Part Three: The Bowl Chapter
21. An extra alms bowl may be kept ten days at most. Beyond
that, it is to be forfeited and confessed.
Alms bowls. This rule deals only with alms bowls that are fit to be
determined for use. According to the Commentary, this means any
that are --
1) made of the proper material;
2) the proper size;
3) fully paid for;
4) properly fired; and
5) not damaged beyond repair.
//Material//. In the Cullavagga (V.8.2 & V.9.1), the Buddha
allows two kinds of alms bowls -- made of clay and made of iron --
and forbids eleven: made either of wood, gold, silver, pearl,
beryl, crystal, bronze, glass, tin, lead, or copper. Using the
Great Standards, it has recently been decided that stainless steel
bowls are allowable, but aluminum bowls not. In the time of the
Buddha, clay bowls were the more common. At present, iron and steel
//Size//. The Vibhanga contains a discussion of three proper
sizes for a bowl -- the medium size containing twice the volume of
the small, and the large twice the volume of the medium -- but they
are based on measurements that are not known with any precision at
present. The author of the Vinaya Mukha reports having experimented
with various sizes of bowls based on a passage in the story of
Mendaka in the Dhammapada Commentary. His conclusion: A small bowl
is just a little larger than a human skull, and a medium bowl
approximately 27 1/2 English inches (70 cm.) in circumference, or
about 8.75 inches (22.5 cm.) in diameter. He did not try making a
large bowl. Any size larger than the large size or smaller than the
small is inappropriate; any size between them falls under this rule.
//Fully paid for//. According to the Commentary, if a bowl-maker
makes a gift of a bowl, it counts as fully paid for. If a bowl has
been delivered to a bhikkhu but has yet to be fully paid for, it may
not be determined and does not come under this rule until paid for
//Fired//. The Commentary states that a clay bowl must be fired
twice before it can be determined, to make sure it is properly
hardened; and an iron bowl five times, to prevent it from rusting.
Since stainless steel does not rust it need not be fired, but the
accepted practice is to find some way to make it gray -- either by
painting it on the outside or firing the whole bowl with leaves that
will give it a smoky color -- so that it will not stand out.
//Not damaged beyond repair//. According to the Commentary, a
clay bowl is damaged beyond repair if it has at least ten inches
(fingerbreadths) of cracks in it, the smallest of the cracks being
at least two inches long. (Cracks less than two inches long are
said not to merit mending, and so do not count.) If a bowl has
fewer cracks than that, they should be mended either with tin wire,
sap (but for some reason not pure pine sap), or a mixture of sugar
cane syrup and powdered stone. Other materials not to be used for
repair are beeswax and sealing wax. If the total number of
countable cracks equals ten inches or more, the bowl becomes a
non-bowl, and the owner is entitled to ask for a new one.
As for iron and steel bowls, a hole in the bowl large enough to
let a millet grain pass through is enough to make the determination
lapse, but not enough to make the bowl a non-bowl. The bhikkhu
should plug the hole -- or have a blacksmith plug it -- with
powdered metal or a tiny metal plug polished smooth with the surface
of the bowl and then redetermine the bowl for use.
If the hole is small enough to be plugged in this way, then no
matter how many such holes there are in the bowl, they do not make
it a non-bowl, and the bhikkhu should mend it and continue using it.
If, however, there is even one hole so large that the metal used to
plug it cannot be polished smooth with the surface of the rest of
the bowl, the tiny crevices in the patch will collect food. This
makes it unfit for use, and the owner is entitled to ask for a new
one to replace it.
An extra alms bowl, according to the Vibhanga, is any that has not
yet been determined for use or placed under shared ownership. Since
a bhikkhu may have only one bowl determined for use at any one time,
he should place any additional bowls he receives under dual
ownership if he plans to keep them on hand. (The procedures for
placing bowls under determination and dual ownership, and for
rescinding their determination and dual ownership, are given in
Appendices IV & V.)
Effort. According to the Commentary, once a bowl belonging to a
bhikkhu fulfills all the requirements for a determinable bowl, he is
responsible for it even if he has not yet received it into his
keeping. For example, if a blacksmith promises to make him a bowl
and send word when it is finished, the bhikkhu is responsible for
the bowl as soon as he hears word from the blacksmith's messenger
that the bowl is ready, even if he has yet to receive it. If the
blacksmith, prior to making the bowl, promises to send it when it is
done, then the bhikkhu is not responsible for it until the
blacksmith's messenger brings it to him. (All of this assumes that
the bowl is already fully paid for.)
If, within ten days after becoming responsible for a new bowl, a
bhikkhu does not determine it for use, place it under dual
ownership, abandon it (give it or throw it away), or if the bowl is
not lost, stolen, damaged beyond repair, or taken on trust, then on
the tenth dawn after receiving it he incurs the full penalty under
Perception is not a mitigating factor here. Even if the bhikkhu
thinks that ten days have not passed when they have, or if he thinks
that the bowl is damaged beyond repair or placed under dual
ownership, etc., when it isn't, he incurs the penalty all the same.
Forfeiture & confession. The procedures for forfeiture,
confession, and return of the bowl are the same as under NP 1. For
the Pali formulae to use in forfeiting and returning the bowl, see
Appendix VI. As with the rules concerning robe-cloth, the bowl must
be returned to the offender after he has confessed his offense. Not
to return it entails a dukkata. Once the bowl is returned, the
ten-day countdown starts all over again.
Non-offenses. There is no offense if within ten days the bhikkhu
determines the bowl for use, places it under dual ownership,
abandons it, loses it, or if the bowl is stolen, damaged beyond
repair, or taken on trust.
Summary: Keeping an alms bowl for more than ten days
without determining it for use or placing it under dual
ownership is a nissaggiya pacittiya offense.
* * *
22. Should a bhikkhu with an alms bowl having less than five
mends ask for another new bowl, it is to be forfeited and
confessed. The bowl is to be forfeited by the bhikkhu to
the company of bhikkhus. That company of bhikkhus' final
bowl should be presented to the bhikkhu, (saying,) "This,
bhikkhu, is your bowl. It is to be kept until broken."
This is the proper procedure here.
"Now at that time a certain potter had invited the bhikkhus,
saying, 'If any of the masters need a bowl, I will supply
them with bowls.' So the bhikkhus, knowing no moderation,
asked for many bowls. Those with small bowls asked for
large ones. Those with large ones asked for small ones.
The potter, making many bowls for the bhikkhus, could not
make other goods for sale. (As a result,) he could not
support himself, and his wife and children suffered."
