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This appendix is for those people who are interested in the Paali language and the pronunciation of the various Paali words found in this book.
The Paali alphabet is made up of forty-one letters. These are
divided into eight vowels, thirty-two consonants, and one pure nasal
sound called niggahita [the .m].
a as in about aa as in father
i as in hit ii as in machine
u as in pull uu as in rule
e as in grey o as in hole
k as in king kh as in backhand
g as in gone gh as in log-head
“n as in sing
c as in ancient
ch as in check
j as in joy
jh is an aspirated j
ñ as ny in canyon
.t is (something like) a nasalized t
.th is an aspirated .t
.d is (something like) a nasalized d
.dh is an aspirated .d
.n is (something like) a nasalized n
t as in stop
th as in Thames (never as in the English the)
d as in dog
dh is an aspirated d
n as in name
p as in spot
ph as in upholstery (never as in the English photo)
b as in bat
bh is an aspirated b
m as in mother
y as in yes
ay as in Aye!
r as in run
l as in long
v as w in wine
s as in sun
h as in hot
.l as in felt
.m as ng in sang
The dentals t and d are pronounced with the tip of the tongue placed against the front upper teeth
The aspirates kh, gh , .th , .dh , th , dh , ph , bh , are pronounced
with an h sound immediately following; e.g., in blockhead, pighead,
cat-head, log- head, etc., where the h in each is combined with the
preceding consonant in pronunciation.
This appendix illustrates how the bhikkhu’s rules are actually practised
in different monasteries and communities. Each example is taken from
the community’s own guide or from devotees’ experience.
… A bhikkhu must have all eatables and drinkables (including
medicines) except plain water, formally offered into his hands or placed
on or into something in direct contact with his hands. In order to
prevent contact with a woman, he will generally set down a cloth to
receive things offered by a lady. … In the Forest Tradition of which
our resident monks are a part, milk is considered to be a food, as are
malted drinks such as Ovaltine and Milo, so none of these would be
allowed outside the proper times.
In accordance with the discipline a bhikkhu is prohibited from eating
fruit or vegetables containing fertile seeds. So when offering such
things, a lay person can either remove the seeds, or make the fruit
allowable by slightly damaging it with a knife. This is done by piercing
the fruit and saying at the same time “kappiya.m bhante” (meaning “I make this allowable, sir.”).
It is instructive to note that rather than limiting what can be offered,
the Vinaya lays emphasis on the mode of offering. It regards the proper
way of offering as being when the lay person approaches within a
forearm’s distance of the bhikkhu, has a respectful manner (so for
example, one would try to be lower than the bhikkhu) and is offering
something that a bhikkhu can manage to carry(!). All this serves to make
the act of offering a mindful and reflective one irrespective of what
one is giving — and allows great joy to arise. …
Forest bhikkhus generally make their own robes from the cloth that is
given. Plain white cotton is always useful (it can be dyed to the
correct dull ochre) or worsted for the thicker robe (Sanghati). In a
cold climate, the basic ‘triple robe’ of the Buddha is supplemented with
sweaters, beanies, socks, etc., and these, of an appropriate brown
colour, can also be offered. …
The bhikkhu’s precepts do not allow him to sleep more than three nights
with an unordained male, and not even to lie down in the same room with a
female. In providing a temporary room for a night one need not provide a
great deal of furniture, a simple spare room that is private is
A bhikkhu is allowed to use medicines if they are offered in the same
way as food. Once offered, neither food nor medicine should be handled
again by a lay person, as that renders it no longer allowable. Medicines
can be considered as those things that are specifically for illness;
those things that have a tonic or reviving quality (such as tea or
sugar); and certain items which have a nutritional value in times of
debilitation, hunger or fatigue (such as cheese, miso soup).
There are different limitations regarding the amount of time that a bhikkhu can store such ‘medicines’:
One day allowance: Filtered fruit juice (i.e. free of pulp) of any fruit
smaller than an average fist. These juices are allowed to be received
and drunk any time between one dawn and the dawn of the next day — this
time-limit prevents the danger of fermentation.
Seven day allowance: Ghee, animal or vegetable oil, honey, any kind of
sugar (including molasses) and cheese can be kept and consumed any time
up to the dawn of the eighth day after which they were received.
‘Lifetime’ allowance: Pharmaceutical medicines, vitamins; plant roots
such as ginger, ginseng; herbal decoctions such as camomile; beverages
such as tea, coffee and cocoa. …
At no time does the monk request food. This principle should be borne in
mind when offering food — rather than asking a monk what he would
like, it is better to ask if you can offer some food. Considering that
the meal will be the one meal of the day, offer what seems right
recognizing that the bhikkhu will take what he needs and leave the rest.
A good way to offer is to bring bowls of food to the bhikkhu and let
him choose what he needs from each bowl.
One can also make an invitation, ‘pavarana‘, to cover any
circumstances that you might not be aware of — a health problem, need
for a toothbrush, etc., by saying, “Bhante, if you are in need of any
medicine or requisites, please let me know”. To avoid misunderstanding
it is better to be quite specific, such as — “Bhante, if you need any
more food…” “If you need a new pair of sandals…”. Unless specified
an invitation can only be accepted for up to four months after which
time it lapses unless renewed. Specifying the time limit, or giving some
indication of the scope of the offering is good, in order to prevent
misunderstanding — so that, for instance, when you are intending to
offer some fruit juice, the bhikkhu doesn’t get the impression you want
to buy a washing machine for the monastery! …
In practical terms, monasteries are financially controlled by lay
stewards, who then make open invitation for the Sangha to ask for what
they need, under the direction of the Abbot. So junior monks even have
to ask an appointed agent (generally a senior bhikkhu or abbot) if they
may take up the steward’s offer — to pay for dental treatment, obtain
footwear or medicines, for example. This means that as far as is
reasonably possible, the donations that are given to the stewards to
support the Sangha are not wasted on unnecessary whims.
If a lay person wishes to give to a particular bhikkhu, but is uncertain
of what he needs, he should make invitation. Any financial donations
should not be made to ‘X Bhikkhu’ but to the stewards of the monastery,
perhaps mentioning if it’s for a particular item or for the needs of a
certain bhikkhu. For items such as travelling expenses, money can be
given to an accompanying anagarika (dressed in white) or
accompanying lay person, who can buy tickets, drinks for the journey, or
anything else that the bhikkhu may need at that time. It is quite a
good training for a lay person to actually consider what items are
necessary, and offer those rather than money. …
Bhikkhus should have a male present who can understand what is being
said when conversing with a lady, and a similar situation holds true for
So to prevent such misunderstandings — however groundless — a bhikkhu
has to be accompanied by a man whenever in the presence of a woman — on
a journey or sitting alone in a secluded place (one would not call a
meditation hall or a bus station a secluded place). Generally, bhikkhus
would also refrain from carrying on correspondence with women, other
than for matters pertaining to the monastery, travel arrangements,
providing basic information, etc., When teaching Dhamma, even in a
letter, it is easy for inspiration and compassion to turn into
Accordingly for a Dhamma talk, it is good to set up a room where the
teachings can be listened to with respect being shown to the speaker. In
terms of etiquette — graceful conversation rather than rude — this
means affording the speaker a seat that is higher than his audience, not
pointing one’s feet at the speaker, removing headgear when listening to
the talk, and not interrupting the speaker. Questions are welcome at
the end of the talk.
Also as a sign of respect, when inviting a bhikkhu, it is usual for the
person making the invitation to also make the travel arrangements —
directly or indirectly. …
Lay people may be interested in applying [these] conventions [of
etiquette] for their own training in sensitivity, but it should not be
considered as something that is necessarily expected of them.
Firstly, there is the custom of bowing to the shrine or teacher. This is
done when first entering their presence or when taking leave. Done
gracefully at the appropriate time, this is a beautiful gesture that
honours the person who does it; at an inappropriate time, done
compulsively, it appears foolish. Another common gesture of respect is
to place the hands so that the palms are touching, the fingers pointing
upwards, and the hands held immediately in front of the chest. The
gesture of raising the hands to the slightly lowered forehead is called
‘añjalii’. This is a pleasant means of greeting, bidding farewell,
saluting the end of a Dhamma talk, concluding an offering.
Body language is something that is well understood in Asian countries.
Apart from the obvious reminder to sit up for a Dhamma talk rather than
loll or recline on the floor, one shows a manner of deference by ducking
slightly if having to walk between a bhikkhu and the person he is
speaking to. Similarly, one would not stand looming over a bhikkhu to
talk to him or offer him something, but rather approach him at the level
at which he is sitting.
Advice for Guests
… The Abbot is usually addressed as “Ajahn”, which comes from the
Thai, and means “Teacher”. Other monks can be addressed as “Venerable”,
or the Thai equivalent “Tahn”. These designations may or may not be
followed by the ordained name of the individual. Alternatively, any monk
can be called “Bhante”, a more general term. In this tradition it is
considered impolite to refer to monks by their ordained names without
the appropriate honorific preceding it. …
The Precepts: The Community at Bodhinyanarama is bound by the monastic
code of conduct, the basis of which is formalized into the following
1. Harmlessness: not intentionally taking the life of any living creature.
2. Trustworthiness: not taking anything which is not given.
3. Chastity: refraining from any sexual activity.
4. Right Speech: avoiding false, abusive or malicious speech.
5. Sobriety: not taking any intoxicating drink or drug.
6. Renunciation: not eating after midday.
7. Restraint: refraining from attending games and shows, and from
self-adornment. (Guests are asked to dress modestly, and not to play
radios, musical tapes or instruments.)
8. Alertness: to refrain from overindulgence in sleep.
1. Take special care to dress and act with modesty (seventh precept). In
a place where chastity is observed, it is fitting to tone down the
attractive qualities of personal appearance and behaviour. When in the
company of a monk, nun or novice, keep in mind that their discipline
prohibits physical contact with members of the opposite sex.
2. The property of the monastery has come from someone’s generosity to
the Sangha and guests are asked to treat it respectfully. Personal
belongings should be kept tidy, particularly in spaces that are being
used communally. If anything needs repair, replacing or refilling,
please let the guest master know.
3. A monastery is a sanctuary from the usual worldly concerns, for those
who have dedicated themselves to spiritual practice. As guests are
sharing in this life as visitors, it is not appropriate to come and go
without notice, or to engage in external business during their stay. …
… Laymen are expected to wear white or light coloured clothing during
their stay… Men bathe at the wells and are asked not to bathe naked,
but to use a bathing cloth or swimming trunks and not to walk bare
chested in public areas of the Wat.
Women are expected to wear all white or white blouses and black skirts…
If talking with senior monks, particularly the teacher, find a
convenient time and place. Senior monks should be addressed as “Ajahn”,
others as “Tahn” and novices as “Nayn”. These designations may or may
not be followed by the Pali name of the individual. It is considered
impolite to refer to ordained people by their Pali names without the
appropriate honorific preceding it. …
Thai culture has an extensive etiquette and varied social customs —
stemming largely from the monks’ Code of Discipline — governing many
aspects of physical behaviour, comprising a form of rules for proper
body language. Most apparent are the gestures of respect used within a
monastic community which help to open the heart, compose the mind and
encourage a sense of kindness to others. These forms of courtesy help to
develop a sensitivity towards the others to whom one relates on a daily
basis and reduce the number of upsets arising through inconsiderate or
aggressive behaviour. …
[Añjalii] is a customary gesture used by Thais greeting others
and also during the time one is speaking with a monk. Also known in Thai
as the wai, it consists of raising the hands to the chest, palms
together. The gesture is also used after offering something to or
receiving something from an ordained person.
