tell how one should behave when one's mother falls into a raging river. Under no circumstances, it says, should one grab hold of her, although one may extend a rope, a board, etc., in her direction. If she happens to grab hold of her son the bhikkhu, he should not shake her off, but should simply let her hold on as he swims back to shore.
Where the Commentary gets the concepts of anamasa is hard to say. Perhaps it came from the practices of the Brahmin caste, who are very careful not to touch certain things and people of certain lower castes. At any rate, there is no direct basis for it in the Canon. Although the concept has received universal acceptance in Theravadin Communities, many highly-respected Vinaya experts have made an exception right here, saying that there is nothing wrong in touching a woman when one's action is based not on lust but on a desire to save her from danger. Even if there is an offense in doing so, there are other places where Buddhaghosa recommends that one be willing to incur a minor penalty for the sake of compassion (e.g., digging a person out of a hole into which he has fallen), and the same principle surely holds here.
There is no offense in touching a being other than a woman if one's intentions are not lustful, although tickling is an offense under Pacittiya 52.
Effort. Acts of lustful but indirect bodily contact with a woman one perceives to be a woman and a pandaka one perceives to be a woman carry the following penalties:
For the woman: Using one's body to make contact with an article connected to her body -- e.g., using one's hand to touch the hem of her dress, a rope, or stick she is holding: a thullaccaya.
Using an item connected with one's body to make contact with her body -- e.g., using the edge of one's robe or a flower one is holding to brush along her arm: a thullaccaya.
Using an item connected with one's body to make contact with an item connected with her body: a dukkata.
Taking an object -- such as a flower -- and tossing it against her body, an object connected with her body, or an object she has tossed: a dukkata.
Taking hold of something she is standing or sitting on -- a bridge, a tree, a boat, etc. -- and giving it a shake: a dukkata.
For the pandaka one assumes to be a woman, the penalty in all the above cases is a dukkata.
These penalties for indirect contact have inspired the Commentary to say that if a bhikkhu makes contact with a clothed portion of a woman's body or uses a clothed portion of his body to make contact with hers, and the cloth is so thick that neither his body hairs nor hers can penetrate it, the penalty is only a thullaccaya, since he is not making direct contact. Only if the contact is skin-to-skin, skin-to-hair, or hair-to-hair (as might be possible through thin cloth) does he commit the full offense. Thus a bhikkhu who fondles the breasts or buttocks of a fully-clothed woman would incur only a thullaccaya since the contact was indirect.
While this contention might be true in a technical sense, two points from the Vibhanga indicate that its compilers did not have this sort of thing in mind when they mentioned indirect contact.
(1) In its discussion of passive contact, the Vibhanga divides the factor of effort into two parts: effort and result. The result necessary for a full offense is that the bhikkhu detects contact. The important word here is "detect" (pativijanati): The Canon uses it to refer to cases where one perceives something that may not be readily apparent, and here it seems specifically designed to cover instances where the contact may not be skin-to-skin, but still can be felt as bodily contact. Thus if the contact is such that the bhikkhu could feel the presence of the woman's body through his or under her clothing, direct contact has been made. If this much contact is enough for a full offense under passive contact, there is good reason to assume that it should also be enough under active contact as well.
(2) The Vinita Vatthu contains the following case:
"Now at that time, a certain bhikkhu, seeing a woman he encountered coming in the opposite direction, was infatuated and gave her a blow with his shoulder. He was remorseful....'Bhikkhu, you have committed a sanghadisesa offense.'"
As mentioned in the Introduction, we have to go on the assumption that the Vibhanga compilers were careful enough to include all of the relevant facts in describing the cases in the Vinita Vatthu. Now if the Commentary's assertion were true -- that the amount of cloth between the bodies of the bhikkhu and the woman is important in determining an offense -- the compilers would have mentioned this factor at least indirectly, saying, for instance, that the encounter took place in the monastery, where he might have had his shoulder uncovered, rather than outside of the monastery, where he should have had it covered; or that he had neglected to cover his shoulders when leaving the monastery; or that he was wearing a very fine robe that allowed his hair to pass through. But they say nothing of the sort, and their silence here suggests that such questions are irrelevant.
The only cases of indirect contact mentioned in the Vinita Vatthu refer to contact of a much more remote sort: a bhikkhu pulls a cord of which a woman is holding another end, pulls a stick of which she is holding the other end, or gives her a playful push with his bowl.
Thus in the context of this rule the Vibhanga defines "object connected to the body," through which indirect contact is made, with examples: things that the person is holding. The Vinaya Mukha adds things that are hanging from the person, like the hem of a robe or a dress. In this context, contact made through cloth that the person is wearing, if the contact can be detected, would be classed as direct. This would parallel Parajika 1, in which the question of whether there is anything covering either of the organs involved in intercourse is completely irrelevant to the offense. Thus the concept of direct and indirect contact here would seem to follow general linguistic usage: If a woman is wearing a long-sleeved shirt, for instance, grabbing her by the arm and grabbing her by the shirt-sleeve are two different things, and would receive different penalties under this rule.
According to the Vibhanga, if a bhikkhu feels desire for contact with a woman and makes an effort but does not achieve even indirect contact, the penalty is a dukkata.
Passive contact. The Vibhanga's analysis of passive contact -- when the bhikkhu is the object rather than the agent making the contact -- deals with only a limited number of variables.
Agent: either a woman the bhikkhu perceives to be a woman, or a pandaka he perceives to be a woman.
The agent's effort: any of the actions that fulfill the factor of act for the full offense under active contact -- rubbing, pulling, pushing, squeezing, etc.
The bhikkhu's aim. The Vibhanga lists only two here: the desire to come together and the desire to escape (%). The Sub-commentary explains the first as desiring the pleasurable feeling of contact.
Effort. The bhikkhu either makes a physical effort or he doesn't. The Commentary includes under this factor even the slightest physical movements, such as winking, raising one's eyebrows, or rolling one's eyes. At present we would include such things as inviting a woman to caress one, or deliberately placing oneself in a crowded entrance to a store so that women would have to make contact with one as they walked past.
Result. The bhikkhu either detects the contact or he doesn't.
The most important factor here is the bhikkhu's aim: If he desires to escape from the contact, then no matter who the person making the contact is, whether or not the bhikkhu makes an effort, or whether or not he detects the contact, there is no offense. The Vinita Vatthu gives an example:
"Now at that time, many women, pressing up to a certain bhikkhu, led him about arm-in-arm. He felt conscience-stricken.... 'Did you consent, bhikkhu?' (the Buddha) asked.
'No, Lord, I did not.'
'Then there was no offense, bhikkhu, as you did not consent.'"
The Commentary mentions another example, in which a bhikkhu, not desiring the contact, is molested by a lustful woman. He remains perfectly still, with the thought, "When she realizes I am not interested, she will go away." He too commits no offense.
However, if the bhikkhu desires the contact, then the offenses are as follows:
The agent is a woman, the bhikkhu makes an effort and detects contact: a sanghadisesa. He makes an effort but detects no contact: a dukkata. He makes no effort (e.g., he remains perfectly still as she grasps, squeezes, and rubs his body): no offense regardless of whether or not he detects contact. One exception here, though, would be the special case mentioned under "Consent" in the preceding rule, in which a bhikkhu lets a woman -- or anyone at all, for that matter -- make him have an emission and he incurs a sanghadisesa under that rule as a result.
The agent is a pandaka whom the bhikkhu perceives to be a woman, the bhikkhu makes an effort and detects contact: a dukkata. All other possibilities -- effort but no detected contact, detected contact but no effort, no effort and no detected contact: no offense.
Counting offenses. According to the Vibhanga, if a bhikkhu has lustful bodily contact with x number of people in any of the ways that constitute an offense here, he commits x number of offenses. For example, if he lustfully rubs up against two women in a bus, he incurs two sanghadisesas. If, out of fatherly affection, he hugs his two daughters and three sons, he incurs two dukkatas for hugging his daughters and no penalty for hugging his sons.
The Commentary adds that if he makes lustful contact with a person x number of times, he commits x number of offenses. For instance, he hugs a woman from behind, she fights him off, and he strikes her out of lust: two sanghadisesas.
The question of counting sanghadisesas, though, is somewhat academic, since the penalty for multiple offenses is almost identical with the penalty for one. The only difference is in the formal announcements that accompany the penalty -- e.g., when the Sangha places the offender under probation, when he informs others bhikkhus of why he is under probation, etc. For more on this point, see the concluding section of this chapter.
Non-offenses. There is no offense for a bhikkhu who makes contact with a woman --
unintentionally -- as when inadvertently running into a woman in a crowded place;
unthinkingly -- as when a woman runs into him and, startled, he pushes her away;
unknowingly -- as when, without lustful intent, he touches a young tomboy he thinks to be a boy; or
when he doesn't give his consent -- as in the case of the bhikkhu led around arm-in-arm by a crowd of women.
Summary: Lustful bodily contact with a woman whom one perceives to be a woman is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
"Now at that time Ven. Udayin was living in the forest. One day many women came to the monastery to admire his dwelling. They went to where he was staying and on arrival said to him, 'Ven. Sir, we would like to admire your dwelling.' Then Ven. Udayin, showing the dwelling to the women and, referring to their genital and anal orifices, praised and criticized and begged and implored and asked and quizzed and advised and instructed and ridiculed them. Those of the women who were brazen, shameless, and sly giggled at Ven. Udayin, exclaimed to him, laughed aloud, and teased him; while those of the women who had a sense of decency complained to the bhikkhus as they left: 'It is improper, Ven. sirs, and unbecoming! Even from our husbands we wouldn't like to hear this sort of thing, much less from Master Udayin.'"
The K/Commentary lists five factors for a full breach of this rule:
1) Object: a woman, i.e., any female human being experienced enough to know what words are and are not lewd.
2) Perception: The bhikkhu perceives her to be such a woman.
3) Intention: He is lustful. As in the preceding rule, we can take the Commentary's definition of lust here as the minimum amount of lust to fulfill this factor: He wants to enjoy saying something lewd or improper.
4) Effort: He makes remarks referring to her genitals, anus, or to her performing sexual intercourse.
5) Result: The woman immediately understands.
The only factors requiring detailed explanation here are intention and effort.
