CHAPTER ELEVEN Adhikarana-Samatha This term means, +quot;the settlement of issues.+quot; T

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CHAPTER ELEVEN Adhikarana-Samatha ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This term means, "the settlement of issues." The seven rules in this section are actually principles and procedures for settling the four sorts of issues mentioned under Pacittiya 63: disputes, accusations, offenses, and duties. The Canon's explanations of these procedures are given not in the Vibhanga, but in Cullavagga IV, which starts with a sketch of the procedures, followed by a detailed discussion of how to apply them to each of the four types of issues. We will follow the same mode of presentation here. For the settling, the resolution of issues that arise: 1. //A verdict "in the presence of" should be given//. This means that the formal act settling the issue must be carried out in the presence of the Community, in the presence of the individuals, and in the presence of the Dhamma and Vinaya. //In the presence of the Community// means that the group of bhikkhus that has gathered is competent to carry out the formal act under question. In other words, it contains the minimum number of bhikkhus required, all the bhikkhus in the designated area (sima) either are present or have sent their consent, and none of the bhikkhus in the meeting makes protest against having the matter settled by the group -- although as we noticed under Pacittiya 80, if a formal act is being carried out against a bhikkhu, his protest does not invalidate the act; any protest made by any other member of the group, though, would invalidate it, even if he only informs the bhikkhu sitting next to him (Mv.IX.4.8). //In the presence of the individuals// means that all the individuals involved in the matter are present. For instance, in a dispute, both sides of the dispute must be in the meeting; when the Community is carrying out a formal act against one of its members, the accused must be there; in an ordination, the bhikkhu-to-be must be present. There are a few cases where this factor is not followed -- such as the ordination of a bhikkhuni by messenger and the act of turning the bowl upside down (refusing to accept donations from a lay person who has mistreated the Community) -- but these are rare. //In the presence of the Dhamma and Vinaya// means that all the proper procedures laid down in the Vinaya are followed, and that bhikkhus who advocate what is not truly Dhamma or Vinaya are not holding sway over the group. 2. //A verdict of mindfulness may be given//. This is the verdict of innocence given in an accusation, based on the fact that the accused remembers fully that he did not commit the offense in question. A verdict of this sort is valid only if -- 1) The bhikkhu is pure and without offense. 2) He is accused of an offense. 3) He asks for the verdict. 4) The Community gives him the verdict. 5) It is in accordance with the Dhamma, the assembly of bhikkhus being complete and competent to give it (Cv.IV.4.11). According to the Commentary, factor (1) here -- the bhikkhu is pure and without offense -- applies only to arahants, but the Canon makes no mention of this point. There are other places in the Khandhakas where the phrase "pure and without offense" is used to refer to any bhikkhu who has not committed the offense of which he is accused (e.g., Mv.IX.1.7; Mv.IX.4.9), with nothing to indicate that he would have to be an arahant. If the Commentary's interpretation were correct here, there would be no way that a bhikkhu in his right mind who is not an arahant could be declared innocent of an offense at all, since the only three verdicts that may settle an accusation are this one, the verdict of past insanity (for a bhikkhu who was insane when he committed the offense in question), and the act of (punishment for) further misconduct, for a bhikkhu who committed the offense in question when he was in his right mind. The fourth rule below -- acting in accordance with what is admitted -- which is sometimes assumed to cover cases of innocence, actually applies only to cases where the bhikkhu admits to having committed an offense before the matter goes to interrogation, and not to cases where he is innocent and asserts his innocence. Thus we will follow the general usage in the Khandhakas and say that the factor "pure and without offense" is fulfilled by any bhikkhu -- arahant or not -- who has not committed the offense in question. 3. //A verdict of past insanity may be given//. This is another verdict of innocence given in an accusation, based on the fact that the accused was out of his mind when he committed the offense in question and so is absolved of any responsibility for it. Such a verdict is valid only if given to a bhikkhu who: 1) does not remember what he did while insane; 2) remembers, but only as if in a dream; or 3) is still insane enough to believe that his behavior is proper. ("I act that way and so do you. It is allowable for me and allowable for you!") (Cv.IV.6.2). 