Theravāda Collection on Monastic Law

Monks’ rules and their analysis

Monks’ Suspension

8. The training rule on anger

Origin story

At one time the Buddha was staying at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the squirrel sanctuary. At that time Venerable Dabba the Mallian had realized perfection at the age of seven. He had realized all there is to be realized by a disciple and had nothing further to do. While he was in seclusion he reflected on this, and he thought, “How may I be of service to the Order?

Perhaps I could assign the lodgings for the Order and designate the meals?”

In the evening Dabba came out of seclusion and approached the Master. He bowed down to him, sat down to one side, and said, “Venerable Sir, while I was in seclusion I reflected that I’ve attained all that can be attained by a disciple, and I was wondering how I might be of service to the Order. I thought I could assign lodgings for the Order and designate the meals.”

“Well then, Dabba, please do so.”

“Ok.”

Soon afterwards the Master gave a teaching and addressed the monks: “Monks, let the Order appoint Dabba the Mallian as the assigner of lodgings and the designator of meals. And this is how he should be appointed. First Dabba should be asked, and then a competent and capable monk should inform the Order:

‘Venerables, let the Order listen to me. If it seems appropriate to the Order, it should appoint Venerable Dabba the Mallian as assigner of lodgings and as designator of meals. This is the motion.

Venerables, let the Order listen to me. The Order appoints Venerable Dabba the Mallian as assigner of lodgings and as designator of meals. Any monk who approves of appointing Venerable Dabba the Mallian as assigner of lodgings and as designator of meals should remain silent. Any monk who does not approve should say so.

The Order has appointed Venerable Dabba the Mallian as assigner of lodgings and as designator of meals. The Order approves and is therefore silent. I will remember it thus.’”

And Dabba assigned lodgings to the monks according to their character. He assigned lodgings in the same place to those monks who were discourse experts, thinking, “They’ll recite the discourses together.” And he did likewise for the experts on monastic law, thinking, “They’ll deliberate on the monastic law;” for the teachers, thinking, “They’ll discuss the Teaching;” for the meditators, thinking, “They won’t disturb each other;” and for the gossips and the body-builders, thinking, “In this way even these venerables will be happy.”

When monks arrived at night, he entered the fire element and assigned lodgings with the help of that light. Monks even arrived late on purpose, hoping to see the marvel of Dabba’s supernormal powers.

They would approach Dabba and say, “Venerable Dabba, assign us a lodging.”

“Where would you like to stay?”

They would intentionally suggest somewhere far away, “Please give us a lodging on Mount Vulture Peak/ at Robbers’ Cliff/ on Black Rock on the slope of Mount Isigili/ in the Sattapaṇṇi Cave on the slope of Mount Vebhāra/ in Cool Grove on the hill at the Snake’s Pool/ at Gomaṭa Gorge/ at Tinduka Gorge/ at Tapoda Gorge/ in Tapoda Park/ in Jīvaka’s Mango Grove/ in the deer park at Maddakucchi.”

Dabba then entered the fire element, and with his finger glowing, he walked in front of those monks. They followed closely behind him with the help of that light. And he would assign them lodgings: “This is the bed, this the bench, this the mattress, this the pillow, this the toilet, this the urinal, this the drinking water, this the water for other uses, this the walking stick; these are the Order’s agreements, this the time to enter, this the time to depart.” Dabba then returned to the Bamboo Grove.

At that time the monks Mettiya and Bhūmajaka had recently been given the full ordination. They had little merit, and they obtained inferior lodgings and meals. The people of Rājagaha were keen to give specially prepared almsfood to the senior monks—ghee, oil, and special foods— but to the monks Mettiya and Bhūmajaka they gave ordinary food of porridge and broken rice.

After the meal, when they had returned from almsround, they asked the senior monks, “What did you get at the dining hall?”

Some said, “We got ghee, oil, and special foods.”

But the monks Mettiya and Bhūmajaka said, “We didn’t get anything except ordinary food of porridge and broken rice.”

At that time there was a householder who gave a regular meal of fine food to four monks. He made his offering in the dining hall together with his wife and children. Some of them offered rice, others curries, others oil, and others special foods.