Intention. The minimum level of desire required to fulfill this factor means that this rule covers cases where a bhikkhu simply gets a charge out of referring to a woman's genitals, etc., in her presence, without necessarily having any desire actually to have sex with her.
The Vibhanga makes clear that this rule does not cover statements made in anger. Thus any insults a bhikkhu may direct at a woman out of anger rather than playfully in desire -- even if they refer to her genitals, etc. -- would come under Pacittiya 2, rather than here.
Effort. The Vibhanga states that to incur a sanghadisesa under this rule when one is speaking to a woman, one must refer to her genitals, anus, or performing sexual intercourse (%).
The Commentary goes further and says that to incur the full penalty one must make direct mention of one of these three things, or accuse her of being sexually deformed in a way that refers directly to her genitals. Otherwise, if one refers lustfully to these matters without directly mentioning them, there is no sanghadisesa, although the Sub-commentary quotes ancient texts called the Ganthipadas as assigning a dukkata for such an act.
All of this contradicts the Vibhanga, which lists the ways of referring to the woman's anus, genitals, and sexual intercourse that would entail the full penalty under this rule -- one speaks praise, speaks criticism, begs, implores, asks, quizzes, advises, exhorts, or ridicules -- and many of the examples it gives, although referring to the woman's private parts or to her performing sexual intercourse, do not actually mention those words: "How do you give to your husband?" "How do you give to your lover?" "When will your mother be reconciled?" "When will you have a good opportunity?" Although all of these statements refer to sexual intercourse, and people in those days would have understood them in that light, none of them actually mentions it.
Thus the Vibhanga's examples seem to indicate that if a bhikkhu is referring lustfully to the woman's private parts or to her performing sexual intercourse, then whether or not he directly names those things, he fulfills this factor.
None of the texts mention the case in which a bhikkhu talks to one person about another person's private parts, etc.
Derived offenses. The factors of effort, object, perception, and result permit a number of permutations that result in lesser offenses. As for the permutations of intention, see the section on non-offenses, below.
Effort. A bhikkhu speaks to a woman he perceives to be a woman and refers lustfully to parts of her body -- aside from her private parts -- below her collarbone and above her knees, such as her breasts or her thighs: a thullaccaya. If he refers to parts of her body outside of that area, such as her face or hair, or to clothing or jewelry she is wearing: a dukkata.
Object. A bhikkhu speaks to a pandaka (in this and the following cases we are assuming that he perceives his object correctly) and refers lustfully to his private parts or to his performing sexual intercourse: a thullaccaya. He refers lustfully to other parts of the pandaka's body, his clothing, etc.: a dukkata.
A bhikkhu speaks to a man (or boy) and refers lustfully to any part of his listener's body, clothing, etc.: a dukkata. The same penalty holds for speaking lustfully to a common animal about its body, ornaments, etc. (%). (This is a point with interesting implications, but unfortunately the Commentary is silent. Perhaps nagas would be included here, or perhaps the Vibhanga compilers had in mind cases where one mentions such things to an animal within earshot of a human or celestial being.)
The texts make no mention of speaking lustfully to a woman/girl too young to understand what is and is not lewd. We might argue from the cases included in the Vinita Vatthu, though -- where bhikkhus make punning references to women's private parts, and the women do not understand -- that a bhikkhu incurs a thullaccaya for referring directly to her genitals, anus, or performing sexual intercourse in her presence, and a dukkata for referring indirectly in her presence to such things.
Perception. A bhikkhu speaking to a woman whom he perceives to be something else -- a pandaka, a man, an animal -- incurs a thullaccaya if he refers lustfully to her genitals, anus, or performing sexual intercourse. If he is speaking to a pandaka, a man, or an animal he misperceives -- e.g., he thinks the pandaka is a woman, the man is a pandaka, the animal is a man -- he incurs a dukkata if he refers lustfully to those topics.
Result. As mentioned above, the Vinita Vatthu contains a number cases of bhikkhus speaking to women and making punning references to the women's genitals that the women do not understand. In one case the penalty is a thullaccaya, in the others a dukkata. The thullaccaya case is the only one in which the bhikkhu uses a word synonymous with genitals (magga, which also means road, the meaning the woman understood). Thus we might argue that if a bhikkhu makes direct reference to the genitals, anus, or sexual intercourse -- and this includes slang expressions and euphemisms -- and the woman doesn't immediately understand that he is referring to those things, he incurs a thullaccaya. If he makes indirect mention of those things, and she doesn't immediately understand what he is referring to, he incurs a dukkata. If it so happens that she understands later, the penalty remains the same.
Counting offenses. A bhikkhu making remarks of the sort covered by this rule to x number of people commits x number of offenses, the type of offense being determined by the factors discussed above. Thus for lustful remarks to two women referring to their breasts, he would incur two thullaccayas; for lustful remarks to three men concerning their bodies, three dukkatas; for teasing a group of twenty old ladies about how their time for sexual performance is past, twenty sanghadisesas.
Non-offenses. The Vibhanga states that there is no offense for a bhikkhu who speaks aiming at (spiritual) welfare (attha), aiming at Dhamma, or aiming at teaching. Thus, for example, if one is talking in front of women and has no lustful intent, one may recite or explain the training rules that deal with these matters or go into detail on the topic of the loathsomeness of the body as a topic of meditation, all without incurring a penalty. The Commentary here adds an example of a bhikkhu addressing a sexually deformed woman, telling her to be heedful in her practice so as not to be born that way again. If, however, one were to broach any of these topics out of a desire to enjoy saying something lewd to one's listeners, one would not be immune from an offense.
A bhikkhu who, without intending to be lewd, makes innocent remarks that his listener takes to be lewd, commits no offense.
Summary: Making a lustful remark to a woman about her genitals, anus, or about performing sexual intercourse is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
"Now at that time a certain woman, a widow, was beautiful, attractive, and appealing. So Ven. Udayin, arising early in the morning, taking his robe and bowl, went to her residence. On arrival, he sat on an appointed seat. Then the woman, approaching him, paying him homage, sat down to one side. As she sat there, Ven. Udayin instructed, urged, roused, and encouraged her with a talk on Dhamma. Then the woman, instructed, urged, roused, and encouraged with a talk on Dhamma...said to him, 'Tell me, Ven. sir, what would be in my power to give you for your welfare: Robe-cloth? Alms-food? Lodgings? Medicines for the sick?'
"'Those things aren't hard for us to come by, sister....Give just what is hard for us to come by.'
"'What, Ven. sir?'
"'For your welfare, Ven. sir?'
"'For my welfare, sister.'
"'Then come, Ven. sir.' Entering into an inner room, taking off her cloak, she lay back on a couch. Then Ven. Udayin approached the woman and, on approaching, said, 'Who would touch this foul-smelling wretch?' And he departed, spitting.
"Then the woman was offended and annoyed and spread it about...'How can this contemplative Udayin, when he himself begged me for sexual intercourse, say, "Who would touch this foul-smelling wretch?" and depart spitting? What's wretched about me? What's foul-smelling about me? In what am I inferior to whom?'"
At first glance this rule might seem redundant with the preceding one, for what we have here is another case of a bhikkhu advising, begging, or imploring a woman to perform sexual intercourse. However, some facts about language and belief in the Buddha's time might have led some people to feel that this was a special case not covered by the previous rule; so -- to prevent this misunderstanding -- it gets separate treatment here.
"Giving," in the Buddha's time, was a common term for having sex. If a woman gave to a man, that meant that she was willing to have sexual intercourse with him. Now, Buddhism was not the only religion of the time to teach that gifts -- of a more innocent sort -- given to contemplatives produced great reward to those who gave them, and ultimately somebody somewhere came up with the bright idea that since sex was the highest gift, giving it to a contemplative would produce the highest reward. Whether this idea was first formulated by faithful women or by clever contemplatives is hard to say. There are several cases in the Vinita Vatthu to Parajika 1 telling of bhikkhus approached or attacked by women professing this belief, which shows that it had some currency: that sex was somehow seen as a way to higher benefits through the law of kamma.
Since the preceding rule gives exemptions for bhikkhus speaking "aiming at (spiritual) welfare (attha), aiming at Dhamma," some misguided souls who did not comprehend the Buddha's teachings on sensuality might believe that welfare of this sort might fit under the exemption. Even today, although the rationale might be different, there are people who believe that having sex with spiritual teachers is beneficial for one's spiritual well-being. Thus we have this separate rule to show that the Buddha would have no part in such a notion, and that a bhikkhu who tries to suggest that his listener would benefit from having sex with him is not exempt from an offense.
The K/Commentary lists five factors for the full offense here.
Object: a woman experienced enough to know what words are and are not lewd.
Perception. The bhikkhu perceives her to be such a woman.
Intention. He is lustful. According to the Sub-commentary, this means that he wants to enjoy saying something lewd or improper. This point is borne out by the origin story, where Ven. Udayin addressed his remarks to the young widow apparently just to test her reaction. As in the preceding rules, we can take the Sub-commentary's definition to stand for the minimum amount of lust needed to fulfill this factor.
Effort. The bhikkhu speaks to the woman in praise of her ministering to his sensual needs, making reference to sexual intercourse. The Commentary maintains that his remarks must directly mention sexual intercourse for this factor to be fulfilled, but the example in the rule itself would seem to contradict its assertion.
Result. The woman immediately understands.
Derived offenses. The only factors having permutations leading to lesser offenses are object and perception.
Object. A bhikkhu, motivated by lust, makes such remarks to a pandaka: a thullaccaya. To a man or animal: a dukkata.
Perception. A bhikkhu, motivated by lust, makes such remarks to a woman he perceives to be something else -- a pandaka, man, or animal: a thullaccaya. To a pandaka he perceives to be something else: a dukkata.
Counting offenses. Offenses are counted by the number of people one makes such remarks to.
Non-offenses. The no-offense clauses in the Vibhanga, in addition to the blanket exemptions mentioned under Parajika 1, read simply: "There is no offense if he speaks saying, 'Support us with the requisites of robe-cloth, alms-food, lodgings, or medicines for the sick.'" Thus there is apparently no way that a bhikkhu in his right mind may speak in the presence of another person in praise of that person's ministering to his (the bhikkhu's) own sexual desires, without committing an offense.