…The formal bow or grahp is another frequently used formality,
being an excellent means of expressing respect for the Buddha, Dhamma,
Sangha and for cultivating humility. Always bow before sitting down in
the sala, Bot or Abbot’s kuti. At the end of the
meetings and when getting up either after the drink or from conversing
with a monk, remember to bow three times. …
In all postures try and be aware of where the body is in relation to a
monk, especially if he is teaching Dhamma. When walking with a monk, it
is customary for lay-people to walk a little behind, rather than
immediately at his side. If a lay person has occasion to pass in front
of a monk who is seated, it is polite to stoop.
If a monk is sitting, lay people should squat or sit down before
addressing him; it is considered improper for lay people to be on a
higher level when speaking with a monk. The Buddha instructed monks not
to teach Dhamma to one who is unprepared or showing disrespect
(allowances being made for those in poor health). When sitting and
receiving a talk or conversing with a monk it is customary to sit in the
pup-piap position — one leg bent in front, the other folded at
the side. Sitting with the arms clasped around knees is improper. If
sitting on a chair, sit attentively and erect. …
It is inappropriate to lie down in the sala or sit with one’s feet outstretched towards a Buddha image or monk. …
Be careful not to touch food or medicines already offered without first informing a monk. …
Eating should be done in silence and without a lot of scraping and
banging of utensils or making unnecessary mess. One should not eat or
drink standing up.
After midday, all members of the community should refrain from partaking
of any food, including drinks containing milk, cereals, eggs, etc., or
any kind of soup. There are certain ‘medicines’ allowable for
consumption under the Vinaya. These include: fruit juice (uncooked and
strained), soft drinks, butter and ghee, vegetable oil, honey and
molasses (including sugar), tea, coffee, cocoa and herbal drinks. Such
medicines are kept separately and offered as needed. …
Visitors should be aware of the proper mode of conduct for men and women
within the setting of a forest monastery. They should be aware that
some behaviour, quite acceptable and normal enough for foreigners, is
open to misinterpretation by the Thai community, whose standards
Complete segregation of the sexes is mandatory at all times. No men
should enter the women’s lodgings (or vice versa) without permission
from the Abbot. If any contact is necessary, it should be done through
the Abbot. Laymen should be careful in the kitchen not to get too close
to laywomen, especially Thais.
Women are asked to be discreet and respectful when relating to monks,
maintaining an even greater distance than with laymen. Take the Thai
laywomen as examples in the proper way to behave with monks, such as
perhaps kneeling down or squatting if conversing with a monk.
Women should be aware that it is an offence against his discipline if a
monk touches a woman. If offering something to a monk either place it in
his bowl or on his special receiving cloth — never directly into his
hands. Male visitors should be aware that women with shaved heads may
prefer not to hand anything to or receive anything directly from you.
Put it down first and let the other person pick it up. Women must be
careful entering rooms (such as the library) where a monk might be
present; it is an offence for a monk to be alone with a woman in a
You will find [at the forest monastery] that locker space is provided
for your food (you must not take anything edible out of the kitchen
area) and there is usually a thermos of ice cubes, an ice box for
perishables, there’s a shower room and toilet. You wash your clothes by
the well pump — not from the rain water tanks! There is no electricity
so you will need a torch and plenty of candles and a good lighter or
Ask for a place to put your valuables in a ‘lock up’. You will be shown
where you are to stay which is in a separate area of the monastery away
from where the monks stay. However, please remember to dress suitably.
The lay women on eight precepts wear white tops and black-wrap over
skirts. If you are not going to keep the full eight it does not matter
much what you wear as long as it is modest and the colours are muted.
You are provided with a mosquito net, blankets and pillow and pillow
case. (But don’t just take anything until you are sure it has been made
available to you.) I also take anti-mosquito cream, antiseptic wipes,
bandaids, tissue, cold water washing powder, soap, prickly heat powder.
Torch (flash light), ‘flip-flops (slip-on sandals), sleeping bag sheet,
towel, and such like.
‘Allowables’ for the afternoon include: butterscotch, boiled sweets,
dark chocolate, cheese, tea or coffee. (’Ovaltine’, soy milk and coffee
whiteners are not allowed in the afternoon at this Wat.)
It is customary to bow three times when one sees one’s teachers and when one goes to the main hall (sala).
If you notice what the Thais do you will soon get the hang of it. You
will probably feel rather lost for the first 24 hours but then with
patience and mindfulness everything should come together. The Thais —
and especially one’s teachers — are so good and generous to us that I
feel it’s important not to offend them.
In the afternoon (or evening) there is usually a chance to listen to a
Dhamma talk. In the morning one can prepare food to offer to the monks
and to share with one’s fellow meditators. The rest of the day one can
work out a meditation routine which suits one.
Most people make a donation — there is no charge at all — before they
leave. Tan Acharn (the abbot) doesn’t like people to give more than they
can afford. You must find out exactly how to do it.
Standard of clothing for women: Clothes should not be too revealing such as shorts, miniskirt, low-cut or sleeveless garments.
Breast feeding is not appropriate in the presence of a monk or even in the same room.
It is not respectful to stretch out one’s legs when seated, or point them in the direction of the monk or Buddha Statue.
People should not stand and talk to a monk when he is seated.
The norms of good manners should be observed, e.g. people should not
talk and laugh loudly or make a noise when the monk is talking to
someone in the same room.
Women should not have a private conversation with a monk or be alone in the same room without a male person being present.
A bhikkhu(s) should be approached respectfully by the person offering daana, who should always try to maintain a bodily position lower than that of the bhikkhu.
The person making the offering should be shoeless, modestly dressed (see
note below) and should have a generally respectful demeanour towards
As with any greeting or approach to a bhikkhu, the person offering daana should pay respects in the normal way by bowing three times — once for each of the Triple Gem.
If in doubt as to how to proceed beyond this basic approach other
experienced members of the lay community or the bhikkhu(s) themselves
are sure to be able to offer helpful directions.
As a general rule, one does not speak to a bhikkhu while offering daana, unless the bhikkhu initiates some conversation.
To move with mindfulness and perhaps a bit more slowly than usual lessens the likelihood of mishaps.
Remember, the best way of learning and of keeping out of potentially
embarrassing situations is to seek guidance from others present or, if
there is a language barrier, to follow the example of those around you.
But remember, too, that rules for men and women are very different so
make sure you are following the example of a member of the same gender!
It is very important for everyone to always maintain a respectful distance from the bhikkhus, the Sangha.
The two most common situations for offering daana in the form of food is when a line of bhikkhus is seated on a dais accepting daana, or when a line of bhikkhus is on alms round (pindabat).
In this situation the lay person should join the line of people making
offerings, if there is one. If they are offering singly, then the
procedure is basically the same.
The person making the offering should kneel once they are sufficiently
close enough to the bhikkhu(s), and signal their intent to offer food,
drink, etc., by holding the item above them and to their forehead, at
the same time mindfully recollecting the inner purpose for the offering.
The usual order is to offer plain cooked rice first, followed by other dishes. In this way a person may offer several times.
Food is placed with care into the alms bowl, beginning with the most
senior bhikkhu and then proceeding down the line (usually from left to
right when facing the seated line).
Once the offering has been made, the person should move back and away
while still facing the bhikkhus and maintaining a low position. They
might also, at this stage, repeat the respectful greeting of bowing
It is very important to maintain a respectful distance and to place the
food carefully and gently in the centre of the bowl without touching or
interfering with it in any way.
After all the offerings have been made, the bhikkhus will chant and then have their meal.
When the bhikkhus have finished arranging their meal, it is usual for
the most senior bhikkhu to lead the others in the blessing chanting for
the lay community gathered. The most senior bhikkhu will then indicate
that the lay people can now eat.
When offering food to a line of monks making an alms round, it is
important to be well prepared and ready in position somewhere along
their round before they arrive so as not to delay them on their round.
Wait quietly, using the time to reflect on the meaning of the action about to take place.
The food should be kept well off the ground and shoes should be removed in readiness.
When the bhikkhus are seen to be approaching, the person should kneel
and hold the food above their head in an offering position and reflect
on the meaning of the action about to take place.
Once the bhikkhu stops, the person should stand and place a portion of
the food into the open alms bowl that the bhikkhu will be silently
offering while maintaining a position lower than that of the bhikkhu
(this is most easily achieved by slightly bending the knees and/or
bending from the waist). If the bowl is full, the lid of the bowl might
It is very important to maintain a respectful distance and to place the
food carefully and gently in the centre of the bowl without touching or
interfering with it in any way.
Kneel again and repeat the procedure until daana has been offered to all the bhikkhus.
Once the line moves away, it might be appropriate to pay respects in the usual way.
When a lay woman wishes to offer a bhikkhu some kind of daana other than
food, (e.g. books, beverages, medicines) the first step is to approach
the seated bhikkhu respectfully in the manner outlined above, pay
respects, and let him know that you would like to make the offering,
indicating exactly what the nature of the offering is. (In this way the
bhikkhu can circumvent any inadvertently inappropriate offering.)
The bhikkhu will place down a piece of cloth and the person can then move forward and carefully place the offering on it.
The person should then pay respects again and move back a little. As
with food offerings, shoes should be removed, and a low position in
relation to the bhikkhu should be maintained.
Lay men can follow the above procedure also, except that the item offered can be handed directly to the bhikkhu.
When visiting bhikkhus the lay person should pay respects to them in the
usual way by bowing three times to each of the bhikkhus present in the
order of their ordination if this is known.
The lay person can then assume a natural, comfortable seated position a
little back from, and, if possible, lower than the bhikkhu. The only
thing to remember here is that, if health permits, feet should be tucked
under and away as it is not polite to point feet directly at a bhikkhu
(or, in fact, any Thai person).
When addressing a bhikkhu it is usual to place both hands together at
chest height when talking to him, or when he is replying — especially
when he is expounding dhamma. Apart from indicating respect for the
Sangha, this action helps with general mindfulness. If seeking advice or
a dhamma explanation from a bhikkhu, a lay person would allow for
spaciousness in a conversation, i.e. allow for pauses in the
conversation before the bhikkhu speaks or replies.
Although tempting, it is a good idea not to get caught up in
conversations about worldly matters with either the bhikkhus or with
other lay people when sitting in the presence of the Sangha.
Lay women especially have to exercise great mindfulness when in the
presence of the Sangha. If, for example, a lay woman finds herself left
alone in the presence of a bhikkhu, e.g. other friends have moved away
or left, the most appropriate thing to do is to pay respects to that
bhikkhu and leave.
When walking in the company of bhikkhus lay people should walk a little behind, but still within speaking distance.
A lay person would not stand too close to a bhikkhu when he is standing.
It is better to move a small distance away and assume a squatting
position, if it feels comfortable to do this.
While not compulsory in any way, to pay respects in the traditional way
to either a Buddha image or the Sangha is the most basic sign of a lay
person’s respect for the Triple Gem. It is also an excellent exercise in
mindfulness. To learn the correct and most graceful way to execute this
action, it is usually easiest to follow the example of an experienced
lay person or the bhikkhus themselves who also must pay respects to
Buddha images or more senior bhikkhus.
When visiting a Wat or temple, it is good to be mindful about the type
of clothing one wears — just as when going to a church or sacred
building of any kind.
Dress for both men and women should be modest and unrevealing, and excessive ornamentation should be avoided.
