The chapter on confession (pācittiya)

Monks’ Confession 3: the training rule on malicious talebearing

Origin 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 were engaged in malicious talebearing between monks who were arguing. After hearing something on one side they reported it to the other side, and vice versa, in order to create division between them. In this way new quarrels were created and existing quarrels became worse.

The monks of few desires … complained and criticized them, “How can the monks from the group of six engage in malicious talebearing between monks who are arguing? How can they report to one side what they have heard on the other side, and vice versa, in order to create division, and in this way create new quarrels and make existing quarrels worse?”

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

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked them, “… Foolish men, how can you engage in malicious talebearing between monks who are arguing? How can you report to one side what you have heard on the other side, and vice versa, in order to create division, and in this way create new quarrels and make existing quarrels worse? This will not give rise to confidence in those without it or increase the confidence of those who have it … And, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘If a monk engages in malicious talebearing between monks, he commits an offense entailing confession.’”

Definitions

Malicious talebearing: there is malicious talebearing in two ways: for one wanting to endear himself or for one aiming at division. One engages in malicious talebearing in ten ways: about caste, about name, about family, about work, about craft, about illnesses, about physical traits, about defilements, about offenses, and by insulting.

Permutations

Permutations part 1

Definitions

Caste: there are two kinds of castes: low castes and high castes. Low castes: outcasts, bamboo workers, hunters, chariot-makers, waste-removers— these are called “low castes.” High castes: aristocrats and brahmins— these are called “high castes.” … To be expanded as in Pācittiya 2, paragraphs 9–16.

Insults: there are two kinds of insults: low insults and high insults. Low insults: “you’re a camel/you’re a ram/you’re an ox/you’re a donkey/you’re an animal/you’re bound for hell/you’re not going to a good destination/you can only expect a bad destination,” or adding the disparaging endings ya or bha to someone’s name, or calling someone words for the male and female genitals— these are called “low insults.” High insults: “you’re wise/you’re competent/you’re intelligent/you’re learned/you’re an expounder of the Teaching/you’re not going to a bad destination/you can only expect a good destination”— these are called “high insults.”

Exposition

Direct abuse

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s an outcast/he’s a bamboo worker/he’s a hunter/he’s a chariot-maker/he’s a waste-remover,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s an aristocrat/he’s a brahmin,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s an Avakaṇṇaka/he’s a Javakaṇṇaka/he’s a Dhaniṭṭhaka/he’s a Saviṭṭhaka/he’s a Kulavaḍḍhaka,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a Buddharakkhita/he’s a Dhammarakkhita/he’s a Sangharakkhita,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a Kosiya/he’s a Bhāradvāja,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a Gotama/he’s a Moggallāna/he’s a Kaccāna/he’s a Vāsiṭṭha,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a carpenter/he’s a waste-remover,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a farmer/he’s a trader/he’s a cattle-keeper,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a reed-worker/he’s a potter/he’s a weaver/he’s a leather-worker/he’s a hairdresser,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a calculator/he’s an accountant/he’s a scribe,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a leper/he has boils/he has tuberculosis/he’s an epileptic,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a diabetic,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s too tall/he’s too short/he’s too dark/he’s too fair,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s not too tall/he’s not too short/he’s not too dark/he’s not too fair,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s full of sensual desire/he’s full of ill-will/he’s full of confusion,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s without sensual desire/he’s without ill-will/he’s without confusion,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He has committed an offense entailing expulsion/he has committed an offense entailing suspension/he has committed a serious offense/he has committed an offense entailing confession/he has committed an offense entailing acknowledgment/he has committed an offense of wrong conduct/he has committed an offense of bad speech,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a stream-enterer,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s a camel/he’s a ram/he’s an ox/he’s a donkey/he’s an animal/he’s bound for hell/he’s not going to a good destination/he can only expect a bad destination,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says this about you, ‘He’s wise/he’s competent/he’s intelligent/he’s learned/he’s an expounder of the Teaching/he’s not going to a bad destination/he can only expect a good destination,’” then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

Indirect abuse

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says, ‘There are outcasts/bamboo workers/hunters/chariot-makers/waste-removers, right here,’ and he’s not speaking about anyone else, he’s speaking about you,” then for every statement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says, ‘There are aristocrats/brahmins, right here,’ and he’s not speaking about anyone else, he’s speaking about you,” then for every statement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. …

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says, ‘There are wise ones/competent ones/intelligent ones/learned ones/expounders of the Teaching/those not going to a bad destination/those who can only expect a good destination, right here,’ and he’s not speaking about anyone else, he’s speaking about you,” then for every statement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says, ‘Perhaps these are outcasts/bamboo workers/hunters/chariot-makers/waste-removers,’ and he’s not speaking about anyone else, he’s speaking about you,” then for every statement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. …

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says, ‘Perhaps these are wise ones/competent ones/intelligent ones/learned ones/expounders of the Teaching,’ and he’s not speaking about anyone else, he’s speaking about you,” then for every statement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.


If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says, ‘We’re not outcasts/bamboo workers/hunters/chariot-makers/waste-removers,’ and he’s not speaking about anyone else, he’s speaking about you,” then for every statement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. …

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing by saying to yet another who is fully ordained, “So-and-so says, ‘We’re not wise ones/we’re not competent ones/we’re not intelligent ones/we’re not learned ones/we’re not expounders of the Teaching/we’re not going to a bad destination/we can only expect a good destination,’ and he’s not speaking about anyone else, he’s speaking about you,” then for every statement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.

Permutations part 2

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing to yet another who is fully ordained, then for every statement, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from another who is fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing to one who is not fully ordained, then for every statement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from one who is not fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing to another who is fully ordained, then for every statement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.

If one who is fully ordained, after hearing it from one who is not fully ordained, engages in malicious talebearing to another who is not fully ordained, then for every statement, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if he does not want to endear himself; if he is not aiming at division; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The third rule, the training rule on malicious talebearing, is finished.