CHAPTER EIGHT Part Two: The Living Plant Chapter 11. The damaging of a living plant is to

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CHAPTER EIGHT Part Two: The Living Plant Chapter ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 11. The damaging of a living plant is to be confessed. "Now a certain Alavi bhikkhu was chopping down a tree. The devata living in the tree said to the bhikkhu, 'Sir, do not chop down my dwelling to build a dwelling for yourself.' The bhikkhu, paying no attention, continued chopping and injured the arm of the devata's child. The devata thought: 'What if I were to kill this bhikkhu right here?' Then another thought occurred to her: 'But no, that wouldn't be proper. What if I were to inform the Blessed One of this matter?' So she went to the Blessed One and on arrival informed him of what had happened. "'Very good, devata. It's very good that you didn't kill the bhikkhu. If you had, you would have produced much demerit for yourself. Now go, devata. Over there is a vacant tree. Go into it.' (The Commentary adds here that the tree, being in the Jetavana Monastery, was one of the choicest pieces of devata real estate in those days. Other devas coming to pay their respects to the Buddha also made a point of paying their respects to the devata living in this tree. At any rate:) "People were offended and annoyed and spread it about, 'How can these Sakyan contemplatives cut down trees and have them cut down? They are destroying one-facultied life.'" This is another offense with the four factors of object, effort, perception, and intention. Object. The Pali term for living plant -- //bhutagama// -- literally means the home of a being. This the Sub-commentary explains by saying that devatas may take up residence in plants standing in place by means of a longing on which their consciousness fastens (at the end of their previous lives) as in a dream. This rule is justified, it says, in that the etiquette of a contemplative precludes doing harm to the abodes of living beings. As the origin story shows, though, the reason this rule was laid down in the first place was to prevent bhikkhus from offending people who held to the animist belief that regarded plants as one-facultied life having the sense of touch. The Vibhanga defines //bhutagama// as vegetation arising from any of five sources: 1) from bulbs, rhizomes, or tubers (e.g., potatoes, tulips), 2) from cuttings or stakes (e.g., willows, rose bushes), 3) from joints (e.g., sugar cane, bamboo), 4) from runners (e.g., strawberries, couch grass), or 5) from seeds (e.g., corn, beans). According to the Commentary, a whole plant or part of one that has been removed from its original place is no longer classed as bhutagama. If it is capable of growing again if placed in the ground, it is classed as //bijagama//, which means "home of a plant." When a seed is sown, it is regarded as bijagama until the first shoot turns a fresh green color, and the first leaf appears. After that it is regarded as bhutagama. In line with this criterion, the Commentary classifies as bijagama such lower forms of plant life as mushrooms that still have their spores, fungi, lichens without leaves, and moulds, in that they do not pass through a fresh green stage, have no discernable leaves, and yet are capable of regeneration. Mushrooms that have lost their spores, and parts of any plants that have been removed from place and will not grow, or that have been cooked or otherwise damaged to the point where they are incapable of generation, are not grounds for an offense under this rule. The Commentary states further that to damage bijagama entails a dukkata. The Vibhanga makes no mention of this point, but the Commentary cites as its justification a passage that occurs in a number of suttas (D.1, D.2, etc.) saying that bhikkhus refrain from harming both bhutagama and bijagama. The Mahavagga and Cullavagga give partial justification to the Commentary's assertion in two passages, dealing with bhikkhus eating fruit, which we will discuss below. The Jain ascetics follow similar observances, which suggests that both the Buddhists and the Jains adopted this point from the ancient Indian ascetics who predated both religions. Furthermore, according to the Commentary, there are certain kinds of plants that do not count either as bhutagama or bijagama under this rule, and to damage them entails no offense. To justify this point it quotes a passage from the Cullavagga (VIII.1.2): "If a varnished wall...(or) finished floor has spots of mould (%), it is to be wiped off with a moistened cloth that has been wrung out." The Commentary extends the Canon's instructions here to cover not only mould on walls but also other lower forms of plant life -- such as algae on the inside of water jars, fungus on toothbrushes, and mould on food -- that would count as filth if they were allowed to continue growing. Effort. According to the Vibhanga, the term //damaging// includes such actions as cutting, breaking, picking, burning, and cooking. The Commentary defines the term as "dealing with a plant as one likes by cutting it, breaking it, and so on." Although the word "dealing with," //paribhunjati//, literally means "making use of," the Commentary's illustrations of what this covers include even such things as shaking a tree limb to get the dry leaves to fall off so that one can sweep them up. Thus, it says, //damaging// would include picking flowers or leaves, uprooting a plant, engraving one's initials in a tree trunk, etc. Since no exception is made for doing such things with "benevolent" intentions towards the plant, pruning would be included as well. Given the catch-all nature of the Commentary's definition, using herbicides to kill plants would also come under the term "damaging." Plants growing in water, such as water hyacinths, whose roots do not extend to the earth beneath the water, have the water as their base. To remove them from the water is to damage them, although there is no offense in moving them around in the water. To move them from one body of water to another without incurring a penalty, one may take them together with some of the water in which they originally lived and place them together with that water into the new body of water. Plants such as mistletoe, orchids, and bird vine that grow on trees have the tree as their base. To remove them from the tree is to damage them and so entails a pacittiya. Perception. If one damages a living plant (%) perceiving it to be something else -- say, a dead plant -- there is no offense. If one damages a plant in doubt as to whether it is living or dead, then regardless of what it actually is, the offense is a dukkata. Intention is discussed in detail under the non-offenses, below. Making Fruit Allowable. Since fruit seeds are bijagama, the question arises as to how bhikkhus should go about eating fruit. The Commentary to this rule discusses in detail two passages, one each in the Mahavagga (VI. 21) and the Cullavagga (V.5.2), dealing with precisely this question. The Cullavagga passage reads, "I allow you, bhikkhus, to consume fruit that has been made allowable for contemplatives in any of five ways: if it is damaged by fire, by a knife, by a nail, if it is seedless, and the fifth is if the seeds are discharged." The Mahavagga passage reads, "Now at that time there was a great quantity of fruit at Savatthi, but there was no one to make it allowable....