Vatta Khandhaka: Collection of Duties

The fourteen sets of Khandhaka-Vatta, or Khandhaka Duties

1) Incoming Bhikkhus’ Duties

A certain incoming bhikkhu, unfastening the bolt and pushing open the door, rushed into an unoccupied dwelling. A snake fell on his shoulder from the lintel above. Frightened, he let out a yelp.

“An incoming bhikkhu, [C: having come into the immediate area around a monastery,] thinking ‘I will now enter the monastery,’ having taken off his sandals, having put them down (close to the ground) and beaten off the dust, having lowered his sunshade, having uncovered his head, having put his robe on his torso/shoulder (khandha) (apparently, bhikkhus traveled with their robes over their heads), should enter the monastery properly & unhurriedly. As he is entering the monastery he should notice where the resident bhikkhus are gathered. Having gone where they are gathered — at the assembly hall, a pavilion, or the root of a tree — having placed his bowl to one side, having placed his robe to one side, having taken an appropriate seat, he should sit down. He should ask about the drinking water and washing water, ‘Which is the drinking water? Which is the washing water?’ If he wants drinking water, he should take drinking water and drink. If he wants washing water, he should take washing water and wash his feet. When washing his feet, he should pour water with one hand and wash it with the other. When pouring water with his hand, he should not wash with the same hand.

“Having asked for a sandal-wiping cloth, he should wipe his sandals. When wiping his sandals, he should wipe them first with a dry cloth, and then with a damp cloth. Having washed the sandal-wiping cloth, having wrung it out, he should spread it out to dry to one side.

“If the resident bhikkhu is his senior, he (the incoming bhikkhu) should bow down to him. If he is junior, he (the incoming monk) should have him bow down. He should ask about his lodging, ‘Which lodging falls to me?’ He should ask whether it is occupied or unoccupied. He should ask as to which places are in ‘alms range’ and which places are not. [C: He should ask, ‘Is the alms range near or far? Should one go there early or late in the morning?’ Places that are not alms range include homes where the people have wrong views or where they have limited food.] He should ask as to which families are designated as in training (see Patidesaniya 3). He should ask about the toilet, the urinal, drinking water, washing water, walking staffs. He should ask about the community’s rules as to what time [C: places that might be occupied by wild animals or non-human beings] may be entered, what time they should be left.

“If the dwelling is unoccupied, then — having knocked on the door, having waited a moment, having unfastened the bolt, having opened the door — he should watch while standing outside [C: in case he sees the tracks of a snake or a non-human being leaving]. If the dwelling is dirty or bed is stacked up on bed, bench on bench, with the lodgings piled on top, then if he is able, he should clean (the dwelling). [C: If he’s not able to clean the whole dwelling, he should clean just the section he plans to live in.]

“While cleaning the dwelling, he should first take out the ground covering and lay it to one side. Taking out the bed supports, he should lay them to one side. Taking out the mattress and pillow, he should lay them to one side. Taking out the sitting cloth and sheet, he should lay them to one side. Having lowered the bed, he should take it out properly, without scraping it [C: along the floor or knocking it against the door or door posts], and then lay it to one side. Having lowered the bench, he should take it out properly, without scraping it [C: along the floor] or knocking it against the door or door posts, and then lay it to one side. Taking out the spittoon… the reclining board, he should lay them to one side.

“If there are cobwebs, sweep them out, starting from the ceiling and working down. Wipe the windows, the doors, and the corners. If the wall or floor have become moldy (§), moisten a rag, wring it out, and wipe them with it. If the floor of the room is treated with blackening (polished), then he should moisten a rag, wring it out, and wipe the floor with it. If the floor is bare ground, sprinkle it all over with water before sweeping it, so that the dust does not fly up and soil the room. Look for any rubbish and throw it away.

“Having dried the ground-covering in the sun, clean it, shake it out, bring it back in, and lay it down in its proper place. Having dried the supports for the bed in the sun, wipe them, bring them back, and place them in their proper places. Having dried the bed… the bench in the sun, clean them, shake them out, lower them, bring them back in properly without scraping them (against the floor) or knocking them against the door or door posts, and place them in their proper places. Having dried the mattress and pillow… the sitting cloth and sheet in the sun, clean them, shake them out, bring them back in, and place them in their proper places. Having dried the spittoon in the sun, wipe it, bring it back in, and place it in its proper place. Having dried the reclining board in the sun, wipe it, bring it back in, and place it in its proper place.

“Put away the bowl and robes. When putting away the bowl, take the bowl in one hand, feel under the bed or bench with the other hand, and place the bowl there, but do not place it on the bare ground [C: any place where it will get soiled]. When putting away the robe, take the robe with one hand, stroke the other hand along the rod or cord for the robes [C: to check for any rough spots or splinters on the cord or rod that will rip the cloth], place the robe over the cord or rod with the edges away from one and the fold towards one. [C: The fold should not be placed on the side of the wall, for if there is a splinter in the wall, it may rip the robe in the middle (making its determination lapse).]

