The chapter on confession (pācittiya)

Monks’ Confession 30: the training rule on sitting in private

Origin story

At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. At that time the former wife of Venerable Udāyī had been given the full ordination as a nun. She often went to see Udāyī, and he often went to see her. And on one occasion Udāyī was seated in private alone with that nun.

The monks of few desires … complained and criticized him, “How can Venerable Udāyī sit in private alone with a nun?” … “Is it true, Udāyī, that you did this?”

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked him, “… Foolish man, how can you sit in private alone with a nun? 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 sits in private alone with a nun, 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.

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

With: together.

Alone: just the monk and the nun.

In private: there is private to the eye and there is private to the ear. Private to the eye: one is unable to see them winking, raising an eyebrow, or nodding. Private to the ear: one is unable to hear ordinary speech.

Sits: if the monk sits down or lies down next to a seated nun, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If a nun sits down or lies down next to the seated monk, he commits an offense entailing confession. If both are seated or both are lying down, he commits an offense entailing confession.

Permutations

If it is private, and he perceives it as private, and he sits down alone with a nun, he commits an offense entailing confession. If it is private, but he is unsure if it is, and he sits down alone with a nun, he commits an offense entailing confession. If it is private, but he perceives it as not private, and he sits down alone with a nun, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If it is not private, but he perceives it as private, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If it is not private, but he is unsure of it, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. If it is not private, and he perceives it as not private, there is no offense.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if he has another person who understands as a companion; if he stands and does not sit down; if he is not seeking privacy; if he sits down thinking of something else; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The tenth rule, the training rule on sitting in private, is finished.

The third chapter on instruction is finished.

This is the summary:

Not agreed upon, gone down,
dwelling place, worldly gain, and by giving;
He sews, a main road, a boat, should eat,
Alone: those are the ten.