Lay women especially should pay attention to what they wear, avoiding
things like sheer fabrics; low necklines; sleeveless tops. Serious
practitioners will consider not wearing perfume, make-up or jewellery as
1. Vinaya has been translated as ‘Discipline’ in the complete translation of six volumes (The Book of the Discipline)
by the Pali Text Society. Literally it means leading away (’discipline
by leading away faults’) and covers the bhikkhu’s bodily and verbal
actions as he extricates himself from suffering. (See also BA p.34)
6. The Mahaaparinibbaana Sutta (DN II, 156)
reports that the Lord Buddha told Venerable AAnanda that the Sangha
could abolish the minor rules after his Final Passing Away. However, the
Council held soon afterwards decided that leaving well enough alone was
safer and so did not change anything, mainly because Ven. AAnanda had
failed to ask what these ‘minor rules’ were. This conservative approach
right from the beginning enabled the original Teachings to be preserved.
(See also Beginnings: The Pali Suttas by Samanera Bodhesako, Wheel Publication No. 313-315)
7. “Buddhism is the world-renouncing religion
par excellence and the source, one suspects, of all monasticism as it
developed in other religions based on quite different ‘theological’
foundations, notably Christianity and Islam.” from Oxford professor R.C. Zaehner’s Foreword to The Origin and The Early Development of Buddhist Monachism.
9. “In the Buddha’s time, the style of
clothing of one gone forth and that of a householder were very similar
– a cloth around the waist and one across the shoulders… The only
difference would be in the colour, that is, ochre for one gone forth.” (HS ch.8)
14. Sometimes this is on the weekly Observance Day (see Uposatha,
Appendix A), sometimes when spending longer periods at a monastery. In
some places this forms a preliminary stage to becoming a bhikkhu. For
example, at some monasteries in England, a candidate usually has to live
under Eight Precepts and wear white as an anagarika (homeless one) before he will be considered for ordination.
18. “One under 15 years of age, unless he
can scare crows (i.e., is mature) should not be given the pabbajaa for
becoming a saama.nera (Vin.I,79). After receiving their parent’s consent
(Vin.I,83), they were to shave their head and beard, put on the ochre
robe and, paying respects to the bhikkhu, receive the Three Refuges and
the Ten Training Precepts.” (HS ch.19)
19. “To qualify for Acceptance a candidate
must also have the necessary robes, bowl and a preceptor. When the
Acceptance procedure was finalized, the candidate was formally asked if
he was free of the various obstacles to qualification, … as well as
being a human, a man, at least 20 years of age, having parent’s consent
and complete as to robes and bowl. He was further asked to state his own
name and that of his Preceptor.” (HS ch.19)
21. This is the Admonition (Anusaasana),
which always includes an explanation of the four Offences of Defeat
(sexual-intercourse, theft, murder and falsely claiming supernormal
powers) together with the four supports or basic requisites (almsfood,
robes made from thrown away cloth, lodging at the foot of a tree,
medicine of fermented urine).
22. ” … even though he has knowledge of
Dhamma and Vinaya, yet it is not proper if he does not take [dependence]
nissaya and live under the control of his [preceptor] or [teacher]. For
him not to live in this way is prohibited by the Buddha.” (EV,II,p.52)
23. “He is one who has faith, shame, fear of
evil, effort, and mindfulness; He is complete with moral precepts, good
conduct, right view, deep learning and wisdom; He knows what is [an
offence], what is not [an offence], what is a light [offence], what is a
heavy [offence], and he has memorized correctly the Paa.timokkha
without any mistakes; He has five or more Rains.” (EV,II,p.53)
24. “He himself can nurse, or order to
nurse, a sick [dependent monk]. He can put an end to, or seek another to
put an end to, passion arisen in a [dependent monk] who is dissatisfied
with the [holy life of a monk]. He can relieve boredom with the
Dhamma-path which has arisen for a [dependent monk], or get another to
do so. He knows [offences] and the ways out of [offences]; He can train a
[dependent monk] in the highest training in proper conduct and give
advice to [him] on the principal training in the pure life, the
Buddha-law which is essential for the [holy life]. He can give
progressive advice in the Dhamma and Vinaya. He can release a [dependent
monk] from the wrong view by way of Dhamma; He has ten Rains or more
than that.” (EV,II,p.53)
“It seems that these principles are not for the bhikkhu to consider
for himself. It is for the consideration of his [preceptor] or teacher
or of an Elder who is his senior, whether it is proper or not for a
bhikkhu who lives with them to be released and to stay alone, and
whether a bhikkhu who is released from [dependence] is able to be a
[leader of an assembly of monks].” (See EV,II,pp.45-54)
26. This special leave of absence (sattaaha)
can only be taken in order to: visit or nurse ill Dhamma-friends and
parents; support fellow bhikkhus who are thinking of disrobing; to
attend to some essential duty of the Community; to support faithful lay
devotees who make an invitation. (See EV,II,pp.84; 89-90)
27. Nowadays, there is much interest among
women wanting to re-establish such a lineage but how to achieve this is
problematic. Fortunately, there are places where women can practise the
‘Holy Life’ in robes as dasasiila mata nuns, developing the best way of Dhamma practice for themselves. (Dasasiila mata
is a nun’s ordination based on the Ten Precepts.) For example: the Nuns
Community, Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, Great Gaddesden, Nr. Hemel
Hempstead, Herts HP1 3BZ, UK.(See also BA ch.VII)
28. “The Paa.timokkha recitation on the
Uposatha days thus would be the primary communal activity of the
Buddhist Sangha, an occasion to meet together in communal confirmation
of the standards of behaviour to which they were all committed.” (HS ch.20)
30. “We are dealing primarily with rules,
but rules are not the only way to express disciplinary norms, and the
texts we are surveying express their norms in a variety of forms: as
rules, principles, models, and virtues. The different forms are best
suited for different purposes. Principles, models, and virtues are meant
as personal, subjective standards and tend to be loosely defined. Their
interpretation and application are left to the judgement of the
individual. Rules are meant to serve as more objective standards. To
work, they must be precisely defined in a way acceptable to the
Community at large. The compilers of the Canon, recognizing this need,
provided definitions for most of the terms in the rules, and the authors
of the commentaries continued this task, carrying it out with even
“This need for precision, though, accounts for the weakness of rules
in general as universal guides to behaviour. First, there is the
question of where to draw the line between what is and is not an
infraction of the rule. A clear break-off point is needed because rules
– unlike principles — deal in two colours: black and white. In some
cases, it is difficult to find a clear break-off point that corresponds
exactly to one’s sense of what is right and wrong, and so it is
necessary to include the areas of grey either with the white or the
black. In general, but not always, the Vibhanga’s [text] position is to
include the grey with the white, and to rely on the principles of the
Dhamma to encourage the individual bhikkhu to stay away from the grey.” (BMC pp.16-17)
31. The ‘defeated monk’ “does not need to go
through a formal ceremony of disrobing because the act of violating the
rule is an act of disrobing in and of itself. Even if he continues to
pretend to be a bhikkhu, he does not really count as one; as soon as the
facts are known, he must be expelled from the Sangha. He can never
again properly ordain as a bhikkhu in this life. If he tries to ordain
in a Community that does not know of his offence, his ordination does
not count, and he must be expelled as soon as the truth is found out.
“The Commentary, however, states that such an offender may `go forth’ as a novice [if the Community accepts him].” (BMC p.87)
“A bhikkhu who has committed any of the Four Paaraajika offences can
no longer have [communion] (sa.mvaasa) with the sangha. He is one who is
condemned for his entire lifetime. There is no way to remedy it. He
must get out of the group. This is the only way for him. If that person
does not give up his status on his own but declares himself a bhikkhu,
once the sangha knows this, it should expel him from the group.”
32. “…he is put on probation for six days,
during which time he is stripped of his seniority, is not trusted to go
anywhere unaccompanied by four other monks of regular standing, and
daily has to confess his offence to every monk who lives in or happens
to visit the monastery. At the end of his probation, twenty monks have
to be convened to reinstate him to his original status.” (Introduction to the Patimokkha Rules; Penalties)
33. “There are six reasons why a bhikkhu
commits an offence: lack of shame; he does not know that it is an
offence; he is doubtful but still goes and does it; he thinks that he
ought to do something when in fact he ought not; he thinks that he ought
not to do something when in fact he ought to do it; he does something
without thinking (absentmindedly).” (Nv p.4)
34. “Another drawback resulting from the
need for precision in rules is that the more precisely a rule is defined
to suit a particular time and place, the less well it may fit in other
times and places. The compilers of the Canon, in order to make up for
this weakness, thus provided the origin stories and precedents to show
the type of situation the rule was intended to prevent, providing
principles and models that indicate the spirit of the rule and aid in
applying it to different contexts.” (BMC pp.15-18)
35. “Although the Vibha”nga and Khandhakas
[of the original Paali texts] cover an enormous number of cases, they do
not, of course, cover every possible contingency in the world; and from
what we have seen of the way in which the Buddha formulated the rules
– dealing with cases as they arose — there is reason to doubt that he
himself wanted them to form an airtight system. As for cases that did
not arise during his lifetime, he established … the Great Standards…
— for judging cases not mentioned in the rules … “ (BMC p.26)
37. “This is especially true now that
monasteries of different nationalities are taking root in close
proximity to one another in the West. In the past, Thais, Burmese, and
Sri Lankans could look down on one another’s traditions without danger
of causing friction, as they lived in separate countries and spoke
different languages. Now, however, we have become neighbours and have
begun to speak common languages, so it is best that we take to heart the
writings of the Chinese pilgrims who visited India centuries ago. They
reported that even after the early Buddhists had split into 18 schools,
each with its own Tripitaka [Canon] and Paa.timokkha [Rule], and the
Mahayanists had added their texts to the tradition, bhikkhus belonging
to different schools could be found living together in the same
monastery, practising and conducting communal business in peace and
harmony. Theirs is a worthy example. We should not let our minor
differences become stumbling blocks on our way….” (BMC p.16)
41. Other examples of the ancient awareness of ‘not polluting the environment’ and hygiene are the two Sekhiya Training rules (Sekhiya 74, 75). These prohibit a bhikkhu from defecating, urinating or spitting into water or onto green vegetation.
42. Deva is a deity or heavenly being
(lit: ‘radiant one’) of which there are many levels. However, all are
still subject to repeated rebirth, old age and death. A tree deva is a deity that ‘lives’ in a tree.
43. “Confined is the household life, a path
of dust; the going forth is open and spacious. Not easy is it living in a
house to lead the religious life absolutely fulfilled and purified, as
polished as mother-of-pearl. Suppose I were to shave off my hair and
beard, clothe myself in ochre robes and go forth from homelife into
homelessness?” (HS ch.19)
44. “The Buddhist religious life aims at
complete sexual (and sensual) purity and relinquishment of all sexual
activity. It should be emphasized that this is not based merely upon a
condemnation or denial of sexuality but a clear recognition and
understanding of the nature and effects of sexuality. The Buddha
exhorted his disciples to comprehend the gratification, danger and
escape from sensual pleasures.” (HS ch.13)
45. “…The word used for lustful
intentions: (otti.n.na, lit. “possessed by”) is quite strong:
‘impassioned, full of desire, attracted heart’. Also used is
vipari.natena cittena, lit. ‘a mind changed for the worst’, defined as
‘infatuated, corrupt, blinded’ (Vin.III,121). The Commentary defines
this as a mind with lust (raaga). Thus, coming into unlustful
physical contact with a female, such as accidentally hitting a woman’s
hand during a food offering, or contact made while trying to get away
from contact), is not a fault.” (HS ch.13)
46. “The Vinaya mentions cases of bhikkhus
touching their mother, daughter and sister — that is, direct
blood-relations — ‘for affection’, and this was said to be, not a fault
of Formal Meeting, but a Wrong-Doing (Vin.III,126).” (HS ch.13)
47. In full: “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.” (Sa”ngh. 4; BMC p.100)
48. “It is mainly as a result of this
guideline that bhikkhus do not perform marriage ceremonies, that is, a
bhikkhu should not in any way be instrumental in actually formalizing
the relationship. There is, however, no fault in blessing the couple
after they are formally married or in reconciling an undivorced couple
who have separated (Vin.III.144).” (HS ch.13)
50. “The intention for privacy is most
important in these instances, so if a bhikkhu unintentionally finds
himself privately in a secluded or non-secluded place with a female or
females, for instance, when all the other men depart from a room, or a
bhikkhu enters a room of only females, there is no fault — but perhaps
it wouldn’t be advisable to remain there too long. Technically, if the
bhikkhu stands then there is no fault, however, even standing in a
secluded place may give rise to suspicion, whatever the bhikkhu’s
intentions might be. The best solution is to have another male present.
