The chapter on confession (pācittiya)

Monks’ Confession 19: the training rule on large dwellings

Origin story

At one time the Buddha was staying at Kosambī in Ghosita’s Monastery. At that time a minister who was Venerable Channa’s supporter was making him a dwelling. When the dwelling was finished, Channa had it roofed and plastered again and again. Being overloaded, the dwelling collapsed. Then, while collecting grass and sticks, Channa spoiled the barley field belonging to a certain brahmin. That brahmin grumbled and complained, “How can the Venerables spoil my barley field?”

The monks heard the complaints of that brahmin, and the monks of few desires … complained and criticized Channa, “How can Venerable Channa get a finished dwelling roofed and plastered again and again, so that it collapsed from overloading?”

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

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked him, “… Foolish man, how can you get a finished dwelling roofed and plastered again and again, so that it collapses from overloading? This will not give rise to confidence in those without it … And, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘When a monk is building a large dwelling, then standing where there are no cultivated plants, he may apply two or three courses of covering, taking it as far as the door frame and using it for fixing the door bolt and for treating the window shutters. If he applies more than that, even if he stands where there are no cultivated plants, he commits an offense entailing confession.’”

Definitions

A large dwelling: one with an owner is what is meant.

A dwelling: plastered inside or plastered outside or plastered both inside and outside.

Building: building or getting built.

As far as the door frame: a distance of an arm’s reach next to the lintel and the door-posts.

For fixing the door bolt: for the fixing of the door.

For treating the window shutters: for treating the windows there is white color, black color, treating with red ocher, making a garland pattern, making a creeper pattern, a pattern of sword-fish teeth, the five-cloth pattern.

Standing where there are no cultivated plants, he may apply two or three courses of covering: if he applies it while standing where there are cultivated plants, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. For someone covering in lines, after covering with two layers, he may ask for a third layer, and he should then depart. For someone covering in circles, after covering with two layers, he may ask for a third layer, and he should then depart.

Cultivated plants vegetables and grains.

If he applies more than that, even if he stands where there are no cultivated plants: if he is covering with bricks, then for every brick, he commits an offense entailing confession. If he is covering with rocks, then for every rock, he commits an offense entailing confession. If he is covering with plaster, then for every lump, he commits an offense entailing confession. If he is covering with grass, then for every handful, he commits an offense entailing confession. If he is covering with leaves, then for every leaf, he commits an offense entailing confession.

Permutations

If it is more than two or three courses, and he perceives it as more, and he applies it, he commits an offense entailing confession. If it is more than two or three courses, but he is unsure if it is, and he applies it, he commits an offense entailing confession. If it is more than two or three courses, but he perceives it as less, and he applies it, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If it is less than two or three courses, but he perceives it as more, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If it is less than two or three courses, but he is unsure if it is, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If it is less than two or three courses, and he perceives it as less, there is no offense.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if he applies two or three courses; if he applies less than two or three courses; if it is a shelter; if it is a cave; if it is a grass hut; if it is for the benefit of someone else; if it is by means of his own property; if it is anything other than a place to dwell in; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The ninth rule, the training rule on large dwellings, is finished.