Summary: Telling a woman that she would benefit from having sexual intercourse with oneself is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
There are essentially two factors for a full offense under this rule: effort and object.
Effort. The Commentary says that to "engage in conveying" means to take on the role of a go-between. This includes helping to arrange not only marriages and affairs, but also "momentary associations" that, from the way it describes them, could include anything from appointments with a prostitute to arrangements for X to be Y's date.
The Vibhanga sets the component factors of a go-between's role at three:
1) accepting the request of one party to convey a proposal;
2) inquiring, i.e., informing the second party and learning his/her/their reaction; and
3) reporting what one has learned to the first party.
The penalties for these actions are: a dukkata for performing any one of them, a thullaccaya for any two, and a sanghadisesa for the full set of three. Thus a bhikkhu acting on his own initiative to sound out the possibility of a date between a man and a woman would incur a thullaccaya for inquiring and reporting. A bhikkhu planning to disrobe who asks a woman if she would be interested in marrying him after his return to lay life would incur a dukkata for inquiring.
The penalties are the same if the bhikkhu, instead of acting as a go-between himself, gets someone else to act for him. Thus a bhikkhu who agrees to convey such a proposal but then gets a lay follower or another bhikkhu to do the inquiring and reporting, would incur a sanghadisesa all the same.
If a group of bhikkhus are asked to act as go-betweens and they all accept, then even if only one of them takes the message, all incur the penalty for his actions.
"Result" is not a factor here, and so the Commentary mentions that whether or not the arrangements succeed has no bearing on the offense.
"Intention" is also not a factor, which leads the Sub-commentary to raise the issue of a man who writes his proposal in a letter and then, without disclosing the contents, gets a bhikkhu to deliver it. Its conclusion, though, is that this case would not qualify as an offense under this rule, in that both the Vibhanga and the Commentary define the action of conveying as "telling": Only if the bhikkhu himself tells the proposal -- whether repeating it orally, making a gesture or writing a letter -- does he commit an offense here.
Object. The full offense is for acting as a go-between between a man and a woman who are not married to each other. If, instead of dealing directly with the man and woman, one deals with people speaking on their behalf (their parents, a pimp), one incurs the full penalty all the same.
There is no offense for a bhikkhu who tries to effect a reconciliation between an estranged couple who are not divorced; but a full offense for one who tries to effect a reconciliation between a couple who are. "Perception" is also not a factor here, which inspires the Commentary to note that even an arahant could commit an offense under this rule if he tried to effect a reconciliation between his parents whom he assumed to be separated when they actually were divorced.
A bhikkhu incurs a thullaccaya for acting as a go-between for a pandaka; and, according to the Commentary, the same penalty for acting as a go-between for a female yakkha or peta. (!)
Non-offenses. The Vibhanga states that, in addition to the usual exemptions, there is no offense if a bhikkhu conveys a message from a man to a woman or vice versa dealing with "business of the Community, of a shrine, or of a sick person." The Commentary illustrates the first two instances with cases of a bhikkhu conveying a message dealing with construction work for the Community or a shrine; and the third with a case where a bhikkhu, acting on behalf of a fellow bhikkhu who is sick, is sent by a male lay follower to a female lay follower for medicine.
The Sub-commentary adds that any similar errand is also exempt from penalty as long as it is not a form of subservience to lay people (see Sanghadisesa 13, below).
Summary: Acting as a go-between to arrange a marriage, an affair, or a date between a man and a woman not married to each other is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
"At that time the bhikkhus of Alavi were having huts built from their own begging -- having no sponsors, destined for themselves, not to any standard measurement -- that did not come to completion. They were continually begging, continually hinting: 'Give a man, give labor, give an ox, give a wagon, give a knife, give an ax, give an adze, give a spade, give a chisel, give rushes, give reeds, give grass, give clay.' People, harassed with the begging, harassed with the hinting, on seeing bhikkhus would feel apprehensive, alarmed, would run away; would take another route, face another direction, close the door. Even on seeing cows, they would run away, imagining them to be bhikkhus."
This rule and the following one concern the procedures a bhikkhu should follow when he wants to build a dwelling for his own use. The following rule deals with cases where he has a sponsor to provide him with funds and materials. This rule deals with cases where he doesn't. The Vibhanga and Commentary define the words hut and dwelling in these rules in such a way that they apply only to a limited range of structures, but the Commentary's discussion of what a bhikkhu may and may not beg for when building anything at all, guarantees that even in cases not covered by these rules he is not allowed to be burdensome to the people he asks for help. In discussing this rule, we will first cover what kinds of begging are proper and improper in connection with any kind of construction work, and then go on to treat the particular case coming under this rule.
Begging. A bhikkhu may ask for people to give labor in any situation. Thus he may ask stone masons to carry stone posts to his construction site, or carpenters to carry boards there. If, after he has asked them to help with the labor, they volunteer to donate the materials as well, he may accept them without penalty. Otherwise, he has to reimburse them for the materials.
As for tools, vehicles, and other things he will use in the process of construction, he may ask only to borrow them from other people and may not ask for them outright (except when asking from relatives or those who have made an offer). If the tools get damaged, he is responsible for getting them repaired before returning them to the owner. The only things he needn't return to the owner are light articles (lahubhanda), which the Sub-commentary identifies as things like reeds, rushes, grass, and clay -- i.e., things having little or no monetary value at all.
In effect, this means that unless a bhikkhu is going to build his dwelling out of reeds, etc., or out of thrown-away scraps, he may not ask for any of the materials that will actually go into the dwelling. Keep in mind that these rules were made during a period when wilderness was still plentiful, and solid building materials such as timber and stones were free for the taking. At present, unless a bhikkhu has access to unclaimed wilderness of this sort, to unclaimed garbage, or has enough funds on deposit with his steward (see NP 10) to cover the cost of materials, his only recourse if he wants a solid structure is either to rammed earth or to hinting.
The Commentary notes that while hinting is not allowed with regard to food or cloth, it is allowed with regard to construction materials. One example it gives is asking, "Do you think this is a good place to build a hut? An ordination hall?" Another example is staking out a construction site in hope that someone will ask, "What are you planning to do here?" If people get the hint and offer the materials, the bhikkhu may accept them. If they don't, he may not ask directly for any materials except the "light articles" mentioned above.
From this it should be obvious that even in cases not covered by this rule -- i.e., the dwelling he is building doesn't qualify as a "hut," or he is building something for other people to use -- a bhikkhu engaged in construction work is not allowed to be burdensome to the laity. This is an important point, as the Buddha illustrated in a story he told to the bhikkhus at Alavi. A certain bhikkhu had once come to him with a complaint, and he reports the conversation as follows:
"'Lord, there is a large forest on the slopes of the Himalayas, and not far from it is a broad, low-lying marsh. A great flock of birds, after feeding all day in the marsh, goes to roost in the forest at nightfall. That is why I have come to see the Blessed One -- because I am annoyed by the noise of that flock of birds.'
"'Bhikkhu, you want those birds to go away for good?'
"'Yes, Lord, I want them to go away for good.'
"'Then go back there, enter the forest, and in the first watch of the night make this announcement three times: "Listen to me, good birds. I want a feather from everyone roosting in this forest. Each of you give me one feather." In the second watch...In the third watch of the night make this announcement three times: "Listen to me, good birds. I want a feather from everyone roosting in this forest. Each of you give me one feather"....(The bhikkhu did as he was told.) Then the flock of birds, thinking, 'The bhikkhu asks for a feather, the bhikkhu wants a feather,' left the forest. And after they were gone, they never again returned. Bhikkhus, begging is unpleasant, hinting is unpleasant even to these common animals -- how much more so to human beings?"
The hut. Now we turn to the particular case covered by this rule. The Vibhanga defines a hut as "plastered inside, outside, or both." It also states that this rule does not apply to a lena, a guha, or to a grass hut. A lena, according to the Commentary, is a cave. A guha it doesn't define, except to say that guhas may be built out of wood, stone, or earth. And as for a grass hut, it says that this refers to any building with a grass roof, which means that even a dwelling with plastered walls but a grass roof would not count as a hut under this rule (although a hut whose roof has been plastered and then covered with grass would count as a hut here).
The Commentary goes on to stipulate that the plastering mentioned in the Vibhanga refers to a plastered roof, that the plaster must be either clay or white lime (plastering with cow dung or mud doesn't count, although cement would probably come under "white lime" here), and that the plastering on the inside or outside of the roof must be contiguous with the plastering on the inside or outside of the walls. Thus if the builder leaves a gap in the plastering around the top of the wall so that the plastering of the roof and the plastering of the walls don't touch at any point, the building doesn't qualify as a hut and so doesn't come under the rule.
The Commentary's stipulations on these point may seem like attempts to create gaping loopholes in the rule, but there is nothing in the Vibhanga to prove them wrong. Perhaps in those days only fully plastered buildings were considered to be finished, permanent structures, while everything else was considered makeshift and temporary and thus not worth the fuss and bother of the procedures we will discuss below.
At another point in its discussions, the Commentary adds that any building three sugata spans wide or less is not big enough to move a bed around in and so does not count as a hut under this rule. The Commentary itself defines a sugata span as three times the span of a normal person, which would put it at approximately 75 cm. More recent calculations, based on the fact that the Buddha was not abnormally tall, set the sugata span at 25 cm.
The procedures. If, for his own use, a bhikkhu is planning to build a hut as defined in this rule, he must choose a site, clear it, and ask for the local Community to inspect and approve it before he can go ahead with the actual construction.
The site. The site must be free of disturbances and have adequate space.
"Free of disturbances" means that the site is not the abode of such creatures as termites, ants, or rats who might do harm to the building, or of those such as snakes, scorpions, tigers, lions, elephants, or bears who might do harm to its inhabitant. The Commentary states that the Vibhanga's purpose in forbidding a bhikkhu from building on a site where termites and other small animals have their home is to show compassion to these and other small creatures like them by not destroying their nests. As for the stipulation against building where snakes and other dangerous animals live, this also extends, it says, to the areas where they regularly forage for food.
