The chapter on confession (pācittiya)

Monks’ Confession 20: the training rule on containing living beings

Origin story

At one time the Buddha was staying at Āḷavī at the Aggāḷava Shrine. At that time the monks at Āḷavī were doing building work. And they poured water that they knew contained living beings onto grass and clay, and they got others to do the same. The monks of few desires … complained and criticized them, “How can the monks at Āḷavī pour water that they know contains living beings onto grass and clay, and get others to do the same?”

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

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked them, “… Foolish men, how can you pour water that you know contains living beings onto grass and clay, and get others to do the same? 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 pours, or gets poured, water that he knows contains living beings onto grass or clay, 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.

He knows: he knows by himself or others have told him.

Pours: he pours it himself.

Gets poured: if he asks another, he commits an offense entailing confession. If he only asks once, then even if the other pours many times, he commits one offense entailing confession.

Permutations

If it contains living beings, and he perceives it as containing living beings, and he pours it onto grass or clay, or he gets it poured, he commits an offense entailing confession. If it contains living beings, but he is unsure if it does, and he pours it onto grass or clay, or he gets it poured, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If it contains living beings, but he perceives it as not containing living beings, and he pours it onto grass or clay, or he gets it poured, there is no offense.

If it does not contain living beings, but he perceives it as containing living beings, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If it does not contain living beings, but he is unsure of it, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If it does not contain living beings, and he perceives it as not containing living beings, there is no offense.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if it is unintentional; if he is not mindful; if he does not know; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The tenth rule, the training rule on containing living beings, is finished.

The second chapter on plants is finished.

This is the summary:

Being, with another,
Complaining, the two with departing;
Before, throwing out, removable,
Door, and containing living beings.