4. //Acting in accordance with what is admitted//. This refers to the ordinary confession of offenses, where no formal interrogation is involved. The confession is valid only if in accord with the facts, e.g., a bhikkhu actually commits a pacittiya offense and then confesses it as such, and not as a stronger or lesser offense. If he were to confess it as a dukkata or a sanghadisesa, that would be invalid. 5. //Acting in accordance with the majority//. This refers to cases in which bhikkhus are unable to settle a dispute unanimously, even after all the proper procedures are followed, and -- in the words of the Canon -- are "wounding one another with weapons of the tongue." In cases such as these, decisions can be made by majority vote. Such a vote is valid only if -- 1) The issue is major. 2) The proper procedures have already been followed (in at least two or three Communities, says the Commentary) and have failed to achieve a result. 3) Those on the side of the Dhamma are in the majority and are perceived to be in the majority. 4) It is felt that such an act will not divide the Community. 5) The Community present is competent to settle the issue. 6) All the bhikkhus present agree to take a vote. 7) There is no cheating (e.g., one bhikkhu taking two voting tickets). 8) Each bhikkhu honestly votes in accordance with his views, and not, for example, under fear of intimidation (Cv.IV.10). 6. //Acting in accordance with the accused's further misconduct//. This refers to cases where a bhikkhu admits to having committed the offense in question only after being formally interrogated about it. He is then to be reproved for his actions, made to remember the offense and to confess it, after which the Community carries out a formal act of "further misconduct" against him as an added punishment for being so uncooperative as to require the formal interrogation in the first place. The Cullavagga (IV.11.2-12.2) contains three separate discussions of the conditions that are necessary for the act to be valid. The discussions overlap, but can be summarized as follows: The act is essentially the same thing as an act of censure, and as such can be given to a bhikkhu who -- 1) is a maker of strife, quarrels, and dissension in the Community; 2) is ignorant, full of offenses, and has not undergone the penalty for them; or 3) lives in unbecoming association with lay people. What makes this act special is that it is aimed primarily at a bhikkhu who has committed an offense that requires confession, but he does not confess it until being formally interrogated. This is shown by the factors required for the act to be valid: 1) The accused is impure (i.e., he actually did commit the offense, and it is an offense that requires confession). 2) He is unconscientious (i.e., he didn't voluntarily confess the offense on his own in the first place). 3) A formal meeting has been called in which he is present and has been interrogated: reproved for his actions, made to remember the offense, and formally accused of having committed it. (The Commentary translates this word -- //sanuvada// -- as meaning argumentative -- //saupavada// -- which also fits the context. If the bhikkhu has been accused of the offense but at first denies it, that would fulfill this factor.) 4) He finally acknowledges the offense and confesses it. 5) The Community carries out the act 6) in accordance with the Dhamma and Vinaya, and with a complete assembly. Once such an act has been carried out against a bhikkhu, he must observe the following rules: 1) He may not act as preceptor or teacher for another bhikkhu, nor is he to have a novice attend to him. 2) He may not accept authorization to exhort bhikkhunis; even if authorized, he is not to exhort them. 3) He should not commit the offense for which he is being punished, a similar offense, or a worse one. 4) He should not find fault with the formal act or with those who carried it out. 5) He should not accuse others of offenses or participate actively in any of the procedures involved in a formal accusation -- e.g., suspending another bhikkhu's right to join in the Patimokkha recitation, asking leave to accuse, reproving, making remember, etc. 6) He should not quarrel with bhikkhus (Cv.IV.12.4). If he abides by all these rules, and the Community is satisfied that he has seen the error of his ways, they are to rescind the act and restore him to his former status as a full-fledged bhikkhu. 