Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Monks’ rules and their analysis

Monks’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 86

… among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan monastery. Now at that time monks were invited by a certain ivory-worker, saying: “If the masters want a needle case, I (can supply them) with a needle-case.” Then the monks asked for many needle-cases; they asked for large needle-cases for those who had small needle-cases, they asked for small needle-cases for those who had large needle-cases. Then that ivory-worker, making many needle-cases for the monks, was not able to make other goods for sale, and he did not keep himself going and his wife and children suffered. People … spread it about, saying: “How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, not knowing moderation, ask for many needle-cases? This (man), making many needle-cases for these (monks), is not able to make other goods for sale … and his wife and children suffer.” Monks heard these people who … spread it about. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying: “How can these monks, not knowing moderation, ask for many needle-cases? …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that monks, not knowing moderation, asked for many needle-cases?” “It is true, lord.”

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

“How can you, monks, not knowing moderation, ask for many needle-cases? 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 have a needle-case made that is made of bone or made of ivory or made of horn, there is an offence of expiation involving breaking up.


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

Bone means: whatever is bone.

Ivory means: it is called elephant-ivory.

Horn means: whatever is horn.

Should have made means: if he makes it or causes it to be made, in the action there is an offence of wrong-doing: having broken it up on acquisition, an offence of expiation is to be confessed.

If what was incompletely executed by himself he has finished by himself, there is an offence of expiation. If he makes others finish what was incompletely executed by himself, there is an offence of expiation. If what was incompletely executed by others he has finished by himself, there is an offence of expiation . If he makes others finish what was incompletely executed by others, there is an offence of expiation. If he makes it or causes it to be made for another, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If, having acquired what was made for another, he makes use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


There is no offence if it is a block, fire-wood, a buckle, a box for ointment, a stick to put the ointment on with, the handle of an adze, a towel; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Fourth