In addition, the Vibhanga says that a site without disturbances is one that is not near any places that will disturb the bhikkhu's peace and quiet. Examples it gives are: fields, orchards, places of execution, cemeteries, pleasure groves, royal property, elephant stables, horse stables, prisons, taverns, slaughterhouses, highways, crossroads, public rest-houses, and meeting places.
"Adequate space" means that there is enough room on the site for a yoked wagon to go around, or for a man to carry a ladder around, the proposed hut. The question arises as to whether this means that all trees within that radius of the hut must be cut down, or whether it simply means that there must be enough land around the hut so that if the trees were not there, it would be possible to go around the hut in the ways mentioned. The Sub-commentary states that the stipulation for adequate space is so that the hut will not be built on the edge of a precipice or next to a cliff wall, and the Vinaya Mukha notes that the Vibhanga here is following the Laws of Manu (an ancient Indian legal text) in ensuring that the dwelling not be built right against someone else's property. Both of these statements suggest that there is no need to cut the trees down.
The Vinaya Mukha maintains further that the procedures for getting the site approved are concerned basically with laying claim to unclaimed land, and this has led many Communities in Thailand to say that the need to have the Community approve the site does not apply to places where the Community already owns the land, such as in a monastery. If a bhikkhu in such Communities wishes to build a hut for his own use on monastery land, he need only get the approval of the abbot. The ancient texts say nothing on this point, so it is an area where the wise policy is to follow the views of the Community to which one belongs.
Clearing the site. Before notifying the local Community, the bhikkhu must get the site cleared -- so says the Vibhanga, and the Commentary adds that he should get it leveled as well. In both cases, he should arrange to have this done in such a way that does not violate Pacittiyas 10 & 11. Again, the question arises as to whether clearing the site means cutting down the trees on the spot where one proposes building the hut. In the origin story to the following rule, Ven. Channa caused an uproar by cutting down a venerated tree on a site where he planned to build, which led the Buddha to formulate the rule that the Community must inspect and approve the site to prevent uproars of this sort. This suggests that clearing the site here means clearing the underbrush. Only after the Community has approved the site should the necessary trees be cut down.
Getting the site inspected. The bhikkhu then goes to the local Community and formally asks them to inspect the site. (The Pali passages for this and the remaining formal requests and announcements are in the Vibhanga.) Either the entire Community will go to inspect the site or it will select two or three of its members to go and inspect the site in its stead. The Vibhanga says that these inspectors should know what does and does not constitute a disturbance and adequate space, and requires that they be chosen by a formal motion with one announcement. The Commentary, for some reason, says that they may also be chosen by a simple declaration (apalokana).
The inspectors then visit the site. If they find any disturbances or see that the site has inadequate space, they should tell the bhikkhu not to build there. If the site passes inspection, though, the bhikkhu may go on to the next step.
Getting the site approved. The bhikkhu returns to the Community and formally asks them to approve the site. The formal act involves a motion and one announcement. Once this has passed, the bhikkhu may start construction.
The size of the hut. As the rule states, the hut may be no more than twelve spans long and seven spans wide, or approximately 3 x 1.75 meters. For some reason the Vibhanga states that the length of the hut is measured from the outside (excluding the plastering, says the Commentary), while the width is measured from the inside. The Commentary adds that neither of these measurements may be exceeded. Thus a hut ten by eight spans wide, even though it has less floor area than a twelve by seven span hut, would exceed the standard width and so would be a violation of this rule.
Offenses. The Vibhanga allots the penalties for building a hut without a sponsor, for one's own use, without regard for the stipulations in this rule, as follows:
an oversized hut -- a sanghadisesa;
a hut on an unapproved site -- a sanghadisesa;
a hut on a site without adequate space -- a dukkata;
a hut on a site with disturbances -- a dukkata.
These penalties are additive. Thus, for example, an oversized hut on an unapproved site would entail a double sanghadisesa.
The wording of the training rule, though, suggests that building a hut without a sponsor, for one's own use, on a site with disturbances and without adequate space would entail a sanghadisesa; but the Sub-commentary says -- without offering explanation -- that to read the rule in this way is to misinterpret it. Since the penalty for a multiple sanghadisesa is the same as that for a single one, there is only one case where this would make an appreciable difference: a hut of the proper size, built on a designated site that has disturbances or does not have adequate space. This is a case of a formal act of the Community improperly performed: Either the bhikkhus inspecting the site were incompetent, or the disturbances were not immediately apparent. Since the usual penalty for improperly performing an act of the Community is a dukkata (Mv.II.16.4), this may be why the Vibhanga allots penalties as it does.
As we noted in the Introduction, in cases where the Vibhanga is explaining the training rules that deal with formal acts of the Community, it sometimes has to deviate from the wording of the rules so as to bring them in line in with the general pattern for such acts, a pattern that was probably formulated after the rules and came to take precedence over them.
Getting others to build the hut. If, instead of building the hut himself, a bhikkhu gets others to build it for him, he must inform them of the four stipulations mentioned in this rule. If he neglects to inform them, and they build the hut in such a way that it does not meet any or all of the stipulations, he must either have it torn down (to the ground, says the Commentary) and have it rebuilt in line with the stipulations, give it to another, or face the full penalty for each of the stipulations they violated that he neglected to mention to them.
For example: He tells them to build a hut of the right size, but neglects to tell them to have the site approved. They build it to the right size, the site is without disturbances and has adequate space but is not approved. Unless he has it torn down or gives it to another, he incurs a sanghadisesa.
If the bhikkhu mentions the proper stipulations, but learns that the builders are ignoring them, he must go himself or send a messenger to reiterate the stipulations. Not to do so incurs a dukkata. If, having been reminded of the stipulations, the builders still ignore them, the bhikkhu incurs no penalty; but they -- if they are bhikkhus -- incur a dukkata for each of the three criteria regarding the site that they disobey. As for the standard measurement, they are not bound by it as they are building the hut for another's use.
If a bhikkhu, intending it for his own use, completes a hut that others have started, or gets others to complete a hut he has started, he is still bound by the stipulations given in this rule.
Preliminary offenses. The penalties in the preliminary steps are as follows: If the hut is such that when finished it will entail a sanghadisesa or two, each act in its construction entails a dukkata, until the next to the last act, which entails a thullaccaya. Once the hut is completed, and the bhikkhu incurs the sanghadisesa(s), the dukkatas and thullaccaya are nullified.
Non-offenses. The no-offense clauses mention, in addition to the usual exemptions, that there is no offense "in a lena, in a guha, in a grass hut, in (a dwelling) for another's use, or in anything other than a dwelling." The Commentary explains that no offense here means that these cases are not subject to any of the four stipulations given in this rule. As for the last case, if a bhikkhu is building, e.g., a meeting hall for the Community, he is not bound by this rule, but if he plans to live there as well, he is. This last case suggests that if a bhikkhu is building a dwelling, planning to donate it formally to the Community but also planning to live there himself, he is not exempt from this rule.
Summary: Building a plastered hut -- or having it built -- without a sponsor, destined for one's own use, without having obtained the Community's approval, is a sanghadisesa offense. Building a plastered hut -- or having it built -- without a sponsor, destined for one's own use, exceeding the standard measurements, is also a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
The Vibhanga defines dwelling here with the same terms it uses for hut in the preceding rule. All explanations for this rule may be inferred from those above, the only difference being that, as the dwelling here has a sponsor, no begging is involved in its construction, and so there is no need to limit its size.
If a sponsor is building a dwelling for a bhikkhu, and the bhikkhu is not involved in any way in building it or getting it built, this rule does not apply.
Summary: Building a hut with a sponsor -- or having it built -- destined for one's own use, without having obtained the Community's approval, is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
"Now at that time a householder who served fine food gave food to the Community on a regular basis, four bhikkhus every day. (One day) he happened to go on some business to the monastery. He went to where Ven. Dabba Mallaputta was staying and on arrival bowed to him and sat down to one side....Ven. Dabba Mallaputta roused... him with a Dhamma talk. Then the householder with fine food...said to Dabba Mallaputta, 'To whom, sir, is tomorrow's meal in our house assigned?'
"'To (the) followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka, householder.' [Mettiya and Bhummajaka were among the leaders of the group-of-six, a faction notorious for its shameless behavior, and instigators of many of the situations that compelled the Buddha to formulate training rules.]
"This upset the householder with fine food. Thinking, 'How can these evil bhikkhus eat in our house?' he returned home and ordered his female slave: 'Hey. Those who are coming for a meal tomorrow: Prepare a seat for them in the storeroom and serve them unhusked rice porridge with pickle brine.'
"'As you say, master,' the female slave answered....
"Then the followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka said to one another, 'Yesterday we were assigned a meal at the house of the householder with fine food. Tomorrow, attending with his wife and children, he will serve us. Some will offer rice, some will offer curry, some oil, and some dainties.' Because of their joy, they didn't sleep as much that night as they had hoped.
"Early the next morning...they went to the home of the householder with fine food. The female slave saw them coming from afar. Preparing them a seat in the storeroom, she said to them, 'Have a seat, honored sirs.'
"The thought occurred to the followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka, 'No doubt the food isn't ready yet, which is why we are being made to sit in the storeroom.'
"Then the female slave brought them unhusked rice porridge with pickle brine and said, 'Eat, honored sirs.'
"'Sister, we've come for the regular meal.'
"'I know you've come for the regular meal. But yesterday the householder ordered me, "Hey. Those who are coming for a meal tomorrow: Prepare a seat for them in the storeroom and serve them unhusked rice porridge with pickle brine." So eat, honored sirs.'
"Then the followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka said to one another, 'Yesterday the householder with fine food went to the monastery and met with Dabba Mallaputta. No doubt Dabba Mallaputta turned him against us.' Because of their disappointment, they didn't eat as much as they had hoped.
"Then they returned to the monastery and, putting away their robes and bowls, went to the storeroom outside the gate and sat on their outer cloaks, their arms around their knees, silent, abashed, their shoulders drooping, their heads down, brooding, at a loss for words.
"Then Mettiya Bhikkhuni came along and said to them, 'I salute you, masters.' But when she had said this, they didn't respond. A second time...A third time she said, 'I salute you, masters.' And a third time they didn't respond.
"'Have I offended you, masters? Why don't you respond to me?'
"'Because you stand by doing nothing, sister, when Dabba Mallaputta treats us like dirt.'