(The Buddha said,) 'I allow you, bhikkhus, to consume fruit that is seedless or whose seeds are discharged, (even if) it has not been made allowable." First, to summarize the commentaries' discussion of seedless fruit and fruit whose seeds have been discharged: According to the Commentary to the Mahavagga, "seedless fruit" includes fruit whose seeds are too immature to grow. As for fruit whose seeds have been discharged, the Sub-commentary states that this means, "Fruit, such as mangoes or jackfruit, which it is possible to eat having removed the seeds and separating them entirely (from the flesh)." The question sometimes arises as to whether bhikkhus may remove the seeds themselves before eating fruit of this sort, or whether an unordained person has to remove them first, but given the context of the Mahavagga passage and the wording of the Sub-commentary's explanation, it seems clear that the bhikkhus themselves may discharge the seeds before or while eating the fruit. As the Commentary notes, both these kinds of fruit are allowable in and of themselves, and need not go through any other procedure to make them allowable. Other kinds of fruit, though, such as those with numerous seeds (such as tomatoes and blackberries) or whose seeds would be difficult to remove undamaged (such as grapes) must be damaged by fire, a knife, or a fingernail before a bhikkhu may eat them. The Commentary's description of how to do this shows that the damaging need only be symbolic: An unordained person draws a hot object or a knife across the skin of the fruit, or pokes it with a fingernail, saying "allowable" (//kappiyam//) either while doing the damaging or immediately afterward. The Sub-commentary notes that the word for "allowable" may be stated in any language. If a heap of fruit, such as grapes, is brought to a bhikkhu, he should say, "Make it allowable," (//Kappiyam karohi//,) either to the donor or to any other unordained person who knows how. The unordained person need only make one of the grapes allowable in line with the above procedures for the entire heap to be considered allowable, although he/she should not remove the grape from the heap while doing so. The Sub-commentary claims that the ceremony of making fruit allowable must always be performed in the presence of a bhikkhu, but the Commentary mentions this factor only in connection with this last case -- making an entire heap of fruit allowable by "damaging" only one piece -- and not in its basic description of how the procedure is done. In Communities that follow the Sub-commentary, the custom is as follows: When a donor brings grapes, tomatoes, or similar fruit to a bhikkhu, the bhikkhu says, "//Kappiyam karohi// (Make it allowable)." The donor damages the fruit in any of the three specified ways and says, "//Kappiyam bhante// (It is allowable, sir)," while doing the damaging, and then presents the fruit to the bhikkhu. In Communities that do not follow the Sub-commentary, the donor may perform the act of damaging the fruit beforehand, and simply inform the bhikkhu that the fruit has been made allowable when presenting it to him. In either case, the act of making a heap of fruit allowable by damaging only one piece //must// be done in the presence of a bhikkhu. And we should note again that seedless fruit or fruit whose seeds may be removed entirely from the flesh of the fruit are allowable in and of themselves, and do not have to go through any procedure before a bhikkhu may accept and eat them. The two passages in the Mahavagga and Cullavagga that we have been discussing deal specifically only with fruit, but the Commentary extrapolates from them to say that the same conditions apply to other forms of bijagama, such as sugar cane, and bean sprouts as well. Non-offenses. There is no offense for a bhikkhu who cuts a living plant -- //unknowingly// -- e.g., thinking it to be dead, //unthinkingly// -- e.g., absent-mindedly pulling grass while talking with someone, or //unintentionally// -- e.g., inadvertently uprooting grass while raking leaves or grabbing onto a plant for support while climbing a hill and inadvertently uprooting it. Also, there is no penalty in telling an unordained person to make an item allowable, in asking for leaves, flowers, etc. without specifically saying //which// leaves or flowers are to be picked; or in indicating indirectly that, e.g., the grass needs cutting ("Look at how long the grass is") or that a tree needs pruning ("This branch is in the way") without expressly giving the command to cut. In other words, this is another rule where one may avoid an offense by using //kappiya-vohara//: "wording it right." The Cullavagga (V.32.1) says that if a brush fire is approaching a dwelling, one may light a counter-fire to ward it off. In doing so, one is exempt from any penalty imposed by this rule. Also, according to the Sub-commentary to NP 6, a bhikkhu whose robes have been stolen and who cannot find any other cloth to cover himself, may pick grass and leaves to cover himself without incurring any penalty here. Summary: Intentionally cutting, burning, or killing a living plant is a pacittiya offense. * * * 12. Evasive speech and uncooperativeness are to be confessed. This rule deals with a bhikkhu's behavior in a communal meeting when being formally questioned about a charge made against him. The factors for the full offense here are two: 1) //Intention//: One desires to hide one's own offenses. 