The chapter on confession (pācittiya)

Monks’ Confession 9: the training rule on informing about what is serious

Origin story

At one time the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. At that time Venerable Upananda the Sakyan was quarreling with the monks from the group of six.

At this time Upananda committed an offense of intentional emission of semen. He then asked the Order for probation for that offense, which he received. Just then an association in Sāvatthī was offering a meal to the Order. Because Upananda was on probation, he was seated on the last seat in the dining hall. The monks from the group of six then told those lay followers, “Sirs, this Venerable Upananda, the esteemed associate of your families, eats the food given in faith with the same hand he uses to emit semen. After committing an offense of intentional emission of semen, he asked the Order for probation for that offense, which he received. And because he’s on probation, he’s seated on the last seat in the dining hall.”

The monks of few desires … complained and criticized them, “How can the monks from the group of six inform a person who’s not fully ordained about a monk’s serious offense?” … “Is it true, monks, that you did this?”

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked them, “… Foolish men, how can you inform a person who’s not fully ordained about a monk’s serious offense? This will not give rise to confidence in those without it … And so, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘If a monk informs a person who is not fully ordained about another monk’s serious offense, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing confession.’”

Definitions

A: whoever … Monk: … The monk who has been given the full ordination by a complete Order through a formal procedure consisting of one motion and three announcements that is unchallengeable and fit to stand—this sort of monk is meant in this case.

Another monk’s: a different monk’s.

A serious offense: the four offenses entailing expulsion and the thirteen offenses entailing suspension.

A person who is not fully ordained: anyone except a fully ordained monk and a fully ordained nun.

Informs: informs a woman or a man or a householder or a monastic.

Except if the monks have agreed: unless he has the permission of the monks.

Permutations

Permutations part 1

Summary

There is permission of the monks with a limit on offenses, but not on families. There is permission of the monks with a limit on families, but not on offenses. There is permission of the monks with a limit both on offenses and on families. There is permission of the monks with a limit neither on offenses nor on families.

Definitions

With a limit on offenses: offenses are specified: “These particular offenses can be informed about.”

With limit on families: families are specified: “These particular families can be informed.”

With a limit both on offenses and on families: both offenses and families are specified: “These particular offenses can be informed about, and these particular families can be informed.”

With a limit neither on offenses nor on families: neither offenses nor families are specified in this way.

Exposition

When there is a limit on offenses, if he informs about other offenses than those that are specified, he commits an offense entailing confession.

When there is a limit on families, if he informs other families than those that are specified, he commits an offense entailing confession.

When there is a limit both on offenses and on families, if he informs about other offenses than those that are specified and he informs other families than those that are specified, he commits an offense entailing confession.

When there is a limit neither on offenses nor on families, there is no offense.

Permutations part 2

If the offense is serious, and he perceives it as serious, and he informs a person who is not fully ordained, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If the offense is serious, but he is unsure if it is, and he informs a person who is not fully ordained, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If the offense is serious, but he perceives it as not serious, and he informs a person who is not fully ordained, then, except if the monks have agreed, he commits an offense entailing confession.

If he informs about an offense that is not serious, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.

If he informs about the misconduct of a person who is not fully ordained, whether serious or not, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.

If the offense is not serious, but he perceives it as serious, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.

If the offense is not serious, but he is unsure of it, he commits an offense of wrong conduct.

If the offense is not serious, and he perceives it as not serious, there is no offense.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if he informs about the action which was the basis for the offense, but not the class of offense; if he informs about the class of offense, but not the action that was the basis for the offense; if the monks have agreed; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.


The ninth rule, the training rule on informing about what is serious, is finished.