"'What can I do?'
"'If you like, you could get the Blessed One to expel Dabba Mallaputta right this very day.'
"'What can I do? How could I do that?'
"'Come, sister. Go to where the Blessed One is and say this: "It is unfitting, Lord, and improper. The quarter without dread, without harm, without danger, is (now) the quarter with dread, with harm, with danger. Where there is calm, there is a windstorm. The water, as it were, is ablaze. I have been raped by Master Dabba Mallaputta."'
"'As you say, masters.' (And she went to carry out their bidding.)"
This is just the heart of the origin story to this rule, which is one of the longest and most controversial accounts in the Vinaya. After Mettiya Bhikkhuni made her charge, the Buddha convened a meeting of the Sangha to question Ven. Dabba Mallaputta. The latter, who had attained arahantship at the age of seven, responded truthfully that he could not call to mind ever having indulged in sexual intercourse even in a dream, much less when awake. The Buddha then told the Sangha to expel Mettiya Bhikkhuni and returned to his quarters.
According to the Commentary, the expulsion of Mettiya Bhikkhuni was one of the controversial points in the split between the Mahayanist bhikkhus in the Abhayagiri Vihara and the Theravadin bhikkhus of the Mahavihara in the old Sri Lankan capital of Anuradhapura. Even modern scholars have objected to the Buddha's treatment of Mettiya Bhikkhuni and interpret this passage as a "monkish gloss," as if the Buddha himself were not a monk, and the entire Canon were not the work of monks and nuns. The Commentary maintains that the Buddha acted as he did because he knew if he treated her less harshly, the followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka would never have volunteered the information that they had put her up to making the charge in the first place, and the truth would never have come out. This would have led some people to remain secretly convinced of Ven. Dabba Mallaputta's guilt and -- because he was an arahant -- would have been for their long-term detriment.
At any rate, what concerns us here is that at some point after this rule was formulated, the Buddha put the Sangha in charge of judging accusations of this sort and gave them a definite pattern to follow in order to ensure that their judgments would be accurate and fair. Because the Vibhanga and Commentary to this rule are based on this pattern, we will discuss the pattern first before dealing with the special case -- unfounded charges -- covered by this rule.
Admonition. As the Buddha states in Sanghadisesa 12, one of the ways bhikkhus may hope for growth in his teachings is through mutual admonition and mutual rehabilitation. If a bhikkhu commits an offense, the responsibility is his to inform his fellow bhikkhus so that they may help him through whatever procedures the offense may entail. Now of course, human nature being what it is, there are bound to be bhikkhus who neglect this responsibility, in which case the responsibility falls to the offender's fellow bhikkhus who know of the matter to admonish him in private, if possible, or -- if he is stubborn -- to make a formal charge in a meeting of the Community.
The pattern here is this: Before speaking to the bhikkhu, one must first make sure that one is qualified to admonish him. According to Cv.IX.5.1-2, this means one knows:
1) One is pure in bodily conduct.
2) One is pure in verbal conduct.
3) One is motivated by kindness, not vengeance.
4) One is learned in the Dhamma.
5) One knows both Patimokkhas (the one for the bhikkhus and the one for the bhikkhunis) in detail.
Furthermore, one determines that:
1) I will speak at the right time and not at the wrong time.
2) I will speak the truth and not untruths.
3) I will speak gently and not harshly.
4) I will speak what is connected with the goal and not what is unconnected with the goal.
5) I will speak out of kindness and not out of inner anger.
Cv.IX.5.7 and Pv.XV.5.3 add that one should keep five qualities in mind: compassion, solicitude for the other's welfare, sympathy, desire to see him rehabilitated, and a desire to keep the Vinaya foremost.
If one feels that one is unqualified, yet believes that another bhikkhu has committed an offense for which he has not made amends, one should find another bhikkhu who is qualified to handle the charge and inform him. Not to inform anyone in cases like this -- if the case involves a parajika or sanghadisesa offense -- is to violate Pacittiya 64, except in the extenuating circumstances discussed under that rule.
The next step, if one is qualified to make the charge, is to look for a proper time and place to talk with the other party -- e.g., when he is not likely to get embarrassed or upset -- and then to ask his leave, i.e., to ask permission to speak with him: "Let the Ven. One give me leave. I want to speak with you." To accuse him of an offense without asking leave is to incur a dukkata (Mv.II.16.1).
As for the other party, the Buddha recommends that he should give leave only after assessing the person asking for leave, for it is possible that someone might ask for leave without any real grounds, simply to be abusive. (A bhikkhu who asks for leave with no grounds -- i.e., he has not seen the other party commit the offense, has heard no reliable report to that effect, and has no reason to suspect anything to that effect -- incurs a dukkata (Mv.II.16.3).) The Parivara (XV.4.7) suggests that one should not give leave to a bhikkhu who:
1) is unconscientious,
2) is ignorant,
3) is not a bhikkhu in regular standing,
4) speaks intent on creating a disturbance, or
5) is not intent on rehabilitating the bhikkhu he is accusing.
In another passage (XV.5.4), it suggests further that one should not give leave to a bhikkhu who:
1) is not pure in bodily conduct,
2) is not pure in verbal conduct,
3) is not pure in his livelihood,
4) is foolish, childish, and unintelligent, or
5) is unable to give a consistent line of reasoning when questioned.
If the bhikkhu is not unqualified in any of these ways, though, one should willingly give him leave to speak. The Cullavagga (IX.5.7) says that, when being admonished or accused, one should keep two qualities in mind: truth, and lack of anger. The Patimokkha also contains a number of rules imposing penalties on behaving improperly when one is being admonished formally or informally: Sanghadisesa 12 for being difficult to admonish in general, Pacittiya 12 for being evasive or refusing to answer when being formally questioned, Pacittiya 54 for being disrespectful to one's accuser or to the rule one is being accused of breaking, and Pacittiya 71 for finding excuses for not listening to a particular training rule.
If both sides act in good faith and without prejudice, accusations of this sort are easy to settle on an informal basis. If they can't be settled informally, they should be taken to a meeting of the Community so that the group as a whole may pass judgment. The procedures for this sort of formal meeting will be discussed under the Aniyata and Adhikarana-Samatha rules, below.
Abuse of the system. As the origin story to this rule shows, it can easily be the case that a bhikkhu making a charge against another bhikkhu is acting out of a grudge and has simply made up the charge. This rule and the following one cover cases where the made-up charge is that the other bhikkhu has committed a parajika. Pacittiya 76 covers cases where the made-up charge is that the other bhikkhu has broken a less serious rule.
The full offense under this rule involves four factors:
1) Object: The other bhikkhu is regarded as ordained.
2) Perception: One perceives him to be innocent of the offense one is charging him with.
3) Intention: One wants to see him expelled from the Sangha.
4) Effort: One makes an unfounded charge in his presence that he is guilty of a parajika offense.
Object. The definition of this factor -- the other bhikkhu is regarded as ordained -- may sound strange, but it comes from the K/Commentary and is phrased that way with a reason: In normal cases the object of this rule will be an innocent bhikkhu, but there may be cases where a bhikkhu has actually committed a parajika offense that no one knows about; yet instead of disrobing, he acts as if he were still a bhikkhu, and everyone else assumes that he still is. Yet even a "bhikkhu" of this sort would fulfill this factor as far as this rule is concerned.
For example, Bhikkhu X steals some of the monastery funds, but no one knows about it, and he continues to act as if he were a bhikkhu. Bhikkhu Y later develops a grudge against him and makes an unfounded charge that he has had sexual intercourse with one of the monastery supporters. Even though X is not really a bhikkhu, the fact that people in general assume him to be one means that he fulfills this factor.
Perception. If one perceives the bhikkhu one is charging with a parajika offense to be innocent of the offense, that is enough to fulfill this factor regardless of whether the accused is actually innocent or not. To make an accusation based on the assumption or suspicion that the accused is not innocent entails no offense.
Intention. If, in making an unfounded charge of a parajika offense against another bhikkhu, one's purpose is to see him expelled from the Sangha, that fulfills this factor. If one's purpose is simply to insult him, one's actions would come under Pacittiya 2. If one's purpose is both to see him expelled and to insult him, one incurs both a sanghadisesa and a pacittiya. If one has a strange sense of humor and is making the charge as some sort of joke, the penalty is either a pacittiya under Pacittiya 1 or a dubbhasita under Pacittiya 2: The texts are not clear on this point, but in either case this sort of thing is no joking matter.
According to the Vibhanga, "confessing one's anger" can simply mean admitting that one made the charge idly. Thus the amount of malice motivating one's desire to see the other bhikkhu expelled can be minimal indeed: If one wants to see him expelled just for the fun of it, that would fulfill the factor of intention here.
Effort. The act covered by this rule is that of making an unfounded charge of a parajika in the accused's presence. Whether one makes the charge oneself or gets someone else to make it, the penalty is the same. If that "someone else" is a bhikkhu and knows the charge is unfounded, he too incurs the full penalty.
The Vibhanga defines an unfounded charge as one having no basis in what has been seen, heard, or suspected. In other words, the accuser has not seen the accused committing the offense in question, nor has he heard anything reliable to that effect, nor is there anything in the accused's behavior to give rise to any honest suspicion.
"Seeing" and "hearing," according to the Commentary, also include the powers of clairvoyance and clairaudience one may have developed through meditation. Thus if one charges X with having committed a parajika offense on the basis of what one has seen clairvoyantly, this would not be an unfounded charge, although one should be careful to make clear from the very beginning what kind of seeing the charge is based on.
If there is some basis in fact, but one changes the status of the evidence, the penalty is the same. Changing the status means, e.g., saying that one saw something when in actuality one simply heard about it or suspected it, or that one saw it clearly when in actuality one saw it indistinctly.
An example from the Commentary: Bhikkhu X goes into a grove to relieve himself. Ms. Y goes into the same grove to get something there. One sees them leaving the grove at approximately the same time -- which could count as grounds for suspicion -- but one then accuses Bhikkhu X, saying that one actually saw him having sex with Ms. Y. This would count as an unfounded charge. Another example: In the dark of the night, one sees a man stealing something from the monastery storehouse. He looks vaguely like Bhikkhu Z, but one can't be sure. Still, one firms up one's accusation by saying that one definitely saw Z steal the item. Again, this would count as an unfounded charge.
