CHAPTER EIGHT Part Nine: The Treasure Chapter 83. Should any bhikkhu, without being previo

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CHAPTER EIGHT Part Nine: The Treasure Chapter ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 83. Should any bhikkhu, without being previously announced, cross the threshold of a consecrated noble king's (sleeping chamber) from which the king has not left, from which the treasure (the queen) has not withdrawn, it is to be confessed. "Having sat down to one side, King Pasenadi of Kosala said to the Blessed One, 'It would be good,venerable sir, if the Blessed One would appoint a bhikkhu to teach Dhamma in our women's quarters'....So the Blessed One addressed Ven. Ananda, 'In that case, Ananda, go teach Dhamma in the king's women's quarters.' "Replying, 'As you say, Lord,' Ven. Ananda entered the king's women's quarters time and again to teach Dhamma. Then one day early in the morning, Ven. Ananda, having put on his lower robe, carrying his robe and bowl, went to King Pasenadi's palace. At that time King Pasenadi had gone to lie down on a couch with Queen Mallika. Queen Mallika saw Ven. Ananda coming from afar and, on seeing him, got up hurriedly. Her blouse of burnished gold cloth slipped off. Ven. Ananda turned around and went back to the monastery." The factors for the full offense here are two: object and effort. Object. A king -- a consecrated member of the noble warrior class, pure in his lineage through the past seven generations -- is in his sleeping chamber with his queen. //Sleeping chamber// means any place where his bed is prepared, even if it is outside, surrounded only by a curtain or screen wall (as was the custom on royal excursions in those days, a custom often depicted in murals on the walls of Thai temples). Effort. Unannounced, one steps -- with both feet -- over the threshold of the sleeping chamber. Perception as to whether or not one has been announced is not a mitigating factor here. Non-offenses. There is no offense if -- one has been announced, the king is not a member of the noble warrior class or has not been consecrated, the king and/or queen have left the sleeping chamber, or the room is not a sleeping chamber. Obviously, there is little chance that a bhikkhu will break this rule at present. However, in the course of formulating the rule, the Buddha mentioned ten dangers for a bhikkhu who enters the king's inner palace even at the king's request, and some of these dangers still apply to any situation in which a bhikkhu is on familiar terms with a person of influence, royal or not: 1) "'There is the case where the king is on a couch together with the queen. A bhikkhu enters there. Either the queen, seeing the bhikkhu, smiles; or the bhikkhu, seeing the queen, smiles. The thought occurs to the king, "Surely they've done it, or are going to do it.... 2) "And furthermore, the king is busy, with much to do. Having gone to a certain woman, he forgets about it. On account of that, she conceives a child. The thought occurs to him, "No one enters here but the one gone forth. Could this be the work of the one gone forth?".... 3) "And furthermore, some jewel in the king's inner palace disappears. The thought occurs to the king, "No one enters here but the one gone forth. Could this be the work of the one gone forth?".... 4) "And furthermore, secret consultations in the confines of the inner palace get spread abroad. The thought occurs to the king, "No one enters here but the one gone forth. Could this be the work of the one gone forth?".... 5) "And furthermore, in the king's inner palace the son is estranged from the father, or the father from the son. The thought occurs to them, "No one enters here but the one gone forth. Could this be the work of the one gone forth?".... 6 & 7) "And furthermore, the king establishes one from a low position in a high position...(or) one from a high position in a low position. The thought occurs to those displeased by this, "The king is on familiar terms with one gone forth. Could this be the work of the one gone forth?".... 8) "And furthermore, the king sends the army out at the wrong time. The thought occurs to those displeased by this, "The king is on familiar terms with one gone forth. Could this be the work of the one gone forth?".... 9) "And furthermore, the king sends the army out at the right time, but has it turn around mid-way. The thought occurs to those displeased by this, "The king is on familiar terms with one gone forth. Could this be the work of the one gone forth?".... 