Thus, a bhikkhu visiting lay-people is usually accompanied by another
bhikkhu or a male attendant.” (HS ch.13)
52. “A monk counselling a female disciple
alone invites excessive intimacy and encourages rumour. If one is to
speak more than a few sentences to a woman, one should always try to
call another monk, novice or layman to come within hearing.” (AB)
Perhaps intimate and private telephone conversations should now also be
included here. Some communities require that another monk be privy to
what is going on, whether phone conversations or (over-familiarity) in
“This guideline would also apply to telephone conversations but not
to written communication, although careful reflection (and perhaps
another bhikkhu’s guidance) should be exercised.” (HS ch.13)
53. “The Explanation to this guideline
defines Dhamma very literally as what is spoken by ‘the Buddha, his
disciples, seers or celestial beings, connected with the goal, connected
with Dhamma.’ It is thus technically no fault to speak to a woman in
more than six sentences about any other topic, although suspicion may be
aroused. Presumably, any conversation between a conscientious bhikkhu
and a spiritually-aspiring woman would be only about Dhamma, various
kinds of worldly topics were regarded as ‘animal talk’ and unworthy of a
true samana.” (HS ch.13)
54. The fifth Confession Rule is similar to the
sixth, however it is concerned with men. It arose when some newly
‘ordained’ bhikkhus lay down and slept in the hall in the presence of
lay people, “careless, thoughtless, naked, mumbling, snoring”.
The lay people criticized them so the Buddha prohibited monks from
sleeping under the same roof as lay people. However, later he found that
the novice Rahula was having to sleep in an outside toilet because
there was otherwise no room, so he relaxed the rule to allow for a
temporary stay together.
Rule Summary: “Lying down at the same time, in the same lodging, with
a novice or layman for more than three nights running is [an offence of
Confession].” (Paac. 5; BMC p.276)
55. However, another commentator does not think
that a “block of flats or apartments” fits in with this interpretation,
for it is really only concerned with buildings that are connected by
porches and walkways in the Asian style.
56. “The main emphasis in this guideline is
upon the formal arranging, thus there is no fault if arrangements are
made by someone else and a bhikkhu and a woman come to be travelling
together, if the woman makes an arrangement and the bhikkhu, without
consenting, goes along, or if there are misfortunes. However, other
factors should be considered, i.e., a car is a private place (Paac.45)
and intimate conversations may occur (Paac.7).” (HS ch.13)
57. “…a bhikkhu should wish to use things
which are plain and ordinary and not use the good things which are
popular at the time and which can be called luxurious. …The plain and
fine requisites should be used according to the time, but those which
are made by or for himself should not aim at beauty, but should aim at
usefulness or strength so that they can be used for a long time. When a
bhikkhu understands this matter, he should practise in the middle way
which is suitable for the time and place.” (EV,II,pp.36-41)
“Bhikkhus who seek a living without violating the traditions of
bhikkhus gain offerings in the right way. They should know how to make
use of these offerings properly and not do anything with them which will
make the donor’s faith decline.” (EV,II,p.130)
59. Pavaara.naa (Invitations) and their Origin Stories:
(i) The son of a great merchant was so inspired by Ven. Upananda’s
Dhamma talk that he made an invitation of the four requisites, whereupon
Ven. Upananda asked for one of the pieces of cloth that the lay man was
actually wearing. The lay man replied that he would bring another cloth
from home because walking around with only one cloth was not proper for
him. Nevertheless, Ven. Upananda became very insistent so the lay man
had to give up the cloth. People criticized the monks for being greedy
and not being reasonable in their requests. The rule that resulted can
“Asking for and receiving robe-material from an unrelated lay person,
except when one’s robes have been stolen or destroyed, is [an offence
of Confession with Forfeiture].” (Nis. Paac. 6; BMC p.189)
(ii) If he does beg and obtain the robe, he must forfeit it to another
bhikkhu and confess the offence. When the circumstances are such that he
is allowed to ask for a robe, he should not ask for more than two
robes. This is covered by the next Rule:
“Asking for and receiving excess robe-material from unrelated lay
people when one’s robes have been stolen or destroyed is [an offence of
Confession with Forfeiture].” (Summarized Nis. Paac. 7; BMC p.192)
(iii) The Eighth Rule (Nissaggiya Paacittiya arose because a
bhikkhu overheard one of Ven. Upananda’s supporters saying that he
intended to give Ven. Upananda a robe. The bhikkhu went and told Ven.
Upananda, whereupon Ven. Upananda visited (without invitation) the
‘donor’ and specified exactly which kind of robe he wanted. The lay
supporter commented, “these monks are insatiable and not easily
contented. How can he, without having first been invited by me, make
stipulations about a robe?”.
“When a lay person who is not a relative is planning to get a robe
for one, but has yet to ask one what kind of robe one wants: Receiving
the robe after making a request that would raise its cost is [an offence
of Confession with Forfeiture.]” (Summary: Nis. Paac. 8; BMC p.195)
It is no offence for the bhikkhu to request them to reduce the amount they were planning to spend.
(iv) The twenty-sixth Confession with Forfeiture Rule:
“If a bhikkhu asks for thread from a lay person who is not a relative
and who has not given [invitation] pavaara.naa and then has it woven
into robe material by weavers, it is [an offence of Confession with
Forfeiture].” (Nis. Paac. 26; Nv p.12)
(v) The twenty-seventh Confession with Forfeiture Rule:
“If a lay person, who is not a relative and who has not given
[invitation] pavaara.naa, should order weavers to make up some material
for a robe for the bhikkhu, if then the bhikkhu instructs the weavers
saying that if they make it better than they otherwise would have done
he will give them some reward, it is [an offence of Confession with
Forfeiture.]” (Nis. Paac. 27; Nv p.12)
º Although these Rules are about robe-material, conscientious bhikkhus would regard other requisites in the same spirit.
60. In modern Thailand, a person can offer support by giving a printed slip which may read: “I
invite you with the Four Requisites equal in amount to the value of
‘x-amount’ that has been handed over already to the steward. As you have
need of it, please request it from the steward.”
63. “Allowable items (i.e., knives and
thimbles) were not to be made of expensive things but only of bone,
ivory, horn, reed, bamboo, wood, shellac, fruit, copper or conch-shell.
These materials were also permitted for a variety of minor articles such
as an ointment-box, ointment-stick, nose-spoon, steam-tubes, earwax
remover, belt-buckles and loops and tags for robes. Also, bags, with a
strap and string for tying them closed, were allowed for most of the
above-mentioned articles as well as for medicines and sandals.” (HS ch.12)
64. “…things which are given by donors to a
bhikkhu to be his own, or a bhikkhu has [properly acquired] as his
personal possessions. Even things which the sangha has distributed,
their ownership is given to a bhikkhu and they are personal things. A
bhikkhu who is the owner of such things has the right to give them up,
or to give them away, just as he likes. The point here is that one
should not cause the faith of the donor to decline.” (EV,II,p.149)
“to distribute things among fellow Dhamma-friends is suitable as well
as giving to laymen who work in the monastery, or those who help with a
bhikkhu’s work. They should be given to such people as the cost of food
and as the cost of labour, or they should be given the things which a
bhikkhu has received so that they can be used and not wasted, for this
will be proper.” (EV,II,p.130)
However: “…telling a lay person to take one’s belongings as his/her
own is a ‘theft of faith’ (saddhaa-deyya) — i.e. a misuse of the
donations that lay supporters have sacrificed for the bhikkhu’s use.”
65. The ‘discarded cloth’ would be thoroughly
washed and possibly bleached before it could be dyed. Nowadays robes
made this way are rare and probably used only by a few forest monks. He
gave this reflection:
“Properly considering the robe, I use it: simply to ward off cold, to
ward off heat, to ward off the touch of flies, mosquitoes, simply for
the purpose of covering the parts of the body which cause shame.” [OP p.46; (Paali: M. I, 10; A. III, 387)]
66. “In the Buddha’s time, the style of
clothing of one gone forth and that of a householder were very similar
– a cloth around the waist and one across the shoulders. Thus at
Vin.III,211, Venerable Upananda asks for the upper cloth from the son of
a rich merchant). The only difference would be in the colour, that is,
ochre for one gone forth.” (HS ch.8)
67. There is some uncertainty as to the maximum size allowed. (See BMC p.528)
Also, cloth now is not such a luxury and humans nowadays seem to be
physically bigger; so robes can now be found as large as 3 x 2 metres
for the upper and outer robes, 2.5 x 1 metre for the skirt robe.
Though five panels are shown in this figure, there can be seven, nine,
or more (usually an odd number) depending on the size of the cloth.
68. “Variously translated: Pali English
Dictionary page 212 says ‘a kind of brown, i.e., yellow’; Childers
(p.190) has ‘reddish yellow, yellow’; Upasak (p.70) says ‘yellow reddish
colour’. Present day renunciants in India wear orange-coloured
clothing. Perhaps ‘ochre’ would be a good translation. In Thailand robes
vary in colour from bright orange to reddish-brown for the city- and
village-dwelling monks to tan through chocolate-brown for the
forest-dwelling monks.” (HS Endnotes)
In Thailand this colour is considered to be “yellow mixed with much red or the ochre yellow which is the colour obtained from the heartwood of the Jack-fruit tree.” (EV,II,pp.15-17) The heartwood of the jack-fruit tree (Artocarpus integrifolia (Urticaceaea)) is now difficult to find due to deforestation.
69. For example, in Thailand the
double-thickness outer robe is often ‘ceremonially’ folded over the left
shoulder; in Burma the upper robe sometime reaches high up the neck.
And the method of wearing and rolling the robe-edges will differ from
community to community.
71. e.g. a bathing cloth, handkerchief, towel,
etc. In Thailand, it has become accepted practice for a monk always to
wear a ’shoulder cloth’ (angsa) under his robe. While working in
the monastery he may then put his upper robe aside. In western countries
with harsh winters an extra ‘under-robe’, with socks, gloves, etc., are
often worn for added warmth.
72. The original allowance came about: “When
a group of thirty ascetic bhikkhus braved rain and floods to visit the
Buddha and arrived at his residence drenched and weary, the Buddha made
the allowance for bhikkhus who have kept the Rains Residence to conduct a
Kathina ceremony.” (HS ch.21)
73. He gave this reflection: ‘‘Properly
considering almsfood, I use it: not playfully, nor for intoxication, nor
for putting on weight, nor for beautification; but simply for the
survival and continuance of this body, for ending its afflictions, for
the support of the chaste life, (thinking) I will destroy old feelings
(of hunger) and not create new feelings (from overeating). Thus I will
maintain myself, be blameless, and live in comfort.” [OP p.46; (Paali: M. I, 10; A. III, 387)]
74. The bhikkhu may also voluntarily undertake the special dhuta”nga (tudong
in Thai) practices. These are more usually seen among forest monks and
are distinctive of their way of practice. For example, they always try
to go on alms round; they eat the collected food out of their alms bowl
in one sitting; and may refuse late-come food. (See also dhuta”nga in the Glossary.)