The Commentary states that for an unfounded charge to count under this rule, it must state explicitly (a) the precise act the accused supposedly committed (e.g., having sexual intercourse, getting a woman to have an abortion) or (b) that the accused is guilty of a parajika, or (c) that the accused is no longer a true bhikkhu. If one simply says or does something that might imply that the accused is no longer a bhikkhu -- e.g., refusing to show him respect in line with his seniority -- that does not yet count as a charge.
The Commentary adds that charging a bhikkhu with having committed a virtual parajika, as discussed in the conclusion to the preceding chapter, would fulfill this factor as well. For instance, if one makes an unfounded charge accusing Bhikkhu A of having killed his father before his ordination, that would constitute a full offense here.
All of the charges given as examples in the Vibhanga are expressed directly to the accused -- "I saw you have sexual intercourse," "I heard you lay false claims to a superior human state" -- and the Commentary concludes from this that the full offense occurs only when one makes the charge in the accused's presence, in line with the pattern for admonition discussed above. To make an unfounded charge behind the accused's back, it states, incurs a dukkata.
Some people have objected to this point, saying that this gives a very light penalty for backhanded character assassination, but there is nothing in the Vibhanga to indicate that the Commentary is wrong here. Remember that the correct procedures for making an accusation require that an earnest charge be made in the presence of the accused. If a bhikkhu spreads gossip about another bhikkhu, accusing him of having committed a parajika, he should be asked whether he has taken up the matter with the accused. If he hasn't, he should be told to speak to the accused before he speaks to anyone else. If he says that he doesn't feel qualified or that he fears the accused will retaliate, he should be told to take the matter up with the bhikkhus who will be responsible for calling a meeting of the Community. If he refuses to do that, he shouldn't be listened to.
For some reason, the Commentary maintains that a charge made in writing does not count, although a charge made by gesture -- e.g., pointing at the accused when one is asked who committed the parajika -- does. Perhaps in those days written charges were regarded as too cowardly to take seriously.
The rule seems to require that the accuser confess that he was acting out of anger, although the Vibhanga states that this means simply that he admits the charge was a lie. The Commentary states further that here the rule is showing the point where the rest of the Community knows that the bhikkhu making the charge is guilty of a sanghadisesa: He actually committed the offense when he made the charge.
The Commentary adds "result" as a further factor to the offense under this rule, saying that the accused must understand the charge in a reasonable amount of time -- but nothing in the Vibhanga supports this added factor.
Whether or not anyone actually believes the charge is not a factor here.
Non-offenses. If one understands the accused to be guilty of a parajika and accuses him accurately on the basis of what one has seen, heard, or suspected, then -- regardless of whether he is guilty or not -- one has not committed an offense. Even in a case such as this, though, one incurs a dukkata if one makes the charge without asking leave of the accused, and a pacittiya if one makes the charge so as to insult him.
Summary: Making an unfounded charge to a bhikkhu that he has committed a parajika offense, in hopes of having him disrobed, is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
"At that time the followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka, descending from Vulture Peak Mountain, saw a billy-goat copulating with a nanny-goat. Seeing them, they said, 'Look here, friends, let's name this billy-goat Dabba Mallaputta, and this nanny-goat Mettiya Bhikkhuni. Then we'll phrase it like this: "Before, my friends, we accused Dabba Mallaputta on the basis of what we had heard, but now we have seen him with our very own eyes fornicating with Mettiya Bhikkhuni!"'"
Some grudges die hard. This rule is almost identical with the preceding one and involves the same factors except for one of the sub-factors under "Effort": "Unfounded charge" here becomes "a charge based on an issue that pertains otherwise." The phrase sounds strange, but the origin story gives a perfect example of what it means.
The precise difference between the two rules is this: With an unfounded charge, one has neither seen, heard, nor suspected that an offense has been committed; or if one has, one changes the status of the evidence -- e.g., one states something one has suspected as if one has heard it, or something one has heard as if one has seen it. In a charge based on an issue that pertains otherwise, one has seen an offense being committed and one does not change the status of the evidence, but one distorts the facts of the case.
To summarize the Vibhanga, there are two basic ways in which this can be done:
1) X, who may or may not be a bhikkhu, has something in common with Bhikkhu Y -- they are both tall, short, dark, fair, have the same name, or whatever. One sees X committing an action that would amount to an offense and then, on the basis of the similarity between the two, claims that one has seen Bhikkhu Y committing a parajika. For instance, X and Y are both very tall. Late at night one sees X -- knowing that it is X -- stealing tools from the monastery storeroom. One has a grudge against Y and so accuses him of being the thief, saying, "I saw this big tall guy stealing the tools, and he looked just like you. It must have been you."
2) One sees Bhikkhu Y actually committing an offense. Although one perceives that it is a lesser offense, one magnifies the charge to a parajika. For instance, one sees him get into an argument with Bhikkhu Z and in a fit of anger give Z a blow to the head. Z goes unconscious, falls to the floor and suffers a severe concussion resulting in death. Since Y's intention was simply to hurt him, not to kill him, he incurs only a pacittiya. If one realizes the nature of Y's intention and the fact that the penalty is a pacittiya, and yet accuses him of having committed a parajika, one would incur a sanghadisesa under this rule.
If one sees Y committing an action that one knows does not violate the rules, but that bears some resemblance to an offense, and then accuses him of having committed a parajika, it would not fit under this category. For instance, Y is teaching Vinaya to some new bhikkhus and quotes a few of the statements that would count as claims of superior human states. One overhears him and, although realizing the context, later accuses him of having violated Parajika 4. Since one knows that Y committed no offense, this would count as an unfounded charge and so would come under the preceding rule.
The other explanations here are exactly the same as those for the preceding rule, except that in the no-offense clauses the Vibhanga states that if one makes a charge against the accused based on what one actually perceives, there is no offense even if the issue turns out to pertain otherwise. For instance, from the examples already given: One sees X stealing tools in the dark and, because of his resemblance to Y, actually thinks Y is the thief. One sees Y give a fatal blow to Z and actually thinks that Y's intention was to kill Z. In either of these cases, if one then accuses Y of a parajika offense, one incurs no penalty regardless of how the case comes out, although -- as in the preceding rule -- one should be careful to ask Y's leave before making the charge and to have no intention of insulting him.
Summary: Distorting the evidence while accusing a bhikkhu of having committed a parajika offense, in hopes of having him disrobed, is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
This rule dates from Devadatta's attempt to create a schism in the Sangha during the Buddha's life and is designed to help prevent such an attempt from ever happening again.
Disputes. Schisms arise from disputes over what the Buddha did and did not teach or, in the words of the Cullavagga, "when bhikkhus dispute, saying:
'It is Dhamma,' or 'It is not Dhamma;'
'It is Vinaya,' or 'It is not Vinaya;'
'It was spoken by the Tathagata,' or 'It was not spoken by the Tathagata;'
'It was regularly practiced by the Tathagata,' or 'It was not regularly practiced by the Tathagata;'
'It was formulated by the Tathagata,' or 'It was not formulated by the Tathagata;'
'It is an offense,' or 'It is not an offense;'
'It is a light offense,' or 'It is a heavy offense;'
'It is a curable offense,' or 'It is an incurable offense;'
'It is a serious offense,' or 'It is not a serious offense.'
Whatever strife, quarreling, contention, dispute, differing opinions, opposing opinions, heated words, abusiveness based on this, is an issue arising from disputes." (Cv.IV.14.2)
Thus not all disagreements on these matters are classed as issues. Friendly disagreements or differences of interpretation aren't; heated and abusive disagreements are.
The Buddha advises that a bhikkhu who wants to bring up such questions for discussion should first consider five points: 1) whether it is the right time for such a discussion; 2) whether it concerns something true; 3) whether it is connected with the goal; 4) whether he will be able to get on his side bhikkhus who value the Dhamma and Vinaya; and 5) whether the question will give rise to strife, quarreling, disputes, cracks, and splits in the Community. If the answer to the first four questions is yes, and to the fifth question no (i.e., it is the right time for the discussion, it concerns something true, it is connected with the goal, bhikkhus who value the Dhamma and Vinaya will be willing to join his side, and the discussion is not likely to lead to strife), he may go ahead and start the discussion. Otherwise, he should let the matter rest for the time being (Cv.IX.4).
The Cullavagga quotes the Buddha as saying that two sorts of mental states -- skillful and unskillful -- can turn disputes into issues. The unskillful states he lists are covetous, corrupt, or confused states of mind; the skillful ones are states of mind that are not covetous, corrupt, or confused. He adds, however, that six character traits can lead to issues arising from disputes that will tend toward the detriment of many people. They are when a bhikkhu --
is easily angered and bears ill will,
is mean and spiteful,
is jealous and possessive,
is scheming and deceitful,
has evil desires and wrong views,
is attached to his own views, obstinate, unable to let them go.
Such a bhikkhu, he says, lives without deference or respect for the Buddha, the Dhamma, or the Sangha, and does not complete the training. If one should see any of these traits within oneself or others, one should strive for their abandonment. If there are no such traits present, one should make sure that they don't arise in the future (Cv.IV.14.3).
Not all disputes, even when prolonged, will lead to schism. An example is the dispute that led to the Second Council. Even though it was bitterly fought, there was never a point when either faction thought of splitting off and conducting communal business separately. In fact, even after the early Buddhists had formed into 18 separate schools, and the Mahayana movement added its schools of interpretation, Chinese visitors to India reported that bhikkhus belonging to the different schools of thought could be found living together harmoniously in the same monastery, performing communal business together in peace. (Many scholars have misunderstood this point, thinking that the various schools were schismatic, but in fact they weren't.)
Thus there are two sets of procedures to follow when a dispute becomes an issue: For a dispute in which none of the partisans is aiming at a schism, there are the procedures listed in Cv.IV.14.16-26. For one that is heading towards a schism (and only for one in which at least one side is aiming at schism, the Commentary implies and the Sub-commentary states explicitly), we have this rule and the following one.