According to the Commentary, the phrase, a bowl "having less than
five mends" refers to one that is not beyond repair, as explained
under the preceding rule. Thus this rule does not apply to a
bhikkhu whose bowl is beyond repair: As the K/Commentary notes,
whether or not the damage in his bowl is actually mended is not an
A bhikkhu whose bowl is not beyond repair incurs a dukkata in
asking for a new bowl, and a nissaggiya pacittiya in receiving it.
Forfeiture, confession, & bowl exchange. Once a bhikkhu has
received a bowl in violation of this rule, he must forfeit it and
confess the offense in the midst of the Community. (See Appendix VI
for the Pali formula used in forfeiture.) He then receives the
Community's "final bowl" to use in place of the new one he has
The Community's final bowl is selected in the following way: Each
bhikkhu coming to the meeting to witness the offender's forfeiture
and confession must bring the bowl he has determined for his own
use. If a bhikkhu has an inferior bowl in his possession -- either
extra or placed under dual ownership -- he is not to determine that
bowl and take it to the meeting in hopes of getting a more valuable
one in the exchange about to take place. To do so entails a
Once the bhikkhus have assembled, the offender forfeits his bowl
and confesses the offense. The Community, following the pattern of
one motion and one announcement (//natti-dutiya-kamma//) given in
the Vibhanga, then chooses one of its members as bowl exchanger.
The bowl exchanger's duty is to take the forfeited bowl and show it
to the most senior bhikkhu, who is to choose whichever of the two
bowls pleases him more -- his own or the new one. If the new bowl
is preferable to his own, and yet he does not take it out of
sympathy for the offender, he incurs a dukkata. The K/Commentary
and Sub-commentary add that if he does not prefer the new bowl,
there is no offense in not taking it.
Once the most senior bhikkhu has taken his choice, the remaining
bowl is then shown to the bhikkhu second in seniority, who repeats
the process, and so on down the line to the most junior bhikkhu.
The bowl exchanger then takes the bowl left over from this last
bhikkhu's choice -- the least desirable bowl belonging to that
company of bhikkhus -- and presents it to the offender and tells him
to determine it for his use and care for it as best he can.
If the offender treats it improperly -- putting in a place where
it might get damaged, using it in the wrong sort of way -- or tries
to get rid of it, thinking, "How can this bowl be lost or destroyed
or broken," he incurs a dukkata.
Non-offenses. The Vibhanga states that a bhikkhu whose bowl is
not beyond repair incurs no penalty if he asks for a new bowl from
relatives or from people who have invited him to ask, or if he gets
a new bowl with his own resources. He is also allowed to ask for a
bowl for the sake of another, which -- following the Commentary to
NP 6 -- means that Bhikkhu X may ask for a bowl for Y only if he
asks from his own relatives or people who have invited him to ask
for a bowl OR if he asks from Y's relatives or people who have
invited Y to ask. Asking for and receiving a bowl for Y from people
other than these would entail the full offense.
Summary: Asking for a new alms bowl when one's current bowl
is not beyond repair is a nissaggiya pacittiya offense.
* * *
23.There are these tonics to be taken by sick bhikkhus:
ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, sugar/molasses. Having been
received, they are to be used from storage seven days at
most. Beyond that, they are to be forfeited and confessed.
Tonics. The five tonics mentioned in this rule form one of four
classes of edibles grouped according to the time period within which
they may be eaten after being received. The other three -- food,
juice drinks, and medicines -- are discussed in detail at the
beginning of the Food Chapter in the pacittiya rules. Here is the
story of how this group came to be a special class:
"Then as the Blessed One was alone in seclusion, this line
of reasoning occurred to him: 'At present the bhikkhus,
afflicted by the autumn disease, bring up the conjey they
have drunk and the food they have eaten. Because of this
they are thin, wretched, unattractive, and jaundiced, their
bodies covered with veins. What if I were to allow medicine
for them that would be both medicine and agreed to be
medicine for the world, and serve as food, yet would not be
considered gross (substantial) food.'
"Then this thought occurred to him: 'There are these five
tonics -- ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, sugar/molasses --
that are both medicine and agreed to be medicine for the
world, and serve as food yet would not be considered gross
food. What if I were now to allow the bhikkhus, having
accepted them at the right time (from dawn to noon), to
consume them at the right time'....
"Now at that time bhikkhus, having accepted the five tonics
at the right time, consumed them at the right time. Because
of this they could not stomach even their ordinary coarse
meals, much less greasy ones. As a result, afflicted both
by the autumn disease and this loss of appetite for food,
they became even more thin and wretched....So the Blessed
One, for this cause, for this reason, having given a Dhamma
talk, addressed the bhikkhus: 'I allow you, bhikkhus,
having accepted the five tonics, to consume them both at the
right time and at the wrong time (from noon to dawn).'"
The Vibhanga defines the five tonics as follows:
//Ghee// means strained, boiled butter oil made from the milk of
any animal whose flesh is allowable for bhikkhus to eat (see the
introduction to the Food Chapter in the pacittiya rules).
//Fresh butter// must be made from the milk of any animal whose
flesh is allowable. None of the Vinaya texts go into detail on how
fresh butter is made, but the Bhumija Discourse (M.126) describes
the process as "having sprinkled curds in a pot, one twirls them
with a churn." Fresh butter of this sort is still made in India
today by taking a small churn -- looking like an orange with
alternate sections removed, attached to a small stick -- and
twirling it in curds, all the while sprinkling them with water. The
fresh butter -- mostly milk fat plus some milk solids -- coagulates
on the churn, and when the fresh butter is removed, what is left in
the pot is diluted buttermilk. Fresh butter, unlike creamery butter
made by churning cream, may be stored unrefrigerated in bottles for
several days even in the heat of India without going rancid.
Arguing by the Great Standards, creamery butter would obviously
come under fresh butter here. A more controversial topic is cheese.
In Mahavagga VI.34.21, the Buddha allows bhikkhus to consume five
products of the cow: milk, curds, buttermilk, fresh butter, and
ghee. Apparently, cheese -- curds heated to evaporate their liquid
content and then cured with or without mold -- was not known in
those days, but it seems proper to include it under one of the five.
The question is which one. Some have argued that it should come
under fresh butter, since the composition is similar -- milk fat and
solids derived from curds. Others have argued that it should come
under curds, as it generally regarded to be more of a gross food.
Since the texts give no guidance here, the best policy would seem to
be to follow the views of the Community to which one belongs.