10) "And furthermore, bhikkhus, the king's inner palace is crowded with elephants...horses...chariots. There are enticing sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations unsuitable for one gone forth. This, bhikkhus, is the tenth danger for one who enters the king's inner palace.'" Summary: Entering a king's sleeping chamber unannounced, when both the king and queen are in the chamber, is a pacittiya offense. * * * 84. Should any bhikkhu pick up or have (someone) pick up a valuable or what is considered a valuable, except within a monastery or within a dwelling, it is to be confessed. But when a bhikkhu has picked up or had (someone) pick up a valuable or what is considered a valuable (left) in a monastery or in a dwelling, he is to keep it, (thinking,) "Whoever it belongs to will (come and) fetch it." This is the proper course here. The purpose of this rule is to prevent a bhikkhu from picking up misplaced valuables belonging to other people, except when he finds them in a monastery or a dwelling, for as the origin story shows, there are dangers inherent in such an act even when done with the best intentions. "Now at that time a certain bhikkhu was bathing in the Aciravati River. A certain Brahmin, having placed a bag of 500 gold pieces on the dry ground, had bathed in the river and left, forgetting it. The bhikkhu, (saying to himself,) 'Don't let this bag of the Brahmin's be lost,' picked it up. Then the Brahmin, remembering, rushed back and said to the bhikkhu, 'My good man, have you seen my bag?' "'Here, Brahmin,' he said, and gave it to him. "Then the thought occurred to the Brahmin, 'Now how can I get away with out giving the five percent reward to this bhikkhu?' So (saying,) 'I didn't have 500, my good man, I had 1,000!' he detained him for a while and then let him go." However, a bhikkhu who comes across a fallen valuable in a monastery or in a dwelling he is visiting -- if he does not pick it up -- may later be held responsible if it gets lost: Thus the two situations mentioned as exemptions in the rule. In situations such as these, a bhikkhu is allowed even to pick up money and other items he is not normally allowed to take. In fact, the Vinaya Mukha states that if he does not pick up the valuable and put it in safe keeping, he incurs a dukkata. None of the other texts mention this point, although it is probably justified on the grounds that the bhikkhu is neglecting his duty in not following the "proper course" here. The Vibhanga advises that if a bhikkhu has picked up a fallen valuable in this way and put it in safe keeping, he should take note of its features. (The Commentary adds that if it is a bag of money, he should open the bag and count how much it contains. The same would hold for such things as wallets at present.) He should then have an announcement made, "Let him come whose goods are lost." If a person comes to claim the item, the bhikkhu should ask him/her to describe it. If the person describes it correctly, the bhikkhu should hand it over. If not, he should tell the person to "keep looking." If the bhikkhu is going to leave the monastery to live elsewhere, he should entrust the item to another bhikkhu or -- if no suitable bhikkhu is available -- to a suitable lay person (%). The Commentary adds that if, after a suitable length of time, no one comes to claim the item, the bhikkhu should have it exchanged for something of lasting use to the monastery. If, after that, the owner does come to claim the item, the bhikkhu should tell him/her of the use to which it was put. If the owner is satisfied, there is no problem. If not, the bhikkhu should arrange to have the owner compensated. The factors for the offense here are four. 1) //Object//: a valuable or anything considered a valuable that one finds left behind, except in a monastery or a dwelling that one is visiting. 2) //Perception//: One does not perceive it as discarded. 3) //Intention//: One wants to keep it in safe keeping for the owner. 4) //Effort//: One picks it up or has someone else pick it up. Object. The Vibhanga defines a //valuable// as jewels or silver. //What is considered a valuable// means anything that is of use to people. Items meeting these definitions at present would include money, wallets, watches, keys, eyeglasses, cameras, etc. According to the K/Commentary, if the owner has given one permission to take the article, it does not fulfill this factor. The Vibhanga defines //in a monastery// as follows: If the monastery is walled, then within the walls. If not, then in the immediate vicinity (according to the Commentary, a radius of one //leddupata// -- the distance a man of average height can throw a clod of dirt underarm -- around the monastery buildings). As for //in a dwelling//: If the area around the dwelling is walled, then within the walls. If not, then in the immediate vicinity (according to the Commentary, the distance one can throw a basket or a pestle (!) from the dwelling). For some reason, the Commentary says that if the item has fallen in an area of the monastery where many people come and go -- e.g., the doorway to the Bodhi tree or public shrine -- one should not pick it up. What its reasoning is here, is hard to say, but it does note that the Kurundi -- one of the ancient commentaries -- does not agree with this position. It also notes that if someone asks to put his/her belongings in safe keeping with a bhikkhu, the bhikkhu should not accept -- so as to avoid being responsible for them -- but if he/she leaves the things with the bhikkhu and goes off in spite of his objections or before giving him a chance to object, he should take the belongings and put them away in safe keeping. Perception & intention. According to the Commentary, if one picks up money for one's own use, for the Community, or for anyone aside from the owner, the case would come under NP 18, rather than here. The same holds true with dukkata objects, such as jewels and semi-precious stones. This judgment, though, would seem to hold only in the case where one perceives the money, etc., as thrown away. If one does not perceive it as thrown away, and one is not borrowing it or taking it on trust, the case would come under Parajika 2, regardless of what the item is. The Commentary also makes the peculiar point that if one sees an item belonging to one's mother or other close relative left behind on the roadside, one would incur the full penalty under this rule for picking it up to put in safe keeping for the owner, but no offense if one took the item, on trust, for one's own. Of course, after taking it on trust like this, one could then without penalty give it back to the owner as one liked. Effort. For some reason, none of the texts go into detail on the question of getting someone else to pick up the item. Does one incur the pacittiya simply in the act of asking/commanding, or only if the other person actually picks the item up as asked? None of the texts say, but the usual pattern in other pacittiya rules is one pacittiya for the asking, and another one when the other person does as asked. Non-offenses. There is no offense if, within a monastery or a dwelling, one picks up an item or has it picked up with the thought, "Whoever this belongs to will come for it." (%) Also, according to the Vibhanga, there is no offense in taking an item left behind anywhere if one takes it on trust, borrows it, or perceives it as having been thrown away (%). The Commentary notes, though, that these last three allowances apply only if the item is something a bhikkhu may normally touch and take; and not, for instance, a dukkata or nissaggiya object as defined under NP 18. Summary: Picking up a valuable, or having it picked up, with the intent of putting it in safe keeping for the owner -- except when one finds it in a monastery or in a dwelling one is visiting -- is a pacittiya offense. * * * 85. Should any bhikkhu, without taking leave of an available bhikkhu, enter a village at the wrong time -- unless there is a suitable emergency -- it is to be confessed. As the origin story here indicates, the purpose of this rule is to prevent bhikkhus from passing their time among householders talking of things inappropriate for a bhikkhu to discuss. The term used here, "animal talk," means worldly talk about "kings, robbers and, ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles; food and drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women and heroes; the gossip of the street and the well; tales of the dead; also, philosophical discussions of the past and future (this is how the Sub-commentary explains 'tales of diversity'), the creation of the world and of the sea, and talk of whether things exist or not." The Sub-commentary notes here that to discuss any of these topics in such a way as to foster an understanding of the Dhamma -- e.g., discussing politics to illustrate the impermanence of worldly power -- is not improper. The factors for the full offense here are two. 1) //Object//: a village (this would include larger inhabited areas, such as towns and cities, as well). 