On one occasion the meal to be given by this householder on the following day had been designated to the monks Mettiya and Bhūmajaka. Just then that householder went to the monastery on some business. He approached Dabba, bowed down to him, and sat down to one side. Dabba then instructed, inspired, and gladdened him with a teaching. After the talk, he asked Dabba, “Venerable, who has been designated to receive tomorrow’s meal in our house?”

“Mettiya and Bhūmajaka.”

The householder was disappointed, and he thought, “Why should bad monks eat in our house?” After returning to his house, he told a female slave, “For those who are coming for tomorrow’s meal, prepare seats on the porch and serve them broken rice and porridge.”

“Yes, Sir.”

But the monks Mettiya and Bhūmajaka said to one another, “Yesterday we were designated a meal from the householder who offers fine food. Tomorrow he’ll serve us together with his wife and children. Some of them will offer us rice, others curry, others oil, and others special foods.” And because they were excited, they did not sleep properly that night.

After dressing the following morning, they took their bowl and robe and went to the house of that householder. When the female slave saw them coming, she prepared seats on the porch and said to them, “Please sit, Venerables.”

They thought, “The meal can’t be ready, since we’re given seats on the porch.”

She then brought them broken rice and porridge and said, “Eat, Venerables.”

“But, Sister, we’ve come for the regular meal.”

“I know. But yesterday I was told by the householder to serve you in this way. Please eat.”

And they said to each other, “Yesterday this householder came to the monastery and spoke with Dabba. Dabba must be responsible for this split between us and this householder.” And because they were dejected, they did not eat as much as they had intended. After the meal they returned to the monastery, put their bowls and robes away, and squatted on their heels outside the monastery entrance, supported by their outer robe. They were silent and dismayed, their shoulders drooping and their heads down, glum and speechless.

Just then the nun Mettiyā approached them and said, “I pay respect to you, Venerables.” But they did not respond. A second time and a third time she said the same thing, but they still did not respond.

“Have I done something wrong? Why don’t you respond?”

“It’s because we’ve been badly treated by Dabba the Mallian, and you’re not taking an interest.”

“What can I do?”

“If you would like, you could make the Master eject Dabba.”

“What should I do? How am I able to do that?”

“Go to the Master and say, ‘Venerable Sir, this is not proper or appropriate. There’s fear, distress, and oppression in this district, where none of these should exist. From where one would expect security, there’s insecurity. It’s as if water is burning. Venerable Dabba the Mallian has raped me.’”

“Very well, sirs,” and she approached the Master, bowed down to him, and stood to one side. She then repeated what she had been told to say.

Soon afterwards the Master had the Order of monks assembled and asked Dabba, “Dabba, do you remember doing as the nun Mettiyā says?”

“Venerable Sir, the Master knows about me.”

A second and a third time the Master asked the same question and got the same response. He then said, “Dabba, the Dabbas don’t give such evasive answers. If it was done by you, say so; if it wasn’t done by you, then say that.”

“Venerable Sir, since I was born I don’t recall having sexual intercourse even in a dream, much less when I was awake.”

And the Master addressed the monks, “Well then, monks, eject the nun Mettiyā, and call these monks to account.” The Master then rose from his seat and entered his dwelling.

When the monks had ejected the nun Mettiyā, the monks Mettiya and Bhūmajaka said to them, “Don’t eject the nun Mettiyā; she’s done nothing wrong. She was urged on by us, because we were angry, displeased, and aiming to make Dabba leave the monastic life.”

“But did you groundlessly accuse Dabba of an offense entailing expulsion?”

“Yes.”

The monks of few desires … complained and criticized them, “How can the monks Mettiya and Bhūmajaka groundlessly accuse Venerable Dabba of an offense entailing expulsion?”

They rebuked those monks in many ways and then informed the Master. … He said, “Is it true, monks, that you groundlessly accused Dabba the Mallian of an offense entailing expulsion?”

“It’s true, Master.”

The Buddha rebuked them: “… Foolish men, how can you groundlessly accuse Dabba of an offense entailing expulsion? This will not give rise to confidence in those without it … And, monks, this training rule should be recited thus:

Final ruling

‘If a monk who is angry and displeased groundlessly accuses another monk of an offense entailing expulsion, aiming to make him leave the monastic life, and then after some time, whether he is questioned or not, it is clear that the legal issue is groundless, and he admits to his ill-will, 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.

