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The manual of the bhikkhu

Information on the book

Original title

"The manual of the bhikkhu"

Date, size

2002, 106 pages (A5).


cover of the book "The manual of the bhikkhu" Conceived with the aim of be an effective guidebook for the bhikkhu, this book proposes to help it to carry out its monastic existence in the best conditions as possible.

It presents the essential points that each bhikkhu is supposed to respect, by explaining the current procedures of the saṃgha - accompanied by their formulas in Pali language.

One has to with it a summary of each of the 227 rules of the pātimokkha, as well as the points of the vinaya which it is significant to know.

The goal of this digest of the vinaya is to bring a clear and fast knowledge of these rules, for the people wishing to experiment the monastic life, or for all those which generally, have interest to the teaching of Buddha.


The bhikkhu must limit his needs to a minimum. He is self-contented with whatever is given to him, without ever asking for anything. Thus, he renounces everything that is superfluous, he avoids anything that could induce pleasure, comfort or distraction. His needs are of four kinds: nutrition (food, drinks, etc.); housing (monastery, hut, etc.); clothing (robes); and medicine (medicaments, remedies, first aid, hygienic products, etc.)

It is clear that everything that the bhikkhu obtains must be exclusively meant for providing him the conditions befitting his way wich lead to the right knowledge of the reality practice. It is only with this state of mind that the bhikkhu should use – or consume – the things made available to him. For example, when he eats, it is only for nourishment, not for pleasure.

During the process of integration in the saṃgha, a new bhikkhu is told that he must henceforth go out for alms to collect his daily food, live under a tree, make his robes out of discarded cloth, and drink cow's urine as medicine. They are also told that if, on their part, the laity offer him other requisites, he is authorised to accept them (invitations for meals, lodging, new robes, medicines...)

A bhikkhu must never ask for anything from anyone. If a dāyaka invites a bhikkhu to ask for what he needs, he could simply report his needs, but he should not under any circumstances request anything from him. However, a sick bhikkhu is allowed to ask for whatever he needs in order to heal himself.    

Link to the "inline" version

The pātimokkha


PDF logo The manual of the bhikkhu (PDF file, 613 Ko)
ZIP logo The manual of the bhikkhu (ZIP file, 566 Ko)

Printing counsels

  1. Put the file on the hard disk and open it.
  2. Insert A5 sheets (or A4 divided in two parts) into the printer tray, in vertical (portrait orientation).
  3. In the printer parameters, indicate:
    • the size (A5)
    • print only the odd pages
    • when the odd pages are printed, turn the bundle of sheets (without changing their order) and insert it into the printer tray
  4. Conserving the same printer parameters, indicate:
    • even pages
  5. Print the page 1 (cover) and the last one (back cover) on two cardboard A5 sheedules. If the cover is printed on ordinary paper, the book can easily be damaged
  6. You can now bind the book.

The Website have a special sheet style for the printing.

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Update of the page: 2005, Oct. the 27th