The chapter on confession (pācittiya)

Monks’ Confession 27: the training rule on appointments

Origin story

First sub-story

At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. At that time the monks from the group of six traveled on a main road by appointment with nuns. People complained and criticized them, “Just as we go around with our wives, so these Sakyan ascetics go around by appointment with nuns.”

The monks heard the complaints of those people, and the monks of few desires … complained and criticized those monks, “How can the monks from the group of six travel on a main road by appointment with nuns?” … “Is it true, monks, that you do this?”

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked them, “… Foolish men, how can you travel on a main road by appointment with nuns? 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 travels on a main road by appointment with a nun, even if just between villages, he commits an offense entailing confession.’”

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

Second sub-story

Soon afterwards a number of monks and nuns were traveling from Sāketa to Sāvatthī. The nuns said to the monks, “We’ll go with you.”

“Sisters, it’s not allowable for us to travel on a main road by appointment with nuns. You should go first, or we will.”

“Venerables, you have the highest status. Please go first.”

But because the nuns went behind, they were robbed and raped by bandits. When they arrived at Sāvatthī, they told the nuns there what had happened. The nuns then told the monks, who in turn told the Master.

Soon afterwards the Master gave a teaching and addressed the monks, “Monks, I allow you to travel on a main road by appointment with a nun if it’s a dangerous and frightening road that should be traveled with a group. ”And so, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘If a monk travels on a main road by appointment with a nun, even if just between villages, unless there is an appropriate reason, he commits an offense entailing confession. The appropriate reason is that the road is considered dangerous and frightening and should be traveled with a group.’”

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

With: together.

By appointment: if he makes an appointment like this: he says, “Let’s go, Sister,” and she replies, “Yes, let’s go, Venerable;” or she says, “Let’s go, Venerable,” and he replies, “Yes, let’s go, Sister;” or he says, “Let’s go today/tomorrow/the day after tomorrow,” then he commits an offense of wrong conduct.

Even if just between villages: when the villages are a chicken’s flight apart, then for every village interval he commits an offense entailing confession. If it is in an uninhabited area, in the wilderness, then for every six kilometers he commits an offense entailing confession.

Unless there is an appropriate reason: except at an appropriate time.

The road […] should be traveled with a group: it is not possible to travel without a group.

Dangerous: thieves have been seen along that road, camped, eating, standing, seated, or lying down.

Frightening: thieves have been seen along that road, injuring, robbing, or beating people. If they go thinking it is frightening, but then see that it is not, the nuns are to be dismissed, “Go, Sisters.”

Permutations

If there is an appointment, and he perceives that there is, and he travels on a main road with a nun, even if just between villages, unless there is an appropriate reason, he commits an offense entailing confession. If there is an appointment, but he is unsure if there is, and he travels on a main road with a nun, even if just between villages, unless there is an appropriate reason, he commits an offense entailing confession. If there is an appointment, but he perceives that there is not, and he travels on a main road with a nun, even if just between villages, unless there is an appropriate reason, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If the monk makes an appointment, but the nun does not express her agreement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If there is no appointment, but he perceives that there is, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If there is no appointment, but he is unsure of it, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If there is no appointment, and he perceives that there is not, there is no offense.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if there is an appropriate reason; if he goes without an appointment; if the nun has made an appointment, but he has not expressed his agreement; if they go, but not according to the appointment; if there are dangers; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The seventh rule, the training rule on appointments, is finished.