Another monk: a different monk.

Angry: upset, dissatisfied, discontent, having hatred, hostile.

Displeased: because of that upset, that ill-will, that dissatisfaction, and that discontent, he is displeased.

Groundlessly: not seen, not heard, not suspected.

An offense entailing expulsion: one of the four.

Accuses: accuses or causes to be accused.

To make him leave the monastic life: to make him leave the monkhood, leave the state of an ascetic, leave his virtue, leave the benefits of asceticism.

And then after some time: the moment, the instant, the second after he has made the accusation.

He is questioned: he is questioned about the grounds of his accusation.

Not: he is not spoken to by anyone.

The legal issue: there are four kinds of legal issues: legal issues due to disputes, legal issues due to accusations, legal issues due to offenses, legal issues due to proceedings.

And he admits to his ill-will: “what I said was empty, what I said was false, what I said was unreal; I said it without knowing.”

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

Permutations

Permutations part 1

Doing the accusing oneself

Although he has not seen it, he accuses someone of having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “I’ve seen that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic, not a son of the Sakyan; you’re excluded from the observance-day ceremony, from the invitation ceremony, and from the formal procedures of the Order.” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

Although he has not heard it, he accuses someone of having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “I’ve heard that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic, not a son of the Sakyan; you’re excluded from the observance-day ceremony, from the invitation ceremony, and from the formal procedures of the Order.” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

Although he does not suspect it, he accuses someone of having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “I suspect that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic, not a son of the Sakyan; you’re excluded from the observance-day ceremony, from the invitation ceremony, and from the formal procedures of the Order.” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.


Although he has not seen it, he accuses someone of having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “I’ve seen and I’ve heard that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

Although he has not seen it, he accuses someone of having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “I’ve seen and I suspect that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

Although he has not seen it, he accuses someone of having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “I’ve seen and I’ve heard and I suspect that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

Although he has not heard it, he accuses someone of having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “I’ve heard and I suspect … I’ve heard and I’ve seen … I’ve heard and I suspect and I’ve seen that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

Although he does not suspect it, he accuses someone of having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “I suspect and I’ve seen … I suspect and I’ve heard … I suspect and I’ve seen and I’ve heard that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.


He has seen that someone has committed an offense entailing expulsion, but he accuses him thus: “I’ve heard that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

He has seen that someone has committed an offense entailing expulsion, but he accuses him thus: “I suspect that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion … I’ve heard and I suspect that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

He has heard that someone has committed an offense entailing expulsion, but he accuses him thus: “I suspect that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion … I’ve seen that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion … I suspect and I’ve seen that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

He suspects that someone has committing an offense entailing expulsion, but he accuses him thus: “I’ve seen that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion … I’ve heard that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion … I’ve seen and I’ve heard that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic, not a son of the Sakyan …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.


He has seen someone committing an offense entailing expulsion, but he is unsure of what he has seen, he does not believe what he has seen, he does not remember what he has seen, he is confused about what he has seen … he is unsure of what he has heard, he does not believe what he has heard, he does not remember what he has heard, he is confused about what he has heard … he is unsure of what he suspects, he does not believe what he suspects, he does not remember what he suspects, he is confused about what he suspects. If he then accuses him thus: “I suspect and I’ve seen … I suspect and I’ve heard … I suspect and I’ve seen and I’ve heard that you’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic, not a son of the Sakyan; you’re excluded from the observance-day ceremony, from the invitation ceremony, and from the formal procedures of the Order.” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

Getting someone else to do the accusing

Although he has not seen it, he has someone accused for having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “You’ve been seen. You’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic, not a son of the Sakyan; you’re excluded from the observance-day ceremony, from the invitation ceremony, and from the formal procedures of the Order.” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

Although he has not heard it … Although he does not suspect it, he has someone accused for having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “You’re suspected. You’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

Although he has not seen it, he has someone accused for having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “You’ve been seen and you’ve been heard … You’ve been seen and you’re suspected … You’ve been seen and you’ve been heard and you’re suspected. You’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion …” … Although he has not heard it … Although he does not suspect it, he has someone accused for having committed an offense entailing expulsion: “You’re suspected and you’ve been seen … You’re suspected and you’ve been heard … You’re suspected and you’ve been seen and you’ve been heard. You’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.


