The chapter on confession (pācittiya)

Monks’ Confession 18: the training rule on upper stories

Origin story

At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. At that time two monks were staying in a dwelling with an upper story belonging to the Order, one staying below and one above. The monk above sat down suddenly on a bed with detachable legs. A leg fell off and hit the monk below on the head. He cried out. Monks came rushing to and asked him why, and he told them what had happened.

The monks of few desires … complained and criticized him,

“How can a monk sit down suddenly on a bed with detachable legs on an upper story in a dwelling belonging to the Order?”

After criticizing that monk in many ways, they told the Master.… “Is it true, monk, that you did this?”

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked him, “… Foolish man, how can you sit down suddenly on a bed with detachable legs on a upper story in a dwelling belonging to the Order? This will not give rise to confidence in those without it … And, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘If a monk sits down or lies down on a bed or a bench with detachable legs on an upper story in a dwelling belonging to the Order, he commits an offense entailing confession.’”

Definitions

A: whoever … Monk: …The monk who has been given the full ordination by a complete Order through a procedure consisting of one motion and three announcements that is unchallengeable and fit to stand— this sort of monk is meant in this case.

A dwelling belonging to the Order: given to the Order, given up to the Order.

An upper story: a man of average height does not hit his head.

A bed with detachable legs: inserting the limbs, it stands.

A bench with detachable legs: inserting the limbs, it stands.

Sits down: if he sits down on it, he commits an offense entailing confession.

Lies down: if he lies down on it, he commits an offense entailing confession.

Permutations

If it belongs to the Order, and he perceives it as belonging to the Order, and he sits down or lies down on a bed or a bench with detachable legs on the upper story, he commits an offense entailing confession. If it belongs to the Order, but he is unsure if it does … If it belongs to the Order, but he perceives it as belonging to an individual, and he sits down or lies down on a bed or a bench with detachable legs on the upper story, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If it belongs to an individual, but he perceives it as belonging to the Order, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If it belongs to an individual, but he is unsure if it does, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If it belongs to an individual, and he perceives it as belonging to an individual, but that individual is not himself, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If it belongs to himself, there is no offense.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if there is no upper story; if the upper story is so low that one hits the head; if the lower story is not in use; if the upper story has floorboards; if bolts to fasten the legs have been applied, if he stands on it to get hold of something or to put something up; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The eighth rule, the training rule on upper stories, is finished.