2) //Effort//: One continues engaging in evasive speech or in being uncooperative after the Community has brought a formal charge of evasive speech or uncooperativeness against one. These factors will be easier to understand if we discuss effort and intention before going on to the formal act. Evasive speech is illustrated in the origin story as follows: "Now at that time Ven. Channa, having misbehaved and being examined about the offense in the midst of the Community, avoided one question with another: 'Who has committed the offense? What was committed? With regard to what matter was it committed? How was it committed? What are you saying? Why do you say it?'" The Commentary notes that //evasive speech// covers any and all forms of speaking beside the point when being formally questioned, and not just the ones given in the origin story. The Sub-commentary agrees and gives an additional example of its own: "Have you committed this offense?" "I've been to Pataliputta." "But we're not asking about your going to Pataliputta. We're asking about an offense." "From there I went to Rajagaha." "Well, Rajagaha or Brahmanagaha, did you commit the offense?" "I got some pork there." As for uncooperativeness: "Now at a later time Ven. Channa, being examined about an offense in the midst of the Community, (thinking), 'By avoiding one question with another, I will fall into an offense,' remained silent and was uncooperative with the Community." Thus, the texts say, to be //uncooperative// means to remain silent when being formally questioned in the midst of the Community. Intention. This factor is fulfilled only if one is acting out of a desire to conceal one's own offenses. If one has other reasons for remaining silent or asking questions while being questioned, there is no penalty. For example, there is no offense for a bhikkhu who, when being examined, asks questions or gives answers not to the point because he does not understand what is being said, is too ill to speak, feels that in speaking he will create conflict or dissension in the Community, or feels that the Community will carry out its formal act unfairly or not in accordance with the rule. The formal act. If a bhikkhu speaks evasively or is uncooperative out of a desire to conceal his own offenses, he incurs a dukkata. If the Community sees fit, it may then bring a formal charge of evasion or uncooperativeness against him in order to restrain him from persisting in such behavior. If he then continues being evasive or uncooperative, he incurs a pacittiya. Perception is not a factor here. Once a formal charge of evasion or uncooperativeness has been rightfully brought against a bhikkhu, and he continues to be evasive or uncooperative, he incurs a pacittiya regardless of whether he sees the charge as rightful or not. If the charge has been wrongfully brought against him -- e.g., the formal act was not carried out strictly in accordance with formal procedure -- then in continuing to be evasive or remain silent out of a desire to hide his offenses, he incurs a dukkata regardless of whether he perceives the charge as wrongful, rightful, or doubtful. In other words, he is not let off the hook simply because the Community has not mastered formal procedure. If, after the Community rightly brings a formal charge of evasive speech or uncooperativeness against a bhikkhu, he continues being evasive or uncooperative simply to avoid revealing his offenses, he may further be subject to a more severe penalty: a formal act of censure (//tajjaniya-kamma//) for being a maker of trouble and strife for the Community (Cv.I.1-8) or -- what is essentially the same thing -- an act for further misbehavior (//tassa-papiyasika-kamma//) for not admitting to a true charge right from the start (see the discussion under the Adhikarana-Samatha rules, Chapter 11). Non-offenses. If a bhikkhu answers not to the point or remains silent for any of the allowable reasons, he incurs no penalty even after a formal act of evasive speech or uncooperativeness has for some reason been brought against him. Summary: Persistently replying evasively or keeping silent in order to conceal one's own offenses when being questioned in a meeting of the Community -- after a formal charge of evasiveness or uncooperativeness has been brought against one -- is a pacittiya offense. * * * 13. Maligning or complaining (about a Community official) is to be confessed. Community officials. In the Cullavagga (VI.21), the Buddha gives allowance for a Community of bhikkhus to designate various of its members as Community officials, to handle such business as distributing food, deciding who will stay in which lodging, keeping the rosters that decide who will receive the invitations to which meals, etc. Ven. Dabba Mallaputta was the first such official and was well-equipped for the job: "As for those bhikkhus who came at night, he would enter the fire-element for them and by that light would assign them lodgings -- so much so that bhikkhus would arrive at night on purpose, thinking, 'We will see the marvel of Ven. Dabba Mallaputta's psychic power.' Approaching him, they would say, 'Friend Dabba, assign us lodgings.' "Ven. Dabba Mallaputta would say, 'Where would you like? Where shall I assign them?' "Then they would name a distant place on purpose: 'Friend Dabba, assign us a lodging on Vulture's Peak. Friend Dabba, assign us a lodging on Robber's Cliff....' "So Ven. Dabba Mallaputta, entering the fire-element for them, went before them with his finger glowing, while they followed behind with the help of his light." Even with his special skills, there were bhikkhus who were dissatisfied with the lodgings and meals he assigned to them -- as we saw under Sanghadisesas 8 & 9 -- and in the origin story to this rule they malign and complain about him. Object. Only a bhikkhu who has been formally agreed upon as a Community official fulfills the factor of object under this rule. All other people, ordained or not, are grounds for a dukkata. Effort. The Commentary and Sub-commentary give the clearest description of the distinction between maligning and complaining: To malign means to speak critically of a person in the presence of one or more other people so as to make them form a low opinion of him/her. To complain means simply to give vent to one's criticisms of the person within earshot of someone else. According to the Vibhanga, the penalty for maligning or complaining about a Community official is a pacittiya if one's listener is a fellow bhikkhu, and a dukkata if one's listener is an unordained person (%). The question of who one's