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the 92 pācittiyas (1)

1st part, musāsāvāda

pācittiya 1

"sampajānamusāvāde pācittiyaṃ."

Not to lie. If a bhikkhu utters false speech whose nature he is aware of, he commits a pācittiya.

A bhikkhu who knows that what he has said is wrong only after having said it, if he doesn't rectify his speech, he immediately commits the pācittiya 1. The bhikkhu who gives erroneous talks, believing them to be right, does not commit any fault.

While asserting, with full knowledge of the facts, that something is true when it is not, or else that it is not true when it actually is, by making this wrong information known by means of body (gestures, hand writing) or speech, it is considered as a lie.

Note: This rule corresponds with the fourth of the ten precepts.

pācittiya 2

"omasavāde pācittiyaṃ."

Not to insult another bhikkhu. If, by means of abusive words, a bhikkhu verbally offends another bhikkhu, he commits a pācittiya.

pācittiya 3

"bhikkhupesuññe pācittiyaṃ."

Not to create disagreement between bhikkhus. If a bhikkhu deliberately provokes a disagreement between bhikkhus, he commits a pācittiya.

The simple fact of making a report of hostile talks can create a disagreement.

pācittiya 4

"yo pana bhikkhu anupasampannaṃ padaso dhammaṃ vāceyya, pācittiyaṃ."

Not to recite together with laymen, texts of dhamma in pāḷi. If a bhikkhu recites pāḷi texts taken from the tipiṭaka or authoritative commentaries on them, even short extracts, together with laymen or laywomen, sāmaṇeras or sīladharas, he commits a pācittiya.

By reciting together with such classes of people, texts in pāḷi or texts from dhamma in other languages, a bhikkhu does not commit any fault. By reciting together text from the dhamma in pāḷi with other bhikkhus or with some bhikkhunīs, a bhikkhu does not commit a fault.

pācittiya 5

"yo pana bhikkhu anupasampannena uttari dirattatirattaṃ sahaseyyaṃ kappeyya, pācittiyaṃ."

Not to spend the night under the same roof as the laity. If bhikkhu spends more than three nights under the same roof and between the same walls as a layman or a sāmaṇera, he commits a pācittiya.

In this context, when we speak about "spending the night", it is the simple fact of lying down at dawn time, - as soon as the first light of dawn appears in the sky once the night is over - which is taken into consideration. Thus, a bhikkhu who spends more than three nights with a layman, if he gets up before dawn by the fourth night, he does not commit a fault.

A bhikkhu commits the pācittiya 5 if he spends more than three nights under the same roof and between the same walls as a person who is not a bhikkhu or with an animal with which it is possible to commit the pārājika 1. If a bhikkhu spends more than three nights under the same roof but not between the same walls as a layman (that is to say in another room), he commits a dukkaṭa but not a pācittiya.

A bhikkhu who spends more than three nights in the same building as a layman, but who remains in a room that does not share a common entrance way with the one where the layman dwells (in such a way that if the layman wishes to enter the room of the bhikkhu, he is first compelled to proceed outside), does not commit the pācittiya 5.

pācittiya 6

"yo pana bhikkhu mātugāmena sahaseyyaṃ kappeyya, pācittiyaṃ."

Not to lie down in a building in which there is a woman. If a bhikkhu lies down in a building where there is at least one woman - under the same roof and between the same walls - he commits a pācittiya.

For the pācittiya 6 to be committed, a woman must also be lying down (with the head lying). For example, if a bhikkhu sleeps lying down in a room where there are several women who are all standing or seated without the head resting on the floor, he does not commit this pācittiya.

If a bhikkhu lies down under the same roof as a woman but not between the same walls - in a different room - he commits a dukkaṭa but not the pācittiya 6. If he lies down at an upper floor of the building, and the woman is at the ground floor and this floor does not communicate with the upper floors, he does not commit a fault. If this building has an inner staircase - which interconnects the two levels -, the bhikkhu commits the pācittiya 6 (except if he is in another room).

"Lying down" means to have the head resting; whether on the floor, a bed, or else a pillow, armrest, etc. The pācittiya 6 is committed every time the bhikkhu lies his head. If the head is not lying down, a bhikkhu can sleep seated with the head leaning, in the same room as a woman, without committing this pācittiya. Sick bhikkhus are not exempted from the pācittiya 6.

pācittiya 7

"yo pana bhikkhu mātugāmassa uttarichappañcavācāhi dhammaṃ deseyya aññatra viññunā purisaviggahena, pācittiyaṃ."