7. //Covering over as with grass//. This refers to situations in which both sides of a dispute realize that, in the course of their dispute, they have done much that is unworthy of a contemplative. If they were to deal with one another for their offenses, the only result would be greater divisiveness. Thus if both sides agree, all the bhikkhus gather in one place. (According to the Commentary, this means that all bhikkhus in the //sima// must attend. No one should send his consent, and even sick bhikkhus must go.) A motion is made to the entire group that this procedure will be followed. One member of each side then makes a formal motion to the members of his faction that he will make a confession for them. When both sides are ready, the representative of each side addresses the entire group and makes the blanket confession, using the form of a motion and one announcement (//natti-dutiya-kamma//). This clears all offenses except for -- 1) any heavy offense (parajika and sanghadisesa, says the Commentary) committed by anyone in the group; 2) any offenses dealing with the laity; 3) any offenses of any member of either side who does not approve of the procedure; and 4) any offenses of any bhikkhu who does not attend the meeting. (This is the reason for the Commentary's statement that even sick bhikkhus must attend.) Point (3) here is interesting. If any member of either side were to dissent, that would invalidate the whole procedure. This point is thus probably added as a reminder to any bhikkhu who might be vindictive enough to want to deal with his enemies case-by-case, that //his// offenses will also have to be dealt with case-by-case. This might be enough to discourage him from dissenting. The Commentary explains the name of this procedure by comparing the offenses cleared in this way to excrement that has been so thoroughly covered with grass that it can no longer send an oppressive smell. * * * According to the Cullavagga, the principle of "in the presence of" applies to all four types of issues: disputes, accusations, offenses, and duties. In addition, disputes may be settled "in accordance with the majority"; accusations must be settled either by a verdict of mindfulness, a verdict of past insanity, or an act "in accordance with further misconduct"; and offenses may be settled by acting in accordance with what is admitted or by covering them over as with grass. What follows it a more detailed discussion of how these principles and procedures apply in each of the four cases: Disputes are heated disagreements over what the Buddha did and did not teach, or -- in the words of the Cullavagga -- "when bhikkhus dispute, saying: 'It is Dhamma,' or 'It is not Dhamma;' 'It is Vinaya,' or 'It is not Vinaya;' 'It was spoken by the Tathagata,' or 'It was not spoken by the Tathagata;' 'It was regularly practiced by the Tathagata,' or 'It was not regularly practiced by the Tathagata;' 'It was formulated by the Tathagata,' or 'It was not formulated by the Tathagata;' 'It is an offense,' or 'It is not an offense;' 'It is a light offense,' or 'It is a heavy offense;' 'It is a curable offense,' or 'It is an incurable offense;' 'It is a serious offense,' or 'It is not a serious offense.' Whatever strife, quarreling, contention, dispute, differing opinions, opposing opinions, heated words, abusiveness based on this, is an issue arising from disputes." (Cv.IV.14.2) Thus not all disagreements on these matters are classed as issues. Friendly disagreements or differences of interpretation aren't; heated and abusive disagreements are. The Buddha advises that a bhikkhu who wants to bring up such questions for discussion should first consider five points: 1) whether it is the right time for such a discussion; 2) whether it concerns something true; 3) whether it is connected with the goal; 4) whether he will be able to get on his side bhikkhus who value the Dhamma and Vinaya; and 5) whether the question will give rise to strife, quarreling, disputes, cracks and splits in the Community. If the answer to the first four questions is yes, and to the fifth question no (i.e., the discussion is not likely to lead to strife), he may then go ahead and start the discussion. Otherwise, he should let the matter rest for the time being (Cv.IX.4). The Cullavagga quotes the Buddha as saying that two sorts of mental states -- skillful and unskillful -- can turn disputes into issues. The unskillful states are covetous, corrupt, or confused states of mind; the skillful ones are states of mind that are not covetous, not corrupt, and not confused. The Buddha adds, however, that six character traits can lead to issues arising from disputes that will act towards the detriment of many people. They are when a bhikkhu: is easily angered and bears ill will, is mean and spiteful, is jealous and possessive, is scheming and deceitful, has evil desires and wrong views, is attached to his own views, obstinate, unable to let them go. Such a bhikkhu, he says, lives without deference or respect for the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, and does not complete the training. If one should see any of these traits within oneself or others, one should strive for