remarks are addressed to is irrelevant if one is maligning or complaining about an unordained person or a bhikkhu who is not a Community official: The penalty is a dukkata, regardless of whether the person to whom the remarks are addressed is ordained or not. Non-offenses. The Vibhanga says that if a Community official acts habitually out of any of the four causes for prejudice -- favoritism, animosity, stupidity, or fear -- there is no offense in maligning or complaining about him. For example, if he assigns the best lodgings to certain bhikkhus simply because he likes them, gives the poorest food to certain bhikkhus simply because he dislikes them, habitually sends the wrong bhikkhus to the wrong meals because he is too stupid to handle the rotating rosters properly, or gives the best treatment to certain bhikkhus because he is afraid of them or their supporters, there is no offense in criticizing his behavior in the presence of others. However, one should be very sure of the facts of the case before taking advantage of this allowance. Disappointment and anger have a way of coloring one's perceptions, making another person's perfectly blameless behavior look biased and unjust. If one maligns or complains about an official, thoroughly convinced that he has been acting out of prejudice, one is still guilty of an offense if it turns out that in fact the official's behavior has been fair. The same considerations apply also to complaints or criticisms concerning anyone, ordained or not. To criticize a Community official to his face, simply for the sake of hurting his feelings, would be an offense under Pacittiya 2, regardless of whether his behavior has in fact been prejudiced or not. The job of a Community official is often a thankless one. The procedures he must follow in distributing invitations, etc., can be fairly complex and, in large Communities, quite time-consuming. Since there is no way he can guarantee equal treatment to all, there may be times when he seems to be acting out of prejudice when he is simply following standard procedure. If he cannot receive the benefit of the doubt from his fellow bhikkhus, there is no incentive for him to undertake these duties in the first place. The Buddha likened material gains to excrement (see A.V.196), and when excrement is shared out there is rarely any point in complaining about who gets the choicest portions. Summary: If a Community official is innocent of prejudice: Criticizing him within earshot of another bhikkhu is a pacittiya offense. * * * 14. Should any bhikkhu set a bed, bench, mattress, or stool belonging to the Community out in the open -- or have it set out -- and then on departing neither put it away nor have it put away, or should he go without taking leave, it is to be confessed. During the four months of the rains, furniture belonging to the Community -- when not in use -- is to be kept in a place where it will not be rained on, such as a fully-roofed storeroom or lodging. During the remainder of the year, it may also be kept in a shed roofed with slats or branches, or under a tree where birds do not leave droppings. The Commentary implies, though, that this latter allowance holds only in those regions with a distinct dry season; and, according to the Sub-commentary, even where there is a dry season, if a bhikkhu sees an unseasonable rain storm approaching, he should not leave furniture in such semi-open places. This rule deals with bhikkhus who set furnishings of the Community out in the open and then leave without getting them put away in the proper place. The factors for the full offense are three: 1) //Object//: any bed, bench, mattress, or stool belonging to the Community. 2) //Effort//: One sets such furnishings out in the open and then departs without taking leave, putting the furnishings away, or getting them put away in the proper place. 3) //Intention//: One has set them out for some purpose other than sunning them (%). Object. Any bed, bench, mattress, or stool belonging to the Community is grounds for a pacittiya. Perception is not an issue here: If the item actually belongs to the Community, this factor is fulfilled regardless of whether or not one perceives it as such. Other furnishings belonging to the Community -- such as carpets, bedspreads, mats, foot-wiping cloths, chairs, even the brooms -- are grounds for a dukkata, as are furnishings of every type belonging to another individual. One's own furnishings are not grounds for an offense. According to the Commentary, if one has made an arrangement with someone else to use his/her belongings on trust, there is no offense in leaving that person's furnishings out in the open. The Sub-commentary adds that furnishings a donor presents for the Community to use out in the open -- e.g., stone or concrete benches -- are likewise not grounds for an offense. Effort. To depart the furnishings is defined as going further than one //leddupata// -- approximately 6 meters -- from them. (A //leddupata// is a unit of measure that appears frequently in the Canon and is defined as the distance a man of average stature can throw a clod of dirt underarm.) Taking leave, according to the Commentary, means informing a bhikkhu, a novice, or a temple attendant who agrees to take responsibility for the furnishings. Responsibility. A bhikkhu is held responsible for putting away furnishings that he has ordered another person to place in the open, unless the other person is also a bhikkhu, in which case //he// is the one responsible. The Commentary states that if a senior bhikkhu requests a junior bhikkhu to place out in the open any furnishings that may be grounds for a penalty, then the junior bhikkhu is responsible for them until the senior bhikkhu sits down on them, places an article of his use (such as a robe or a shoulder bag) on them, or gives the junior bhikkhu permission to leave, after which point the senior bhikkhu is responsible. If there is to be an open-air meeting, the host bhikkhus are responsible for any seats set out in the open, until the visiting bhikkhus claim their places, from which point the visitors are responsible. If there is to be a series of Dhamma talks, each speaker is responsible for the sermon seat from the moment he sits in it until the moment the next speaker does. Non-offenses. As stated above, there is no offense if one departs having set furnishings belonging to the Community or another individual out in the sun with the purpose of drying them, and thinking, "I