//Oil//, according to the Vibhanga, includes sesame oil, mustard
seed oil, "honey tree" oil, castor oil, and oil from tallow. The
Mahavagga (VI.2.1) allows oil made from five kinds of tallow: bear,
fish, alligator (shark?), pig, and donkey tallow. Since bear meat
is one of the kinds normally unallowable for bhikkhus, the
Sub-commentary interprets this list as meaning oil from the tallow
of any animal whose flesh is allowable -- and from any animal whose
flesh, if eaten, carries a dukkata -- is allowable here. Since
human flesh, if eaten, carries a thullaccaya, oil from human fat is
not allowed. The Commentary adds that oil made from any plants not
listed in the Vibhanga carries a dukkata if kept more than seven
//Honey// means the honey of bees, although the Commentary lists
two species of bee -- //cirika//, long and with wings, and
//tumbala//, large, black and with hard wings -- whose honey it says
is very viscous and ranks as a medicine, not as one of the five
//Sugar/molasses// the Vibhanga defines simply as essence of sugar
cane. The Commentary interprets this as meaning not only sugar and
molasses, but also fresh sugar cane juice. The Vinaya Mukha
disagrees here, saying that sugar cane juice, if kept overnight, can
quickly turn into alcohol and so should be classed as a juice drink.
The Commentary also says that sugar or molasses made from any fruit
classed as a food -- e.g., coconut, date palm, sugar beet, etc. --
ranks as a food and not as a tonic, but it is hard to guess at its
reasoning here, since sugar cane itself is also classed as a food.
The Vinaya Mukha seems more correct in using the Great Standards to
say that all forms of sugar and molasses, no matter what the source,
would be included here. Thus artificial sweeteners would also come
under this rule.
According to Mv.VI.16.1, even if the sugar has a little flour
mixed in with it simply to make it firmer -- as sometimes happens in
sugar cubes and blocks of palm sugar -- it is still classed as a
tonic as long as it is still regarded simply as "sugar." If there
is enough flour mixed in so that people are conscious of the flour's
being there, or if the flour is meant to serve more than simply as a
firming agent, the mixture counts as a food and may not be eaten
after noon of the day on which it is received.
Proper use. According to Mv.VI.40.3, any tonic received today may
be eaten mixed with food or juice drinks received today, but not
with food or juice drinks received on a later day. Thus, as the
Commentary points out, tonics received in the morning may be eaten
with food that morning; if received in the afternoon, they may not
be eaten mixed with food at any time at all.
Also, the Commentary says at one point, one may take the tonic at
any time during those seven days regardless of whether or not one is
ill. At another point, though, it says that one may take the tonic
after the morning of the day on which it is received only if one has
a reason. This statement the Sub-commentary explains as meaning
that any reason suffices -- e.g., hunger, weakness -- as long as one
is not taking the tonic for nourishment as food. In other words,
one may take enough to assuage one's hunger, but not to fill oneself
Mv.VI.27, though, contains a special stipulation for the use of
sugar. If one is ill, one may take it "as is" at any time during
the seven days; if not, then after noon of the first day one make
take it only if it is mixed with water.
Forfeiture & confession. If a bhikkhu keeps a tonic past the
seventh dawn after receiving it, he is to forfeit it and confess the
nissaggiya pacittiya offense. Perception is not a mitigating factor
here. Even if he thinks that seven days have not yet passed when
they actually have -- or thinks that the tonic is no longer in his
possession when it actually is -- he incurs the penalty all the same
The procedures for forfeiture, confession, and return of the tonic
are the same as under NP 1. The formula to use in forfeiting the
tonic is given in Appendix VI. Once the bhikkhu receives the tonic
in return, he may not use it to eat or to apply to his body,
although he may use it for other external purposes, such as oil for
a lamp, etc. Other bhikkhus may not eat the tonic either, but they
may apply it to their bodies -- for example, as oil to rub down
Non-offenses. According to the Vibhanga, there is no offense if
within seven days the tonic gets lost, destroyed, burnt, stolen, or
taken on trust; or if the bhikkhu determines it for use, abandons it
or -- having given it away to an unordained person, abandoning
possession of it in his mind -- he receives it in return and makes
use of it (%).
The Commentary has an extended discussion of the last three
1) Determining the tonic for use means that, within the seven
days, the bhikkhu determines that he will use it not as a medicine,
but only to apply to the outside of his body or for other external
purposes instead. In this case, he may keep the tonic as long as he
likes without penalty.
2) Unlike the other rules dealing with robe-cloth or bowls kept X
number of days, the no-offense clauses here do not include
exemptions for tonics placed under dual ownership, but the
Commentary discusses "abandons it" as if it read "places it under
dual ownership." Its verdict: Any tonic placed under dual
ownership may be kept for more than seven days without incurring a
penalty as long as the owners do not divide up their shares, but
after the seventh day they may not use it for internal purposes.
The Sub-commentary adds that any tonic placed under dual ownership
may not be used at all until the arrangement is rescinded.
3) The Commentary reports a controversy between two Vinaya
experts on the meaning of the last exemption in the list -- i.e.,
"having given it away to an unordained person, abandoning possession
of it in his mind, he receives it in return and makes use of it."
Ven. Maha Sumatthera states that the phrase, "if within seven days"
applies here as well: If within seven days the bhikkhu gives the
tonic to an unordained person, having abandoned possession of it in
his mind, he may then keep it and consume it for another seven days
if the unordained person happens to return it to him.
Ven. Maha Padumathera disagrees, saying that the exemption
"abandons it" already covers such a case, and that the exemption
here refers to the situation where a bhikkhu has kept a tonic past
seven days, has forfeited it and received it in return, and then
gives it up to an unordained person. If the unordained person then
returns the tonic to him, he may use it to rub on his body.
The K/Commentary agrees with the latter position, but this creates
some problems, both textual and practical. To begin with, the
phrase, "if within seven days," modifies every one of the other
no-offense clauses, and there is nothing to indicate that it does
not modify this one, too. Secondly, every one of the other
exemptions refers directly to ways of avoiding the full offense, and
not to ways of dealing with the forfeited article after it is
returned, and again there is nothing to indicate that the last
exemption breaks this pattern.
On the practical side, if the exemption "abandons it" covers cases
where a bhikkhu may give up the tonic to anyone at all and then
receive it in return to use for another seven days, bhikkhus could
spend their time trading hoards of tonics among themselves
indefinitely, and the rule would become meaningless. But as the
origin story shows, it was precisely to prevent them from amassing
such hoards that the rule was formulated in the first place.
