Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Monks’ rules and their analysis

Monks’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 37

… at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove at the squirrels’ feeding-place. Now at that time, in Rājagaha there came to be a festival on a mountain-top. The group of seventeen monks went to see the festival on the mountain-top. People, seeing the group of seventeen monks, having bathed, having anointed themselves, having offered (them) (food), gave solid food. The group of seventeen monks, taking the solid food, having gone to the monastery, said to the group of six monks:

“Take, your reverences, eat solid food.”

“Where did your reverences obtain solid food?” they said.

The group of seventeen monks told this matter to the group of six monks.

“Then do you, your reverences, eat a meal at the wrong time?”

“Yes, your reverences.”

The group of six monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can the group of seventeen monks eat a meal at the wrong time?” Then this group of six monks told this matter to the monks. Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can the group of seventeen monks eat a meal at the wrong time?” These monks told this matter to the lord.

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, ate a meal at the wrong time?”

“It is true, lord.”

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying:

“How can you, foolish men, eat a meal at the wrong time? It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should eat or partake of solid food or soft food at the wrong time, there is an offence of expiation.


Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

The wrong time means: after noon has passed until sunrise.

Solid food means: Soft food means: … meat. If he accepts it, thinking: “I will eat, I will partake of,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful there is an offence of expiation.


If he thinks that it is the wrong time when it is the wrong time (and) eats or partakes of solid food or soft food, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is the wrong time … If he thinks that it is the right time when it is the wrong time … offence of expiation. If he accepts for the sake of nourishment (food to be eaten) during a watch of the night, during seven days, during life, there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is the wrong time when it is the right time, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is the right time, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is the right time when it is the right time, there is no offence.


There is no offence if, when there is a reason, he makes use of (food) to be eaten during a watch of the night, during seven days, during life; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Seventh