“If dusty winds blow from the east, close the eastern windows. If from the west, close the western windows. If from the north, close the northern windows. If from the south, close the southern windows. If the weather is cool, open the windows by day and close them at night. If the weather is hot, close them by day and open them at night.

“If a courtyard is dirty, sweep it (§). If a porch… attendance hall… fire hall (sauna)… restroom is dirty, sweep it. If there is no drinking water, provide it. If there is no washing water, provide it. If there is no water in the pitcher for rinsing [C: in the restroom], pour it into the pitcher.”

— Cv.VIII.1.2-5

2) Resident Bhikkhus’ Duties

“A resident bhikkhu, on seeing an incoming bhikkhu who is his senior, should prepare a seat [C: If the resident bhikkhu is making robes or doing construction work, he should stop it to prepare a seat, etc., for the incoming bhikkhu. If he is sweeping the area around the chedi, he should put away his broom to prepare the seat, etc. The incoming bhikkhu, if smart, should tell the resident bhikkhu to finish sweeping first. If the resident bhikkhu is making medicine for a sick bhikkhu, then if the sick bhikkhu is not seriously ill, stop making the medicine so as to perform the duties of welcoming the incoming bhikkhu. If the sick bhikkhu is seriously ill, finish the medicine first. In either case, the incoming bhikkhu, if smart, should say, ‘Finish the medicine first.’] He should set out washing water for the feet, a foot stand, a foot wiper, on standing up to greet him he should receive his bowl and robes, should ask if he needs water to drink, should ask if he needs water to wash (last phrase not in PTS or Burmese versions) [C: if the incoming bhikkhu finishes the first glass of water, ask him if he would like some more]; if he is able (if he feels up to it?) he should wipe the incoming bhikkhu’s sandals. When wiping his sandals, he should wipe them first with a dry cloth, and then with a damp cloth. Having washed the sandal-wiping cloth, having wrung it out, he should spread it out to dry to one side. [C: The resident bhikkhu should fan the incoming bhikkhu first at the back of the feet, then at the middle of the body, then at the head. If the incoming bhikkhu says, ‘Enough,’ fan him more gently. If he says ‘Enough’ a second time, fan him still more gently. If he says, ‘Enough’ a third time, stop fanning him.]

“He should bow down to the senior incoming bhikkhu and appoint a lodging for him, (saying,) ‘This lodging falls to you.’ He should tell whether it is occupied or unoccupied. [C: It’s appropriate to beat the dust out of the sleeping mats, etc., before spreading them out for the incoming bhikkhu.] He should point out which places are in ‘alms range’ and which places are not. He should point out which families are designated as in training. He point out to him where the toilet, the urinal, drinking water, washing water, walking staffs are. He should tell the community’s rules, (saying,) ‘This is the time for entering, this is the time for leaving.’

“If the incoming bhikkhu is his junior, then (the resident bhikkhu,) while sitting should tell him, ‘Put your bowl there, put your robes there, sit on this seat.’ He should point out to him the drinking water, the washing water, the rag for wiping sandals. He should have the junior incoming bhikkhu bow down to him. He should point out a lodging for him, (saying,) ‘That lodging falls to you.’ He should tell whether it is occupied or unoccupied. He should point out which places are in ‘alms range’ and which places are not. He should point out which families are designated as in training. He point out to him where the toilet, the urinal, drinking water, washing water, walking staffs are. He should tell the community’s rules, (saying,) ‘This is the time for entering, this is the time for leaving.'” [C: The fact that one is in a large monastery doesn’t exempt one from performing the appropriate duties for incoming bhikkhus.]

— Cv.VIII.2.2-3

3) Departing Bhikkhus’ Duties

“A bhikkhu who is about to depart, having put away the wooden goods and clay goods [C: If the hut isn’t an appropriate place to put these goods away, put them away in the sauna, under an overhanging cliff, or any place that will protect them from the rain], having closed the windows and doors, should turn over the lodging (to another bhikkhu). If there is no bhikkhu, he should turn it over to a novice. If there is no novice, he should turn it over to a monastery attendant. If there is no monastery attendant, he should turn it over to a lay follower. If there is no bhikkhu, novice, monastery attendant, or lay follower, then having set the bed on four stones, having stacked bed on bed, bench on bench, having placed the lodgings in a heap on top, having put away the wooden goods and clay goods, having closed the windows and doors, he may set out. [C: If the hut isn’t subject to termite attacks, no need to turn it over to anyone or to set the bed on four stones, etc. ]

“If the dwelling is leaking, then if he is able he should roof it or make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can the dwelling be roofed?’ If he succeeds in this, well and good. If not, then having set the bed on four stones in a place where it is not leaking, having stacked bed on bed, bench on bench, having placed the lodgings in a heap on top, having put away the wooden goods and clay goods, having closed the windows and doors, he may set out.

