Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Monks’ rules and their analysis

Monks’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 44

… at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, having gone to the house of a friend, sat down in a private place on a secluded seat together with his wife. Then that man looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

“How can master Upananda sit down in a private place on a secluded seat together with my wife?”

Monks heard that man who … spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can the venerable Upananda, the son of the Sakyans, sit down in a private place on a secluded seat together with a woman?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Upananda, sat down … with a woman?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish man, sit down … with a woman? Foolish man, it is not for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk should sit down in a private place on a secluded seat together with a woman, there is an offence of expiation.”


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

Woman means: a human woman, not a female yakkha, not a female departed one, not a female animal, even a girl born this very day, much more an older one.

Together with means: together.

A private place means: private from the eye, private from the ear. Private from the eye means: if covering the eye, or raising the eyebrow, or raising the head, he is unable to see. Private from the ear means: it is impossible to hear ordinary talk.

A secluded seat means: it is secluded by a wall built of wattle and daub or by a door or by a screen or by a screen-wall or by a tree or by a pillar or by a sack or by anything whatever.

Should sit down means: if a woman is sitting and a monk comes to be sitting or lying down close (to her), there is an offence of expiation; if a monk is sitting and a woman comes to be sitting or lying down close (to him), there is an offence of expiation. Or if both are sitting or if both are lying down, there is an offence of expiation.


If he thinks that it is a woman when it is a woman (and) sits down in a private place on a secluded seat, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is a woman … If he thinks that it is not a woman when it is a woman … offence of expiation. If he sits down in a private place on a secluded seat with a female yakkha or with a female departed one or with a eunuch or with an animal in woman’s form, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is a woman when it is not a woman, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not a woman, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is not a woman when it is not a woman, there is no offence.


There is no offence if some learned friend comes to be (present); if he stands, does not sit; if he is not desirous of a private place; if he sits down thinking about something else; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Fourth