Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Monks’ rules and their analysis

Monks’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 71

… at Kosambī in Ghosita’s monastery. Now at that time the venerable Channa indulged in bad habits. Monks spoke thus: “Reverend Channa, do not do that, it is not allowable.” He spoke thus:

“Your reverences, I will not train myself in this rule of training until I have inquired about it of another monk, experienced, expert in discipline.”

Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can the venerable Channa, being spoken to by monks regarding a rule, speak thus: ‘Your reverences, I will not train myself … expert in discipline’?”

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Channa, being spoken to by monks regarding a rule, spoke thus: ‘Your reverences, I will not train myself … expert in discipline’?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, foolish man, being spoken to by monks regarding a rule, speak thus: ‘Your reverences, I will not train myself … expert in discipline’? It is not, foolish man, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk, being spoken to by monks regarding a rule, should speak thus: ‘Your reverences, I will not train myself in this rule of training until I have inquired about it of another monk, experienced, expert in discipline,’ there is an offence of expiation. Monks, it should be learnt, it should be inquired into, it should be investigated by a monk who is training. This is the proper course here.


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

By monks means: by other monks.

Regarding a rule means: whatever is a rule of training laid down by the lord, this is called regarding a rule.

Being spoken to … should speak thus: ‘Your reverences, I will not train myself until I have inquired … expert in discipline’ means: if he says, “I am inquiring about it of a wise, experienced, clever, learned speaker on the rules,” there is an offence of expiation.


If he thinks that he is ordained when he is ordained (and) speaks thus, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether he is ordained … If he thinks that he is not ordained when he is ordained (and) speaks thus, there is an offence of expiation. If, being spoken to about what is not laid down, he speaks thus, “This does not conduce to expunging (evil), nor to punctiliousness, nor to graciousness, nor to decreasing (the obstructions), nor to putting forth energy,” (and) says: “Your reverences, I will not train myself in this rule of training until I have inquired about it of another monk, experienced, expert in discipline, one who is a wise, experienced, clever, learned speaker on the rules,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. If being spoken to by one who is not ordained about what is laid down or about what is not laid down, he speaks thus: “This does not conduce to expunging (evil) … nor to putting forth energy,” (and) says, “Your reverences, I will not train myself in this rule of training until I have inquired about it of another monk, experienced, expert in discipline, one who is a wise, experienced, clever, learned speaker on the rules,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he is ordained when he is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether he is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he is not ordained when he is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

Is training means: is desiring to train.

It should be learnt means: it should be known.

It should be inquired into means: he says, “This, honoured sir, what is the meaning of this?”

It should be investigated means: it should be thought about, it should be examined.

This is the proper course here means: this is the appropriate course here.


There is no offence if he says, “I will know (about it and) I will train”; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The First