Theravāda Collection on Monastic Law

Monks’ rules and their analysis

The chapter on relinquishment

Monks’ Relinquishment

2. The training rule on outbuildings

Origin story

First sub-story

At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. At that time the monks stored one of their robes with other monks and then left to travel the countryside with a lower and an upper robe. Because they were stored for a long time, the robes became moldy. The monks put them out in the sun.

While inspecting the dwellings, Venerable Ānanda saw the monks sunning those robes. He asked them, “Whose moldy robes are these?” And they told him what had happened. Venerable Ānanda complained and criticized them, “How can those monks store one of their robes with other monks and then leave to travel the countryside with a lower and an upper robe?”

After criticizing those monks in many ways, Venerable Ānanda informed the Master. … “Is it true, monks, that some monks are acting in this way?”

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha criticized them, “… How can these foolish men store one of their robes with other monks and then leave to travel the countryside with a lower and an upper robe? This will not give rise to confidence in those without it … And, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Preliminary ruling

‘When his robe is finished and the robe-making season has ended, if a monk stays apart from his three robes even for a single day, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession.’”

In this way the Master laid down this training rule for the monks.

Second sub-story

At one time a certain monk in Kosambī was sick. The relatives of that monk sent him a message: “Come, Venerable, we will attend on you.” Other monks urged him to go, but he said, “The Master has laid down a training rule that you cannot be apart from your three robes. Because I am sick, I’m not able to travel with all three robes, and therefore I cannot go.”

They informed the Master. Soon afterwards he gave a teaching and addressed the monks:

“Monks, I allow you to give permission to a sick monk to stay apart from his three robes. And it should be given in this way. After approaching the Order, the sick monk should put his upper robe over one shoulder and pay respect at the feet of the senior monks. He should then squat on his heels, put the palms of his hands together, and say, ‘Venerables, I’m sick. I’m not able to travel with my three robes. I ask the Order for permission to stay apart from my three robes.’ And he should ask a second and a third time. A competent and capable monk should then inform the Order:

‘Venerables, let the Order listen to me. This monk so-and-so is sick. He is not able to travel with his three robes. He is asking the Order for permission to stay apart from his three robes. If it seems appropriate to the Order, the Order should give permission to monk so-and-so to stay apart from his three robes. This is the motion.

Venerables, let the Order listen to me. This monk so-and-so is sick. He is not able to travel with his three robes. He is asking the Order for permission to stay apart from his three robes. The Order gives permission to monk so-and-so to stay apart from his three robes. Any monk who approves of giving permission to monk so-and-so to stay apart from his three robes should remain silent. Any monk who does not approve should say so.

The Order has given permission to monk so-and-so to stay apart from his three robes. The Order approves and is therefore silent. I will remember it thus.’

And so, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘When his robe is finished and the robe-making season has ended, if a monk stays apart from his three robes even for a single day, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession.’”

Definitions

When his robe is finished: the monk has made a robe, or the robe-cloth has been lost, destroyed, or burnt, or he has abandoned his expectation of receiving further robe-cloth.

The robe-making season has ended: it has ended according to one of the eight headings or the Order has ended it, whichever comes first.

If a monk stays apart from his three robes even for a single day: from the outer robe, from the upper robe, or from the lower robe.

Except if the monks have agreed: unless he has the permission of the monks.

Entailing relinquishment: entailing relinquishment at dawn.


The robe should be relinquished to the Order, a group, or an individual. “And, monks, it should be relinquished in this way. … To be expanded as in Relinquishment 1, paragraphs 13–17, with appropriate substitutions. … ‘Venerables, this robe which I have stayed apart from for one day without the permission of the monks is to be relinquished. I relinquish it to the Order.’ … the Order should give … you should give … ‘I give this robe back to you.’”

Permutations

Permutations part 1

Summary

A village may have a single entrance or many; a house may have a single entrance or many; an outbuilding may have a single entrance or many; a watchtower may have a single entrance or many; a stilt house may have a single entrance or many; a boat may have a single entrance or many; a caravan may have a single neighborhood or many; a field may have a single entrance or many; a threshing floor may have a single entrance or many; a park may have a single entrance or many; a monastery may have a single entrance or many; the foot of a tree may have a single neighborhood or many; out in the open may have a single neighborhood or many.

Exposition

A village with a single entrance means it is an enclosed village belonging to one clan: if the robe is kept within the village, one must stay within the village. If the village is not enclosed: one must stay in the house where the robe is kept, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the house.

An enclosed village belonging to many clans: if the robe is kept in a house, one must stay in that house, in the meeting hall, or at the gateway to the village, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the meeting hall or the gateway. If one puts aside the robe within arm’s reach while going to the meeting hall, one must stay in the meeting hall, or at the gateway to the village, or not go beyond arm’s reach of either. If the robe is kept in the meeting hall, one must stay in the meeting hall, or at the gateway to the village, or not go beyond arm’s reach of either. It is unenclosed: one must stay in the house where the robe is kept, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the house.