2) //Effort//: One enters the village at the wrong time -- without having taken leave of an available bhikkhu -- except when there is an emergency. Object. The Vibhanga says that if the village as a whole is enclosed, everywhere inside the enclosure is considered to be in the village. If not, the area in the village includes all the buildings and their immediate vicinity. According to the Sub-commentary, this means everywhere within a 2 //leddupata// radius of the buildings. (One leddupata is the distance a man of average height can throw a clod of dirt underarm.) If one is staying in a monastery located within a village or town, the area covered by this factor begins at the boundary of the monastery. Effort. The Vibhanga defines the //wrong time// as from after noon until the following dawn. This rule thus dovetails with Pacittiya 46, which deals with the period from dawn until noon on days when one has been invited to a meal. Perception is not a mitigating factor here. Even if one perceives the time to be morning when it is actually after noon, one's actions would still fall under this rule. As under Pacittiya 46, another bhikkhu is said to be available for taking one's leave if, in the Vibhanga's words, "It is possible to go having taken leave of him." That is, if there is another bhikkhu in the monastery, and there are no obstacles to taking one's leave from him (he is asleep, he is sick, he is receiving important visitors), one is obliged to go out of one's way to inform him. According to the K/Commentary, //taking leave// in the context of this rule means the simple act of informing the other bhikkhu that, "I am going into the village," or any similar statement. In other words, one is not asking permission to go, although if the other bhikkhu sees that one is doing something improper in going, he is perfectly free to say so. If one treats his comments with disrespect, one incurs at least a dukkata under Pacittiya 54. (See the discussion under that rule for details.) The Commentary states that if there is no bhikkhu in the monastery to take leave from, there is no need to inform any bhikkhu one may meet after leaving the monastery. If many bhikkhus are going together, they need only take leave from one another before entering the village. For a new bhikkhu still living in dependence (//nissaya//) on his mentor, though, taking leave //is// a matter of asking permission from his mentor at all times, "wrong" or not. The Mahavagga (I.25.24; II.21.1) states that one of the duties of such a bhikkhu is that he must receive permission from his mentor before entering a village, going to a cemetery, or leaving the district. Not to ask permission before going, or to go after being denied permission, is to incur a dukkata. As for the mentor, if he gives permission for his student to go when it is not appropriate, //he// is the one who incurs the dukkata. As for the suitable emergencies under this rule -- which would seem to exempt even new bhikkhus from having to take leave from their mentors -- the Vibhanga gives the example of a bhikkhu rushing to get fire to make medicine for another bhikkhu bitten by a snake. Examples more likely at present would include rushing to get a doctor for a sick bhikkhu or to get help when a fire has broken out in the monastery. Further action. Although there is no penalty for engaging in "animal talk," a bhikkhu who enters a village frequently and engages in it, even if he takes leave of other bhikkhus, can be subject to an act of censure for "unbecoming association with householders" (Cv.I.4). Non-offenses. There is no offense in entering a village when one has taken leave of another bhikkhu, or in going when one has not taken leave if -- There is an emergency. There is no bhikkhu available (e.g., one is living alone; all the other bhikkhus have left; all the bhikkhus in the monastery are going together). One is on one's way to another monastery (%), to bhikkhunis' quarters, to the residence of people ordained in another sect or religion (located in a village, says the Commentary), or one is returning from any of these places. One is going along a road that happens to pass through a village. (According to the Commentary, a bhikkhu who wants to leave the road and enter the village proper should take leave of another bhikkhu if one is available.) There are dangers. (Examples in the Commentary include seeing lions or tigers approaching, or clouds building up and threatening a storm.) Summary: Entering a village, town, or city during the period after noon until the following dawn, without having taken leave of an available bhikkhu -- unless there is an emergency -- is a pacittiya offense. * * * 86. Should any bhikkhu have a needle case made of bone, ivory, or horn, it is to be broken and confessed. The origin story here echoes the one for NP 22. "Now at that time a certain ivory-worker offered an invitation to the bhikkhus: 'If any of the masters need a needle case, I will supply them