will put them away when I come back." (%) Also, there is no offense if one departs after someone else takes possession or responsibility for furnishings one has left out in the open, or when there are dangers of any sort -- the Commentary mentions tigers, lions, ghosts, ogres, outlaws, and people who might cause one to disrobe -- that give one no time to put the furnishings away. The Vinaya Mukha, extracting a general principle from this rule, says, "This training rule was formulated to prevent negligence and to teach one to care for things. It should be taken as a general model." Summary: When one has set a bed, bench, mattress, or stool belonging to the Community out in the open: Leaving its immediate vicinity without putting it away or arranging to have it put away is a pacittiya offense. * * * 15. Should any bhikkhu, having set out bedding in a lodging belonging to the Community -- or having had it set out -- and then on departing neither put it away nor have it put away, or should he go without taking leave, it is to be confessed. Here again the three factors for a full offense are object, effort, and intention. Object. //Bedding// here includes mattresses, pillows, rugs, sheets, mats, sitting cloths, blankets, bedspreads, animal skins, throw rugs, etc., but not the beds or benches on which they may be placed. Unlike the previous rule, the question of whom the bedding belongs to is not an issue in determining the offense under this rule. The place where it is left, though, //is// an issue. Bedding left in a dwelling belonging to the Community is grounds for a pacittiya. Bedding left in a dwelling belonging to another individual is grounds for a dukkata, as is bedding left in the area around a dwelling, in a meeting hall, or at the foot of a tree -- these last three places belonging to the Community or to another individual. Bedding left in a dwelling, etc., belonging to oneself is not grounds for an offense. The same holds true for bedding left in a dwelling belonging to anyone who has given one the right to use his/her belongings on trust. Perception is not an issue here. If, for example, the dwelling actually belongs to the Community, it is grounds for a pacittiya regardless of whether or not one perceives it as such. Effort. //Putting the item away//, //having it put away//, and //taking leave// are all defined as under the preceding rule. The way to determine responsibility for bedding when a bhikkhu orders someone else to spread it may also be inferred from the discussion there. To //depart// is defined as going outside the grounds of the monastery. The absence of any reference to this rule in the duties to be done before one's almsround (//pindapata-vatta//) (Cv.VIII.5), however, indicates that temporary excursions outside the monastery are not counted as "departing." This conclusion is seconded by one of the no-offense clauses, which says that in the case of a bhikkhu who goes with the expectation of returning but then changes his mind, if he then sends word back to the monastery, he avoids any penalty under this rule. This implies that a bhikkhu who leaves his bedding spread out in a dwelling belonging to the Community, leaves the monastery temporarily with the intent of returning, and returns as planned, incurs no penalty as well. The question arises, though, as to how long a temporary period of absence is allowable. The Vibhanga itself sets no time limit. The Commentary illustrates the no-offense clause we have just mentioned with the case of a bhikkhu who leaves, thinking, "I will return today," but makes no specific statement that longer periods are not allowed. Since the texts give no specific guidelines here, this is a matter that each Community should decide for itself, taking the following considerations into account: 1) The origin story suggests that the purpose of the rule is to prevent the bedding's being left so long in an unoccupied dwelling that it attracts ants, termites, or other pests. 2) Another consideration, raised by the Vinaya Mukha, is that if a bhikkhu goes for a long excursion, leaving his bedding and other belongings scattered about in a dwelling, this might inconvenience the resident bhikkhus in that they could not easily allot the dwelling to another bhikkhu in the interim. Intention is a factor here, in that if one plans to return within the allowable space of time but for some reason cannot -- examples in the Commentary include flooding rivers, kings, and robbers -- there is no offense. And as mentioned above, if one leaves with the intention of returning, but then changes one's mind, one can avoid an offense by sending word back to the monastery via a messenger. Non-offenses. In addition to the above two cases, the Vibhanga says that there is no offense in departing having left bedding spread out in a dwelling if someone else has taken responsibility for the bedding or if one has taken leave of the resident bhikkhus. With regard to this latter point, though, the duties to be done when moving out of a monastery (//gamika vatta//) (Cv.VIII.3) include putting away the bedding one has been using. To neglect this duty, even when one takes leave of the resident bhikkhus, entails a dukkata. Summary: When one has spread bedding out in a dwelling belonging to the Community: Departing from the monastery without putting it away or arranging to have it put away is a pacittiya offense. * * * 16. Should any bhikkhu knowingly lie down in a lodging belonging to the Community so as to intrude on a bhikkhu who arrived there first, (thinking), "Whoever feels crowded will go away" -- doing it for this reason and no other -- it is to be confessed. There are four factors for an offense here: 1) //Object//: a bhikkhu who should not be forced to move. 2) //Perception//: One perceives him as such. 3) //Effort//: One encroaches on his space in a dwelling belonging to the Community. 