“If the entire dwelling is leaking, then if he is able he should convey the lodgings to a village or make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can the lodgings be conveyed to the village?’ If he succeeds in this, well and good, If not, then having set the bed on four stones in the open air, having stacked bed on bed, bench on bench, having placed the lodgings in a heap on top, having put away the wooden goods and clay goods, having covered over with grass or leaves, he may set out (thinking,) ‘I hope that at least parts of them will remain.'”

— Cv.VIII.3.2-3

4) The Duties in Giving Thanks (Anumodana)

“I allow that thanks be given in the refectory… I allow that thanks be given in the refectory by the eldest bhikkhu. [C: If the hosts ask another bhikkhu to give the thanks instead of the eldest bhikkhu, it’s OK for him to do so. Neither he nor the eldest bhikkhu commits an offense, although he should inform the eldest bhikkhu first before giving thanks.]… I allow that four or five bhikkhus who are elders or near-elders stay behind in the refectory (with the senior bhikkhu who is giving thanks).” [C: If he gives them permission to leave early, however, they may go. They may ask for permission, too.]… Now at that time a certain elder stayed behind in the refectory although he had to relieve himself [C: the need to relieve himself was oppressive]. Holding himself in, he keeled over stiff… “When there is reason, I allow you to leave after having informed (turned over responsibility to) the next bhikkhu in line.”

— Cv.VIII.4.1

5) Refectory Duties

“If the time is announced in the monastery, having put on the under robe wrapped all around him, covering the three circles (navel & knees), having tied his waistband/belt, having made the upper robe a lining for the outer robe (§), having put on the outer robe, having fastened the fastener, having washed (the bowl — see student’s duties for preceptor), having taken the bowl, he should enter the village properly & unhurriedly. Without cutting in too close he should walk in front of the elder bhikkhus. (OR: He should not walk cutting in front of the elder bhikkhus.) SEKHIYAS 1-26.

“He shouldn’t sit encroaching on the elder bhikkhus, shouldn’t block/lay claim to the seats for the newer bhikkhus, shouldn’t spread out the outer cloak and sit on it in inhabited areas. When water [C: for washing the bowl] is being given out, having grasped the bowl with both hands, he should receive the water. Having put it down low, the bowl should be carefully [C: without letting the water make a sound] washed without scraping it (against the floor (§)). If there is someone to receive the water, having placed the bowl low he should pour the water into the water receptacle, (thinking,) ‘May the person receiving the water not be splashed, may the bhikkhus around me not be splashed, may my outer robe not be splashed.’ If there is no one to receive the water, then having placed the bowl down low, he should pour the water on the ground, (thinking,) ‘May the bhikkhus around me not be splashed, may my outer robe not be splashed.’

“When rice is being given, having grasped the bowl with both hands he should receive the rice. A space should be made for the bean curry. If there is ghee or oil or delicacies [C: or any food, even rice], the elder bhikkhu should say, ‘Arrange equal servings for all.’ [C: If there’s enough of a particular dish for only two bhikkhus, the elder bhikkhus shouldn’t say this. One or two of them should take what is offered even though others won’t get any.] SEKHIYAS 27-30. The elder bhikkhu should not eat as long as not everyone has been served rice. SEKHIYAS 31-55.

“The elder bhikkhu should not accept (rinsing) water as long as not everyone has finished (bhuttavi: see Pac. 35). When water is being given out, having grasped the bowl with both hands, he should receive the water. Having put it down low, the bowl should be carefully [C: without letting the water make a sound] washed without scraping it (against the floor (§)). If there is someone to receive the water, having placed the bowl low he should pour the water into the water receptacle, (thinking,) ‘May the person receiving the water not be splashed, may the bhikkhus around me not be splashed, may my outer robe not be splashed.’ If there is no one to receive the water, then having placed the bowl down low, he should pour the water on the ground, (thinking,) ‘May the bhikkhus around me not be splashed, may my outer robe not be splashed.’ SEKHIYA 56.

“When they are returning, the newer bhikkhus should go first, followed by the elder bhikkhus.” [C: The newer bhikkhus should wait near the door for the elder bhikkhus, and then the bhikkhus should go in line with seniority. When walking through the village or town, they should leave room between themselves so that other people can cross their path conveniently.] SEKHIYAS 1-26.