76. “This rule teaches bhikkhus to show
their appreciation of the donors, for they should not look down on them,
while they should show their appreciation of the food given to them.
They should not behave in such a way (as to suggest that) they are
accepting it to play with it or throw it away later.” (EV,I,p.210)
77. When the Buddhist Community comes together
to celebrate a festival day, it can show its harmony and common purpose
through the alms round. The bhikkhu carries the ‘bowl of the Buddha’ and
all the lay people, young and old, join in putting a token amount of
rice or food into the bowl. The abundant food is usually afterwards
shared out among everyone present.
78. Nowadays, bhikkhus often use plates and
cutlery. However, forest bhikkhus will usually keep to the old
traditions — which is also part of the dhuta”nga practices. The practice of eating out of the bowl using one’s fingers is still found in Sri Lanka.
80. Noon or midday is when the sun is at its
zenith or highest elevation in the sky, midway between sunrise and
sunset (on a plain). It is not necessarily 12:00 hours clock time
because the clocks are often changed depending on the season and whether
‘Daylight Saving’ is in force. However, many communities will keep to
twelve noon as the set time limit.
81. However, there is “an allowance in the
Mahaavagga (I.14.7) for a bhikkhu who has taken a purgative to take
strained meat broth, strained rice broth, or strained green gram (mung
bean) broth at any time of the day. Using the Great Standards, we may
say that a bhikkhu who has a similar illness or worse may take these
broths at any time; and some have argued that other bean broths — such
as soybean milk — would fit under the category of green gram broth as
well. However, unlike the case with the five tonics, mere hunger or
fatigue would not seem to count as sufficient reasons for taking any of
these substances in the ‘wrong time.’ … some have argued, using the
Great Standards, that the special allowance for this substance [ —
lonasoviraka, which is not now made — ] should extend to miso as well,
but this is a controversial point.” (BMC pp.363-4)
“Certain other ‘medicines’ may be interpreted by applying the Great
Standards … from some of those mentioned specifically in the Vinaya.
Thus soya-bean milk may be a form of ‘thin mung-bean broth’ … , miso
may be a form of “salted sour gruel” …” (HS ch.10)
83. Water and tooth-cleaning sticks are
excepted in the rule. Some Communities also count toothpaste under this
exception, some consider it more a medicine and therefore require it to
be properly offered. While some Communities require ice, hot water, and
bottled water to be also offered — some do not.
84. Please note, however, that the spoon should
not be knocked on the side of the bowl to clear off any remaining rice.
Because the bowl is traditionally clay or iron, it easily is damaged
and there are several rules which remind the bhikkhu to look after his
bowl. If his bowl does become cracked, he is not allowed to ask for
another until it is unusable. (Nis. Paac.22)
85. Bhikkhus in Thailand never receive food
from women directly into their hands. It is always offered into their
bowl or onto a ‘receiving-cloth.’ This practice does not appear directly
in the texts. However, it probably functions as extra-assurance for the
monks concerning the very serious rule about touching women (see Intimacy — Touching.)
Many Thai eight-precept nuns follow a reciprocal tradition when
receiving anything from a man. In Sri Lanka and Burma monks generally
will accept offerings from women directly into their hands.
86. The Commentary allows a lay person or
novice to collect anything remaining from the bhikkhu’s meal and keep it
in the approved storeroom. As long as the bhikkhu has completely
abandoned all possession of that food, a lay person or novice may, on
their own initiative, re-offer it the following day and the bhikkhu may
accept and eat the food. However, many Communities ignore this allowance
because of concern that it will be abused so they will not receive food
that has previously been offered.
87. A Snack (of ‘non-staple’ food) is not
included in this rule, however the bhikkhu should not overeat so that it
spoils his appetite. Also the original donor may provide the pre-meal
snack or give permission to eat breakfast beforehand.
88. “There are approximately 26 references
to the eating of meat by bhikkhus and bhikkhuniis (and 4 to meat-broth),
10 of these are in reference to the five kinds of staple food (bhojana).
Many of these references are quite incidental, for example, a chief
minister offers each of 1250 bhikkhus a bowl of meat (Vin.I,222), a
bhikkhu steals a bowlful of meat during a famine (Vin.III,59) and
bhikkhus eat the remains of a lion’s kill (Vin.III,80). One of these
references concerns the Buddha’s refusal to forbid the eating of fish
and meat as proposed by the schismatic Bhikkhu Devadatta (Vin.II,197;
III,172). The Buddha rather reiterated his position that fish and meat
were pure if not seen, heard or suspected to have been killed for a
bhikkhu. It thus seems certain that meat-eating was common in the
Buddha’s time and only later, with the growth of the Mahayana schools,
A study of the allowance to eat meat pure in the three respects in
other Vinaya recensions shows that, despite minor differences in
defining terms, there is not “any material difference in the meaning and
scope of the rule.” It has been suggested that the development of
vegetarianism amongst certain Mahayanists may have close connexions to
the theory of the tathaagatagarbha…” (HS ch.9)
However, another commentator notes that Tibetan Buddhists — who also follow the Mahayana (and the tathaagatagarbha teachings) — do eat meat. He suggests that not eating meat came more from the Taoist influence in China.
89. This exception was made when the newly
converted (from the Jains) General Siha ordered that a meal for the Lord
Buddha and his monks be prepared for the next day with meat from the
market. The Jains then started to shout and complain all over town in an
attempt to discredit the Buddha.
The bhikkhu should also not eat raw or undercooked meat, or the flesh of
elephants, horses, dogs, snakes, lions, tigers, leopards, bears, hyenas
or, of course, human flesh.
90. “The flesh of animals which have been
slaughtered to sell as meat for the people, however, is called ‘flesh
which exists already’. [It] has been slaughtered for their meat to be
used for food by one person or by a group of people, apart from fellow
Dhamma friends, or specially for the butcher himself … If people cook
such meat and offer it to a bhikkhu, [it] will not be an offence to
accept and eat it.” (EV,II,pp.131-133)
91. Lay people had complained to the Lord
Buddha about the monks destroying ’seed-life’, therefore He set down
that the monks were to check with the lay people first to know if eating
those particular fruits was considered allowable.
92. Eight varieties are mentioned in the Paali:
mango-juice, roseapple-juice, juice from two types of bananas, ‘honey
tree’-juice, persimmon or grape-juice, lotus-root juice, marian-plum or
93. The traditional way of making these juices is that “the
ripe fruit should be peeled or cut open and the flesh removed and bound
up in a cloth and then squeezed hard so that the juice comes out,
leaving the (remains of the) flesh in the cloth, after which sufficient
water should be added, mixing in other things such as sugar or salt to
taste. Other [than for the ‘honey tree juice’, water need not be added].
The fruit should be fresh and it is prohibited to cook it over a fire.” (EV,II,p.137)
94. For example, Plain chocolate (sugar +
vegetable oil + cocoa) is allowable in some places but not milk
chocolate. Milk is considered to be food.
º One of the tonic-medicines is called navaniita.m in
Paali. Some communities consider that it is butter and some cheese. It
is a controversial point. Remembering that each local community of monks
may practise differently, the lay person will need to check what is
Other comments on the tonic-medicines:
“Some say that navaniita.m is butter, some say that it is cheese.
However, there is a reasonable argument following the Buddha’s Four
Great Standards (Mahaavagga, chapter 6 verse 40) to state that butter
and cheese are sufficiently similar to the real navaniita.m and
dissimilar to what has been disallowed by the Buddha to make both butter
and cheese also allowable, along with navaniita.m as one of the Five
Tonics. In the West, cheese is sometimes considered as a food and monks
seen eating it in the afternoon or evening may be looked down upon by
some lay people. It seems better in such situations, only to make use of
the allowance to eat cheese in the afternoon or evening when there is
more than mere tiredness but a debilitating illness instead.
“…It may be that the [tonic-] medicine is given up, with no
expectation of its return, before seven days have passed; in which case
if, without any prompting by the monk, it should be offered again that
medicine may be accepted and kept a further seven days.” (AB)
“These five medicines are defined as:
1) sappi: ghee, clarified butter, a fine oil used in Indian cooking;
obtained from processing the milk of cows, goats, buffaloes or any other
animal whose flesh is allowed;
2) navaniita: fresh butter/cheese* made from the milk of any animal whose flesh is allowed;
3) tela.m: oil, either vegetable or animal;
4) madhu: honey from bees;
5) phaa.nita: sugar, often translated as “molasses”, however this
seems a quite limited definition; while sugar-cane is specifically
mentioned, it seems that all kinds of sugar** are meant. Sugar-cane was
probably the original source of sugar and it would have been in quite a
raw state much like the jaggery of Sri Lanka and the ‘num oy’ of
Thailand. (HS ch.10)
*“Made from churning curds … This is similar to modern-day creamery
butter and, since cheese is also processed from curds, many bhikkhus
would include cheese under this name as well (in Thailand the name for
butter and cheese is the same — butter is the ’soft’ variety and cheese
the ‘hard’). One complication with this is that in the West cheese is
considered a substantial food. Thus, if used as a tonic should be taken
in moderation.” (HS Endnotes)
**“Under this would be included ’sugar-water’ and so many communities would allow ‘lemonade’ and other soft drinks.” (HS Endnotes)
95. “…the numerous modern-day chemical
medicines are different forms of roots, resins and salts (lifetime
medicines). Perhaps the most important criteria to determine what is a
medicine and in using medicines is one’s intention, that is, to reflect
on why it is being used: is it being used as a food or for the relief of
dis-ease or discomfort?” (HS ch.10)
98. It would seem that in order to treat other
substances in the same way as alcohol, they should significantly distort
or impair one’s mindfulness. (As in the Fifth Precept.) Smoking
cigarettes, drinking coffee or tea would therefore not normally be
included in this rule. However, as lay people are the ones that supply
such things, they can decide for themselves what items they consider
appropriate to give to bhikkhus. (Certain communities may decide some of
these items are ‘unhealthy’ or ‘addictive’ and therefore not allow
99. “There is no mention in the Pali Canon
of any other of the many intoxicating substances which are known today.
However, applying the Great Standards, it seems appropriate to include
within this guideline all strong mood-altering substances, for example,
narcotics, hallucinogenics, amphetamines, sedatives, etc. The main
thrust of this guideline is not to just refrain from liquor, but rather
to refrain from all substances which cause heedlessness, mental
confusion and disorientation. In our modern-day, pill-popping society it
may be hard to appreciate the real value of this particular guideline.
However, for those serious about the cultivation of mind through
meditation exercises, one’s ordinary confusion is quite enough to deal
with — not to mention compounding it with powerful foreign substances.” (HS.ch.17)
100. “Attempts to precisely define this
guideline have given rise to differing views, for the most part due to
the two different definitions of what technically constitutes stealing
resulting in loss of bhikkhu status (i.e., gross stealing). The wording
of the guideline gives the standard that a person caught stealing would
be punished by the civil authorities: ‘beaten, imprisoned or banished’.