their abandonment. If there are no such traits present, one should make sure that they don't arise in the future (Cv.IV.14.3). As noted under Sanghadisesa 10, there are two sorts of disputes: those in which one of the parties is aiming at schism and those in which neither is. Disputes of the first sort are to be dealt with in line with the procedures listed under Sanghadisesas 10 & 11; those of the second sort, as follows: //In the presence of// -- Step 1: a) The Community meets, with at least four bhikkhus -- the minimum to form a quorum -- present. All of the bhikkhus in the //sima// are either present or have sent their consent, and none of the bhikkhus present protests having the matter settled by the group. b) Both sides of the dispute are present. c) The meeting is carried out in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Buddha, and the unanimous decision of the Community is in line with what the Buddha actually laid down. This point is important: It means that no Community -- even if it follows the proper form for the meeting -- can legitimately replace the Buddha's teachings with its own preferences on any point. If the Community can settle the manner in this way, it is properly settled and should not be reopened. //Step 2//: If the Community cannot settle the matter, they should go to a monastery where there are more bhikkhus, and ask them to help settle the matter. If it so happens that the group is able to settle the matter among themselves on the way to the other monastery, then it is properly settled, and they may return home to their own monastery. //Step 3//: If the matter is still unsettled by the time they reach the second monastery, they should ask the resident bhikkhus there to help settle the matter. The resident bhikkhus should then meet and consider among themselves whether or not they are competent to settle the matter. If they feel they aren't, they shouldn't take it on. If they feel they are, they should then ask the incoming bhikkhus how the dispute arose. (The Commentary here adds that the residents should first stall for two or three days -- saying that they have to wash their robes or fire their bowls first -- as a way of subduing the pride of the incoming bhikkhus.) Once the resident bhikkhus have asked the history of the dispute, the incoming bhikkhus are to say that if the resident bhikkhus can settle the dispute, they (the incoming bhikkhus) will hand it over to them; if they can't settle it, the incoming bhikkhus will still be in charge of the matter. If the resident bhikkhus can then settle the dispute, it is properly settled. //Step 4//: If they can't settle it in this way -- and, in the words of the Canon, "endless disputes arise, and there is no discerning the meaning of a single statement" -- the disputants should, with a motion and announcement, hand the matter over to a panel of experts. The Commentary recommends a panel of ten. Each member of the panel must meet the following qualifications: 1) He is moral, abiding scrupulously by the rules of the Vinaya. 2) He is learned in all things dealing with the celibate life. 3) He has memorized both Patimokkhas in detail. 4) He is firm in his knowledge of the Vinaya and is not easily led off-track. 5) He is skilled at reconciling both sides of a dispute. 6) He is skilled at settling an issue. 7) He knows what constitutes an issue. 8) He knows how an issue arises (i.e., through skillful, unskillful, or neutral states of mind). 9) He knows when an issue is stopped. 10) He knows the way leading to the stopping of an issue. (Notice that these last four qualifications are similar in form to knowledge of the four Noble Truths.) The Commentary notes that while the panel is discussing the issue, none of the other bhikkhus is to speak. If the panel can settle the issue, it is properly settled and should not be reopened. //Step 5//: If the panel has trouble in settling the issue, and there are members of the panel who "hide the Dhamma under the shadow of the letter" -- i.e., use the letter of the rules to go against the spirit -- they may be removed from the panel through a formal motion. If the panel can then settle the issue, it is properly settled. If not -- and by this time, the Commentary says, at least two or three monasteries have become involved -- the procedures of "in the presence of" have been exhausted, and the dispute must go on to a settlement "in accordance with the majority." //In accordance with the majority//: A decision by majority vote is valid only in the following situation: 1) The issue is important. 2) The procedures of "in the presence of" have all been followed but have not succeeded in settling the issue. 3) Both sides have been made to reflect on their position. 4) The distributor of voting tickets knows that the majority sides with the Dhamma, or 5) that the majority probably sides with the Dhamma. 