He has seen that someone has committed an offense entailing expulsion, but he has him accused thus: “You’ve been heard …” … but he has him accused thus: “You’re suspected …” … but he has him accused thus: “You’ve been heard and you’re suspected. You’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

He has heard that someone has committed an offense entailing expulsion … He suspects that someone has committed an offense entailing expulsion, but he has him accused thus: “You’ve been seen …” … but he has him accused thus: “You’ve been heard …” … but he has him accused thus: “You’ve been seen and you’ve been heard. You’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic …” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.


He has seen that someone has committed an offense entailing expulsion, but he is unsure of what he has seen, he does not believe what he has seen, he does not remember what he has seen, he is confused about what he has seen … he is unsure of what he has heard, he does not believe what he has heard, he does not remember what he has heard, he is confused about what he has heard … he is unsure of what he suspects, he does not believe what he suspects, he does not remember what he suspects, he is confused about what he suspects. If he then has him accused thus: “You’re suspected and you’ve been seen …” … he is confused about what he suspects. If he then has him accused thus: “You’re suspected and you’ve been heard …” … he is confused about what he suspects. If he then has him accused thus: “You’re suspected and you’ve been seen and you’ve been heard. You’ve committed an offense entailing expulsion. You’re no longer an ascetic, not a son of the Sakyan; you’re excluded from the observance-day ceremony, from the invitation ceremony, and from the formal procedures of the Order.” For each statement, he commits an offense entailing suspension.

Permutations part 2

Summary

Someone is impure, but one thinks he is pure; someone is pure, but one thinks he is impure; someone is impure and one thinks he is impure; someone is pure and one thinks he is pure.

Exposition

Impure but regarded as pure

An impure person has committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is pure, but then, without having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of making him leave the monastic life, one commits one offense entailing suspension and one offense of wrong conduct.

An impure person has committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is pure, but then, having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of making him leave the monastic life, one commits an offense entailing suspension.

An impure person has committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is pure, but then, without having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of abusing him, one commits one offense for abusive speech and one offense of wrong conduct.

An impure person has committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is pure, but then, having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of abusing him, one commits an offense for abusive speech.

Pure but regarded as impure

A pure person has not committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is impure, and then, without having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of making him leave the monastic life, one commits an offense of wrong conduct.

A pure person has not committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is impure, and then, having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of making him leave the monastic life, there is no offense.

A pure person has not committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is impure, and then, without having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of abusing him, one commits one offense for abusive speech and one offense of wrong conduct.

A pure person has not committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is impure, then, having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of abusing him, one commits an offense for abusive speech.

Impure and regarded as impure

An impure person has committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is impure, and then, without having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of making him leave the monastic life, one commits an offense of wrong conduct.

An impure person has committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is impure, and then, having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of making him leave the monastic life, there is no offense.

An impure person has committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is impure, and then, without having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of abusing him, one commits one offense for abusive speech and one offense of wrong conduct.

An impure person has committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is impure, and then, having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of abusing him, one commits an offense for abusive speech.

Pure and regarded as pure

A pure person has not committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is pure, but then, without having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of making him leave the monastic life, one commits one offense entailing suspension and one offense of wrong conduct.

A pure person has not committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is pure, but then, having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of making him leave the monastic life, one commits an offense entailing suspension.

A pure person has not committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is pure, but then, without having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of abusing him, one commits one offense for abusive speech and one offense of wrong conduct.

A pure person has not committed an offense entailing expulsion. If one thinks he is pure, but then, having obtained his consent, speaks with the aim of abusing him, one commits an offense for abusive speech.

Non-offenses

There is no offense: if he thinks a pure person is impure; if he thinks an impure person is impure; if he is insane; if he is the first offender.

The eighth rule, the training rule on groundless, is finished.