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Title: Buddhist Monastic Code I: Chapter 8.8
Buddhist Monastic Code I
Pācittiya: The In-accordance-with-the-rule Chapter
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<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc71”>71.</a> Should any bhikkhu, admonished by the bhikkhus in accordance with a rule, say, “Friends, I will not train myself under this training rule until I have put questions about it to another bhikkhu, competent and learned in the discipline,” it is to be confessed. Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu in training should understand, should ask, should ponder. This is the proper course here.
This rule deals with cases where a bhikkhu tries to excuse himself from following any of the training rules without showing out-and-out disrespect for the rule or the person admonishing him. (If he showed out-and-out disrespect, the case would come under Pc 54.) The factors for the full offense here are three.
Only two of these factors — object and effort — require explanation.
Effort. Looking at the Vibhaṅga's discussion of this factor, it would appear to cover only cases where one used the precise words mentioned in the training rule, but the K/Commentary — drawing probably on the Great Standards — expands it to cover any case where one says something as a ploy to excuse oneself from following the rule without showing disrespect. Examples might include: “I'll worry about that rule when I come to it.” “I don't have time for that right now.” “I've been wondering: Do you really think that that rule applies in this day and age? It gets in the way of our spreading the Dhamma.” In other words, this factor closes any loopholes left by Pc 54.
Non-offenses. According to the Vibhaṅga, the only way to avoid an offense in situations like this is to say that one will learn about the rule and train in line with it. As the non-offense clauses to Pc 54 make clear, though, if one has been admonished with any interpretation of a rule that differs from one's teachers', one may avoid an offense simply by stating that one's teachers taught differently.
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: When being admonished by another bhikkhu with regard to a training rule formulated in the Vinaya, saying something as a ploy to excuse oneself from training under the rule is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc72”>72.</a> Should any bhikkhu, when the Pāṭimokkha is being recited, say, “Why are these lesser and minor training rules recited when they lead only to anxiety, bother, and confusion?” the criticism of the training rules is to be confessed.
“Now at that time the Blessed One, phrasing it in many ways, gave a talk on discipline to the bhikkhus. He spoke in praise of discipline, in praise of the mastery of discipline, and in praise of Ven. Upāli, referring to him again and again. The bhikkhus (said), '… Come, friends, let's study discipline with Ven. Upāli.' They and many other bhikkhus — elders, newly ordained, and those in between — studied discipline with Ven. Upāli.
“Then the thought occurred to some group-of-six bhikkhus: 'Now, friends, many bhikkhus… are studying discipline with Ven. Upāli. If they become well versed in the discipline, they will push us and pull us around in whatever way they like, however they like, and as long as they like. Come, friends, let's criticize the discipline.' Then the group-of-six bhikkhus, going to the bhikkhus, said, 'Why are these lesser and minor training rules repeated when they lead only to anxiety, bother, and confusion?'”
The full offense here has three factors.
Effort. The Vibhaṅga explains “criticizing the discipline” with a list of examples. In addition to the statement in the rule, the list includes such statements as, “Those who master this suffer anxiety, bother, and confusion. Those who don't master this suffer no anxiety, bother, or confusion. It would be better (§) if this were not repeated. It would be better (§) if this were not learned. It would be better (§) if this were not mastered. It would be better (§) if this were not borne in mind. May the discipline disappear or may these bhikkhus not be well-versed in this.” This last sentence sounds less like a criticism and more like a possible motivation for one's criticism — a typical ambiguity in the style of the Pali Canon — but none of the commentaries discuss this point.
The training rule would seem to indicate that these actions are grounds for an offense only while the Pāṭimokkha is being recited or rehearsed, but the non-offense clauses in the Vibhaṅga give no allowance to criticize the discipline at other times, and the K/Commentary follows the Vibhaṅga in not making the recitation of the Pāṭimokkha a necessary factor for the offense here. In other words, the factor of effort here is fulfilled if one criticizes the discipline at any time.
Object. There is a pācittiya for criticizing the discipline in the presence of a bhikkhu; and a dukkaṭa for criticizing any other Dhamma in his presence, or criticizing either the discipline or any other Dhamma in the presence of an unordained person. Perception as to whether one's listener is ordained is irrelevant to the offense (see Pc 42).