with needle cases.' So the bhikkhus asked for many needle cases. Those with small needle cases asked for large ones; those with large ones asked for small ones. The ivory-worker, making many needle cases for the bhikkhus, was not able to make other goods for sale. He could not support himself, and his wife and children suffered." There are three factors for the full offense here. 1) //Object//: a needle case made of bone, ivory, or horn. 2) //Effort//: One acquires it after making it or having it made 3) //Intention//: for one's own use. Object. Anything aside from a needle case -- such as a fastener or ointment box -- is not grounds for an offense here, even if it is made of bone, ivory, or horn. Effort. The permutations under this factor are as follows: the act of making the needle box or having it made -- a dukkata; acquiring the finished box -- a pacittiya. This last penalty applies regardless of whether the box was made entirely by oneself, entirely by others, or whether one finished what others began or let others finish what one began oneself. In any event, one must break the case before confessing the offense. Intention. There is a dukkata in using a bone, ivory, or horn needle box made for the sake of another person; and in making such a box -- or having it made -- for another's use. The general principle. The Vinaya Mukha derives a general principle from this rule: The Buddha, in formulating this rule, was putting a halt to the sort of fad that can occur among bhikkhus when certain requisites become fashionable to the point of inconveniencing donors, and senior bhikkhus at present should try to put a halt to any similar fads. Summary: Acquiring a needle box made of bone, ivory, or horn after making it -- or having it made -- for one's own use is a pacittiya offense requiring that one break the box before confessing the offense. * * * 87. When a bhikkhu is making a new bed or bench, it is to have legs (at most) eight fingerbreadths long -- using Sugata fingerbreadths -- not counting the lower edge of the frame. In excess of that it is to be cut down and confessed. Tall furnishings. The purpose of this rule is to prevent bhikkhus from making and using furnishings that are high and imposing. The Canon contains many rules dealing with furnishings, especially in the Khandhakas, and since furnishings in the time of the Buddha were somewhat different from what they are now, it is often a matter of guesswork as to what, precisely, the rules are referring to. The //bed// (//manca//) in this rule almost certainly refers to what we mean by a bed. The //bench// (//pitha//), according to the K/Commentary, is shorter than a bed, but not so short that it is square. This comment comes from the passage in the Cullavagga (Cv.VI.2.4) that allows bhikkhus to use an //asandika// -- apparently a square stool, large enough to sit on but not to lie on -- even if the legs are long. Another piece of furniture with long legs allowed in the same passage is the //sattanga//, a chair or sofa with a back and arms. The Vinaya Mukha includes a //pancanga// -- a chair or sofa with a back but no arms -- under this allowance as well. The Canon and commentaries make no mention of this point, but it seems valid: Armless chairs and sofas are less imposing than those with arms. The factors for the offense here are three. 1) //Object//: a bed or bench whose legs, measuring from the lower side of the frame to the floor, are longer than eight Sugata fingerbreadths (approximately 16.6 cm.) 2) //Effort//: One acquires it after making it or having it made 3) //Intention//: for one's own use. Object. As mentioned above, Cv.VI.2.4 shows that stools, as well as chairs and sofas with backs -- with or without arms -- would not fulfill this factor. The Sugata measures are a matter of controversy, discussed in Appendix II. For the purposes of this book, we are taking the Sugata span to be 25 cm., and since there are twelve Sugata fingerbreadths in a Sugata span, that would put eight Sugata fingerbreadths at 16.6 cm. Effort. The permutations under this factor are as follows: the act of making the bed/bench or having it made -- a dukkata; acquiring the finished article -- a pacittiya. This last penalty applies regardless of whether the bed/bench was made entirely by oneself, entirely by others, or whether one finished what others began or let others finish what one began oneself. In any case, one must cut down the legs to the proper size before confessing the offense. Intention. There is a dukkata in making a bed or bench with extra long legs -- or having it made -- for the sake of another person, and in using such a bed or bench