Schism. The Cullavagga (VII.5.1), states that schism occurs when the leader of a schism puts the matter to a vote in a Community of at least nine bhikkhus with at least four on either side of the split. It further adds that all the bhikkhus involved must be bhikkhus of regular standing in communion with the group as a whole (i.e., they haven't been suspended from the Community), living in the same boundary.
If one or another of these qualifications is lacking -- the issue goes to a vote in a Community of less than nine bhikkhus, one side or the other gets less than four adherents, or the bhikkhus involved are not on regular standing or do not belong to the same boundary -- the efforts at schism count as a crack (raji) in the Community, but not as a full split (bheda).
However, the Parivara (XV.10.9), drawing on material in A.X.35 & 37, lists five ways in which a schism can take place: discussion, announcement, vote, act, and recitation. The Commentary, trying to reconcile the Cullavagga and Parivara on this point, interprets the five ways as four steps in a single process (the last two ways counting as alternative forms of a single step):
1) Discussion. A bhikkhu aiming at schism begins a dispute over the Buddha's teachings, explaining Dhamma as not-Dhamma; not-Dhamma as Dhamma; Vinaya as not-Vinaya; not-Vinaya as Vinaya; what was not spoken by the Buddha as having been spoken by him; what was spoken by the Buddha as not; what was not regularly practiced by him as having been regularly practiced by him; what was regularly practiced by him as not; what was not formulated by him as having been formulated by him; what was formulated by him as not; an offense as a non-offense; a non-offense as an offense; a heavy offense as a light offense; a light offense as heavy; a curable offense as incurable; an incurable offense as curable; a serious offense as not serious; or a not-serious offense as serious.
2) Announcement. He announces that he is splitting off from the Community and asks other bhikkhus to take sides.
3) Vote. The issue goes to a vote in a Community of at least nine bhikkhus, with at least four on either side.
4) Act or recitation. The bhikkhus who side with the schismatic split from the others and recite the Patimokkha or perform other communal business separately.
According to the Commentary, the actual schism has not taken place until step 4, when the schismatic group conducts communal business or recites the Patimokkha separately. This is in accordance with A.X.35 but seems to conflict with the Cullavagga, so the Commentary explains that if the vote is taken in a split-off meeting of the Community, steps 3 and 4 happen simultaneously, and the schism has been accomplished. Otherwise, if the vote is taken outside of the boundary, the schism is not finalized until the split-off faction conducts communal business separately within the same boundary as the Community (Pv.VI.2 & XV.10.10).
We can notice from the way the Vibhanga and Commentary analyze the steps leading up to schism, that if a group of bhikkhus is living in a Community that does not adhere to the Buddha's teachings and they wish to leave the group so that they may more easily follow those teachings, they do not count as schismatics. However, they should be careful first to make sure that their views are genuinely in line with the Buddha's teachings and then conduct their departure in as amenable and unprovocative a manner as possible. In other words, instead of announcing a split, they should simply say that they want to go to a more congenial place to practice.
Schism is serious business -- one of the five most heinous crimes a person can commit. The other four are killing one's mother, killing one's father, killing an arahant, and maliciously causing a Buddha to shed blood. A bhikkhu who creates a schism is expelled and can never be readmitted into the Community during this lifetime (Mv.I.67). If he knows that his schism is against the Dhamma, then after death he will go immediately to Hell and be boiled there for an aeon. The same fate awaits those who join his schismatic group knowing that what he teaches is not the true Dhamma or Vinaya. Those, however, who follow him not knowing that his teaching is not the true Dhamma or Vinaya will not necessarily suffer that fate. If they realize their mistake and ask to be allowed back into the Community, they need only confess a thullaccaya and they are members of the Community in full standing as before (Cv.VII.4.4; Cv.VII.5.1-6).
Preventing a schism. The Vibhanga states that if a bhikkhu sees or hears of an attempt at a schism, it is his duty to reprimand the instigator three times, for the instigator, if he goes unreprimanded, may continue with his efforts as he likes without incurring a penalty. A bhikkhu who neglects this duty incurs a dukkata. The Commentary adds that this dukkata applies to every bhikkhu within a half-yojana (five-mile) radius who learns of the attempt at a schism; any bhikkhu outside that radius, even though he may not be subject to the penalty, should still regard it as his duty, if he is able, to go reprimand the instigator as well. (According to the Sub-commentary, any bhikkhu within the five-mile radius who is ill or otherwise unable to go reprimand the instigator is not subject to this penalty.) If the attempt takes place during the Rains Retreat, other bhikkhus are allowed to cut short their stay at other monasteries to help end the attempt (Mv.III.6-9).
If, after being reprimanded three times, the instigator abandons his efforts, he incurs no penalty and nothing further need be done.
If he is still recalcitrant, though, he incurs a dukkata; and the next step is to take him into the midst of a formal meeting of the Community (by force, if necessary, says the Commentary) and admonish him formally three more times. If he abandons his efforts before the end of the third admonition, well and good. If not, he incurs another dukkata. The next step is to recite a formal rebuke, by mandate of the Community, using the formula of one motion and three announcements given in the Vibhanga. If the instigator remains obstinate, he incurs an additional dukkata at the end of the motion, a thullaccaya at the end of each of the first two announcements, and the full sanghadisesa at the end of the third. Once he commits the full offense, the penalties he incurred in the preliminary stages are nullified.
Perception. The Vibhanga states that if the acts of admonition and rebuke are carried out properly -- i.e. the bhikkhu really is misstating the Buddha's teachings, is really aiming at a schism, and the various other formal requirements for a formal act are fulfilled -- then if he does not abandon his intention to agitate for a schism, he incurs the full sanghadisesa regardless of whether he perceives the act to be proper, improper, or doubtful. If the act is improperly carried out, then regardless of how he perceives its validity, he incurs a dukkata for not abandoning his intention (%).
The fact that the bhikkhu is not free from an offense in the latter case is important: There are several other, similar points in the Vinaya -- such as the Buddha's advice to the Dhamma-expert in the controversy at Kosambi (Mv.X.1.8) -- where for the sake of the harmony of the Community in cases that threaten to be divisive, the Buddha advises bhikkhus to abandon controversial behavior and to yield to the mandate of the Community even if it seems unjust.
Non-offenses. The no-offense clauses, in addition to the usual exemptions, state simply that there is no offense if the bhikkhu is not reprimanded or if he gives up his attempt at a schism.
Further steps. If the bhikkhu is truly stubborn, it is possible that he may continue in his efforts at a schism even after this sanghadisesa is imposed on him. However, the fact that the Community met to deal with his case should be enough to alert well-meaning bhikkhus that the schismatic is following a wrong course of action, and this should help unite the Community against his efforts. If they deem it necessary -- to keep the laity from being taken in by his arguments -- they may authorize one or more of their members to inform the lay community that the schismatic has committed this offense (see Pacittiya 9) and explain why. If the schismatic refuses to undergo the penalty or remains divisive, they may suspend him from the entire Sangha. If, unrepentant, he leaves to go elsewhere, they may send word to whatever Community he tries to join.
All of this shows one of the reasons why schism is regarded so seriously: As the Buddha states in the Discourse on Future Dangers (A.V.78), it is difficult to find time to practice when the Community is embroiled in controversy this way.
Summary: To persist in one's attempts at a schism, after the third announcement of a formal rebuke in a meeting of the Community, is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
If the schismatic mentioned in the preceding rule begins to attract adherents, they are to be treated under this rule -- and quickly, before the schismatic gains a fourth adherent. The reasons are these:
1) One Community cannot impose a penalty on another Community (four or more bhikkhus) in any one formal act (Mv.IX.2).
2) Penalties of this sort may be imposed only with the unanimous agreement of all the bhikkhus present in the meeting. If there is a fourth adherent present in the meeting, he can prevent the rebuke from being completed.
3) As the Sub-commentary points out, once a potential schismatic has gained four adherents, he has enough of a following to go through with his split.
The procedures for dealing with these partisans -- reprimanding them in private, admonishing and rebuking them in the midst of the Community -- are the same as in the preceding rule.
Summary: To persist in supporting a potential schismatic, after the third announcement of a formal rebuke in a meeting of the Community, is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
If a bhikkhu breaks any of the rules of the Vinaya without undergoing the penalties they entail, or if he breaks them habitually even when undergoing the penalties, the other bhikkhus have the duty to admonish him, as explained under Sanghadisesa 8. If he shows disrespect while being admonished or refuses to mend his ways, he incurs a further penalty under Pacittiya 54. If his lack of respect while being admonished becomes habitual, he is to be treated under this rule.
The Commentary defines difficult to admonish as "impossible to speak to," and then further clarifies by saying that a bhikkhu difficult to admonish is one who cannot stand being criticized or who does not mend his ways after his faults are pointed out to him. It quotes from the Anumana Sutta (M.15) a list of traits, any one of which makes a bhikkhu difficult to admonish: He has evil desires; exalts himself and degrades others; is easily angered; because of this he harbors ill will, holds a grudge, utters angry words; accused, he throws a tantrum (literally, "explodes"); accused, he is insulting; accused, he returns the accusation; he evades back and forth; he does not respond; he is mean and spiteful; jealous and possessive; scheming and deceitful; stubborn and proud; attached to his own views, obstinate, unable to let them go.
A good number of these traits are exemplified by Ven. Channa -- according to tradition, the Buddha's horseman on the night of the great Going Forth -- in the origin story to this rule.
"Who do you think you are to admonish me? It is I who should admonish you! The Buddha is mine, the Dhamma is mine, it was by my young master that the Dhamma was realized. Just as a great blowing wind would gather up grass, sticks, leaves, and rubbish, or a mountain-born river would gather up water weeds and scum, so you, in going forth, have been gathered up from various names, various clans, various ancestries, various families. Who do you think you are to admonish me? It is I who should admonish you!"
The procedures to follow when a bhikkhu is difficult to admonish -- reprimanding him in private, admonishing and rebuking him in a formal meeting of the Community -- are the same as under Sanghadisesa 10, beginning with the fact that a bhikkhu who, hearing that Bhikkhu X is being difficult to admonish, incurs a dukkata if he does not reprimand him. The question of perception and the non-offenses are also the same as under that rule.