"Then Ven. Pilindavaccha approached the residence of King
Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha, and on arrival sat down on an
appointed seat. Then King Seniya Bimbisara... approached
Ven. Pilindavaccha and, paying homage, sat down to one side.
As he sat there, Ven. Pilindavaccha addressed him: 'For
what reason, great king, has the monastery attendant's
family been imprisoned?'
"'Sir, in the monastery attendant's house was a garland of
gold: beautiful, attractive, exquisite. There is no
garland of gold like it even in our own women's quarters.
From where could he have gotten it? It must have been
"Then Ven. Pilindavaccha willed that the palace of King
Seniya Bimbisara be gold. And it became made entirely of
gold. 'But from where did you get so much gold, great
"(Saying,) 'I understand, sir. This is simply the master's
psychic power,' he had the monastery attendant's family
"The people, saying, 'The master Pilindavaccha displayed a
psychic wonder, a superior human feat, to the king and his
retinue,' were gladdened and delighted. They presented Ven.
Pilindavaccha with the five tonics: ghee, fresh butter,
oil, honey, and sugar.
"Now ordinarily Ven. Pilindavaccha was already a receiver of
the five tonics, so he distributed his gains among his
company, who came to live in abundance. They put away their
gains having filled pots and pitchers. They hung up their
gains having filled water strainers and bags. These kept
oozing and seeping, and their dwellings were crawling and
creeping with rats. People, engaged in a tour of the
dwellings, having seen this, were offended and annoyed and
spread it about, 'These Sakyan contemplatives have inner
store rooms like the king....'"
Thus it seems more likely that the Vibhanga's no-offense clauses
should be interpreted like this: A bhikkhu is no longer held
responsible for a tonic if he abandons it or gives it away -- no
matter who he gives it to, or what his state of mind -- but he may
receive it in return and use it another seven days only if he has
given it to an unordained person, having abandoned all possession of
it in his mind.
Summary: Keeping any of the five tonics -- ghee, fresh
butter, oil, honey, or sugar/molasses -- for more than seven
days, unless one determines to use them only externally, is
a nissaggiya pacittiya offense.
* * *
24. When a month is left to the hot season, a bhikkhu may
seek a rains-bathing cloth. When a half-month is left to
the hot season, (the cloth) having been made, may be worn.
If when more than a month is left to the hot season he
should seek a rains-bathing cloth, (or) when more than a
half-month is left to the hot season, (the cloth) having
been made should be worn, it is to be forfeited and
Bhikkhus in the time of the Buddha commonly bathed in a river or
lake. Passages in the Canon give an indication of some of the
dangers involved: They had to watch over their robes to make sure
they weren't stolen or washed away by the river, and at the same
time make sure they didn't expose themselves. (S.II.10 tells of a
female deity who, seeing a young bhikkhu bathing, became smitten
with the sight of him wearing only his under robe. She appeared to
him, suggesting that he leave the monkhood to take his fill of
sensual pleasures before his youth had past, but fortunately he was
far enough in the practice to resist her advances.) A further
danger during the rainy season was that the rivers would become
swollen and their currents strong. During this time, then, bhikkhus
would bathe in the rain.
Rains-bathing cloth. The Mahavagga (Mv.VIII.15.1-7) contains the
story of a servant girl who went to a monastery and -- seeing
bhikkhus out bathing naked in the rain -- concluded that there were
no bhikkhus there, but only naked ascetics. She returned to tell
her mistress, Lady Visakha, who realized what was actually happening
and made this the occasion to ask permission of the Buddha to
provide rains-bathing cloths for the bhikkhus, because as she put
it, "Nakedness is repulsive." He granted her request, and at a
later point (Mv.VIII.20.2) stated that a rains-bathing cloth could
be determined for use during the four months of the rainy season --
beginning with the day after the full moon in July, or the second if
there are two -- and that at the end of the four months it was to be
placed under dual ownership. This training rule deals with the
protocol for seeking and using such a cloth during the rains and the
period immediately preceding them.
The protocol is sketched out in the Vibhanga, the details being
filled in by the Commentary as follows: During the first two weeks
of the fourth lunar month of the hot season -- the lunar cycle
ending with the full moon in July, or the first if there are two --
a bhikkhu may seek a rains-bathing cloth and make it if he gets
enough material, but may not yet use it or determine it for use. In
seeking the cloth he may directly ask for it from relatives or
people who have invited him to ask, or he may approach people who
have provided rains-bathing cloths in the past and give them such
hints as: "It is the time for material for a rains-bathing cloth,"
or "People are giving material for a rains-bathing cloth." If he
asks directly from people who are not relatives or who have not
invited him to ask, he incurs a dukkata; if he then receives cloth
from them, he incurs the full penalty under NP 6. If he gives hints
to people who have never provided rains-bathing cloths in the past,
he incurs a dukkata.
During the last two weeks of the fourth lunar month of the hot
season he may now begin using his cloth, although he may not yet
determine it for use. This shows clearly that this rule is
providing an exemption to NP 1, under which he otherwise would be
forced to determine the cloth within ten days after receiving it.
If he has not yet received enough material, he may continue seeking
for more in the way described above and make himself a cloth when he
When the first day of the rainy season arrives, he may determine
the cloth. If he does not yet have enough material to make his
rains-bathing cloth, he may continue seeking it throughout the four
months of the rains. If he bathes naked in the rain when he has a
cloth to use, he incurs a dukkata, although he may bathe naked in a
lake or river without penalty. If he has no cloth to use, he may
also bathe naked in the rain.
At the end of the four months, he is to wash his cloth, place it
under dual ownership, and put it aside if it is still usable. He
may begin using it again the last two weeks of the last lunar month
before the next rainy season and is to redetermine it for use on the
day the rainy season officially begins.
Towards the end of his discussion of this rule, Buddhaghosa adds
his own personal opinion on when the rains-bathing cloth should be
determined for use if it is finished during the rains -- on the
grounds that the ancient commentaries do not discuss the issue --
one of the few places where he overtly gives his own opinion
anywhere in the Commentary. His verdict: If one receives enough
material to finish the cloth within ten days, one should determine
it within those ten days. If not, one may keep what material one
has, undetermined and throughout the rainy season if need be, until
one does obtain enough material and then determine the cloth on the
day it is completed.
