The chapter on confession (pācittiya)

Monks’ Confession 28: the training rule on boarding boats

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 boarded a boat by appointment with nuns. People complained and criticized them, “Just as we amuse ourselves on boats with our wives, so these Sakyan ascetics make appointments with nuns and then amuse themselves on boats.”

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 board boats by appointments with nuns?” … “Is it true, monks, that you do this?”

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked them, “… Foolish men, how can you board boats by appointments 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 boards a boat by appointment with a nun, either to go upstream or downstream, 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. On the way they had to cross a river, and the nuns said to the monks, “We’ll cross with you.”

“Sisters, it’s not allowable for us to board a boat by appointment with a nun. You should cross first, or we will.”

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

But because the nuns crossed afterwards, 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 board a boat by appointment with a nun if it’s for the purpose of crossing. ”And so, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘If a monk boards a boat by appointment with a nun, either to go upstream or downstream, unless it is for the purpose of crossing, he commits an offense entailing confession.’”

Definitions

A: whoever … Monk: … he 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 board, Sister,” and she replies, “Yes, let’s board, Venerable;” or she says, “Lets’s board, Venerable,” and he replies, “Yes, let’s board, Sister;” or he says, “Let’s board today/tomorrow/the day after tomorrow,” then he commits an offense of wrong conduct.


If the monk boards when the nun has already boarded, he commits an offense entailing confession. If the nun boards when the monks has already boarded, he commits an offense entailing confession. If they both board together, he commits an offense entailing confession.


To go upstream: for the purpose of going against the stream.

To go downstream: for the purpose of going with the stream.

Unless it is for the purpose of crossing: except to go across.


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.

Permutations

If there is an appointment, and he perceives that there is, and he boards a boat with a nun, either to go upstream or downstream, unless it is for the purpose of crossing, he commits an offense entailing confession. If there is an appointment, but he is unsure if there is, and he boards a boat with a nun, either to go upstream or downstream, unless it is for the purpose of crossing, he commits an offense entailing confession. If there is an appointment, but he perceives that there is not, and he boards a boat with a nun, either to go upstream or downstream, unless it is for the purpose of crossing, 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 it is for the purpose of crossing; if he boards without an appointment; if the nun has made an appointment, but he has not expressed his agreement; if they board, but not according to the appointment; if there are dangers; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The eighth rule, the training rule on boarding boats, is finished.