If the bhikkhu difficult to admonish carries on as before, even after incurring the full penalty under this rule, the Community may perform an act of banishment (pabbajaniya-kamma) against him for speaking in dispraise of the Community (Cv.I.13) or -- if he admits to performing acts that are offenses but refuses to see that they are offenses or to undergo the penalty -- the Community may exclude him from participating in the Patimokkha and Pavarana ceremonies (Mv.IV.16.2; Cv.IX.2) or suspend him from the entire Sangha (Cv.I.26; Cv.I.31).
Summary: To persist in being difficult to admonish, after the third announcement of a formal rebuke in the Community, is a sanghadisesa offense.
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.
A corrupter of families is a bhikkhu who -- behaving in a demeaning, frivolous, or subservient way -- succeeds in ingratiating himself to lay people to the point where they withdraw their support from bhikkhus who are earnest in the practice and give it to those who are more ingratiating instead. This is illustrated in the origin story of this rule, in which the followers of Assaji and Punabbasu (leaders of one faction of the group of six) had thoroughly corrupted the lay people at Kitagiri.
"Now at that time a certain bhikkhu, having finished his rains-residence among the people of Kasi and on his way to Savatthi to see the Blessed One, arrived at Kitagiri. Arising early in the morning, taking his robe and bowl, he entered Kitagiri for alms: gracious in the way he approached and departed, looked forward and behind, drew in and stretched out his arm; his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. People seeing him said, 'Who is this weakest of weaklings, this dullest of dullards, this most snobbish of snobs? Who would go up and give him alms? Our masters, the followers of Assaji and Punabbasu, are compliant, genial, pleasing in conversation. They are the first to smile, saying, "Come, you are welcome." They are not snobbish. They are approachable. They are the first to speak. It is to them that alms should be given.'"
The Vibhanga lists the ways of corrupting a family as giving gifts of flowers, fruit, etc., practicing medicine, and delivering messages -- although the Commentary qualifies this by saying there is no harm in delivering messages that have to do with religious activities, such as inviting bhikkhus to a meal or to deliver a sermon, or in conveying a lay person's respects to a senior bhikkhu.
Depraved conduct the Vibhanga defines merely as growing flowers and making them into garlands, but this, the Commentary says, is a shorthand reference to the long list of bad habits mentioned in the origin story, which includes such things as presenting garlands to women, eating from the same dish with them, sharing a blanket with them, eating at the wrong time, drinking intoxicants, wearing garlands, using perfumes and cosmetics, dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, playing games, performing stunts, learning archery, swordsmanship, and horsemanship; boxing and wrestling. Any one of these actions taken in isolation carries only a minor penalty -- a dukkata or a pacittiya -- but if indulged in habitually to the point where its bad influence becomes "seen and heard about," i.e., common knowledge, it can become grounds for his fellow bhikkhus to banish him from their particular Community until he mends his ways.
The Cullavagga, in a section that begins with the same origin story as the one for this rule (Cv.I.13-16), treats the act of banishment in full detail, saying that a Community of bhikkhus, if it sees fit, has the authority to perform an act of banishment against a bhikkhu with any of the following qualities:
1) He is a maker of strife, disputes, quarrels, and issues in the Community.
2) He is ignorant, inexperienced, and has many offenses for which he has not made amends.
3) He lives in unbecoming association with householders.
4) He is corrupt in his precepts, corrupt in his conduct, or corrupt in his views.
5) He speaks in dispraise of the Buddha, Dhamma, or Sangha.
6) He is frivolous in word, deed, or both.
7) He misbehaves in word, deed, or both.
8) He is vindictive in word, deed, or both.
9) He practices wrong modes of livelihood.
This last category includes such practices as:
a) running messages and errands for kings, ministers of state, householders, etc. A modern example would be participating in political campaigns.
b) scheming, talking, hinting, belittling others for the sake of material gain; pursuing gain with gain (giving items of small value in hopes of receiving items of larger value in return, making investments in hopes of profit, offering material incentives to those who make donations). (For a full discussion of these practices, see Ven. Nanamoli's translation of the Visuddhi Magga, The Path of Purification, pp. 24-30.)
c) Practicing worldly arts, e.g., medicine, fortune telling, astrology, exorcism, reciting charms, casting spells, performing ceremonies to counteract the influence of the stars, determining propitious sites, setting auspicious dates (for weddings, etc.), interpreting oracles, auguries, or dreams, or -- in the words of the Vibhanga to the Bhikkhunis' Pacittiya 49 & 50 -- engaging in any art that is "external and unconnected with the goal." The Cullavagga (V.33.2) gives a dukkata for studying and teaching worldly arts or hedonist doctrines (lokayata). For extensive lists of worldly arts, see the Brahmajala and Samannaphala Suttas -- pp. 62-65 and pp. 35-38 in Ven. Bodhi's translations. For the connection between lokayata and hedonism (e.g., the Kama Sutra), see Warder, Outline of Indian Philosophy, pp. 38-39.
A bhikkhu banished for indulging in any of these activities is duty-bound to undergo the 18 observances listed in Cv.I.15 and to mend his ways so that the Community will revoke the act of banishment. The Commentary adds that a bhikkhu banished for corrupting families may not live in the monastery where he was misbehaving, nor enter the city or town where he was corrupting families, until after the banishment is revoked (this point is based on Cv.I.16.1). Also, even after the revoking of the banishment, he may never again accept gifts from the families he had corrupted. If they ask him why, he may tell them. If they then explain that they are giving the gifts not because of his former behavior but because he has now mended his ways, he may then accept it.
If a bhikkhu, instead of mending his ways after being banished, criticizes the act of banishment or those who performed it, he is subject to this rule. The procedure to follow in dealing with him -- reprimanding him in private, admonishing and rebuking him in a formal meeting of the Community -- is the same as under Sanghadisesa 10, beginning with the fact that a bhikkhu who, hearing that Bhikkhu X is criticizing his act of banishment, incurs a dukkata if he does not reprimand him. The question of perception and the non-offenses are also the same as under that rule.
Summary: To persist -- after the third announcement of a formal rebuke in the Community -- in criticizing an act of banishment performed against oneself is a sanghadisesa offense.
A bhikkhu who commits an offense against any of these thirteen sanghadisesa rules is duty-bound to inform a fellow bhikkhu and to ask a Community of at least four bhikkhus to impose a six-day period of penance (manatta) on him. (The Canon says, literally, a six-night period: At the time of the Buddha, the lunar calendar was in use and, just as we using the solar calendar count the passage of days, they counted the passage of nights; a 24-hour period, which is a day for us, would be a night for them, as in the Bhaddekaratta Sutta (M.131), where the Buddha explicitly says that a person who spends a day and night in earnest practice has had an "auspicious night.")
Penance. Penance does not begin immediately, but only at the convenience of the Community giving it. During his period of penance, the offender is partially stripped of seniority and must observe a number of restrictions -- 94 in all (Cv.II.5-6). The four most important are:
1) He must not live under the same roof as a full-fledged bhikkhu.
2) He must live in a monastery with at least four full-fledged bhikkhus.
3) He may not go anywhere outside the monastery unless accompanied by four full-fledged bhikkhus.
4) Every day he must inform all the bhikkhus in the monastery of the fact that he is observing penance and the precise offense for which the penance was imposed. If visiting bhikkhus come to the monastery, he must inform them as well; if he goes to another monastery, he must inform all the bhikkhus there, too.
If, on any day of his penance, the bhikkhu neglects to observe any of these four restrictions, that day does not count toward the total of six. In addition, he incurs a dukkata each time he fails to observe any of the other 94 restrictions.
Once the bhikkhu has completed his penance, he may ask a Community of at least 20 bhikkhus to give him rehabilitation. Once rehabilitated, he returns to his previous state as a full-fledged bhikkhu in good standing.
Probation. If a bhikkhu who commits a sanghadisesa offense conceals it from his fellow bhikkhus past dawn of the day following the offense, he must observe an additional period of probation (parivasa) for the same number of days as he concealed the offense. Only after he has completed his probation may he then ask for the six-day period of penance.
The Commentary sets the factors of concealment at ten, which may be arranged in five pairs as follows:
1) He has committed a sanghadisesa offense and perceives it as a sanghadisesa offense.
2) He has not been suspended and perceives that he has not been suspended. (If a bhikkhu has been suspended, no other bhikkhus will speak with him, and thus he cannot tell them until after his suspension has been lifted.)
3) There are no obstacles (e.g., a flood, a forest fire, dangerous animals) and he perceives that there are none.
4) He is able to inform another bhikkhu (i.e., a fellow bhikkhu suitable to be informed lives in a place that may be reached in that day, one is not too weak or ill to go, etc.) and he perceives that he is able. A bhikkhu suitable to be informed means a one who is --a) in good standing (e.g., not undergoing penance or probation himself) and
b) not on unfriendly terms with the offender.
5) He (the offender) desires to conceal the offense and so conceals it.
If any of these factors are lacking, there is no penalty for not informing another bhikkhu that day. For instance, the following cases do not count as concealment:
A bhikkhu is not sure whether or not the action he has done qualifies as a sanghadisesa and so waits until he can consult with a knowledgeable bhikkhu before informing anyone else.
A bhikkhu lives alone in a forest and commits a sanghadisesa in the middle of the night. Afraid of the snakes or other wild animals he might encounter in the dark, he waits until daylight before going to inform a fellow bhikkhu.
A bhikkhu lives alone in a forest, but the only other bhikkhu within one day's traveling time is a personal enemy who, if he is informed, will use this as an opportunity to smear the offender's name, so the offender travels another day or two before reaching a friendly bhikkhu whom he informs.
Once all of the first eight factors are complete, though, one must inform another bhikkhu before dawn of the next day or else incur a dukkata and undergo the penalty for concealment.
A bhikkhu who commits a slighter offense that he thinks is a sanghadisesa and then conceals it, incurs a dukkata (Cv.III.34.1).
The restrictions for a bhikkhu undergoing probation are similar to those for one undergoing penance and are discussed in detail at Cv.II.1.
Sanghadisesas are classified as heavy offenses (garukapatti), both because of the seriousness of the offenses themselves and because the procedures of penance, probation, and rehabilitation are burdensome by design, not only for the offender but also for the Community of bhikkhus in which he lives -- a fact intended to act as added deterrent to anyone who feels tempted to transgress.