4) //Intention//: One's sole motive is to force him out. Object & perception. //Knowingly// is defined in the Vibhanga as knowing that the lodging's current occupant is a senior bhikkhu, a sick one, or one to whom the Community (or its official) has assigned the dwelling. The Commentary interprets this definition as a list of examples and generalizes from it to include any case where one knows, "This bhikkhu shouldn't be forced to move." Effort. To //encroach// means to lie down or sit down in the area immediately adjacent to the bhikkhu's sleeping or sitting place -- which the Commentary defines as anywhere within 75 cm. of the sleeping or sitting place -- or on a 75 cm. wide path from either of those places to the entrance to the dwelling. There is a dukkata for placing one's bedding or seat in such an area, and a pacittiya for each time one sits or lies down there. To place one's bedding or seat in any other part of the dwelling entails a dukkata; and to sit or lie down there, another dukkata -- assuming in all of these cases that the dwelling belongs to the Community. Perception with regard to the dwelling is not an issue here. If the dwelling actually belongs to the Community, this part of the factor is fulfilled regardless of whether one perceives it as belonging to the Community or not. There is a dukkata in encroaching on the space of a bhikkhu -- intending to force him out -- in the area immediately adjacent to such a dwelling, in a place belonging to the Community that is not the dwelling of a particular person (e.g., an eating hall), the shade of a tree, in the open air, or in a dwelling belonging to another individual. To do so in a dwelling belonging to oneself entails no offense. According to the Commentary, this last allowance also applies to a dwelling belonging to anyone who has offered to let one use his/her belongings on trust. Intention. If there is a compelling reason -- one is ill or suffering from the cold or heat, or there are dangers outside -- one may intrude on the space of another bhikkhu without penalty. The reason for these allowances would appear obvious -- one is not aiming at forcing the other bhikkhu out -- but it turns out that the matter is not as simple as that. The Sub-commentary reports the Three Ganthipadas as saying that because of this allowance, one may make an excuse of one's illness, etc., as a pretext for intruding on the other bhikkhu's space so as to force him out of the lodging. The Sub-commentary tries to argue with this ruling, but the Ganthipadas have the support of the Vibhanga here: Only if one's //sole// motive is to force the other bhikkhu out is one subject to an offense under this rule. If one has mixed motives, one may take advantage of one's illness, etc., to move in on the other bhikkhu. However, once one's illness, etc., has passed, one would commit an offense each time one continued to sit or lie down encroaching on his space. All of this may seem very strange on the surface, but it is likely that the original occupant would not feel unduly pressured if an ill bhikkhu or one escaping dangers were to move into his dwelling, while he //would// start feeling pressured by the continued presence of the bhikkhu after the illness or dangers had passed, which is why the penalties are allotted as they are. Summary: Encroaching on another bhikkhu's sleeping or sitting place in a dwelling belonging to the Community, with the sole purpose of making him uncomfortable and forcing him to leave, is a pacittiya offense. * * * 17. Should any bhikkhu, angry and displeased, evict a bhikkhu from a dwelling belonging to the Community -- or have him evicted -- it is to be confessed. "At that time some group-of-17 bhikkhus were fixing up a large dwelling on the fringes of the monastery, thinking, 'We will spend the rains here.' Some group-of-six bhikkhus... seeing them, said, 'These group-of-17 bhikkhus are fixing up a dwelling place. Let's drive them out.' But others of them said, 'Wait, friends, while they fix it up. When it's fixed up, then we'll drive them out.' "Then the group-of-six bhikkhus said to the group-of-17 bhikkhus, 'Get out, friends. The dwelling is ours.' "'Shouldn't this have been mentioned beforehand so that we could have fixed up another one?' "'Isn't this a dwelling belonging to the Community?' "'Yes....' "'Then get out. The dwelling is ours.' "'The dwelling is large, friends. You can stay here, and we'll stay here, too.' "'Get out. The dwelling is ours.' And, angered and displeased, taking them by the throat, they threw them out. The group-of-17 bhikkhus, having been thrown out, began to cry." The three factors for the full offense here are: 1) //Object//: a bhikkhu. 2) //Effort//: One evicts him from a dwelling belonging to the Community. 3) //Intention//: One's prime motivation is anger. Object. A bhikkhu is grounds for a pacittiya here, while the following are grounds for a dukkata: a bhikkhu's belongings, an unordained person, and an unordained person's belongings. Effort. According to the Commentary, this rule covers both physical eviction -- picking up the bhikkhu and throwing him out -- as well as verbal eviction -- ordering him to leave. The penalty in both cases is the same. (The Mahasanghikas and Sarvastivadins write this point into their version of the rule.) There is a dukkata in telling someone else to evict the bhikkhu -- no allowances for //kappiya-vohara// are given here -- and, assuming that all the other factors are fulfilled, a pacittiya once the bhikkhu has been evicted. To evict a bhikkhu from a dwelling belonging to the Community entails a pacittiya. (Again, perception with regard to the ownership of the dwelling is not an issue here.) To evict anyone -- bhikkhu or not -- from an area immediately adjacent to a dwelling belonging to the Community, from a place belonging to the Community that is not the dwelling of a particular person, from the shade of a tree, from a spot in the open air, or from a dwelling belonging to another individual entails a dukkata. There is also a dukkata for throwing a person's belongings out from any of these places. (In all the cases mentioned in this paragraph, the assumption is that one is motivated by anger.) To evict anyone or anyone's belongings from one's own dwelling -- or from one that belongs to an individual who has offered to let one use his/her belongings on trust -- is not grounds for an offense. Intention. There is no offense in evicting anyone when one's primary motive is not anger. Examples given in the no-offense clauses include evicting anyone -- or the requisites of anyone -- who is insane, shameless in his/her behavior, or a maker of quarrels, strife, and dissension in the Community. The Commentary adds here that one also has the right to throw the person out of the monastery as a whole if he/she is a maker of quarrels, strife, and dissension, but not if he/she is simply shameless. Also, one may without penalty evict one's student from his dwelling if he is not properly observing his duties. In all of these cases, the Sub-commentary notes, if anger happens to arise in one's