Intention. This factor is fulfilled when one's intention is to disparage the discipline. Given the way “effort” is defined above, this factor might seem superfluous, but the non-offense clauses give an example of an effort that may sound like criticism but is not actually meant to be taken as disparagement. The Commentary defines the factor of intention here as the desire to give rise to skepticism (vimati) about the discipline in the listener's mind.
Further action. A bhikkhu who makes a concerted effort to speak in dispraise of the Dhamma or discipline may be subject to an act of censure or banishment, depending on the seriousness of the case (Cv.I.4.1; Cv.I.14.2). (See BMC2, Chapter 20.)
Non-offenses. There is no offense if, without intending to criticize the discipline, one suggests to another person that he/she master the suttas, the gāthās (verses), or the Abhidhamma first, before mastering the discipline.
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: Criticizing the discipline in the presence of another bhikkhu, in hopes of preventing its study, is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc73”>73.</a> Should any bhikkhu, when the Pāṭimokkha is being recited every half-month, say, “Just now have I learned that this case, too, is handed down in the Pāṭimokkha, is included in the Pāṭimokkha, and comes up for recitation every half-month”; and if the bhikkhus should know of that bhikkhu, “This bhikkhu has already sat through two or three recitations of the Pāṭimokkha, if not more,” the bhikkhu is not exempted for being ignorant. Whatever the offense he has committed, he is to be dealt with in accordance with the rule; and in addition, his deceit is to be exposed: “It is no gain for you, friend, it is ill-done, that when the Pāṭimokkha is being recited, you do not pay proper attention and take it to heart.” As for the deception (§), it is to be confessed.
To summarize the Vibhaṅga: If a bhikkhu — when the recitation of the Pāṭimokkha comes to a rule he has violated — tries to excuse himself through the sort of pretence cited in the rule, he immediately incurs a dukkaṭa if he has already listened to the Pāṭimokkha in full three times or more. The other bhikkhus may then expose his deception by means of a Community transaction. If he then continues with the pretence, he incurs a pācittiya. If they do not enact a transaction against him, though, he incurs a dukkaṭa for each effort he makes in keeping up the pretence. There is no offense, though, if he is not feigning ignorance or if he has not yet heard the Pāṭimokkha in full at least three times.
Obviously, these explanations were formulated when Pali was the bhikkhus' native language, and the recitation of the Pāṭimokkha in Pali offered the opportunity to learn the rules, along with the opportunity to feign ignorance without telling an out-and-out lie. In other words, one could say immediately after the recitation of a particular rule, “Just now have I heard that this rule is in the Pāṭimokkha,” and strictly speaking it would be true: One has just heard it, even if for the umpteenth time, but one hopes that the other bhikkhus will be deceived into inferring that one has just heard it for the first time.
However, the discussion of this rule in the Vibhaṅga and commentaries makes no exceptions for bhikkhus whose native language is not Pali. Nevertheless, as the Pāṭimokkha is available in a number of translations, the grace period in which one is expected to be ignorant — three recitations covers at least a month to a month and a half — is not too short a time for a new bhikkhu to read and remember the rules in translation.
It is also worth noting that the non-offense clauses do not make an exception for a bhikkhu who tries a similar ploy to feign ignorance of the rules outside of the time when the Pāṭimokkha is being formally recited, and the K/Commentary — as under the preceding rule — follows the Vibhaṅga in not making the recitation of the Pāṭimokkha a necessary factor for the offense here. In other words, this rule covers the use of a half-truth to feign ignorance of the rules at any time.
The factors for the full offense here are three.
Perception as to the transaction's validity is not a mitigating factor here. If the transaction exposing one's deceit has been properly carried out, then regardless of whether one perceives it as valid, one incurs a pācittiya for trying to deceive the bhikkhus any further. If it has been improperly carried out, one incurs a dukkaṭa for trying to deceive them further, regardless of how one perceives the transaction.
Non-offenses. There is no offense if one has heard the Pāṭimokkha in full fewer than three times or if one is not intending to deceive anyone.