Offenses. As the K/Commentary points out, this rule covers two
separate offenses whose factors are somewhat different: the offense
for seeking a rains-bathing cloth at the wrong time and that for
using it at the wrong time.
//Seeking//. The factors here are three: object, effort, and
result. The bhikkhu is looking for material for a rains-bathing
cloth, he makes hints to people during the time he is not allowed to
make hints, and he receives the cloth. There is a dukkata in the
hinting and a full offense in receiving the cloth.
//Using//. The factors here are two: object -- he has a
rains-bathing cloth -- and effort -- he has other robes to use,
there are no dangers, and yet he wears the cloth during the period
when he is not allowed to wear it. (The conditions here are based
on the no-offenses clauses, which we will discuss below.)
In neither of these cases is perception a mitigating factor. Even
if a bhikkhu thinks that the right time to hint for the cloth or to
wear it has come when it actually hasn't, he is not immune from an
Forfeiture & confession. A bhikkhu who has committed either of
the two full offenses here is to forfeit the cloth and confess the
offense. The procedures for forfeiture, confession, and return of
the cloth are the same as under NP 1.
Non-offenses. As the rule states, there is no offense for the
bhikkhu who hints for a rains-bathing cloth within the last lunar
month of the hot season, or for one who wears his rains-bathing
cloth during the last two weeks of that month.
The Vibhanga then refers to a situation that occasionally happens
under the lunar calendar: The four months of the hot season end,
but the Rains Retreat is delayed another lunar cycle due to the fact
that a thirteenth lunar month has to be added to that year in order
to bring the lunar year back into line with the solar year. (This
usually occurs when there are two full moons in July.) In this
case, it says that the rains-bathing cloth -- having been sought for
during the fourth month and worn during the last two weeks of the
hot season -- is to be washed and then put aside. When the proper
season arrives, it may be brought out for use (%).
The Commentary adds that there is no need to determine the cloth
in this period until the day the Rains Retreat officially starts,
but it doesn't say whether the proper season to use the cloth begins
with the Rains Retreat or two weeks before. It would make sense to
allow the bhikkhu to begin using the cloth two weeks before, but
this is simply my own opinion.
The Vibhanga then adds three more exemptions: There is no offense
for a "stolen-robe" bhikkhu, a "destroyed-robe" bhikkhu, or when
there are dangers. The Commentary interprets "robe" here as meaning
rains-bathing cloth, and says that these exemptions apply to the
dukkata offense for bathing naked in the rain. A bhikkhu whose
rains-bathing cloth has been stolen or destroyed may bathe naked in
the rain without incurring a penalty, as may a bhikkhu with an
expensive bathing cloth who would rather bathe naked because of his
fear of cloth thieves.
Strangely enough, Buddhaghosa's own K/Commentary makes the
Vibhanga's exemptions refer also to the full offense. If a
bhikkhu's other robes have been stolen or destroyed, he may wear his
rains-bathing cloth out of season. The same holds true when, in the
words of the K/Commentary, "naked thieves are plundering," and a
bhikkhu decides to wear his rains-bathing cloth out-of-season in
order to protect either it or his other robes from being stolen.
The Sub-commentary follows the K/Commentary in holding to both
At present, much of this discussion is purely academic, inasmuch
as most bhikkhus -- if they use a bathing cloth -- tend to determine
it for use as a "cloth accessory" so as to avoid any possible
offense under this rule.
Summary: Seeking and receiving a rains-bathing cloth before
the fourth month of the hot season is a nissaggiya pacittiya
Using a rains-bathing cloth before the last two weeks of the
fourth month of the hot season is also a nissaggiya
* * *
25. Should any bhikkhu, having himself given a robe-cloth to
(another) bhikkhu, and then being angered and displeased,
snatch it back or have it snatched back, it is to be
forfeited and confessed.
"At that time Ven. Upananda the Sakyan said to his brother's
student, 'Come, friend, let's set out on a tour of the
"'I can't go, sir. My robe is threadbare.'
"'Come, friend, I'll give you a robe.' And he gave him a
robe. Then that bhikkhu heard, 'The Blessed One, they say,
is going to set out on a tour of the countryside.' The
thought occurred to him: 'In that case I won't set out on a
tour of the countryside with Ven. Upananda the Sakyan. I'll
set out on a tour of the countryside with the Blessed One.'
"Then Ven. Upananda said to him, 'Come, friend, let's set
out on that tour of the countryside now.'
"'I won't set out on a tour of the countryside with you,
sir. I'll set out on a tour of the countryside with the
"'But the robe I gave you, my friend, will set out on a tour
of the countryside with //me//.' And angered and
displeased, he snatched the robe back."
As the Commentary points out, this rule applies to cases where one
perceives the robe-cloth as being rightfully one's own even after
having given it away, as when giving it on an implicit or explicit
condition that the recipient does not later fulfill. Thus the act
of snatching away here does not entail a parajika. If, however, one
has mentally abandoned ownership of the robe and then for some
reason snatches it back, the case would come under Parajika 2.
The factors for an offense here are two.
Object: a piece of any of the six allowable kinds of robe-cloth,
measuring at least four by eight fingerbreadths.
Effort. One has given the cloth to another bhikkhu on one
condition or another and then, angered and displeased with him,
either snatches it back or has someone else snatch it back. In the
latter case, one incurs a dukkata in giving the order to snatch the
robe, and the full offense when the robe is snatched. Perception
(with regard to the recipient/victim) is not a mitigating factor
here. If he actually is a bhikkhu, then whether or not one
perceives him to be so makes no difference as far as the offense is
Forfeiture & confession. A bhikkhu who has obtained robe-cloth in
violation of this rule is to forfeit it and confess the offense.
The procedures for forfeiture, confession, and return of the cloth
are the same as under NP 1. The formula to use in forfeiting the
cloth is given in Appendix VI.
Lesser offenses. There is a dukkata for angrily snatching back
from a bhikkhu requisites other than cloth; and for angrily
snatching back any kind of requisite -- cloth or otherwise -- that
one has given to someone who is not a bhikkhu. The Sub-commentary
adds that to give robe-cloth to a layman planning to be ordained,
and then to snatch it back in this way after his ordination, entails
the full offense.
According to the Vibhanga, there is no offense if the recipient
returns the robe of his own accord or if the donor takes it back on
trust (%). The Commentary's discussion of the first exemption shows
that if the recipient returns the robe after receiving a gentle hint
from the donor -- "I gave you the robe in hopes that you would study
with me, but now you are studying with someone else" -- the donor
incurs no penalty. But if the donor's hint shows anger -- "I gave
this robe to a bhikkhu who would study with me, not to one who would
study with somebody else!" -- he incurs a dukkata for the hint, but
no penalty when the recipient returns the robe.