mind in the course of evicting the person, there is no offense as long as it is not the primary motive. Summary: Causing a bhikkhu to be evicted from a dwelling belonging to the Community -- when one's primary motive is anger -- is a pacittiya offense. * * * 18. Should any bhikkhu sit or lie down on a bed or bench with detachable legs on an (unplanked) loft in a dwelling belonging to the Community, it is to be confessed. Object. A bed or bench with detachable legs on an unplanked loft is grounds for a pacittiya if it is in a dwelling belonging to a Community, a dukkata if in a dwelling belonging to another individual, and no offense if in a dwelling belonging to oneself or to anyone who has offered to let one use his/her belongings on trust. Perception of the ownership, as in the preceding rules, is not an issue here. The purpose of this rule, as indicated by the origin story, is to guard against injury to a bhikkhu living under the loft: He might get hit on the head if any of the detachable legs fall down through the floor of the loft. Thus there is no offense if the loft is not high enough off the ground for a man of medium height to stand under it without hitting his head; if the floor of the loft is completely planked; if there is no one under the loft; if the area under the loft cannot be used as a dwelling (e.g., it is used solely for storage space, says the Commentary); if the bed or bench with detachable legs is on the ground; or if the legs of the bed or bench are securely fixed to their frame. Effort. There is a question as to whether //sitting// and //lying down// would include standing as well, since the no-offense clauses allow one "to stand there and hang things up or take them down." The Commentary interprets "there" as a bed or bench with detachable legs, but standing on such a thing would seem to be even more dangerous than sitting or lying down on it. More probably, "there" refers to the unplanked loft. Some people have noted that although the bhikkhu in the origin story sat down hurriedly, the word "hurriedly" does not appear in the rule, and they speculate that it may have been dropped by mistake. If one is not allowed at all to sit or lie down on a bed or bench with detachable legs on an unplanked loft, they say, there would be no reason to have one there. Actually, beds with detachable legs do not sound like wise things to have on an unplanked loft, and perhaps the Buddha's purpose in formulating this rule was to discourage their being placed there in the first place. Summary: Sitting or lying down on a bed or bench with detachable legs on an unplanked loft in a dwelling belonging to the Community is a pacittiya offense. * * * 19. When a bhikkhu is building a large dwelling, he may apply two or three layers of facing to plaster the area around the window frame and reinforce the area around the door frame the width of the door opening, while standing where there are no crops to speak of. Should he apply more than that, even if standing where there are no crops to speak of, it is to be confessed. "Now at that time a chief minister who was Ven. Channa's supporter was having a dwelling built for Ven. Channa. Ven. Channa had the finished dwelling covered with roofing material again and again, plastered again and again, so that the dwelling, overloaded, caved in. Then Ven. Channa, collecting grass and sticks, despoiled the barley field of a certain brahmin. The brahmin was offended and annoyed and spread it about, 'How can revered ones go around despoiling our barley field?'...Bhikkhus...were offended and annoyed and spread it about, 'How can Ven. Channa have a finished dwelling covered with roofing material again and again, plastered again and again, so that the dwelling gets overloaded and caves in?'" This rule is an extension of Sanghadisesa 7, giving further directions for how a bhikkhu should go about building a dwelling for his own use when sponsored by another person. Since it deals with techniques used in building wattle and daub dwellings 2,500 years ago, both the rule and its explanations in the Canon and commentaries contain terms whose meaning is uncertain at present. The syntax of the rule suggests one interpretation, the Commentary another, while the Vibhanga is non-committal on the points where the two interpretations differ. Since both interpretations make sense, we will present them both here. What the rule seems to say. The area 1.25 meters around the door frame is to be covered with up to three layers of plaster or roofing material to reinforce it so that when the door is blown open or shut it will not damage the wall or be loosened from its hinges. Five kinds of roofing material are mentioned in the Vibhanga: tiles, stones, lime (cement), grass, and leaves. Similarly, around the windows, an area the width of the window shutters is to be reinforced with up to three layers of plaster to protect it from being damaged when the shutters are blown open or shut. Three kinds of plaster were used in the Buddha's time -- white, black and red-chalk -- and bhikkhus were allowed to apply them in a number of geometrical patterns, but not to use them to make obscene pictures of men and women on the walls (!) (Cv.VI.3.1-2). Although the bhikkhus were allowed to cover the entire walls and floor with this plaster, this rule gives directions only for the minimum area that should be covered to keep the walls strong. What the Commentary says. Because the rule refers to roofing material, the Commentary assumes that it must refer to the roof of the dwelling, even though this assumption does violence to the syntax of the rule. Its interpretation: One may reinforce the door and window frames with as much plaster or roofing material as one likes, but may cover the roof with only three layers of roofing material. A relevant point from the Canon is the passage at Cv.VIII.3.3 stating that if at a later date the roof begins to leak, the resident bhikkhu -- if he can -- should re-roof it himself or arrange for someone else to do it for him. If he can do neither, though, there is no offense. The reasons for this rule. The origin story suggests that the Buddha imposed the three-layer limit in order to prevent the dwelling from collapsing under the weight of too much roofing material, but the no-offense clauses show clearly that the rule is aimed at preventing bhikkhus from abusing the generosity of the person sponsoring the building work by using too much roofing material. In either case, the