The Explanation then defines this degree of stealing as taking anything
worth at least one paada, a certain standard of value in India at that
“The first standard is somewhat ambiguous and relative to social
values at different places and at different times. The second is more
specific — if one knows how much a paada is worth! A sub-commentary,
says that one paada is equal to the value of gold weighing 20 unhusked
rice-grains. This has been determined as approximately 1/24 oz. troy of
gold. Of course, it must also be recognized that the price of gold
fluctuates over time. This seems like a reasonable amount to constitute a
theft serious enough to warrant Defeat.” (HS ch.14)
101. “In the present time this may also
include such things as breach of copyright, inappropriate use of public
utilities (telephone, post, etc.) or transportation systems (travelling
without the correct ticket), having money changed on the black market,
illegal entry into countries (not paying for visa), etc., etc.,” (HS Endnote)
102. “The non-acceptance of money has
always been one of the fundamental observances of those who have left
the world. Money is the measure of wealth and to most people material
wealth is the goal of life. In the bhikkhu’s renunciation of money he
emphatically demonstrates his complete rejection of worldly pursuits. At
one stroke he sets himself significantly apart from the vast majority
of people and becomes a constant reminder to all that a life based on
the struggle to accumulate money is not the only way to live. Through
giving up money he gives up much of his power to manipulate the world
and to satisfy his desires. Thus, as the Buddha said in the Samyutta
“Whoever agrees to gold or money, headman, also agrees to the five
strands of sensual pleasure, and whoever agrees to the five strands of
sensual pleasure, headman, you may take for certain that this is not the
way of a recluse, that this is not the way of a Buddhist monk.” (See
P.T.S. Kindred Sayings, Vol. 4 p.232)
“A Bhikkhu who does not accept money inspires great faith in Buddhism
amongst the laity; according to the following quote he is likened unto a
’shining example’ — whereas the bhikkhu who does accept money is
likened unto a ‘blemish’ or ’stain’:
“Bhikkhus, … there are these four stains because of which samanas
and brahmins glow not, shine not, blaze not. What are these four?
Drinking alcoholic beverages … indulging in sexual intercourse …
accepting gold and money … obtaining requisites through a wrong mode
of livelihood.” (A.II.53)” (AB)
“In the act of accepting money, or having it accepted in one’s name,
one is accepting all the cares, responsibilities, and dangers that come
with its ownership; in the act of arranging a trade, one is accepting
responsibility for the fairness of the trade: that it undervalues
neither the generosity of the person who donated the money, nor the
goods and services of the person receiving the money in exchange.” (BMC p.197)
103. “The question of whether or not it is
best to express one’s refusal outwardly lies beyond the scope of the
Vinaya, and often depends on the situation. Ideally, one should inform
the donor so that he or she will know enough not to present such gifts
in the future, but there are also cases where the donor is still new to
the idea of rules and will simply be offended if the bhikkhu objects to
what he or she means as a well-intentioned gesture. This is thus a
matter where a bhikkhu should use his discretion.” (BMC p.218)
104. “Bhikkhus may receive cheques made out
in their name (which are then endorsed and given to the steward) and
can make use of such things as telephone cards, transportation tickets
and vouchers for specific items (i.e., food, drinks, books, etc.).” (HS ch.14)
105. “The Buddha had to steer a middle
course between honouring the laity’s generosity and concern for the
welfare of the Bhikkhu-Sangha and preventing the bhikkhus from receiving
and using money. Thus, while bhikkhus are not allowed to receive money
for their use, they are allowed to accept things obtained from a
properly-deposited fund. This is usually done through the services of a
monastery-steward who is entrusted with money provided by lay people. In
our modern, money-dominated world this may appear as a subtle and
refined point, however, it may be helpful to compare this arrangement to
a special Trust Fund from which the beneficiaries (in this case,
bhikkhus) can only receive material requisites. That is, the donor
(temporarily) establishes a Trust Fund to provide a bhikkhu with
requisites through the monastery-steward as manager.” (HS ch.14)
“…the Buddha permitted money to be entrusted by a donor to a
steward, who may be a monastery attendant or a lay follower, for the
personal benefit of an individual bhikkhu, thus:
‘There are, bhikkhus, people of faith and confidence (in the Sangha)
who entrust money into the hands of monastery stewards saying, “With
this, provide the bhikkhu so-and-so with what is allowable”. I permit
you, bhikkhus, to accept an allowable item obtained thereby. But this,
bhikkhus, I do not say: that in any circumstances may gold, silver or
money be accepted (by a bhikkhu, or) be looked about for (by him)’.
“When the donors ask the bhikkhu, ‘Has the Venerable One a steward?’
or, ‘Is there an appropriate place where I may deposit this money’, or
some similar question, then the bhikkhu may point out a suitable
steward, or he may indicate an appropriate place. Should the donor
deposit the money with that steward, or in that place, then it is
properly deposited.” (AB)
106. “Money given to a steward of the Sangha (veyyaavaccakara),
for the use of bhikkhus or to stewards of individual bhikkhus, is not
given to the bhikkhus for them to possess. The steward holds the money
of the donors in trust, and should a bhikkhu have legitimate reason to
make use of this (travel for Dhamma, Requisites, Dhamma-books, etc.), he
can request the steward to supply him with the article needed. He
cannot purchase it himself. “This rule concerns money of which a bhikkhu
has such thoughts as, ‘It is mine’ or ‘It belongs to me’ and which he
intends to use for purposes other than those of Dhamma.” (Paat. 1966 Ed.; p104–105)
107. “The Monastery-Steward: The
monastery-steward is usually someone who is a close supporter of the
monastery. Not only should he/she ideally be well-informed about the
monastic guidelines relating to money, but also be knowledgeable about
what is appropriate to provide and the proper procedures for doing so.
“When a fund has been properly established and the bhikkhu is in need
of a requisite, he may approach that steward and state what he is in
need of. Should a bhikkhu command the steward to: ‘Buy me this’, it is
considered a case of dubbhicaritata (wrong procedure) and that bhikkhu
may not make use of any article obtained therefrom, although other
bhikkhus may use it.
“It is a fault of Acknowledgement with Forfeiture [Nis. Paac.10] for a
bhikkhu who receives a requisite by badgering the steward beyond
verbally reminding him three times and standing silently up to six
times. If the required requisite is not forthcoming the bhikkhu is
obliged to inform the donor that the invitation to requisites has not
been fulfilled. The Commentary says that if the bhikkhu does not inform
the donor it is a fault of Wrong- Doing “for breaking a custom”). The
donor may then take up the matter with the steward.” (HS ch.14)
“A bhikkhu may not command (tell) either the donor or the steward
what to do with regard to the gift of gold or money. However, he may
give them hints, or suggestions, or any information, as long as these
fall short of ordering the donor or steward. Also, a bhikkhu may not
accept the ownership of gold or money offered to him indirectly, for
example should a donor say to him, “In such and such a place is a
certain amount of money, I give it to you.” then the bhikkhu is obliged
to reject the gift by words or by a gesture of refusal or by mental
resolve (e.g. determining, “I do not accept this”) otherwise he incurs
[an offence of Confession with Forfeiture].” (AB)
108. “Bhikkhu Brahmawangso has ‘buying and
selling using money’; Ms. Horner has: ‘transactions in which gold and
silver is used’, BD.2,106; Thanissaro Bhikkhu has ‘monetary exchange’,
BMC, 220 and details the differing views of the Vinaya and Commentary
and the variety of faults arising from various transactions. The Vinaya
only outlines the procedure for forfeiting gold and money as a result of
this action so this guideline seems to apply only to exchanging gold or
money and selling for money.” (HS Endnotes)
109. The list also mentions: women, articles
of women’s dress, and representations of women; various kinds of
weapons; instruments for trapping animals; all kinds of musical
instruments. (See EV,II,p.73)
110. He gave this reflection: “Properly
considering the lodging, I use it: simply to ward off cold, to ward off
heat, to ward off the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun and
reptiles; simply for protection from the inclemencies of weather and for
the enjoyment of seclusion.” [OP p.46; (Paali: M. I, 10; A. III, 387)]
112. Divination, casting spells, mediumship,
giving protective charms, exorcism, fortune telling, astrology,
ghost-lore, etc., are classed as ‘low animal-like knowledge’ (see Wrong Ways of Behaviour) and do not come under this rule.
113. According to the Commentary, an insane monk is one who “goes
about in an unseemly way, with deranged perceptions, having cast away
all sense of conscience and shame, not knowing whether he has
transgressed major or minor training rules” (See BMC p.49)
There are monks who are not insane but who believe in their own delusions of grandeur. They are not exempt from offences.
114. The Buddha did make a special allowance
about footwear for ‘outlying border regions’. In some western countries
going barefooted would not be socially acceptable and might even be
against the local bye-laws. The Great Standards should be used to decide what is suitable.
115. “The Buddha encouraged reasonable
standards of cleanliness, nutrition and treatment of illness. He readily
accepted the physician Jivaka’s suggestion to allow bhikkhus a place to
do walking meditation and a sweat-room to relieve bad health caused by
eating rich meals. He even established very high standards for the time
by having the bhikkhus build communal toilets and communal
bathing-places. However, when people with various diseases sought to
benefit from the Sangha’s high standards of care and attention to the
sick, they were disallowed from [becoming bhikkhus], as were people who
had various deformities. Thus, bhikkhus should not become doctors,
full-time nurses or attendants to invalids. They were supposed to live a
simple, unencumbered life sustained by sufficient nutriment,
appropriate medicines and advanced health standards for the full-time
pursuit of spiritual liberation.”
“When the Buddha referred to tending the sick, he was referring to
fellow monastics. The Commentary, … [has that] a bhikkhu may prescribe
and supply medicine to … his parents, to those caring for his
parents, to lay-attendants of the monastery and to those residing in the
monastery preparing to ordain; a bhikkhu may also prescribe (but not
supply) medicines for brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents,
if they are not able to supply their own medicines, a bhikkhu can loan
these to them; if travellers, bandits, wounded soldiers, important
people and those with no relatives come to the monastery for help, they
should be given medicine without re-imbursement; medicine may be given
indirectly to brothers- and sisters-in-law, either through their
children or through the bhikkhu’s brother or sister; monastery
supporters and faithful people may be helped by mentioning what
medicines will cure their particular ailment; prescribing or supplying
beyond this is a Wrong-doing.” (HS ch.10)
116. “The term ‘corrupter of families’ is
one way of speech used by a group of bhikkhus. It does not mean that a
bhikkhu gets angry, takes revenge, injures or destroys another’s wealth.
The meaning is that a bhikkhu flatters by behaving as a layman, or by
serving lay people, or by hoping for gains, giving a little to get much.
Doing this a bhikkhu is called a corrupter of families because he makes
lay people decline in faith which is the cause for the possession of
skilfulness. Although a bhikkhu behaving in that way may please some
laymen, yet they will not respect him as a bhikkhu, only treating him as
an inferior friend. The term ‘of bad behaviour’, refers to behaviour
beyond the bounds of a [recluse’s] conduct, for instance, playfully
associating with girls in a family, or playing games, naughtiness or
joking, singing and dancing.” (Paat. 1969 Ed., p.157)
117. “They indulged in many kinds of bad
behaviour such as cultivating flowering trees, making them into garlands
and sending them to women and girls of respectable families; eating and
socializing with women and girls of respectable families; eating after
noon; drinking intoxicants; dancing, singing and playing musical
instruments; playing various games; training in elephant, horse and cart
knowledge; training in archery and swordsmanship; wrestling and
fighting; applauding dancing girls; etc.” (HS ch.17)
119. There is an example from an ancient Sri Lankan inscription commemorating the king’s gift of silk robes to the Pa.msakulika monks. As this title indicated that they were rag-robe wearers, it is ironic that they found themselves with royal silk robes.
