Theravāda Collection on Monastic Law

Monks’ rules and their analysis

The chapter on relinquishment

Monks’ Relinquishment

24. The training rule on rainy-season robes

Origin story

At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. At that time the Master had allowed the rainy-season robe for the monks. Knowing that this was the case, monks from the group of six went looking for cloth for their rainy-season robes early. And after sewing them early, they wore them. Then, because their rainy-season robes were worn, they bathed naked in the rain.

The monks of few desires … complained and criticized them, “How can those monks from the group of six go looking for cloth for their rainy-season robes early, sew them early, and then wear them, and then, because their rainy-season robes are worn, bathe naked in the rain?”

After criticizing those monks from the group of six in many ways, they informed the Master. … “Is it true, monks, that you did this?”

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked them: “… Foolish men, how can you go looking for cloth for your rainy-season robes early, sew them early, and then wear them, and then, because your rainy-season robes are worn, bathe naked in the rain? This will not give rise to confidence in those without it … And, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘When there is a month left of the hot season, a monk may go looking for cloth for his rainy-season robe. When there is a half-month left, he may sew it and then wear it. If he goes looking for cloth for his rainy-season robe when there is more than a month left of the hot season, or if he sews it and then wears it when there is more than a half-month left, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession.’”

Definitions

When there is a month left of the hot season, a monk may go looking for cloth for his rainy-season robe: after approaching those people who previously, too, have given cloth for the rainy-season robes, he should says, “It’s time for the rainy-season robe/it’s the occasion for the rainy-season robe/other people, too, are giving cloth for the rainy-season robe.” He should not say, “Give me cloth for the rainy-season robe/bring me cloth for the rainy-season robe/buy me cloth for the rainy-season robe/get cloth in exchange for me for the rainy-season robe.”

When there is a half-month left, he may sew it and then wear it: after sewing it during the last half-month of the hot season, he may wear it.

When there is more than a month left of the hot season: if he goes looking for cloth for the rainy-season robe when there is more than a month left of the hot season, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession.

When there is more than a half-month left of the hot season: if he wears it after sewing it when there is more than a half-month left of the hot season, it becomes subject to relinquishment.


The rainy-season robe should be relinquished to an 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 cloth for the rainy-season robe which I went looking for when there was more than a month left of the hot season and/or which I wore after sewing it when there was more than a half-month left of the hot season is to be relinquished. I relinquish it to the Order.’ … the Order should give … you should give … ‘I give this cloth for the rainy-season robe back to you.’”

Permutations

If there is more than a month left of the hot season, and he perceives it as more, and he goes looking for cloth for a rainy-season robe, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If there is more than a month left of the hot season, but he is unsure if there is, and he goes looking for cloth for a rainy-season robe, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If there is more than a month left of the hot season, but he perceives it as less, and he goes looking for cloth for a rainy-season robe, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession.

If there is more than a half-month left of the hot season, and he perceives it as more, and he wears the rainy-season robe after sewing it, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If there is more than a half-month left of the hot season, but he is unsure if there is, and he wears the rainy-season robe after sewing it, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession. If there is more than a half-month left of the hot season, but he perceives it as less, and he wears the rainy-season robe after sewing it, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession.

If he has a rainy-season robe, but he bathes naked in the rain, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If there is less than a month left of the hot season, but he perceives it as more, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If there is less than a month left of the hot season, but he is unsure if there is, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If there is less than a month left of the hot season, and he perceives it as less, there is no offense.

If there is less than a half-month left of the hot season, but he perceives it as more, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If there is less than a half-month left of the hot season, but he is unsure if there is, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If there is less than a half-month left of the hot season, and he perceives it as less, there is no offense.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if he goes looking for cloth for the rainy-season robe when there is a month left of the hot season; if he wears the rainy-season robe after sewing it when there is a half-month left of the hot season; if he goes looking for cloth for the rainy-season robe when there is less than a month left of the hot season; if he wears the rainy-season robe after sewing it when there is less than a half-month left of the hot season; if, after looking for a rainy-season robe, he postpones the rains residence; if, after wearing a rainy-season robe, he postpones the rains residence (in which case he should wash it and store it and then use it at the right time); if his robe has been stolen; if his robe has been lost; if there are dangers; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The fourth rule, the training rule on rainy-season robes, is finished.