6) The distributor of voting tickets knows that the procedure will not lead to a split in the Sangha, or 7) that the procedure will probably not lead to a split in the Sangha. 8) The tickets are taken in accordance with the rule (e.g., only one ticket per bhikkhu, and the Dhamma side wins). 9) The assembly is complete. 10) The bhikkhus take the tickets in accordance with their views (and not, for example, under fear of coercion). When these factors are all present, the group should first ask one of its members to act as a distributor of voting tickets. He should be free of the four kinds of prejudice, and know what does and does not constitute the taking of a voting ticket. Before accepting the role, he should reflect on whether the situation meets the ten qualifying factors, and accept only when it does. Once he accepts the role, he is to be authorized by means of a formal motion and announcement. He is then to have voting tickets made -- a different color for each side -- and conduct the ballot in one of three ways: secretly, by whispering in the ear, or openly. In //secret// balloting, he is to tell each bhikkhu, "This color is for this side, and that color for that. Take one, but don't show it to anyone." According to the Commentary, this method is to be used when there are many unconscientious bhikkhus in the assembly. In "//whispering in the ear//" balloting, he is to whisper to each bhikkhu, "This color is for this side, and that color for that. Take one, but don't tell anyone." This method, the Commentary says, is for assemblies in which there are many foolish or trouble-making bhikkhus. In //open// balloting, the bhikkhus are to take the voting tickets openly. This method is for assemblies where the distributor is certain that the conscientious bhikkhus are in the majority. Once the vote is taken, the distributor is to assess the result before announcing it. If he sees that the anti-Dhamma side has won, he is to annul the balloting and take the vote all over again. According to the Commentary, he may take the vote up to three times. If the anti-Dhamma side is still in the majority, he should announce that the time is not right for a vote, adjourn the meeting, and try to find more bhikkhus on the side of the Dhamma to join the next meeting. These procedures make two interesting assumptions: One side of the dispute is clearly in the right, and the distributor must belong to the right side. If he belongs to the wrong side, the whole balloting is invalid, and the issue may later be reopened without penalty. If neither side is clearly in the right, the composers of the Cullavagga would probably consider the issue unimportant and not worthy of a vote in the first place. If this is true, then even if a vote is taken, it would not be a valid use of the procedure, and the results would not be binding. In all of these steps for settling disputes, the important point to remember is that in no way is a group of bhikkhus to rewrite the Dhamma or Vinaya in line with their views. Even if they attempt it, following the procedures to the letter, the fact that their decision goes against the Buddha's teachings invalidates their efforts, and the issue may be reopened at any time without penalty. * * * Accusations. When a bhikkhu has committed an offense, it is his responsibility to undergo the penalty voluntarily so as to make amends for it. If his fellow bhikkhus see, hear, or suspect that he has committed an offense without undergoing the penalty, it is their duty to question and admonish him in private, in accordance with the procedures discussed under Sanghadisesa 8. The issue may be settled informally in one of two ways: (1) The accused admits to the act, sees it as an offense, and undergoes the penalty; or (2) he is truly innocent, professes his innocence, and can convince his admonishers that their suspicions were ungrounded. If both sides act in good faith and without prejudice, issues of this sort are relatively easy to settle informally in this way. If the issue can't be settled, it should be taken to a meeting of the Community for a formal interrogation and verdict. When the Community meets, both the accused and the accuser must be present, and both must agree to the case's being heard by that particular group. (If the original accuser is a lay person, one of the bhikkhus is to take up the charge.) The accused is then asked if he remembers having committed the offense in question, and is to be dealt with in accordance with what he admits to having done (Mv.IX.6.1-4). The Cullavagga (IV.14.29) shows that the other bhikkhus are not to take his first statement at face value. They should press and cross-examine him until they are all satisfied that he is telling the truth, and only then may they pass one of three verdicts: 1) If he is innocent of the offense and can convince the group of his innocence, he is to request a verdict of //mindfulness// -- expressing the request three times -- and the Community is to give it to him by means of a formal motion with three announcements. 