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: Using half-truths to deceive others into believing that one is ignorant of the rules in the Pāṭimokkha — after one has already heard the Pāṭimokkha in full three times, and a Community transaction exposing one's deceit has been brought against one — is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc74”>74.</a> Should any bhikkhu, angered and displeased, give a blow to (another) bhikkhu, it is to be confessed.
The factors for the full offense here are three.
Object. A bhikkhu is grounds for the full offense here; anyone unordained, grounds for a dukkaṭa. According to the Commentary, anyone unordained includes animals as well as human beings.
As under Pc 42, perception as to whether the person receiving the blow is ordained is irrelevant to the offense.
Effort. This factor is fulfilled whether one gives a blow —
Such actions as twisting the other person's arm behind his back or wringing his neck are not mentioned under this rule, but the act of grabbing his arm prior to twisting it or grabbing his neck prior to wringing it would fulfil the factor of effort here.
Intention. If one gives a blow for reasons other than anger, the action does not fall under this rule. Thus, for instance, if one thumps a fellow bhikkhu on the back to help dislodge something caught in his throat, there is no offense. And as the Commentary notes, if — impelled by lust — one gives a blow to a woman, one incurs the full penalty under Sg 2.
For some reason, the Commentary says that if one cuts off the nose or ear of a fellow bhikkhu in order to disfigure him, one incurs only a dukkaṭa. As the Vinaya-mukha points out, though, there is no basis in the Vibhaṅga or in reason for this statement. It is hard to imagine anyone doing this unless impelled by anger, and the act of cutting another person would come under the factor of giving a blow with something connected with the body.
“Result” is not a factor here. Whether the other person is hurt — or how badly he/she is hurt — does not affect the offense. If one intends simply to hurt the other person, but he/she happens to die from one's blow, the case is treated under this rule, rather than under Pr 3. In other words, the penalty is a pācittiya if the victim is a bhikkhu, and a dukkaṭa if not.
Non-offenses. According to the Vibhaṅga, there is no offense for a bhikkhu who, trapped in a difficult situation, gives a blow “desiring freedom.” The Commentary's discussion of this point shows that it includes what we at present would call self-defense; and the K/Commentary's analysis of the factors of the offense here shows that even if anger or displeasure arises in one's mind in cases like this, there is no penalty.
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: Giving a blow to another bhikkhu when impelled by anger — except in self-defense — is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc75”>75.</a> Should any bhikkhu, angered and displeased, raise the palm of his hand against (another) bhikkhu, it is to be confessed.
This rule is similar to the preceding one, differing only in the factor of effort: Raising the palm of one's hand means raising any part of one's body (the hand, the foot, etc.) or anything attached to the body (a stick, a rock, a gun, a bow and arrow) in a threatening manner.
The Commentary notes that if one intends only to raise one's hand but then accidentally gives a blow, one incurs a dukkaṭa. The Sub-commentary, following the lead of the Old K/Sub-commentary, explains this in the only way that would make sense: One incurs the dukkaṭa for the blow, but a pācittiya for raising the hand in the first place.
The Sub-commentary also notes that if an animal, for example, is making a mess and a bhikkhu raises his hand against it, this would be included under desiring freedom — i.e., from the mess — and so would not be an offense. This explanation, however, would open a large loophole for a bhikkhu who wanted to justify raising his hand against another bhikkhu in any situation that he found displeasing. It would seem preferable to limit the allowance for one desiring freedom to cases where one is in physical danger.
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: Making a threatening gesture against another bhikkhu when motivated by anger — except in self-defense — is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc76”>76.</a> Should any bhikkhu charge a bhikkhu with an unfounded saṅghādisesa (offense), it is to be confessed.
Here again the factors for the full offense are three.
If one makes an unfounded charge accusing another bhikkhu of having committed a lesser offense or of falling away from right views, one incurs a dukkaṭa. The same penalty holds for making an unfounded charge accusing an unordained person of having committed a wrongdoing or of falling away from right views. As under Pc 42, perception as to whether the person being charged is ordained is irrelevant to the offense.
The topic of unfounded charges is a complex one and has already been covered in detail under Sg 8. Additional points may be inferred from the discussion of that rule, the differences being that intention is not a factor here, and the change in effort — one is accusing the other bhikkhu of a saṅghādisesa or lesser offense — changes the seriousness of the penalty.
