Theravāda Collection on Monastic Law

Monks’ rules and their analysis

Monks’ Suspension

3. The training rule on lewd speech

Origin story

At one time, the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. At that time, Venerable Udāyī was staying in the wilderness, in a beautiful dwelling. Just then a number of women came to the monastery to see the dwellings. They approached Udāyī and said, “Venerable, we would like to see your dwelling.”

Then, after showing them his own dwelling, he praised and disparaged their private parts; he requested and implored, asked and enquired, described, instructed, and abused. Those women among them who were wanton and shameless flirted with Udāyī; they called out to him, laughed with him, and made fun of him. But, after leaving, those among them who had a sense of shame complained to the monks, “Venerables, this isn’t suitable and appropriate. We wouldn’t want to hear this from our own husbands, let alone from Venerable Udāyī.”

The monks of few desires … complained and criticized him, “How can Venerable Udāyī speak lewdly to women?”

They rebuked Udāyī in many ways and informed the Master. And the Master had the Order of monks assembled and questioned Udāyī, “Is it true, Udāyī, that you spoke lewdly to women?”

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked him, “It’s not suitable, foolish man, it’s not proper, it’s not worthy of a recluse, it’s not allowable, it should not to be done. How can you speak lewdly to women? Haven’t I given many teachings for the sake of dispassion, not for the sake of passion … for the stilling of the fevers of sense desire? This will not give rise to confidence in those without it … And, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘If a lustful monk speaks lewd words connected with sexual intercourse to a woman, as a young man might to a young woman, he commits an offense entailing suspension.’”

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.

Lustful: having lust, longing for, in love with.

A woman: a human female, not a female spirit, not a female ghost, not a female animal. She understands and is capable of discerning bad speech and good speech, what is lewd and what is not lewd.

Lewd words: speech connected with the anus, the vagina, or sexual intercourse.

Speaks: misconduct is what is meant.

As a young man might to a young woman: a male youth to a female youth, a boy to a girl, a male indulging in sense pleasures to a female indulging in sense pleasures.

Connected with sexual intercourse: connected with the sexual act.

He commits an offense entailing suspension: … Therefore, too, it is called “an offense entailing suspension.”

Permutations

Summary

Referring to the two private orifices, he praises, disparages, requests, implores, asks, enquires, describes, instructs, abuses.

Sub-definitions

Praises: extols, praises, commends the two private orifices.

Disparages: despises, reviles, censures the two private orifices.

Requests: saying, “Give to me; you should to give to me.”

Implores: saying, “When will you please your mother? When will you please your father? When will you please the gods? When will there be a good opportunity, a good time, a good moment? When will I have sexual intercourse with you?”

Asks: saying, “How do you give to your husband? How do you give to your lover?”

Enquires: saying, “So in this way you give to your husband; in this way you give to your lover?”

Describes: having been asked, he says, “Give in this way. When you do, you’ll be dear and pleasing to your husband.”

Instructs: not having been asked, he says, “Give in this way. When you do, you’ll be dear and pleasing to your husband.”

Abuses: saying, “You’re lacking sexual characteristics; you’re defective in sexual characteristics; you don’t menstruate; you menstruate continuously; you use the menstruation cloth continuously; you’re dripping; you’re deformed; you’re a sexually non-conformist female; you have male characteristics; your sexual characteristics are mixed; you’re a hermaphrodite.”

Exposition

It is a woman, he perceives her as a woman, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to one of the two private orifices of the woman, praises, disparages, requests, implores, asks, enquires, describes, instructs, abuses, he commits an offense entailing suspension. … To be expanded as in Saṅghādisesa 2, paragraphs 30–44. …

It is two women, he perceives them both as women, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to one of the two private orifices of both women, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits two offenses entailing suspension. … To be expanded as in Saṅghādisesa 2, paragraphs 45–53. …

It is a woman and a sexual non-conformist, but he perceives both as women, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to one of the two private orifices of both of them, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits one offense entailing suspension and one offense of wrong conduct. … To be expanded as in Saṅghādisesa 2, paragraphs 54–69. …


It is a woman, he perceives her as a woman, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to any part of the woman below the collar bone but above the knees, apart from the two private orifices, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits a serious offense. …

It is two women, he perceives them both as women, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to any part of both women below the collar bone but above the knees, apart from the two private orifices, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits two serious offenses. …