Not to teach to a woman more than six consecutive words of dhamma. If, not being in the presence of a man able to understand, a bhikkhu teaches a woman more than six consecutive words of dhamma (tipiṭaka or authoritative commentaries on them) in pāḷi, he commits a pācittiya.

If the bhikkhu uses another language, he can freely teach the dhamma to women. By pronouncing in pāḷi, the sentences of taking refuge in the triple gem or the precepts, there is no fault. The reason for this being that it was not meant to make known the points of the dhamma.

According to this rule, a series of words means a verse, for the texts composed in the form of stanzas. Concerning texts devoid of a particular structure, each word is considered as a continuation of the preceding one.

A bhikkhu, when in the presence of several women, can teach six consecutive words of dhamma to each one, even if the others listen. As soon as the bhikkhu or the woman changes his or her position, the bhikkhu can teach six supplementary continuations (to the same woman) without being at fault.

pācittiya 8

"yo pana bhikkhu anupasampannassa uttarimanussadhammaṃ āroceyya, bhūtasmiṃ pācittiyaṃ."

Not to announce to a layman a realisation that has been achieved. If a bhikkhu announces to a layman or to a sāmaṇera, a realisation partaking with a jhāna nature or with a stage of ariyā, and this realisation has genuinely been achieved, he commits a pācittiya.

On the other hand, a bhikkhu who makes such a declaration, while knowing it to be false, commits the pārājika 4. A bhikkhu must avoid making his attainments known, even to other bhikkhus. Apart from four exceptions when they can do so, ariyās never unveil their realisations:

  • Under a violent threat.
  • Undergoing an oppressive and virulent lack of respect.
  • A t the time of passing away.
  • To reveal it to his preceptor or to a fellow bhikkhu who does a similar practice.

pācittiya 9

"yo pana bhikkhu bhikkhussa duṭṭhullaṃ āpattiṃ anupasampannassa āroceyya aññatra bhikkhusammutiyā, pācittiyaṃ."

Not to denounce a saṃghādisesa to a layman. If, without permission from the saṃgha, a bhikkhu reveals to a layman or to a sāmaṇera a saṃghādisesa that another bhikkhu has committed, he commits a pācittiya.

To dissuade the bhikkhu who has committed a saṃghādisesa from doing it again, one or several bhikkhus could reach an agreement resulting from a meeting of the saṃgha, allowing them to openly announce this saṃghādisesa to the people. However, any bhikkhu can freely announce the saṃghādisesa committed by a bhikkhu to another bhikkhu or to a bhikkhunī.

By announcing to a layman or to a sāmaṇera that which the bhikkhu has committed without specifying what kind of fault is involved or by mentioning which category the fault being committed belongs to, without expressly specifying what was committed, a bhikkhu does not commit any fault.

pācittiya 10

"yo pana bhikkhu pathaviṃ khaṇeyya vā khaṇāpeyya vā pācittiyaṃ."

Not to dig or cause someone else to dig the earth. If a bhikkhu himself digs or causes someone else to dig for him some "real earth", he commits a pācittiya.

By digging, explosion, scratching, lighting a fire or by any other means whatsoever, a bhikkhu must, in no case at all, modify the earth in any shape whatsoever. Also, he cannot cause the earth to be dug by someone else by directly asking him to do so. However, he is authorised to make him indirectly understand, by telling him for example: "I inform you that there is some earth that needs to be moved."

Two types of earth are distinguished; the "real earth" and the "false earth". Earth that is on its original place is considered as the "real earth", and earth that has been moved is considered as the "false earth". When the latter has been humidified by four months of monsoon, it then becomes "real earth". A bhikkhu who digs or causes some "false earth" to be dug by someone else, does not commit any fault, whereas by digging or by causing some "real earth" to be dug by someone else, he commits the pācittiya 10.

The various qualities of earth are also taken into consideration. If the earth that is dug is situated in the depths or if it is some relatively pure or pure earth, the bhikkhu commits the pācittiya 10. However, if it concerns earth containing pebbles or fragments of pottery, the bhikkhu can dig or cause someone else to dig it without being at fault.

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Origin: Texts in Burmese language

Translator (Burmese to French): Monk Dhamma Sāmi

Date of translation: 2000

Translator (French to English: Thierry Lambrou

Date of translation (into English): 2002

Update: 2005, June the 19th