Non-offenses. As under Sg 8, there is no offense if one makes the accusation — or gets someone else to make it — when one thinks it to be true, even if the other bhikkhu is actually not guilty of the offense.
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: Making an unfounded charge to another bhikkhu — or getting someone else to make the charge to him — that he is guilty of a saṅghādisesa offense is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc77”>77.</a> Should any bhikkhu intentionally provoke anxiety in (another) bhikkhu, (thinking,) “This way, even for just a moment, he will have no peace” — doing it for just that reason and no other — it is to be confessed.
The Vinaya-mukha's explanation for this rule is worth quoting at length:
“There are people who normally tend to be anxious about one thing or another… If someone speaks to this sort of bhikkhu about contingencies that run counter to the Buddha's ordinances and are impossible to know — e.g., 'When you were ordained, how can you know that all the qualifications (for a valid Community transaction) were fulfilled? If they were lacking, doesn't that mean you aren't really ordained?' — even this is enough to set him worrying, giving him all sorts of anguish. A bhikkhu who is unrestrained and who — looking for fun with no concern for how his friends will suffer — takes such matters to tell them is penalized with a pācittiya in this rule.”
The full offense here has four factors.
Object. A bhikkhu here is grounds for a pācittiya; an unordained person, grounds for a dukkaṭa. As under Pc 42, perception as to whether one's listener is ordained is irrelevant to the offense.
Effort & result. The Vibhaṅga illustrates these two factors together, saying, “One provokes anxiety (saying), 'Perhaps you were ordained when less than twenty; perhaps you have eaten at the wrong time; perhaps you have drunk alcohol; perhaps you have sat down in private with a woman.' Most of these possible offenses are ones that can be committed unknowingly, but the last one is not. However, it is close enough to an offense that the mention of the possibility of having done it unknowingly would cause an ignorant bhikkhu anxiety. Similarly, in the origin story, some group-of-six bhikkhus made insinuating remarks to the group of seventeen that because they were ordained when they were less than 20 years old, they were not really ordained. Yet, because the group of seventeen were the instigators for that rule, they were not subject to it. All of this shows that the factor of effort can be fulfilled by any statement one might make to another bhikkhu insinuating that he may have broken a rule, even if the action mentioned is not actually an offense.
The Commentary underlines the need for the factor of result here by translating “provokes” as “generates.” In other words, anxiety has to arise in one's listener as a result of one's remarks, even if for a moment, for there to be an offense. This interpretation is seconded by the fact that the Vibhaṅga to Pc 55, which is in some ways parallel to this rule, contains explicit statements to the effect that result is not a factor under that rule, whereas the Vibhaṅga to this rule doesn't.
Intention here is defined in the same terms used under Pr 3, Sg 1, and Pc 61: “having willed, having made the decision knowingly and consciously.” In those rules, this phrase indicates that one's intention has to be clear and unequivocal. Here, however, the wording of the training rule suggests that, to fulfill the factor of intention, one's intention to cause anxiety has to be the sole motive for one's statements. The non-offense clauses illustrate this point with the case where, not wanting to provoke anxiety, one says, “Perhaps you were ordained when less than twenty; perhaps you have eaten at the wrong time; perhaps you have drunk alcohol; perhaps you have sat down in private with a woman. Please look into it. Don't suffer anxiety later.” It's easy to anticipate that a bhikkhu hearing these remarks might suffer a moment of anxiety, but because one's overriding purpose is to prevent greater anxiety at a later time — say, after he has become a preceptor and ordained many other bhikkhus, he discovers that his ordination was invalid — one incurs no offense in making these remarks in a timely and compassionate fashion.
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: Intentionally provoking anxiety in another bhikkhu that he may have broken a rule, when one has no other purpose in mind, is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc78”>78.</a> Should any bhikkhu stand eavesdropping on bhikkhus when they are arguing, quarreling, and disputing, thinking, “I will overhear what they say” — doing it for just that reason and no other — it is to be confessed.