Summary: Having given another bhikkhu a robe on a condition
and then -- angry and displeased -- snatching it back or
having it snatched back is a nissaggiya pacittiya offense.
* * *
26. Should any bhikkhu, having requested thread, have a robe
woven by weavers, it is to be forfeited and confessed.
The factors for an offense here are three: object, effort, and
1) //Object//: thread or yarn of the six allowable types for
robe-cloth, that a bhikkhu -- with the purpose of making a robe --
has requested from people who are not his relatives or who have not
invited him to ask.
2) //Effort//: He takes this thread to weavers who are unrelated
to him and have not offered their services for free, and gets them
to weave him robe-cloth measuring at least four by eight
3) //Result//: He receives the cloth.
Offenses. The Commentary has a table that works out the various
combinations of offenses here based on two variables: thread
properly or improperly received, and weavers proper or improper for
the bhikkhu to ask. Thread properly received is any that the
bhikkhu has requested from people who are related to him or have
invited him to ask. Similarly, weavers proper for him to ask are
any who are related to him or have offered him their services.
If both the thread and the weavers are classed as not proper,
there is a dukkata in getting them to weave cloth, and a nissaggiya
pacittiya in receiving the cloth when it is done.
There is a dukkata in receiving the cloth if the thread is proper,
but the weavers not; OR if the thread is not proper, but the weavers
are. (For ease of remembrance: a dukkata if one variable is proper
and the other not.)
If both variables are proper, there is no offense.
The Commentary then has a field day working out the permutations
if two different weavers -- one proper and one improper -- work on
the cloth, or if proper and improper thread are used in the cloth --
proper warp and improper woof, or alternating strands of proper and
improper thread -- which if nothing else goes to show how few truly
burning issues have sprung up around this rule.
Forfeiture & confession. Robe-cloth received in a way that
entails the full offense under this rule is to be forfeited and the
offense confessed, following the procedure under NP 1.
Non-offenses. The Vibhanga says that there is no offense "to sew
a robe, or in a binding, a belt, a shoulder-strap, a bag for
carrying the bowl, or a water-strainer." The Commentary interprets
this as meaning that there is no offense in asking for thread or
yarn to sew a robe or to make any of the other things listed. Since
these articles are small, and since bhikkhus are allowed looms
(Cv.V.28.2), perhaps they are things that bhikkhus could be expected
to make themselves.
The no-offense clauses also say that there is no offense if they
-- the donors or the weavers -- are relatives, if they have invited
one to ask, if the cloth is for the sake of another, or if it is by
means of one's own property. These exemptions apply both to asking
for thread and for getting weavers to weave cloth. As under NP 6 &
22, "for the sake of another" means that one may ask from one's own
relatives or from those who have invited one to ask OR from
relatives of the other person or people who have invited him to ask.
Asking for his sake from people other than these would entail the
If the cloth is obtained by means of one's own property -- i.e.,
one arranges to pay for the thread and hire the weavers -- the
Commentary states that one is responsible for the cloth as soon as
it is finished and fully paid for, whether or not it is delivered
into one's possession. One must therefore determine it for use
within 10 days of that date so as not to commit an offense under NP
1. If the weavers have promised to send word when the cloth is
done, one's responsibility starts when one receives word from their
messenger; similarly, if they have promised to send the cloth when
done, one's responsibility begins when their messenger delivers it.
Summary: Taking thread that one has asked for improperly and
getting weavers to weave cloth from it -- when they are
unrelated and have not made a previous offer to weave -- is
a nissaggiya pacittiya offense.
* * *
27. In case a man or woman householder unrelated to a
bhikkhu has weavers weave robe-cloth for his sake, and if
the bhikkhu, not previously invited (by the householder),
having approached the weavers, should make stipulations with
regard to the cloth, saying, "This cloth, friends, is to be
woven for my sake. Make it long, make it broad, make it
tightly woven, well woven, well spread, well scraped, well
smoothed, and perhaps I may reward you with a little
something;" and should the bhikkhu, having said that, reward
them with a little something, even as much as alms food, it
(the cloth) is to be forfeited and confessed.
Here the factors for an offense are four:
Object: a piece of any of the six allowable types of robe-cloth,
measuring at least four by eight fingerbreadths, which is being made
for one's sake by the arrangement of a donor who is unrelated and
has not given an invitation to ask.
Intention. One wants to get better cloth than what the donors are
planning to give.
Effort. One approaches the weavers and gets them to increase the
amount of thread going into the cloth. The Commentary explains that
the bhikkhu's words quoted in the rule are meant simply to be an
example of any way in which one might do this. The Vibhanga defines
the reward of "alms food" as covering anything of even the slightest
material value -- food, a lump of powder, tooth wood, unwoven
thread, or even a phrase of Dhamma. A bhikkhu who offers to pay for
the extra thread in full would thus also fulfill this factor.
The Sub-commentary adds that even if the bhikkhu doesn't deliver
the reward, this factor is fulfilled all the same as long as the
weavers, as a result of his stipulations, actually increase the
amount of thread from that which they and the donors had agreed on.
Result. One receives the cloth.
Offenses. The bhikkhu incurs a dukkata as soon as the weavers add
even a little extra thread to the cloth, and the full offense when
he receives it. The procedures for forfeiture, confession, and
return of the cloth are the same as under NP 1.
Non-offenses. There is no offense if --
the donors are relatives,
they have invited one to ask,
one asks for the sake of another,
one gets the weavers to make the cloth less expensive than the
donors had ordered, or
if it is by means of one's own property. (This last point refers
only to cases where the bhikkhu was the one who had the weavers
hired in the first place.)
Summary: When donors who are not relatives -- and have not
invited one to ask -- have arranged for weavers to weave
robe-cloth intended for one: Receiving the cloth after
getting the weavers to increase the amount of thread used in
it is a nissaggiya pacittiya offense.
* * *
28.Ten days prior to the third-month Kattika full moon,
should robe-cloth offered in urgency accrue to a bhikkhu, he
is to accept it if he regards it as offered in urgency.
Once he has accepted it, he may keep it throughout the robe
season. Beyond that, it is to be forfeited and confessed.
The //third-month Kattika full moon// is the full moon in October,
or the first if there are two. This is the final day of the Rains
Retreat, and the day before the beginning of the robe season.