2) If he committed the offense while insane or possessed, he should request a verdict of //past insanity// -- again, expressing the request three times -- and the Community is to give it to him by means of a formal motion with three announcements. 3) If he committed the offense while in his right mind, but admits to it only after the interrogation has begun, the other bhikkhus are to make him confess the offense and then give him a verdict of //further misconduct// by means of a formal motion with three announcements. As we noted above, each of these three verdicts is valid only if in line with the truth. If it so happens that a guilty bhikkhu is given a verdict of mindfulness, a bhikkhu who committed the offense in question while he was in his right mind is given a verdict of past insanity, or an innocent bhikkhu is given a verdict of further misconduct, the case may be reopened when new evidence surfaces, and the verdict rescinded or reversed. There are, however, two situations in which none of these three verdicts applies, and the accusation -- at least for the time being -- remains unsettled: (1) If a bhikkhu, in the course of an interrogation, admits to an action that is an offense, but either refuses to see it as an offense or refuses to confess it, he is subject to an act of banishment. Though this too may later be rescinded on the basis of good behavior -- when he admits that his action was an offense and confesses it -- it is a much stronger penalty than the act for further misconduct. (2) If a bhikkhu denies having committed the act in question, and the bhikkhus are not convinced of his innocence, there are various ways to pressure him to tell the truth: The Cullavagga suggests intensive interrogation; the Commentary, long bouts of group chanting. If neither works, and the Community still has doubts about his innocence, the issue is to be abandoned for the time being as unsettled: The accused is neither to be punished nor declared innocent. As long as the issue remains unsettled, though, there will be no peace of mind either for the accused or for the Community as a whole. * * * Offenses. All offenses are settled by means of the principle of //in the presence of//. Most are also settled by means of the procedure of //in accordance with what is admitted//. Rare cases may be settled by //covering over as with grass//. //In accordance with what is admitted//: When a bhikkhu has committed an offense requiring confession and then confesses it truthfully in the presence of another bhikkhu, group of bhikkhus, or complete Community, that is called settlement in accordance with what is admitted. It also counts as having been settled in the presence of the Dhamma and Vinaya and the individuals -- i.e., the bhikkhu making the confession and the bhikkhu(s) witnessing it are face to face. If a bhikkhu has committed a sanghadisesa offense, it is settled only after he has confessed it and undergone penance and probation, both of which require further confessions. Only then, when a Community of at least 20 bhikkhus has met to lift the penalty from him, is the offense considered settled. Here, //in the presence of// would include not only the Dhamma, Vinaya, and individuals, but also the Community, when it imposes the penance and/or probation, and again when it lifts the penalty. If a bhikkhu has committed a parajika offense, it is settled only when he admits that he is no longer a bhikkhu and returns to lay life. Here, //in the presence of// would have the same factors as under confessable offenses, above. //Covering over as with grass//: This procedure has already been discussed in detail above, and there is no need to add any further details here. //In the presence of//, here, means in the presence of the Dhamma, Vinaya, individuals, and the Community: In the presence of the individuals means that those who make the blanket confession and those who witness it are face to face. In the presence of the Community means that enough bhikkhus for a quorum (four) have arrived, the assembly is complete (all the bhikkhus in the //sima// have joined the meeting) and none of the bhikkhus, having met, makes any protest. * * * Duties are settled //in the presence of// -- (1) when they are properly carried out in line with the procedures set out in the Dhamma and Vinaya, (2) if the relevant individuals are present (e.g., the ordinand in an ordination, the bhikkhu-to-be-banished in a formal act of banishment, etc.), and (3) the Community that has met to carry them out forms a quorum and a complete assembly, with none of those present -- except the bhikkhu against whom a formal act is to be carried out, if such is the case -- makes any protest. * * * * * * * *


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