“Now at that time some group-of-six bhikkhus were quarreling with the well-behaved bhikkhus. The well-behaved bhikkhus (meeting among themselves) said, 'These group-of-six bhikkhus are shameless. There's no way you can quarrel with them.'
”(Later,) the group-of-six bhikkhus said to them, 'Why do you disgrace us by calling us shameless?'
”'But how did you overhear?'
”'We stood eavesdropping on you.'“
The factors for the full offense here are three.
Object. According to the Vibhaṅga, the words, arguing, quarreling, and disputing refer to arguments over issues (see Pc 63). The Commentary says that this refers to one kind of issue — disputes — but accusations would appear to fit here as well.
This factor is fulfilled regardless of whether the two parties in the dispute/accusation are confronting each other or — as in the origin story — one party is talking in private. It is also fulfilled regardless of whether one is already involved in the dispute oneself.
Bhikkhus involved in an argument are grounds for a pācittiya; unordained people involved in an argument, grounds for a dukkaṭa. The Vibhaṅga, in its references to bhikkhus as objects under this rule, switches back and forth between the singular and the plural. Thus even a single bhikkhu, involved in an argument with an unordained person, would be grounds for the full offense.
The role of perception here is the same as under Pc 42.
People who are not involved in an argument are not grounds for an offense. Thus there is no penalty in eavesdropping on a Dhamma talk or on a bhikkhu sitting in private with a woman, to see what they will say to each other.
Effort. The Vibhaṅga goes into a fair amount of detail on this factor, allotting the offenses as follows (assuming the other factors to be fulfilled as well):
One goes with the purpose of eavesdropping on the other party (§): a dukkaṭa. One stays in one place eavesdropping on them: a pācittiya.
One is walking behind the other party and speeds up one's steps to overhear them: a dukkaṭa. One stays in one place eavesdropping on them: a pācittiya.
One is walking ahead of the other party and slows down to overhear them: a dukkaṭa. One stays in one place eavesdropping on them: a pācittiya.
One comes to a place where a bhikkhu involved in discussion is sitting, standing, or lying down: One should cough, clear one's throat, or otherwise let one's presence be known. (The K/Commentary suggests saying, “I'm here.”) Not to do so entails a pācittiya.
At present, surreptitiously reading another person's mail would seem to fulfill this factor as well.
Intention. According to the Vibhaṅga, there is no offense if one goes (to listen) with the intention, “having heard their (words), I will abstain, I will refrain, I will grow calm, I will free myself” (“by declaring my innocence,” says the Commentary) (§).
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: Eavesdropping on bhikkhus involved in an argument over an issue — with the intention of using what they say against them — is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc79”>79.</a> Should any bhikkhu, having given consent (by proxy) to a transaction carried out in accordance with the rule, later complain (about the transaction), it is to be confessed.
“Now at that time some group-of-six bhikkhus were indulging in bad habits but protested when a transaction was being carried out against any one of their group. Then on one occasion the Community was meeting on some business or other, and the group-of-six bhikkhus, making robes, sent their consent with one of their members. Then the Community, (saying,) 'Look, friends, this member of the group-of-six has come alone. Let's carry out a transaction against him,' did just that.
“He then went to the group-of-six bhikkhus. They asked him, 'What, friend, did the Community do?'”
”'They carried out a transaction against me.'
”'That wasn't what we gave our consent for, that they would carry out a transaction against you. If we had known that they would carry out a transaction against you, we wouldn't have given our consent!'“
Transactions. A transaction is a procedure by which a Community issues a statement to settle an issue (see BMC2, Chapter 12). Cv.IV gives the pattern for such procedures, stating the minimum number of bhikkhus that have to be present for the transaction, the qualifications (positive or negative) of the individual or situation warranting the act, and the formal pattern for the statement — a declaration, a motion, a motion with one announcement, or a motion with three announcements — that constitutes the transaction. Thus the Vibhaṅga to this rule defines transaction as any of the four types of statements that form the heart of the transaction. A transaction carried out in accordance with these patterns is said to be carried out in accordance with the rule.