//Robe-cloth offered in urgency// is any piece of the six
allowable kinds of robe-cloth, measuring at least four by eight
fingerbreadths, offered by a person who does not want to wait until
the robe season to make an offering, either because his/her survival
is in doubt -- as when a soldier is going into war, a traveler is
about to set out on a journey, or a woman has become pregnant -- or
because he/she has developed new-found faith in the religion.
The Commentary points out that the period allowed for giving
robe-cloth offered in urgency begins on the fifth day of the waxing
moon before the end of the Rains Retreat; and that robe-cloth
offered to an individual bhikkhu beginning on the sixth day of the
waning moon can, under NP 1, be kept throughout the robe season
because the tenth dawn after the sixth waning moon is the beginning
of the robe season. Thus it would seem that this rule is giving only
a one-day special allowance.
However, we should note that the Vibhanga implicitly, and the
Commentary explicitly, treat robe-cloth offered in urgency as
in-season cloth (see NP 3): In other words, the cloth goes to the
Community, and is to be divided only among those bhikkhus who spend
the Rains Retreat in that Community. Thus if a bhikkhu has broken
the retreat, he must return his share to the Community, as he no
longer has any right to it.
The factors for an offense here are two: //object// -- robe-cloth
offered in urgency; and //effort// -- one keeps it past the end of
the robe season: the dawn after the full moon following the Rains
Retreat, if one does not participate in a kathina; or the end of
one's kathina privileges, if one does. And, as noted above, if one
has broken one's Retreat, one has no right to any share in such
cloth and must return it to the Community immediately.
Perception is not a mitigating factor here. Thus if the period to
keep the cloth has passed even though one thinks it hasn't -- or if
it is not determined for use, etc., when one thinks it is -- one is
still subject to the offense all the same.
The procedures for forfeiture, confession, and return of the cloth
are the same as under NP 1. See Appendix VI for the Pali formula to
use in forfeiting the cloth.
Non-offenses. There is no offense if, before the robe season is
over, one determines the cloth, places it under dual ownership, or
abandons it (gives it away or throws it away); if it is lost,
destroyed, burnt, or stolen, or if someone else takes it on trust.
Summary: Keeping robe-cloth offered in urgency past the end
of the robe season after having accepted it during the last
eleven days of the Rains Retreat is a nissaggiya pacittiya
* * *
29. There are wilderness abodes that are considered dubious
and risky. A bhikkhu living in such abodes after the
(fourth-month) Kattika full moon has passed may keep any one
of his three robes in a village if he so desires. Should he
have any reason to live apart from the robe, he may do so
for six nights at most. If he should live apart from it
longer than that -- unless authorized by the bhikkhus -- it
is to be forfeited and confessed.
As we noted under NP 2, every bhikkhu who has spent the Rains
Retreat has the right to live separated from his set of three robes
during the following month. This rule is a partial one-month
extension of this right for bhikkhus living in dangerous wilderness
areas. The reason for this extension is that this one-month period
was when thieves were active -- perhaps because they knew that
bhikkhus had just received new cloth, or simply because now that
roads were passable again it was time for them to get back to their
The Commentary defines this situation in terms of four factors:
1) The bhikkhu has spent the first Rains Retreat -- the one
beginning with the full moon in July, or the second full moon if
there are two in that month -- without break.
2) He is staying in a wilderness abode, defined in the Vibhanga as
one at least 500 bow-lengths, or one kilometer, from the nearest
village, this distance being measured by the shortest walkable
path between the two and not as the crow flies. At the same
time, he is not so far from a village that he cannot go for alms
there in the morning and then return to eat in his abode before
3) The abode is dubious and risky: dubious in that thieves are
known to be about, risky in that people are known to have been
hurt or plundered by them.
4) The time period for the extension is one month beginning the
day after the fourth Kattika moon, the full moon one month after
the end of the Rains Retreat.
The dawn after this full moon day is when the robe season normally
ends for those bhikkhus who have not participated in a kathina.
However, a bhikkhu living in the situation outlined above may keep
one of his set of triple robes in the village where he normally goes
for alms, and -- if he has a reason -- may stay apart from it six
nights at most. As usual, nights are counted by dawns.
The factors for an offense here are two: //object// -- one of a
bhikkhu's basic set of three robes; and //effort// -- staying away
from the robe past the sixth dawn after first being apart from it.
Perception is not a mitigating factor here: Even if one thinks that
six nights have not passed when they actually have, one is not
immune from the offense.
As the Sub-commentary points out, the Commentary and K/Commentary
differ in their definition of the factor of effort here. According
to the K/Commentary, the bhikkhu staying in a forest abode during
the period in question is counted as being apart from his robe when
it is placed in the village, and thus can keep it there while he is
in his forest abode only six nights at a stretch. Thus, it says, if
he is in his wilderness abode at the sixth dawn, he incurs the full
The Commentary, however, maintains that the bhikkhu staying in the
wilderness abode is not counted as being apart from his robe when it
is placed in the village, but if he leaves that abode on business
and lets his robe remain in the village, he may stay away from the
abode only six nights at a stretch. Thus, it says, if in returning
from his business he cannot make it to his forest abode by the sixth
dawn, and the village is closer, he may stop over in the village
long enough to check up on the robe and still be immune from the
The second interpretation makes more sense, in that if the bhikkhu
is staying in his abode and going for alms in the village, he may
check up on his robe every day. It is also more in line with the
Vibhanga's definition of "any reason" -- i.e., "any business" --
which indicates situations where the bhikkhu would be away from his
abode. The Sub-commentary, following Bhadanta Buddhadatta Thera,
adopts the second interpretation.
Forfeiture & confession. A bhikkhu under these conditions who has
been away from his robe for more than six nights is to forfeit it
and confess the offense. The procedures for forfeiture, confession,
and return of the robe are the same as under NP 1. The Pali formula
for forfeiting the robe is in Appendix VI.
Non-offenses. There is no offense for a bhikkhu who has stayed
away from his robe six nights or less; or
if, having been apart from his robe six nights, he enters the
village boundary (and, according to the Commentary, stays long
enough to check up on his robe);
if, within the six nights, he rescinds the determination of the
robe, places it under dual ownership, abandons it; or the robe
gets lost, burnt, destroyed, stolen, or taken by someone on
or if he has been authorized by the Community to be apart from his
robe. (This, according to the Commentary, refers to the
authorization discussed under NP 2.)