It is a woman and a sexual non-conformist, but he perceives both as women, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to any part of both of them below the collar bone but above the knees, apart from the two private orifices, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits one serious offense and one offense of wrong conduct. …


It is a woman, he perceives her as a woman, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to any part of the woman above the collar bone or below the knees, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. …

It is two women, he perceives them both as women, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to any part of both women above the collar bone or below the knees, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits two offenses of wrong conduct. …

It is a woman and a sexual non-conformist, but he perceives both as women, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to any part of both of them above the collar bone or below the knees, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits two offenses of wrong conduct. …


It is a woman, he perceives her as a woman, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to anything connected to the woman’s body, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits an offense of wrong conduct. …

It is two women, he perceives them both as women, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to anything connected to the body of both women, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits two offenses of wrong conduct. …

It is a woman and a sexual non-conformist, but he perceives both as women, and he has lust. If the monk, referring to anything connected to the body of both of them, praises, disparages … abuses, he commits two offenses of wrong conduct. …

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if he is aiming at what is beneficial; if he is aiming at giving a teaching; if he is aiming at giving instruction; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.

Case rulings

Mnemonic list

Red, coarse, thick,
Rough, long, sown;
I hope the path has an end,
Faith, with a gift, with work.

Case details

At one time, a certain woman was wearing a newly dyed upper robe of wool. A monk, being lustful, said to her, “Sister, is that red thing yours?” She did not understand and said, “Yes, Venerable, it’s a newly dyed upper robe of wool.” He became remorseful and thought, “The Master has laid down a training rule. Could it be that I’ve committed an offense entailing suspension?” He informed the Master, and the Master said, “There’s no offense entailing suspension, but there’s an offense of wrong conduct.”


At one time, a certain woman was wearing an upper robe of coarse wool. A monk, being lustful, said to her, “Sister, is that coarse hair yours?” She did not understand and said, “Yes, Venerable, it’s an upper robe of coarse wool.” He became remorseful … “There’s no offense entailing suspension, but there’s an offense of wrong conduct.”


At one time, a certain woman was wearing a newly woven upper robe of wool. A monk, being lustful, said to her, “Sister, is that thick hair yours?” She did not understand and said, “Yes, Venerable, it’s a newly woven upper robe of wool.” He became remorseful … “There’s no offense entailing suspension, but there’s an offense of wrong conduct.”


At one time, a certain woman was wearing an upper robe of coarse wool. A monk, being lustful, said to her, “Sister, is that rough hair yours?” She did not understand and said, “Yes, Venerable, it’s an upper robe of coarse wool.” He became remorseful … “There’s no offense entailing suspension, but there’s an offense of wrong conduct.”


At one time, a certain woman was wearing a fleecy upper robe. A monk, being lustful, said to her, “Sister, is that long hair yours?” She did not understand and said, “Yes, Venerable, it’s a fleecy upper robe.” He became remorseful … “There’s no offense entailing suspension, but there’s an offense of wrong conduct.”


At one time, a woman was returning after having had a field sown. A monk, being lustful, said to her, “Have you sown, Sister?” She did not understand and said, “Yes, Venerable, but the furrow is not yet closed.” He became remorseful … “There’s no offense entailing suspension, but there’s an offense of wrong conduct.”


At one time, a monk saw a female wanderer coming in the opposite direction, and being lustful he said to her, “Sister, I hope the path has an end?” She did not understand and said, “Yes, just keep going.” He became remorseful … “There’s no offense entailing suspension, but there’s a serious offense.”


At one time, a monk, being lustful, said to a woman, “You have confidence, Sister, but you don’t give us what you give your husband.”

“What’s that, Venerable?”

“Sexual intercourse.” He became remorseful … “There’s an offense entailing suspension.”


At one time, a monk, being lustful, said to a woman, “You have confidence, Sister, yet you don’t give us the highest gift.”

“What’s the highest gift, Venerable?”

“Sexual intercourse.” He became remorseful … “There’s an offense entailing suspension.”


At one time, a woman was doing some work. A monk, being lustful, said to her, “Stand, Sister, I’ll work.” … “Sit, Sister, I’ll work.” … “Lie down, Sister, I’ll work.” She did not understand. He became remorseful … “There’s no offense entailing suspension, but there’s an offense of wrong conduct.”

The third rule, the training rule on lewd speech, is finished.