The chapter on confession (pācittiya)

Monks’ Confession 25: the training rule on giving robe-cloth

Origin story

First sub-story

At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. At that time a certain monk was walking for almsfood along a street in Sāvatthī, as was a certain nun. And that monk said to that nun, “Go to such and such a place, Sister, and you will get alms,” and she said the same to him. And because they met frequently, they became friends.

Just then robe-cloth belonging to the Order was being distributed. Then, after going to the instruction, that nun approached that monk, bowed down to him, and stood to one side. That monk then said to her, “Sister, will you accept my share of the robe-cloth?”

“Yes, Venerable, my robes are worn.”

And he gave his robe-cloth to that nun. As a consequence his robes too became worn. Other monks said to him, “Why don’t you make a robe for yourself?” And he told them what had happened.

The monks of few desires … complained and criticized him, “How can a monk give robe-cloth to a nun?” … “Is it true, monk, that you did this?”

“It’s true, Master.”

“Is she a relative of yours?”

“No, Master.”

“Foolish man, a man and a woman who are not related don’t know what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate in dealing with each other, what’s right and what’s wrong. And still you gave robe-cloth to an unrelated nun. This will not give rise to confidence in those without it … And, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Preliminary ruling

‘If a monk gives robe-cloth to an unrelated nun, he commits an offense entailing confession.’”

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

Second sub-story

Once this had happened, monks did not even give robe-cloth to nuns in exchange, being afraid of wrongdoing. The nuns complained and criticized them, “How can they not give us robe-cloth in exchange?”

The monks heard the complaints of those nuns and they told the Master. Soon afterwards the Master gave a teaching and addressed the monks, “Monks, if it is part of an exchange, I allow you to give things to five groups of people: monks, nuns, trainee nuns, novice monks, and novice nuns. And so, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘If a monk gives robe-cloth to an unrelated nun, unless it is an exchange, 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.

Unrelated: anyone who is not a descendant of one’s male ancestors going back seven generations, either on the mother’s side or on the father’s side.

A nun: she has been given the full ordination by both Orders.

Robe-cloth: one of the six kinds of robe-cloth, but not smaller than what can be transferred.

Unless it is an exchange: except if it is an exchange.

Permutations

If she is unrelated and he perceives her as unrelated, and he gives her robe-cloth, unless it is an exchange, he commits an offense entailing confession. If she is unrelated, but he is unsure if she is, and he gives her robe-cloth, unless it is an exchange, he commits an offense entailing confession. If she is unrelated, but he perceives her as related, and he gives her robe-cloth, unless it is an exchange, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If he gives robe-cloth to a nun who is fully ordained only on one side, unless it is an exchange, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If she is related, but he perceives her as unrelated, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If she is related, but he is unsure if she is, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If she is related and he perceives her as related, there is no offense.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if she is related; if much is exchanged with little or little is exchanged with much; if the nun takes it on trust; if she borrows it; if he gives any requisite apart from robe-cloth; if it is a trainee nun; if it is a novice nun; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The fifth rule, the training rule on giving robe-cloth, is finished.