120. “…there is the custom of bowing to
the shrine or teacher. This is done when first entering their presence
or when taking leave. Done gracefully at the appropriate time, this is a
beautiful gesture that honours the person who does it; at an
inappropriate time, done compulsively, it appears foolish. Another
common gesture of respect is to place the hands so that the palms are
touching, the fingers pointing upwards, and the hands held immediately
in front of the chest. The gesture of raising the hands to the slightly
lowered forehead is called ‘añjalii’. This is a pleasant means of
greeting, bidding farewell, saluting the end of a Dhamma talk,
concluding an offering.” (from: A Lay Buddhist’s Guide to the Monks’ Code of Conduct)
“To bow correctly, bring the forehead all the way to the floor; have
elbows near the knees which should be about three inches apart. Bow
slowly, being mindful of the body. As nearly as possible, the buttocks
should be kept on the heels,…’‘ (from: Advice for Guests at Bodhinyanarama Monastery)
122. The cetiya (or stupa, chedi, sometimes pagoda) is one of the most ancient objects used as a focus of recollection and devotion towards the Lord Buddha. Buddha-ruupas
(statues of the Buddha) came later through, probably, Bactrian Greek
influence. Thus there are several traditions and practices:
“It is a tradition of bhikkhus that whoever enters the area around a
cetiya, which is a place for the recollection of the Master, should
behave in a respectful manner, neither opening his umbrella nor putting
on sandals nor wearing the [robe] covering both shoulders. They should
not speak loudly there or sit with their legs spread apart with their
feet pointing (at the cetiya), thus not showing respect for that place.
They must not stool or urinate, spit upon the terraces of the cetiya
(or) before an image of the Exalted Buddha, their good behaviour thus
showing respect for the Master.” (EV,II,p.82)
Sanskrit renditions of the Paa.timokkha Rule contain extra Sekhiya Training rules often concerned with ways of showing respect. For example, Rules 60 to 85 are all concerned with Buddha-Stupas:
Rule 63: “Not to wear leather shoes into a Buddha-Stupa is a rule I
will observe; Rule 77: Not to carry a Buddha-image into a privy is a
rule I will observe; Rule 84: Not to sit with my feet stuck out in front
of a Buddha-Stupa is a rule I will observe.” (Shaikshas from the Pratimoksha Precepts)
124. “In Asian society old age is highly
respected. The Buddha adapted this tradition for the Sangha by
recognizing seniority according to one’s age in the Sangha counted from
the day (and time) of receiving the Upasampada. This is of course simply
a practical conventional hierarchy and not an absolute hierarchical
structure. In the functioning of the Sangha this would be offset by the
principle of consensus democracy where every bhikkhu, regardless of
seniority, has a voice, and by the power of wisdom (not to be confused
with conviction) exhibited by the more highly realized members.” (HS ch.22)
“The theme of a hierarchy of respect first came up for serious
consideration in regard to obtaining lodgings. One time the Buddha set
out from Savatthi with a large following of bhikkhus. The bhikkhus who
were pupils of the group of six bhikkhus went ahead and appropriated all
the [lodgings] and sleeping-places for their preceptors, teachers and
for themselves. Venerable Sariputta, coming along behind, was unable to
find a suitable lodging and sat down at the foot of a tree. The Buddha
found him there and, finding the reason, asked the assembled bhikkhus:
‘Bhikkhus, who is worthy of the principle seat, the best water, the
best alms-food?’”Some bhikkhus said that one gone forth from a noble
family was most worthy of these things; some said one gone forth from a
brahmana family…a merchant family…one versed in the suttas — a
Vinaya expert …a teacher of Dhamma…one having the first jhana …the
second …the third …the fourth jhana;…a stream-enterer …a
once-returner …a non-returner…an arahant …one with the Three-fold
Knowledge…one with the six Psychic Powers. The Buddha then related the
story of a partridge, a monkey and a bull-elephant who were friends and
agreed to respect and heed the advice of the eldest. The Buddha
concluded by saying:”‘Well then, bhikkhus, if breathing animals can live
mutually respectful, deferential and courteous, so do you, bhikkhus,
shine forth so that you, gone forth in this well-taught Dhamma-Vinaya,
live likewise mutually respectful, deferential and courteous.”‘
125. In Thailand, the common honorifics in (roughly) ascending order of age and seniority are: Tan, Phra, Luang Pee, Kruba, Ajahn, Tan Ajahn, Luang Por, Luang Poo. The Thai titles of ascending ecclesiastical rank are: Phra Khru, Chow Khun, Somdet, and Somdet Phra Sangha Raht (or the Supreme Patriarch). Also note that the English transliteration of these Thai titles also varies, for example, Acharn, Ajaan, Ajahn.
126. “The Uposatha (Sanskrit: Upavasatha)
was the 14th or 15th day of the lunar fortnight (i.e., the full and new
moon). It was recognized as an auspicious fast-day in Vedic times. These
days, as well as the 8th, are reported to have been used by other
religious groups during the Buddha’s time as suitable occasions to meet
and discuss or preach their doctrines. These meetings became very
popular and led to the various sects becoming more well-known and
respected.” (HS ch.20)
127. Equivalent to the fifteenth day of the
waxing moon, the fifteenth or fourteenth day of the waning moon, and the
eighth day of the waxing and waning moons. Until recently, villagers in
Buddhist countries still used this calendar in everyday speech, e.g.
they would not say, “Today is Monday” but “the third day of the waxing
128. While this form of training is well known
in the traditionally Buddhist countries, it is only just starting to be
appreciated in the West. For example, the Upasika Training at
Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. This includes going for refuge to the
Triple Gem, taking on the Five Precepts, practising meditation daily,
visiting the monastery and fellow upasikas for mutual support. It
should also involve right livelihood, which is to avoid professions
that trade in arms, in living beings, meat, alcohol, and poison.
129. “Another frequent classification of training precepts is called the eight constituents of the Observance Day (atthanga-samannaagata uposatha)
A.I,248; cf. A.I,211). The noble disciple reflects that for all their
life the Arahants keep these eight standards of conduct so they will
follow that example for the Observance Day. …” (HS ch.5)
The Age of Vinaya, A Historical Cultural Study, G.S.P. Misra, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1972.
The Banner of the Arahants, Buddhist Monks and Nuns from the Buddha’s Time till Now, by Bhikkhu Khantipalo, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 1979
The Book of the Discipline, tr. I.B. Horner, in 6 volumes, Pali
Text Society, 1970-86, 73 Lime Walk, Headington, Oxford OX3 7AD,
England. [This is the (almost) complete English translation of the
original Paali texts.]
Burmese Buddhist Culture, The Initiation of Novicehood and the Ordination of Monkhood, by Sao Htun Hmat Win, Department of Religious Affairs, Rangoon, Burma, 1986
The Buddhist Monastic Code, The Patimokkha Training Rules,
translated and explained by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Metta Forest Monastery,
PO Box 1409, Valley Center, CA 92082, USA (Published for free
distribution, also available on Buddhist WWW sites. See below.) [An
excellent reference book, especially for bhikkhus. The present work
relies on it extensively.]
Buddhist Monastic Discipline, Jotiya Dhirasekera,Ministry of Higher Education Research Publication Series, 1982, Sri Lanka.
Buddhist Monastic Discipline: The Sanskrit Praatimoksa Suutras of the Mahaasaa.mghikas and Muulasarvaastivaadins,
by Charles S. Premish, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1975,
ISBN 0-271-01171-8. [Contains two other Patimokkha versions and some
background and a major bibliography.]
The Buddhist Monk’s Discipline, Bhikkhu Khantipalo, Wheel Publication aa130/131, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 1969.
Buddhist Monastic Life — according to the texts of the Theravada tradition, Mohan Wijayaratana,Cambridge University Press 1990, ISBN 0 -521 -36428 -0.
Dictionary of Buddhism, Phra Dhammapitok (P. A. Payutto), Maha-
chulalongkorn University,Bangkok, 1995, ISBN 974-8357-89-9 [Mostly in
Thai with some very useful English parts. The author is currently the
foremost Buddhist scholar in Thailand.]
The Entrance to the Vinaya, Vinayamukha, in 3 vols, Ven. Somdet
(Phra Maha Samana Chao Krom Phraya) Vajiranyanavarorasa, Mahamakut
Rajavidyalaya Press, Bangkok, 1969-83. [Standard Thai Vinaya Commentary
for bhikkhus, translated into English.]
Forest Monks and the Nation-State, An Anthropological and Historical Study in Northeastern Thailand,
J.L. Taylor, ISEAS 1993, ISBN 981-3016-49-3. [A knowledgeable, if
technical study, showing the interaction between a group of forest monks
and society at large.]
A Guide to Buddhist Monasteries and Meditation Centres in Thailand,
by Bill Weir, Third Edition, 1991, World Fellowship of Buddhists, 33
Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110, Thailand. [Also contains information on
the etiquette and practicalities of staying in Thai monasteries.]
The Heritage Of The Sangha, The lifestyle and training of the Buddhist religious community, by Thiradhammo Bhikkhu. [’Newly-revised’ Edition, December 1996, in Manuscript]
An Introduction to Buddhism, Teachings, history and practices, by Peter Harvey, Cambridge University Press, 1990, ISBN 0521 31333 3
Introduction to the Patimokkha Rules, translated and explained by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff), Metta Forest Monastery, PO Box
1409, Valley Center, CA 92082, USA. (For free distribution from the
WWW.) [See Appendix B]
Lay Buddhist Practice, by Bhikkhu Khantipalo,Wheel No. 206/207, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 1982.
A Lay Buddhist’s Guide to the Monks’ Code of Conduct, Serpentine
Buddhist Monastery, Lot 1 Kingsbury Drive, Serpentine, WA 6205,
Australia.(Also: Bodhinyanarama Monastery, 17 Rakau Grove, Stokes
Valley, Wellington, New Zealand.) [Pamphlet]
The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, translated by Bhikkhu
Ñaa.namoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications, 1995. ISBN
0-86171-072-X [A superb translation from the original Paali offering
many authentic views of the ancient life of bhikkhus.]
Navakovaada. Instructions for Newly-ordained Bhikkhus and Saamaneras,
compiled by Ven. Somdet (Phra Mahaa Samana Chao Krom Phraya)
Vajiranyanavarorasa, Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya Press, Phra Sumeru Road,
Bangkok 10200, Thailand, 1990. Translated from the Thai original. [A
good though somewhat condensed guide to the Paa.timokkha Rule, suitable
for lay people.]
Observances, Wat Pah Nanachat, Ban Bung Wai, Ubon Ratchathani 34310, Thailand. [Pamphlet]
Ordination Procedure and the Preliminary duties of a New Bhikkhu,
by Ven. Somdet (Phra Mahaa Samana Chao Krom Phraya)
Vajiranyanavarorasa, translated by Bhikkhu Thanissaro and Bhikkhu
Kantasilo, Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya Press, Phra Sumeru Road, Bangkok
10200, Second Edition, 1989.
The Paa.timokkha, trans. by Ven. Ñaa.namoli Thera, Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya Press, Bangkok, 1966; Second Edition 1969.
Vinaya in Theravada Temples in the United States, Journal of Buddhist Ethics, Volume 1: 1994: Discussion Article, by Paul David Numrich.
WWW resources: Access to Insight is an excellent starting point: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/
º Demonstrating how all the Buddhist Traditions still preserve the Vinaya texts:
Advice from Buddha Shakyamuni concerning a Monk’s Discipline, An Abridged Exposition of the Bhikshu’s Precepts, by Tenzin Gyatso, translated by Tsepak Rigzin and Glen H. Mullin, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, 1982.