made for another's use. This last penalty would seem to apply only inside the monastery, for Cv.VI.8 allows bhikkhus to sit -- but not to lie down -- on furnishings in a lay person's house even if the furnishings are the sort not allowable in the monastery. There are three exceptions to this allowance, the one piece objected to on account of its height being the //asandi// -- apparently a square platform, large enough to lie on, and very high. Bhikkhus are not allowed to sit on such a thing, even in a lay person's house. Non-offenses. There is no offense in making a bed or bench -- or having one made -- if the legs are eight Sugata fingerbreadths or less; or in receiving a bed or bench with overly long legs if one cuts the legs down to regulation size before using it. The Commentary notes that if one buries the legs in the ground so that no more than eight fingerbreadths separate the ground from the lower frame, that is also allowable. Summary: Acquiring a bed or bench with legs longer than eight Sugata fingerbreadths after making it -- or having it made -- for one's own use is a pacittiya offense requiring that one cut the legs down before confessing the offense. * * * 88. Should any bhikkhu have a bed or bench upholstered, it (the upholstery) is to be torn off and confessed. Upholstery & cushions. Cotton down was apparently the most luxurious material known in the Buddha's time for stuffing furniture, cushions, and mattresses, inasmuch as bhikkhus are forbidden from making beds and benches upholstered with cotton-down (under this rule), and from sitting on cushions stuffed with cotton down, even in the homes of lay people (Cv.VI.8). The only article of furnishing stuffed with cotton down allowed to bhikkhus is a pillow (%) (not a squatting mat, as translated in some places), although the pillow should be made no larger than the size of the head (Cv.VI.2.6). The Commentary's explanations of this point show that the pillow used in those days was an oblong cushion, looking like a rectangle when viewed from above and like a triangle when viewed from either the right or left side (like the old style of pillow still in use in Thailand). Such pillows, the Commentary says, should be no more than two cubits (1 meter) long, and one span plus four fingerbreadths (32 cm.) from corner to corner on the sides. A bhikkhu who is not ill may use such a pillow for his head and feet; an ill bhikkhu may line up a series of pillows, cover them with a cloth, and lie down on them with no offense. Hair -- such as human hair and horse-hair -- was another forbidden form of stuffing. Cv.VI.8, in addition to forbidding bhikkhus from sitting down on an //asandi// and cushions stuffed with cotton down, also forbids them from sitting down on a //pallanka// -- a couch stuffed with horse-hair -- even in the house of a lay person. According to Cv.VI.14, though, if the bhikkhus are presented with asandis, pallankas, and cushions stuffed with cotton down, they may use the asandis after cutting the legs down to size, the pallankas after removing the hair stuffing, and the cotton-down cushions only after tearing them up and making them into pillows. Mattresses and cushions stuffed with other materials, though, are allowed even for use in the monastery. Cv.VI.7 mentions five kinds of allowable stuffing: wool, cloth, bark, grass, and leaves. (According to the Commentary, //wool// here includes all kinds of animal fur and bird feathers. Goose down would thus be allowable. It also mentions that, according to the Kurundi, mattresses and cushions stuffed with these materials are allowable whether covered with leather or cloth.) The purpose of all this is to keep bhikkhus from using furnishings that are extravagant and ostentatious. As the Vinaya Mukha mentions, though, standards of what is extravagant and ostentatious vary from age to age and culture to culture. Some of the things allowed in the Canon and commentaries now seem exotic and luxurious; and other things forbidden by them, common and ordinary. Thus the wise policy, in a monastery, would be to use only those furnishings allowed by the rules and regarded as unostentatious at present; and, when visiting a lay person's home, to avoid sitting on furnishings that seem unusually grand. The factors for the offense here are three. 