Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Monks’ rules and their analysis

Monks’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 83

… at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala enjoined the keeper of the pleasure ground, saying: “Good sir, go along, clear the pleasure ground, we will go to the pleasure ground.”

“Very well, sire,” and the keeper of the pleasure ground, having answered King Pasenadi of Kosala, clearing the pleasure ground, saw the lord sitting at the foot of a certain tree, and seeing him, he approached King Pasenadi of Kosala, and having approached he spoke thus to King Pasenadi of Kosala:

“Sire, the pleasure ground is cleared, but the lord is sitting there.”

“Good sir, let him be, we will pay homage to the lord.” Then King Pasenadi of Kosala, having gone to the pleasure ground, approached the lord. Now at that time a certain lay follower was sitting down paying homage to the lord. King Pasenadi of Kosala saw that lay follower sitting down paying homage to the lord; seeing him he stood, afraid. Then it occurred to King Pasenadi of Kosala: “This man cannot be depraved, inasmuch as he is paying homage to the lord,” (and) he approached the lord; having approached, having greeted the lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. Then that lay follower, out of respect for the lord, neither greeted nor stood up for King Pasenadi of Kosala. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala became displeased, saying: “How can this man, when I come neither greet (me) nor stand up?”

Then the lord, knowing that King Pasenadi of Kosala was displeased, spoke thus to King Pasenadi of Kosala: “Sire, this lay follower is very learned, he is one to whom the tradition has been handed down, he is devoid of passion in respect of sense-pleasures.”

Then it occurred to King Pasenadi of Kosala: “This lay follower cannot be inferior, for the lord speaks praise of him,” and he said to this lay follower: “You may say, lay follower, what will be of use.”

“Very well, sire.”

Then the lord … delighted King Pasenadi of Kosala with talk on dhamma. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala having been … delighted by the lord with talk on dhamma, rising up from his seat, having greeted the lord, departed keeping his right side towards him. Now at that time King Pasenadi of Kosala came to be on the upper storey of the palace. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala saw this lay follower going along the road, a sunshade in his hand; seeing him, having had him summoned, he spoke thus: “They say that you, lay follower, are very learned, one to whom the tradition has been handed down; it would be well, lay follower, that you should teach dhamma in our women’s apartments.”

“Sire, what I know is owing to the masters, only the masters shall teach dhamma in the women’s apartments of the king.”


Then King Pasenadi of Kosala, thinking: “What the lay follower says is true,” approached the lord; having approached, having greeted the lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, King Pasenadi of Kosala spoke thus to the lord:

“It were well, lord, if the lord were to enjoin one monk who should teach dhamma in our women’s apartments.”

Then the lord … delighted King Pasenadi of Kosala with talk on dhamma … he departed keeping his right side towards him. Then the lord addressed the venerable Ānanda, saying: “Well now, Ānanda, do teach dhamma in the King’s women’s apartments.”

“Very well, lord,” and the venerable Ānanda having answered the lord, having gone in from time to time, spoke dhamma in the King’s women’s apartments. Then the venerable Ānanda, dressing in the morning, taking his bowl and robe, approached the dwelling of King Pasenadi of Kosala. Now at that time King Pasenadi of Kosala was in bed with Queen Mallikā. Queen Mallikā saw the venerable Ānanda approaching from afar, and seeing him she got up hastily; her garments, burnished cloth of gold, slipped down. Then the venerable Ānanda, having turned back again from there, having gone to the monastery, told this matter to the monks. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can the venerable Ānanda, not announced beforehand, enter the King’s women’s apartments?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, Ānanda, not announced beforehand, entered the King’s women’s apartments?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, Ānanda, not announced beforehand, enter the King’s women’s apartments? It is not, Ānanda, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased …” and having rebuked him, having given reasoned talk, he addressed the monks, saying:


“Monks, there are these ten dangers of entering a king’s women’s quarters. What are the ten?

  1. “Here, monks, the king is seated together with the chief consort; a monk enters there; either the chief consort, having seen the monk, smiles, or the monk, having seen the chief consort, smiles; then it occurs to the king: ‘Surely it is done by these, or they will do it.’ This, monks, is the first danger of entering a king’s women’s quarters.
  2. “And again, monks, a king is very busy, with much to be done; having gone to a certain woman, he does not remember; she on account of this, conceives (a child); then it occurs to the king: ‘No one enters here except one who has gone forth; now can this be the deed of one who has gone forth?’ This, monks, is the second danger of entering a king’s women’s quarters.
  3. “And again, monks, some jewel disappears in a king’s women’s quarters. Then it occurs to the king; ‘No one else enters here except one who has gone forth; now can this be the deed of one who has gone forth?’ This, monks, is the third danger …
  4. “And again, monks, the secret plans within a king’s women’s quarters by being divulged abroad are spoiled. Then it occurs to the king: ‘No one else enters here except one who has gone forth; now can this be the deed of one who has gone forth?’ This, monks, is the fourth danger …
  5. “And again, monks, in a king’s women’s apartments either a son asks for (his) father, or a father asks for (his) son; it occurs to these: ‘No one else enters here except one who has gone forth; now can this be the deed of one who has gone forth?’ This, monks, is the fifth danger …
  6. “And again, monks, a king establishes in a high place one having a lowly position; it occurs to those to whom this is unpleasing: ‘The king is associating with one who has gone forth; now can this be the deed of one who has gone forth?’ This, monks, is the sixth danger …
  7. “And again, monks, a king establishes in a lowly place one having a high position; it occurs to those … This, monks, is the seventh danger …
  8. “And again, monks, the king sends out the army at the wrong time. It occurs to those … This, monks, is the eighth danger …
  9. “And again, monks, a king, having sent out the army at the right time, makes it turn back from the highroad; it occurs to those … This, monks, is the ninth danger …
  10. “And again, monks, when a king’s women’s quarters are crowded with elephants, crowded with horses, crowded with chariots, there are forms, sounds, scents, tastes, tangible objects for causing delight, which are not suitable for one who has gone forth. This, monks, is the tenth danger of entering a king’s women’s quarters. Monks, these are the ten dangers of entering a king’s women’s quarters.”

Thus the lord, in many a figure having rebuked the venerable Ānanda on his difficulty in maintaining himself … “… And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

Whatever monk, not announced beforehand, should cross the threshold of an anointed king of noble class from which the king has not departed, from which the queen has not withdrawn, there is an offence of expiation.”


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

Noble class means: of pure birth on both the mother’s side and the father’s side back through seven generations, not open to criticism, unblemished in point of birth.

Anointed means: he becomes anointed in accordance with the consecration of a noble.

From which the king has not departed means: the king has not departed from the sleeping-room.

From which the queen has not withdrawn means: the chief consort has not departed from the sleeping-room; or neither has departed.

Not announced beforehand means: without having announced oneself beforehand.

Threshold means: it is called the threshold of the sleeping-room.

Sleeping-room means: there wherever the king’s bed is made ready, even if it is only surrounded by a screen-wall.

Should cross the threshold means: if he makes the first foot cross the threshold, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he makes the second foot cross, there is an offence of expiation.


If he thinks that he is not announced when he is not announced, (and) crosses the threshold, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether he is not announced … If he thinks that he is announced when he is not announced … offence of expiation. If he thinks that he is not announced when he is announced, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether he is announced, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that he is announced when he is announced, there is no offence.


There is no offence if he is announced; if he is not of noble class; if he is not anointed in accordance with the consecration of a noble; if the king has departed from the sleeping-room, if the chief consort has departed from the sleeping-room, or if both have departed; if it is not in the sleeping-room; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The First