The Bhikshu Pratimoksha Precepts, from The Four-Part Vinaya of the Dharmagupta School, translated
by The Buddhist Text Translation Society, Tathagata Monastery, City of
Ten Thousand Buddhas, Talmage, California, 95481-0217, USA
Abhiññaa: Supernormal Powers; Higher Knowledges.
Adhikara.nasamatha: These are the last seven ‘rules’ (really ‘procedures’) of the Paatimokkha’s 227 rules, which list the ways to settle disputes in the Sa”ngha.
Alajjii: shameless; referring to monks who do not care about keeping the Rule.
Anagarika: Homeless One; in some places a ‘postulant’ wearing white robes and keeping Eight Precepts. (See Appendix A)
Aniyata: The section of rules that are undetermined or indefinite, and require Community inquiry.
AApatti: offence; the act — either physical or verbal — of breaking any of the ordinances or rules set down by the Buddha.
Añjalii: showing respect by raising both hands, palms together, up towards the chest or face.
Bhante: general term of address for a bhikkhu, meaning “Venerable Sir”.
Bhikkhu: a male mendicant who has been formally accepted into the Bhikkhu Sa”ngha and is training under the Paa.timokkha Rule; Buddhist monk. In this work bhikkhu and monk are used interchangeably.
Bhikkhunii: a female mendicant equivalent to bhikkhu, but the ordination lineage has been lost in the Theravaada for many centuries.
Brahmacariya: the Holy Life of celibacy and strict chastity found in the Eight, Ten and Bhikkhu’s Precepts.
Cetiya or Chedi (Thai): bell-shaped stupa or reliquary with a tapering spire, also known as pagoda.
Daana: giving, generosity, almsgiving.
Dasasiila mata nuns: ordained Buddhist nuns living the Brahmacariya based on the Ten Precepts.
Defeat: see Paaraajika
Devadatta, Ven. Devadatta: a bhikkhu in the time of the Buddha who tried to cause a schism in the Sa”ngha.
Dhamma: the Teachings and Way of the Buddha; the Truth, the Law, etc.
Dhuta”nga (Paali); Tudong (Thai):
Often refers to the forest monk’s way of life, his wandering through
forests and living at the foot of trees. It more literally refers to the
‘austere practices’ which are ‘means of shaking off or removing
defilement’. Traditionally (Vism. 59–83) there are thirteen of
these: wearing refuse-rag robes; possessing only the three robes; eating
only alms food; on alms round going from house to house; eating only
one meal a day; eating only from one’s alms bowl; refusing food that
comes late; forest dweller’s practice; living at the roots of trees;
open-air dweller’s practice; charnel-ground dweller’s practice; any-bed
user’s practice; sitter’s practice (of not lying down).
Dukka.ta: wrong-doing, the lightest offence.
Going Forth: See Ordination
Great Standards (Mahaapadesa): used as guidelines in deciding if novel or uncertain circumstances accord with the Dhamma and Vinaya.
Grahp: (Thai) bowing to the floor from the kneeling position to show high respect.
Group-of-six monks: frequently appearing in the original setting down of a rule as the first perpetrators.
Invitation: See Pavaara.naa
Jaataruupa-rajata: gold and silver; money.
Ka.thina: The annual robes-giving ceremony, offered sometime
during the month following the Rains Retreat, normally during
Kappiya: making something allowable for a monk.
Ku.ti: a monk’s hut or shelter.
Me.n.daka Allowance: for a steward to handle funds left by absent donors.
Navaka: ‘new monk’; a bhikkhu during his first five years.
Nibbaana: the extinction of the fires of greed, of hatred and of
ignorance; the extinction of all defilements; Deliverance from all
Nikaaya: (i) a sect or school; (ii) section of the Paali Texts
Nissaggiya Paacittiya (Nis. Paac.): an offence requiring forfeiture of some prohibited article together with ‘confession’ to another bhikkhu or bhikkhus.
Ordination: ‘Going Forth’ from the home life to the life of a bhikkhu; Upasampadaa is the assembled monk’s formal full acceptance of a candidate- bhikkhu into the Community. Pabbajjaa is the first part of the ‘Ordination Procedure’ which gives the new novice or Saama.nera his robes and the Ten Precepts.
Pabbajjaa: See Ordination.
Paacittiya (Paac.): ‘Confession’; 92 Offences that can be cleared by formal ‘confession’ to another bhikkhu.
Paali: the ancient Indian language of the Theravaada Canon, akin to Sanskrit.
Paa.timokkha Rule: The fundamental 227 rules observed by a bhikkhu. It is recited by a single monk with the whole Community (of monks) present, every lunar fortnight.
Paaraajika (Paar.): ‘Defeat’; The four heaviest, irremediable offences that automatically and irrevocably end the Bhikkhu-life.
Paatidesaniya: Four Offences ‘to be acknowledged’.
Pavaara.naa: Invitation; (i) by a donor to
supply requisites to a particular bhikkhu; (ii) a ceremony for the
Community of bhikkhus held at the end of the Rains Retreat.
Pi.n.dapaata: food received in the alms-bowl (of a bhikkhu); alms-gathering; to go on an almsround.
Preceptor: See Upajjhaaya
Precepts: The basic guidelines of bodily and verbal conduct. See Appendix A
Rains Retreat; Vassa (Paali):
the annual three month period during the Monsoon Season, from the full
moon of (usually) July to the full moon of (usually) October, when all
bhikkhus are required to stay in one place. It also is the measure of
years ordained for a Buddhist monk.
Requisites (Parikkhaara): of a bhikkhu are traditionally: three robes, an alms bowl, a belt, a razor, a needle, and a water-filter.
Sa”ngha: Community. In this Vinaya book it usually refers
to the ‘Bhikkhu Community’, either of a specific place or as a whole.
There must be a local community of at least four bhikkhus before it is a
Sa”ngha. (It is also, of course, the third of the Three Gems and the Three Refuges where it applies to the ariya-sa”ngha.)
Sa”nghaadisesa (Sa”ngh.): a class of thirteen very serious
offences; to be resolved it requires formal meetings of the Community
and probation of the offending bhikkhu.
Saama.nera: novice; See Ordination.
Sekhiya: 75 Training Rules concerned with various aspects of
etiquette in dressing, public behaviour, accepting and eating alms food,
teaching Dhamma, etc.
Siima: A specially designated area for formal meetings of the Community of monks.
Steward; Veyyaavaccakara: acts on behalf of donors to supply allowable items to a particular bhikkhu(s).
Sugata-span: an ancient measure (from the Paali) based on the length of the Buddha’s cubit or forearm.
Thera: Elder, a bhikkhu for more than ten years.
Theravaada: ‘Doctrine of the Elders’, is the name of the oldest form of the Buddha’s teachings with texts in the Paali language. The ‘Southern School’ of Sri Lanka and South-East Asia.
Tudong (Thai): See Dhuta”nga.
Upasampadaa: See Ordination
Upaasaka (m.), Upaasikaa (f.): Lay devotee who has taken
refuge in the Triple Gem and keeps at least the Five Precepts and avoids
wrong livelihood (trading in arms, in living beings, meat, alcohol and
Uposatha: for bhikkhus this is the fortnightly Observance Day when the Paa.timokkha Rule is recited. Weekly Observance Day for Upaasaka- Upaasikaa.
Vandanaa: paying respect or reverence.
Vassa: See Rains Retreat.
Veyyaavaccakara: See Steward.
Vihaara: a dwelling place (for monks); monastery.
Vinaya: the bhikkhu’s Discipline which include the core 227 Paa.timokkha rules together with many other ordinances for the right living and harmony of the Community of monks.
central government has accelerated efforts to sell out at least 30
central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) including national carrier Air
The Cabinet Committee for
Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given in-principle nod to the sale of shares
as per the recommendation of the NITI Aayog.
In a move that is widely seen as
indicative of the intention to expedite privatisation, the Union
government on Wednesday allowed foreign airlines to invest in Air India,
doing away with earlier restrictions.
As per new rules, foreign airlines would be allowed to invest up to 49% under “Government approval route” in Air India.
“We will be seeking expressions
of interest certainly in February,” civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan
Choubey said according to Mint.
Choubey said that the invitation calling for expressions of interest
from potential bidders for Air India is being drafted, and that it will
be submitted to a ministerial group that has been tasked with the
national carrier’s privatisation.
EY, formerly known as Ernst and Young, has been appointed by the government to advise it on the privatisation effort, said the Mint report. “ We will complete the process by June,” an official told The Times of India.
The government move has come even
as a Parliamentary panel recommended that the Air India disinvestment
decision should be deferred for five years.
The Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture had said in its draft report
that Air India should be given five more years to achieve its
turnaround targets, and that the government should write off its debt.
The committee reportedly
recommended that the government should review its decision to privatise
Air India, and that it should explore the possibility of “an
alternative to disinvestment of our national carrier which is our
While the NITI Aayog recommended
that the airline should be strategically disinvested, the Parliamentary
panel said that it would be lopsided to evaluate Air India solely from a
business point of view as the NITI Aayog has done.
National Mineral Development Corporation
The two-day Offer For Sale
(OFS) of 2.52 percent government stake in the National Mineral
Development Corporation (NMDC), which reported Rs. 2589.14 crore profit
in 2016-17, took place on 9 and 10 January. Institutional investors put
in bids for over 6.36 crore shares - 1.68 times the 3.79 crore shares
reserved for them, while retail investors put in bids for 8.58 crore
shares - 5.4 times the 1.59 crore shares reserved for them.
Massive Privatisation on the Anvil
The Modi government is reportedly aiming to collect Rs. 55,000 crore through PSU stock sales in the financial year 2018-19.
The centre has collected Rs.
52,500 crore this year so far through PSU stock sales. The target for
the 2017-18 financial year is Rs. 72,500 crore.
The Finance Ministry has drawn up
plans for strategic disinvestment of six PSUs including Air India,
Dredging Corporation of India, and Indian Medicines Pharmaceuticals
Limited, while the shares of several other PSUs such as IRCTC, IRCON
Ltd, Mishra Dhatu Nigam and Mazagon Dock Ltd are to be put up for sale
in the markets through initial and further public offering.
“The Bharat-22 exchange traded fund, which helped the Centre raise nearly Rs. 14,500, is also an option for 2018-19,” said a report in The Hindu Business Line.
The Centre’s disinvestment roadmap would be announced by Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget on February 1, the newspaper
According to an answer given by
Pon Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Finance, in the Rajya Sabha,
the government has so far given ‘in-principle’ approval for the
strategic disinvestment of 24 central PSUs or their units. These are as
Scooters India Ltd, Bridge &
Roof India Ltd, Project & Development India Ltd, Pawan Hans Ltd,
Bharat Pumps Compressors Ltd, Central Electronics Ltd, Hindustan Prefab
Ltd, Bharat Earth Movers Ltd, Hindustan Newsprint Ltd (subsidiary),
Ferro Scrap Nigam Ltd (subsidiary), Hindustan Fluorocarbon Ltd
(subsidiary), Cement Corporation of India Ltd, Nagarnar Steel Plant of
NMDC, Bhadrawati, Salem and Durgapur units of SAIL, HSCC (India) Ltd,
National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC), Engineering Projects
(India) Ltd, Air India, Dredging Corporation of India Ltd, HLL Lifecare
Ltd, Indian Medicines & Pharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, Karnataka
Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation
Ltd, and the Units / JVs of ITDC.
The government has deferred the strategic disinvestment of BEML, a Defence PSU which had also come under the threat of privatisation.