Commentary's interpretation has its logic, in that an overloaded roof would be more burdensome to the dwelling and to the sponsor than an overloaded window or door frame would be. A supplementary regulation arising from the origin story is that one should not perform any building operations, including supervising, where grain is growing. The offenses here are as follows: a pacittiya for each piece of roofing beyond the allowable three layers, and a dukkata for doing or directing the work while standing where crops are growing. These offenses apply regardless of whether one is doing the work oneself or having it done. They also apply whether one is building a new dwelling or having an old one repaired. Perception is not a factor here. If one happens to miscount the number of layers of plaster or roofing material, one is still not immune from an offense. Non-offenses. According to the Vibhanga, these regulations do not apply to "an abode in a cave, a grass hut, (a dwelling) for the use of another, (a dwelling built) by means of one's own resources, or anything other than a dwelling." The Sub-commentary argues from the wording of the rule -- the fact that it refers to "a large dwelling" -- that the regulations also do not apply to small dwellings built to the standard measurement specified under Sanghadisesa 6: i.e., no larger than 3 by 1.75 meters. Summary: When a bhikkhu is building or repairing a large dwelling for his own use, using resources donated by another, he may not reinforce the window or door frames with more than three layers of roofing material or plaster. To exceed this is a pacittiya offense. * * * 20. Should any bhikkhu knowingly pour water containing living beings -- or have it poured -- on grass or on clay, it is to be confessed. This is an offense with four factors. Object: water containing living creatures. The K/Commentary's contribution to the next factor shows that this includes things like mosquito larvae, but not beings so small they cannot be seen. Perception. One knows that the living creatures are there (from having seen or heard them, says the K/Commentary) and that they will die from the factor of effort, defined below. If one is in doubt as to whether water contains living beings, then to use it in a way that would cause their death if they //were// there is to commit a dukkata. Effort. Because of a peculiarity of Pali syntax, this rule can also be interpreted as reading, "Should any bhikkhu knowingly pour grass or clay -- or have it poured -- in water containing living beings, it is to be confessed." The Commentary states that both readings are correct. It also states that //grass and clay// includes any material that would cause death to living beings in the water. Thus actions covered by this rule would include such things as emptying old water from a flower vase onto the ground, using water to make cement, or pouring a toxic chemical or heavy pollutant into the water. Unlike some of the other rules that deal with giving orders, simply giving the order to pour is enough to fulfill this factor. Thus, for example, a bhikkhu who tells someone else to dump an aquarium of fish on the floor incurs a pacittiya for giving the order and another pacittiya when the other person does as told. Intention. This factor is fulfilled simply by the desire to pour the water or to have it poured (or to pour "grass and clay" into the water or to have it poured). As the K/Commentary notes, one need not have murderous intent towards the living beings in order to fulfill this factor. For example, if after perceiving that the water contains insects, one chooses to ignore their existence and pours the water on a burning log -- not to kill the insects, but to put out the fire -- one commits an offense all the same. Result is not a factor here. Whether or not the living beings actually die is of no consequence in determining the offense. Non-offenses. There is no offense in using water containing living beings in any of the ways covered by this rule -- //unknowingly// -- e.g., not knowing that it contains living beings; pouring a toxic chemical into the water thinking it to be harmless; //unthinkingly// -- e.g., heating a kettle of water on the stove, seeing that it has tadpoles in it and in a knee-jerk reaction dumping the water out on the ground so that they won't be boiled to death; or //unintentionally// -- e.g., accidentally knocking over a goldfish bowl. However, a bhikkhu should always check water before using it. One practical method for checking large amounts of water is to look at two or three cupfuls as samples: If no living being are visible in the samples, the water may be used without further check. An alternative method is to use a filter, being mindful to return any living beings caught in the filter to some other water in good time. Watering plants. The topic of watering plants comes up in the Commentary's discussion of the bad habits of the bhikkhus at Kitagiri mentioned under Sanghadisesa 13. There it says that even if the water has no discernable life, to use it or have someone else use it to water plants with the purpose of corrupting families with gifts from the plant, entails a dukkata. In cases of this sort, one is not allowed to use //kappiya-vohara// or any other way of indicating one's desire that the plant be watered. If one wants to use the fruits or flowers of the plant in other ways -- to eat the fruit oneself, to make a gift of fruit to the Community, to use the flowers as an offering to a Buddha image, etc. -- one may not water it oneself, but there is no offense in getting someone else to water it if one uses //kappiya- vohara// ("Look at how dry this plant is !" "If it doesn't get any water, it's going to die.") If one wants the plant to grow for other reasons -- for the sake of its shade or as part of a decorative garden or forest -- there is no offense in watering it oneself as long as one uses water with no discernable life in it. Two of the ancient commentaries add that if one simply desires shade, a garden, or a forest, one may plant the plant oneself as long as one places it in earth that would not count as "soil" (//jata-pathavi//) under Pacittiya 10. Summary: Pouring water that one knows to contain living beings -- or having it poured -- on grass or clay is a pacittiya offense. Pouring anything that would kill the beings into such water -- or having it poured -- is also a pacittiya offense. * * * * * * * *


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