However, for a transaction to be valid and irreversible, it must be carried out not only in accordance with the rule but also by a complete assembly (Mv.IX.2.4). This point is to prevent small factions from carrying out transactions as they like. When this point was first raised, the question arose, How many bhikkhus are needed for an assembly to be complete? All the bhikkhus in the world? All the bhikkhus in a particular monastery? The Buddha's answer was, All the bhikkhus in a monastery, and he gave permission for the bhikkhus to mark out territories (sīmā) so as to determine who did and did not have to join in the transaction for the assembly to be complete (Mv.II.5.2,6.1,12.7). Later, he gave permission that an ill bhikkhu living within the territory did not have to attend the meeting, but could give his consent by proxy, through word or gesture, and the assembly would still be regarded as complete (Mv.II.23.1-2).
Thus a complete assembly is defined as follows: All the bhikkhus of common affiliation within the territory are either present at the meeting (sitting within hatthapāsa, or 1.25 meters of one another) or have given their consent by proxy, and no one — in the course of the transaction — makes a valid protest against its being carried out (Mv.IX.3.5-6). (An invalid protest would be one made by someone who is not a bhikkhu, by a bhikkhu who is insane, possessed by a spirit, outside the territory, or suspended from the Community, or by the bhikkhu against whom the act is being carried out (Mv.IX.4.7-8).)
Before we go on to discuss this rule, there are a few added points concerning the origin story we should touch on:
1) A protest does not need to be justified in order to count as valid. In other words, a bhikkhu can make protest simply because he doesn't agree with the transaction, and his protest stands regardless of whether he can find any basis for it in the Dhamma and Vinaya.
2) One Community may not carry out a transaction against another Community (Mv.IX.2.3). What this means is that they may carry it out against no more than three bhikkhus at a time. This is why the group-of-six bhikkhus were able to protect one another from being subject to a transaction, for there were usually more than three of them at any one meeting of the Community. Even though the ones against whom the transaction was being carried out had no right to protest, their friends did, and they took advantage of their right.
3) In the passage where the Buddha gives permission for bhikkhus to give their consent by proxy (Mv.II.23.1-2), he states that this permission applies to ill bhikkhus. Yet in the origin stories to this rule and the following one, the group-of-six bhikkhus are not ill, they give their consent by proxy, and the transaction carried out with their consent is considered valid. None of the texts make note of this point, but it seems to indicate that ill in this context covers not only physical illness but also any other serious inconvenience that prevents one from joining in the meeting.
The factors for the offense under this rule are three.
Object & perception. The various permutations of these factors are as follows:
Effort. Any expression of displeasure with the transaction would fulfill this factor. If, however, one states that the transaction was not carried out in accordance with the rule, then regardless of whether one had given one's consent, the case would fall under Pc 63 rather than here.
Non-offenses. There is no offense in complaining about the transaction if one perceives it as having been carried out not in accordance with the rule, by an incomplete assembly, or against someone who did not warrant such an act. This exemption holds even if the transaction was actually valid.
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: Complaining about a Community transaction to which one gave one's consent — if one perceives the transaction as having been carried out in accordance with the rule — is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc80”>80.</a> Should any bhikkhu, when deliberation is being carried on in the Community, get up from his seat and leave without having given consent, it is to be confessed.
The origin story here is a sequel to the one for the preceding rule.
“Now at that time the Community was meeting on some business or other, and the group-of-six bhikkhus, making robes, sent their consent with one of their members. Then the Community, thinking, 'We'll carry out the transaction (against the one member of the group-of-six) that was our real purpose in meeting,' set forth a motion. The bhikkhu — thinking, 'It's just in this way that these people carry out transactions against us one at a time. Well, who are you going to carry out this transaction against?' — without giving his consent, got up from his seat and left.”
As explained under the preceding rule, a bhikkhu has no right to protest when the Community is carrying out a transaction against him. However, the Community may not carry out a transaction against a bhikkhu who is not in its midst (see As 1), and any transaction is invalid if carried out when there is a bhikkhu within the territory who is not in the meeting and who has not given his consent. The bhikkhu in the origin story took advantage of these two principles to escape from the transaction's being carried out against himself, and the Buddha then formulated this rule to impose a penalty on any bhikkhu who tried the same maneuver in the future.
There are four factors for the full offense.