1) //Object//: a bed or bench stuffed with cotton down. 2) //Effort//: One acquires it after making it or having it made 3) //Intention//: for one's own use. Object. Cotton down, according to the Vibhanga, includes any cotton down from trees, vines, and grass. The Commentary to Cv.VI interprets this as meaning cotton down from //any// plant, since "trees, vines, and grass" is the Canon's usual way of covering all plant life. Kapok, flax fibers, jute, and cotton would thus all come under this category. Because cotton-down cushions are forbidden in all situations, //bed and bench// here would seem to include all forms of furniture, including the stools, chairs, and sofas exempted from the preceding rule. Effort. The permutations under this factor are as follows: the act of making the bed/bench or having it made -- a dukkata; acquiring the finished article -- a pacittiya. This last penalty applies regardless of whether the bed/bench was made entirely by oneself, entirely by others, or whether one finished what others began or let others finish what one began oneself. In any case, one must tear off the upholstery before confessing the offense. Intention. There is a dukkata in making a bed or bench upholstered with cotton down -- or having it made -- for the sake of another person; and in using such a bed or bench made for another's use. Non-offenses. There is no offense in using cotton down to stuff a pillow, a belt, a shoulder strap, a binding, or a bag for carrying the alms bowl; or to form the filter in a water strainer. If one obtains a bed or bench stuffed with cotton down made for another person's use, there is no offense in using it if one removes the upholstery first. Summary: Acquiring a bed or bench stuffed with cotton down after making it -- or having it made -- for one's own use is a pacittiya offense requiring that one remove the stuffing before confessing the offense. * * * 89.When a bhikkhu is making a sitting cloth, it is to be made to the standard measurement. Here the standard is this: two spans -- using the Sugata span -- in length, 1 1/2 in width, the border a span. In excess of that, it is to be cut down and confessed. The origin story here follows on the passage in Mv.VIII.16.3, where the Buddha allows bhikkhus to use a sitting cloth in order to protect their robes from getting soiled by their furnishings, and their furnishings from getting soiled by their robes and bodies. "Now at that time the Lord had allowed a sitting cloth for the bhikkhus. Some group-of-six bhikkhus...used sitting cloths, without any limit in size, that hung down in front and behind even on beds and benches." (As a result, the Buddha set the limit at 2 spans by 1 1/2.) Now, Ven. Udayin was very large. Setting out his sitting cloth in front of the Blessed One, he stretched it out on all sides before sitting down. The Blessed One said to him, 'Why is it, Udayin, that when setting out your sitting cloth you stretch it out on all sides like an old skin?' "Because the sitting cloth the Blessed One has allowed for the bhikkhus is awfully small.'" (Thus the Buddha added the allowance for the border.) There are three factors for the full offense here. 1) //Object//: a sitting cloth larger than the standard measure. 2) //Effort//: One acquires it after making it or having it made 3) //Intention//: for one's own use. Object. A sitting cloth, by definition, has to have a border, regardless of whether it is made of felted or woven material. However -- as none of the texts give any clear indication as to how many borders it should have or how they should be patterned -- there is no definitive measurement as to how large the overall cloth should be. A wise policy, then, is to take the origin story as a guide: Make the cloth large enough so that one can sit cross-legged on it without soiling one's robes or furnishings, but not so large that it extends out on any one side. Effort. The permutations under this factor are as follows: the act of making the sitting cloth or having it made -- a dukkata; acquiring the finished article -- a pacittiya. This last penalty applies regardless of whether the cloth was made entirely by oneself, entirely by others, or whether one finished what others began or let others finish what one began oneself. In any case, one must cut down the cloth to the proper size before confessing the offense. Intention. There is a dukkata in making an overly large sitting cloth -- or having it made -- for the sake of another person; and in using such a cloth made for another's use. Non-offenses. There is no offense if one receives an overly large sitting cloth made for another person's use and cuts it down to size before using it oneself. Summary: Acquiring an overly large sitting cloth after making it -- or having it made -- for one's own use is a pacittiya offense requiring that one cut the cloth down to size before confessing the offense. * * * 90. When a bhikkhu is making a skin-eruption covering cloth, it is to be made to the standard