An enclosed house belonging to one clan and having many rooms: if the robe is kept in the house, one must stay within the house. It is unenclosed: one must stay in the room where the robe is kept, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the room.

An enclosed house belonging to many clans and having many rooms: if the robe is kept in a room, one must stay in that room, or at the main entrance, or not go beyond arm’s reach of either. It is unenclosed: one must stay in the room where the robe is kept, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the room.

An enclosed outbuilding belonging to one clan and having many rooms: if the robe is kept in the building, one must stay within the building. It is unenclosed: one must stay in the room where the robe is kept, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the room.

An enclosed outbuilding belonging to many clans and having many rooms: if the robe is kept in a room, one must stay in that room, or at the main entrance, or not go beyond arm’s reach of either. It is unenclosed: one must stay in the room where the robe is kept, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the room.

A watchtower belonging to one clan: if the robe is kept in the watchtower, one must stay within the watchtower. A watchtower belonging to many clans and having many rooms: one must stay in the room where the robe is kept, or at the main entrance, or not go beyond arm’s reach of either.

A stilt house belonging to one clan: if the robe is kept in the stilt house, one must stay within the stilt house. A stilt house belonging to many clans and having many rooms: one must stay in the room where the robe is kept, or at the main entrance, or not go beyond arm’s reach of either.

A boat belonging to one clan: if the robe is kept on the boat, one must stay on the boat. A boat belonging to many clans and having many rooms: one must stay in the room where the robe is kept, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the room.

A caravan belonging to one clan: if the robe is kept within the caravan, one must not go further than 100 meters in front of or behind the caravan, and no further than 14 meters from either side. A caravan belonging to many clans: if the robe is kept within the caravan, one must not go beyond arm’s reach of the caravan.

An enclosed field belonging to one clan: if the robe is kept within the field, one must stay within that field. It is unenclosed: one must not go beyond arm’s reach of the robe. An enclosed field belonging to many clans: if the robe is kept within the field, one must stay at the entrance to the field, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the entrance or the robe. It is unenclosed: one must not go beyond arm’s reach of the robe.

An enclosed threshing floor belonging to one clan: if the robe is kept on the threshing floor, one must stay on that threshing floor. It is unenclosed: one must not go beyond arm’s reach of the robe. An enclosed threshing floor belonging to many clans: if the robe is kept on the threshing floor, one must stay at the entrance to the threshing floor, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the entrance or the robe. It is unenclosed: one must not go beyond arm’s reach of the robe.

An enclosed park belonging to one clan: if the robe is kept within the park, one must stay within that park. It is unenclosed: one must not go beyond arm’s reach of the robe. An enclosed park belonging to many clans: if the robe is kept within the park, one must stay at the entrance to the park, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the entrance or the robe. It is unenclosed: one must not go beyond arm’s reach of the robe.

An enclosed monastery belonging to one clan: if the robe is kept within the monastery, one must stay within that monastery. It is unenclosed: one must stay in the monastic dwelling where the robe is kept, or not go beyond arm’s reach of that dwelling. An enclosed monastery belonging to many clans: one must stay in the monastic dwelling where the robe is kept, or at the main entrance to the monastery, or not go beyond arm’s reach of either. It is unenclosed: one must stay in the monastic dwelling where the robe is kept, or not go beyond arm’s reach of the dwelling.

The foot of a tree belonging to one clan: if the robe is kept within the area of the midday shadow of the tree, one must stay within that area. The foot of a tree belonging to many clans:one must not go beyond arm’s reach of the robe.

Out in the open with one neighborhood: in the wilderness, where there is no habitation, one neighborhood is the area covered by a circle with radius 100 meters. Many neighborhoods: whatever lies beyond that.

Permutations part 2

If he has stayed apart and he perceives that he has stayed apart, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If he has stayed apart, but he is unsure if he has, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If he has stayed apart, but he perceives that he has not, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession.

If he has not relinquished the robe, but he perceives that he has, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If he has not given away the robe, but he perceives that he has, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If he has not lost the robe, but he perceives that he has, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If the robe is not destroyed, but he perceives that it is, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If the robe is not burnt, but he perceives that it is, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If the robe is not stolen, but he perceives that it is, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession.

If he uses a robe which should be relinquished without first relinquishing it, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If he has not stayed apart, but he perceives that he has, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If he has not stayed apart, but he is unsure if he has, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If he has not stayed apart and he perceives that he has not stayed apart, there is no offense.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if before dawn it has been relinquished, given away, lost, destroyed, burnt, stolen, or taken on trust; if he has the permission of the monks; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The second rule, the training rule on outbuildings, is finished.