Object & perception. The various permutations of these two factors are as follows:
According to the Vibhaṅga, the time period covered by the factor of object begins at the point where the matter has been brought up in the Community — or a motion has been set forth — and ends when the Community's decision has been announced.
The Commentary, in discussing this point, says that, in the case of an accusation, the point when the matter has been brought up is when both sides have stated their initial positions, and a bhikkhu has been authorized to cross-examine them. This, however, would open a loophole for an accused bhikkhu to avoid a penalty simply by leaving the meeting after being accused but before stating his case. Thus it would seem preferable to follow the Vibhaṅga here, holding that the time period even in an accusation would begin when the issue is first raised in a valid Community meeting.
Effort. The Vibhaṅga divides the effort here into three parts and allots the penalties as follows:
The K/Commentary adds that one must also remain within the territory (sīmā) for this factor to be fulfilled, but the Vibhaṅga makes no mention of this, and there seems no reason to adopt it. If we did adopt it, it would mean that if a transaction were being carried out against a bhikkhu, and he left both the meeting and the territory to avoid it, he would be committing no offense. Thus it seems better to stick with the Vibhaṅga and say that this factor is fulfilled when one goes beyond one hatthapāsa away from the meeting, regardless of whether one then continues to stay within the territory.
Intention. There is no offense if, without giving one's consent, one leaves the meeting for purposes other than to invalidate the transaction. Examples in the Vibhaṅga include:
In all of these cases, though, if possible, it is best to give one's consent before going.
Further action. A bhikkhu who has committed this offense would, under Cv.IX.3, be subject to having his Pāṭimokkha cancelled (see BMC2, Chapter 15). This would provide the Community with the opportunity to look into his attitude and to take further disciplinary actions if it sees fit.
Non-offenses. In addition to the above cases, there is also no offense if one leaves a meeting without giving one's consent with the purpose of invalidating the transaction if one perceives that:
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: Getting up and leaving a meeting of the Community in the midst of a valid transaction that one knows to be valid — without having first given one's consent to the transaction and with the intention of invalidating it — is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc81”>81.</a> Should any bhikkhu, (acting as part of) a united Community, give robe-cloth (to an individual bhikkhu) and later complain, “The bhikkhus allocate the Community's gains according to friendship,” it is to be confessed.
Apportioning the Community's gains. Cv.VI.15.2 states that no one — not even the Community itself — can take any of the following items belonging to the Community and turn them over to individual ownership: monasteries or monastery land; dwellings or land on which dwellings are built; furnishings, such as couches, chairs, or mattresses; metal vessels or tools; building materials or articles made of pottery or wood. The collective term for these goods is garubhaṇḍa: heavy or expensive articles. (For a detailed discussion of these articles, see BMC2, Chapter 7.) The penalty for handing any of the Community's garubhaṇḍa over to individual ownership is a thullaccaya. In the origin story to Pr 4, the Buddha states that a bhikkhu who gives the Community's garubhaṇḍa to a lay person is one of the five great thieves in the world.
Light or inexpensive articles (lahubhaṇḍa) belonging to the Community, though, may be turned over to individual ownership — of a bhikkhu or novice — but only when the proper procedures are followed. The usual pattern is to appoint a Community official, through a Community transaction, to be responsible for ensuring that such items be distributed fairly to the members of the Community eligible to receive them. Such officials include distributors of robe-cloth, of food, of fruit, and of non-staple foods; and dispensers of small accessories, such as scissors, sandals, water strainers, etc. (see BMC2, Chapter 18).
In the origin story to Pc 41, the Community receives a large amount of non-staple food, so much that the Buddha instructs Ānanda to share the excess among those who live off leftovers. Some Communities have taken this as a precedent for taking excess perishable items belonging to the Community and distributing them among the poor.
In addition, this training rule shows that a Community acting as a whole may take lahubhaṇḍa articles belonging to it and turn them over to individual bhikkhus or novices. (According to the K/Commentary to Pc 79, this can be done with a simple declaration (apalokana), although the kaṭhina ceremony, which would fall under this general category, follows the pattern of a motion with one announcement.) A typical example, apart from the kaṭhina, would be if the Community receives a particularly fine piece of cloth and, instead of cutting it up to share the pieces out among its members, decides to present the entire piece to one of its members who has been especially helpful to the group. This is one way in which the Community may reward a Community official for his services.