measurement. Here the standard is this: four spans -- using the Sugata span -- in length, two spans in width. In excess of that, it is to be cut down and confessed. Object. The Mahavagga (VIII.17) allows bhikkhus to use a skin-eruption covering cloth to protect their robes when they are suffering from boils, running sores, rashes, or "thick scab" diseases (large boils? psoriasis?). The Vibhanga to this rule states that the cloth is to cover the area from the navel down to the knees, thus suggesting that the cloth is intended to be worn as an inner robe beneath the lower robe. As we already mentioned under NP 1, one should determine these cloths for use when one is suffering from such a disease and place them under shared ownership when not. As mentioned under Pacittiya 87, above, the Sugata measures are discussed in Appendix II. Here we take the Sugata span to equal 25 cm., which would put the standard measurement for the skin-eruption covering cloth at 1 meter by 50 cm. If either of these measurements is exceeded, the cloth would fulfill this factor for the full offense. Effort, intention, & non-offenses. The permutations of these factors are the same as under the preceding rule. Summary: Acquiring an overly large skin-eruption covering cloth after making it -- or having it made -- for one's own use is a pacittiya offense requiring that one cut the cloth down to size before confessing the offense. * * * 91. When a bhikkhu is making a rains-bathing cloth, it is to be made to the standard measurement. Here the standard is this: six spans -- using the Sugata span -- in length, 2 1/2 in width. In excess of that, it is to be cut down and confessed. Object. The rains bathing cloth has already been discussed in detail under NP 24. Taking the Sugata span to equal 25 cm., the standard measurement for the rains-bathing cloth would be 1.5 meter by 62.5 cm. If either of these measurements is exceeded, the cloth would fulfill this factor for the full offense. Effort, intention, & non-offenses. The permutations of these factors are the same as under Pacittiya 89. Summary: Acquiring an overly large rains-bathing cloth after making it -- or having it made -- for one's own use is a pacittiya offense requiring that one cut the cloth down to size before confessing the offense. * * * 92. Should any bhikkhu have a robe made the size of the Sugata robe or larger, it is to be cut down and confessed. Here, the size of the Sugata robe is this: nine spans -- using the Sugata span -- in length, six spans in width. This is the size of the Sugata's Sugata robe. Object. The term //Sugata// -- meaning well-gone or accomplished -- is an epithet for the Buddha. //Robe// is not defined in the Vibhanga but apparently means any of the three basic robes: the lower robe, the upper robe, and the outer robe. This raises an interesting point: Perhaps in the Buddha's time all three of the basic robes were approximately the same size. This would have made it much more convenient than it is at present to hold to the practice of using only one set of three robes. When washing one robe, one could wear the other two without looking out of place. At any rate, taking the Sugata span to be 25 cm. would put the size of the Buddha's robes at 2.25 m. by 1.50 m. -- much larger that the lower robes used at present, but much smaller than present-day upper and outer robes. As we will see under Appendix II, various theories have been offered over the centuries as to the length of the Sugata span. Beginning at least with the time of the Maha Atthakatha, one of the ancient commentaries, the Buddha was assumed to be of super-human height, and his handspan, cubit, etc., were assumed to be three-times normal length. Only recently, within the last century or so, have Vinaya experts taken evidence from the Canon to show that the Buddha, though tall, was not abnormally so, and thus the estimate of the Sugata span, etc., has shrunk accordingly. Still, the traditional estimates of the Buddha's height continue to influence the size of the robes that bhikkhus wear today throughout the Theravadin countries; and although there was a movement in Thailand during the mid-19th century to return to the original size and style as shown in the earliest Indian Buddha images, the idea never caught on. Effort, intention, & non-offenses. The permutations of these factors are the same as under Pacittiya 89. Summary: Acquiring an overly large robe after making it -- or having it made -- for one's own use is a pacittiya offense requiring that one cut the robe down to size before confessing the offense. * * * * * * * *

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