The commentaries refer the reader to NP 2 for the remaining
explanations to this rule, which would seem to indicate that if a
bhikkhu's kathina privileges are still in effect, he is also immune
from an offense under this rule during the period in question no
matter how many nights he is away from his robe.
Summary: When one is living in a dangerous wilderness abode
during the month after the fourth Kattika full moon and has
left one of one's robes in the village where one normally
goes for alms: Being away from the abode and the village
for more than six nights at a stretch -- except when
authorized by the Community -- is a nissaggiya pacittiya
* * *
30. Should any bhikkhu knowingly divert to himself gains
that had been intended for a Community, they are to be
forfeited and confessed.
"Now in Savatthi at that time a certain guild had prepared a
meal with cloth for the Community, (thinking,) 'Having fed
(the bhikkhus) we will supply them with cloth.'
"Then some group-of-six bhikkhus went to where the guild
members were staying and on arrival said, 'Give us these
"'We can't, sirs. We arrange alms with cloth for the
Community (like this) on a yearly basis.'
"'The Community has lots of donors, my friends. The
Community gets lots of meals. It is in dependence on you,
looking to you, that we live here. If you won't give to us,
is there anyone who will? Give us the cloths, friends.'
"So the guild, pressured by the group-of-six bhikkhus, gave
them what cloth they had prepared and then served the meal
to the Community. The bhikkhus who knew that a meal with
cloth had been prepared, but not that the cloth had been
given to the group-of-six bhikkhus, addressed the guild
members: 'Present the cloth to the Community, friends.'
"'There isn't any, sirs. What cloth we had prepared, the
masters -- the group-of-six bhikkhus -- have diverted to
"Those bhikkhus who were of few wants...were offended and
annoyed and spread it about: 'How can these group-of-six
bhikkhus divert to themselves gains intended for the
There are four factors for an offense here.
Object: any requisite -- "robe-cloth, alms-food, lodgings,
medicine, even a lump of powder, toothwood, or unwoven thread" --
that donors have indicated by word or gesture that they intend to
give to a Community. As the Commentary notes, //donors// here
include not only lay people in general, but also one's fellow
bhikkhus and relatives -- even one's own mother: The fact that a
gift is intended for a Community overrides all other considerations,
even when one is ill.
Perception. One perceives that the donors have intended the
requisite for a Community (%).
Effort. One tries to persuade them that they should give it to
oneself instead. This in itself, following on the first two
factors, entails a dukkata.
Result. One receives the article from the donors. This entails
the full offense.
Forfeiture & confession. Any gains received in violation of this
rule are to be forfeited and the offense confessed. The procedures
here are the same as under NP 1. The Pali formula for forfeiting
the gains is in Appendix VI.
Related offenses. If one knowingly tries to divert gains intended
for a Community to oneself, but the donors go ahead and give the
gains to the Community anyway, then the Commentary says that one
should not have a share in them. If one does receive a share from
the Community, one should return it. If, instead of returning it,
one shares it among lay people, the case is to be treated under
If one is in doubt as to whether items are intended for the
Community but goes ahead and diverts them anyway, one incurs a
dukkata regardless of whether the items really were intended for the
Community or not (%).
To divert items intended for a Community to another individual
entails a pacittiya under Pacittiya 82. To divert items intended
for one Community of bhikkhus to another Community or to a shrine,
entails a dukkata. The same holds true for diverting items intended
for a shrine to a Community, to an individual, or to another shrine;
and for diverting items intended for an individual to a Community,
to a shrine, or to another individual.
The Commentary states that the term //individual// here can mean
common animals as well as human beings, and that this last case thus
includes even such things as saying, "Don't give it to that dog.
Give it to this one." This point is well-taken: A bhikkhu has no
business interfering with the gains that are to be freely given to
another being, no matter what that being's current status.
The Sub-commentary holds that once an item has been presented by a
donor, there is nothing wrong in diverting it elsewhere. Thus, it
says, taking flowers presented to one shrine and placing them at
another -- or chasing a dog away from food that has been given to it
so that another dog can have a share -- would be perfectly all
right, but the Thai editors of the Sub-commentary state in a
footnote that they disagree.
Non-offenses. There is no offense in diverting items to oneself
if one does not perceive them as intended for a Community, another
individual, or a shrine, regardless of whether the donors intended
them that way or not. Still, one should be careful not to do this
in such a way as to violate any of the other rules on asking from
people who are unrelated or have not given an invitation to ask.
The no-offense clauses recommend a safer line of conduct: If one
is asked, "To whom should we give this?" one may answer, "Give
wherever your gift would be used, or would be well-cared for, or
would last long, or wherever your mind feels inspired."
Summary: Persuading a donor to give to oneself a gift that
he or she had planned to give to the Community -- when one
knows that it was intended for the Community -- is a
nissaggiya pacittiya offense.
* * *
A bhikkhu who commits an offense against any of these thirty
nissaggiya pacittiya offenses must first forfeit the item in
question before confessing the offense. If he makes use of the item
before forfeiting it, he incurs an extra dukkata -- except for money
received in violation of NP 18 or 19, which would involve another
nissaggiya pacittiya if used in trade. If the item gets lost or
destroyed before the bhikkhu forfeits it, he may simply confess a
Except in cases where forfeiture must be made to a Community of
four bhikkhus or more (NP 18, 19, & 22), the offender may forfeit
the item to a single bhikkhu, to a group of two or three, or to a
Community of four or more. Once he has confessed the offense, he is
cleared of the penalty.
In cases where he must forfeit the item to the Community, he may
not receive it in return. In the remaining cases, though, the item
must be returned to him. Not to do so entails a dukkata for the
bhikkhu(s) to whom it is forfeited. In a few cases, there are
restrictions as to what use a bhikkhu may make of an item received
in return after forfeiture -- e.g., he may not use the five tonics
to treat his body internally or externally, and may not use felt
made with silk or composed of more than 1/2 black wool as a rug --
but apart from this he is free to use the returned item as he likes.
The act of forfeiture is thus symbolic in most cases, and the
effect of the rules is more internal: The offender may not make use
of the item until he has confessed his wrong-doing, and this in
itself should give him time to reflect on his actions. Similarly,
in the act of handing the nissaggiya item over to another, he has an
opportunity to reflect on whether or not is it worth whatever greed,
anger, or delusion it has sparked in his mind.
Offenses of this and the remaining categories in this book are
classed as light offenses (//lahukapatti//) and are also termed
//desana-gamini//, meaning that they can be cleared through
* * * * * * * *