Any member of the Community who disagrees with such a decision may prevent it from happening by protesting during the declaration. The purpose of this rule is to prevent members of the Community from complaining after they have taken part in such a decision that the Community was acting out of favoritism.
The factors for the full offense are two.
Object. Acting as part of a united Community means that one is in affiliation with the Community that handed over the cloth, and that one was in the same territory with them: i.e., one was either in the meeting or had given one's consent to it.
Robe-cloth means a piece of any of the six kinds of allowable cloth, measuring at least four by eight fingerbreadths.
The various permutations of articles and recipients are as follows:
Complaining when the Community has given robe-cloth to a Community official: a pācittiya.
Complaining when the Community has given any other light article to a Community official: a dukkaṭa.
Complaining when the Community has given any light article — cloth or otherwise — to a bhikkhu who is not a Community official.
Complaining when the Community has given any light article — cloth or otherwise — to a novice, whether authorized as a Community official or not: a dukkaṭa.
Perception with regard to the transaction is not a mitigating factor here. If the recipient was made a Community official through a valid Community transaction, then regardless of how one perceives that transaction, he is grounds for a pācittiya. If the act was invalid then, again, regardless of how one perceives it, he is grounds for a dukkaṭa. (The Vibhaṅga is somewhat confusing on this point, not saying explicitly whether the factor of “perception with regard to the transaction” refers to the transaction by which the official was appointed or to the one by which the cloth was handed over to him. The interpretation given here follows the Commentary, which for this issue refers the reader to its explanation of Pc 13, and the K/Commentary, which defines the validity of the object's authorization as a factor in the offense here. This interpretation has given rise to some controversy, largely because there are two variant readings of the last sentence of the perception section in the Vibhaṅga. The PTS and Burmese editions of the Canon give the sentence as, “In perceiving an invalid transaction as an invalid transaction: no offense.” The Thai and Sri Lankan editions of the Canon, and the PTS edition of the K/Commentary, give the sentence as, “In perceiving an invalid transaction as an invalid transaction: a dukkaṭa offense.” If the first reading were correct, the perception would apply to the transaction by which the cloth is handed to the official. However, with the Commentary stating that the perception section here is identical with that under Pc 13, and with all Asian editions of the Canon giving the second reading there, it would seem that the PTS and Burmese editions are mistaken here, and that the correct interpretation of the perception passages here is the one given above.)
Effort. This factor is fulfilled by any expression of personal displeasure with the Community in regard to its distribution of requisites. If, however, one accuses the Community of having carried out the transaction improperly — not in accordance with the rule, or with an incomplete assembly — the case would come not here, but under Pc 63.
Non-offenses. The Vibhaṅga says that if the recipient of the article acts out of habitual favoritism, anger, delusion, or fear, there is no offense in complaining, “What's the use of giving it to him? Even having received it, he'll ruin it; he won't take proper care of it.” This is an extension of the non-offense clause under Pc 13, in which one is allowed to complain about a community official who acts out of any of the four bases for bias. Thus this exemption applies here both before and after the Community gives the article to the individual in question. As an application of the exemption under Pc 13, one can complain before the Community transaction that the recipient is unqualified to receive the article. This would put a halt to the transaction. As an application of the exemption under Pc 63, one can complain after the transaction that the recipient was a poor choice because his habitual favoritism, anger, delusion, or fear means that he was unqualified to be given the article. This would mean that the Community transaction was invalid to begin with, and so one is entitled to complain.
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: After participating in a Community transaction giving robe-cloth to a Community official: Complaining that the Community acted out of favoritism is a pācittiya offense.
<p class=“BMC_definition”> <a name=“Pc82”>82.</a> Should any bhikkhu knowingly divert to an individual gains that had been allocated for a Community, it is to be confessed.
This rule has already been explained under NP 30.
<p class=“BMC_summary”> Summary: Persuading a donor to give to another individual a gift that he or she had planned to give to a Community — when one knows that it was intended for the Community — is a pācittiya offense.