— Cv.VIII.4.3-6

 

6) The Duties for Bhikkhus Going for Alms

A certain bhikkhu going on alms round entered a house compound without observing. Mistaking an inner door for an outer door, he entered an inner chamber. And in that inner chamber a naked woman was lying on her back. The bhikkhu saw the naked woman lying on her back, and on seeing her, the thought occurred to him, ‘This isn’t an outer door. This is an inner chamber.’ He got out of the inner chamber. The woman’s husband saw her lying naked on her back, and on seeing her he thought, ‘My wife has been raped by this bhikkhu.’ Seizing the bhikkhu, he gave him a good beating. Then the woman, awakening at the noise, said to the man, ‘Why, master, are you beating this bhikkhu?’

‘You were raped by this bhikkhu.’

‘I wasn’t raped by this bhikkhu. He’s innocent.’ And she made him let the bhikkhu go.

“A bhikkhu going for alms, thinking, ‘I will enter the village,’ having put on the under robe wrapped all around him, covering the three circles (navel & knees), having tied his waistband/belt, having made the upper robe a lining for the outer robe (§), having put on the outer robe, having fastened the fastener, having washed (the bowl — see student’s duties for preceptor), having taken the bowl, he should enter the village properly & unhurriedly. ODD-NUMBERED SEKHIYAS 1-25.

“When entering a house compound (§) he should observe, ‘I will enter by this way, and leave by this way.’ He should not enter quickly, should not leave quickly. He shouldn’t stand too far away. He shouldn’t stand too near. He shouldn’t stand for too long a time. He shouldn’t stand for too short a time. While standing, he should observe whether they want to give alms or not. If (the potential donor) puts down his/her work or rises from his/her seat or wipes a spoon, wipes a dish, or sets one out, he should remain, (thinking,) ‘It looks like he/she wants to give.’ When alms are being given, having raised the outer robe with his left hand, having uncovered the bowl with his right hand, having grasped the bowl with both hands, he should receive the alms. While alms are being given he should not look [C: the donor] in the face. He should then observe, ‘Do they want to give bean curry or not?’ If the donor wipes a spoon, wipes a dish, or sets one out, he should remain, (thinking,) ‘It looks like he/she wants to give.’ When alms have been given, having concealed the bowl under his outer robe, he should leave carefully and unhurriedly. ODD-NUMBERED SEKHIYAS 1-25

“Whoever returns first from alms-going in the village should prepare the seat(s), should set out washing water for the feet, a foot stand, a foot wiper. Having washed the left-over food container, he should set it out. He should set out drinking water and washing water. Whoever returns last from alms-going in the village, if there is left-over food and he wants it, he may eat it. If he doesn’t want it, he should throw it away where there are no plants to speak of or drop it in water where there are no living creatures. He should put up the seat(s), put away the washing water for the feet, the foot stand, the foot wiper. Having washed the left-over food container, he should put it away. He should put away the drinking water and washing water. He should sweep the refectory. Whoever sees that the vessel for drinking water, the vessel for washing water, or the jar for rinsing water in the toilet is empty should set out water. If he cannot do this, then inviting a companion by signaling with his hand, with a movement of his hand, he should have the water set out, but he should not for that reason break into speech.

— Cv.VIII.5.2-3

7) The Duties of Bhikkhus Living in the Wilderness

At that time a number of bhikkhus were living in the wilderness. They neither had drinking water set out nor washing water set out nor fire set out nor firesticks set out. They did not know the zodiac, they did not know the cardinal directions. Thieves, on coming there, said to them, ‘Is there drinking water, venerable sirs?’

‘No, friends.’

‘Is there washing water… fire… firesticks?’

‘No, friends.’

‘With what is there a conjunction today?’

‘We don’t know, friends.’

‘Which direction is this?’

‘We don’t know, friends.’

Then the thieves, (thinking,) ‘These people have neither drinking water nor washing water nor fire nor firesticks; they don’t know the zodiac, they don’t know the cardinal directions; these are thieves, not bhikkhus,’ gave them a good beating and left.

Note: The italicized passages below describe duties that are peculiar to the forest monks. The other rules apply to all monks.

“A bhikkhu living in the wilderness, getting up early, having placed his bowl in a bag, having slung it over his shoulder, having put on his sandals, having packed away his wooden goods and clay goods, having closed the windows and doors, may leave his lodging. Thinking, ‘I will now enter the village,’ having taken off his sandals, having put them down (close to the ground) and beaten off the dust, having placed them in the bag and slung them over his shoulder, having put on the under robe wrapped all around him, covering the three circles (navel & knees), having tied his waistband/belt, having made the upper robe a lining for the outer robe (§), having put on the outer robe, having fastened the fastener, having washed (the bowl — see student’s duties for preceptor), having taken the bowl, he should enter the village properly & unhurriedly. ODD-NUMBERED SEKHIYAS 1-25.

“When entering a house compound (§) he should observe, ‘I will enter by this way, and leave by this way.’ He should not enter quickly, should not leave quickly. He shouldn’t stand too far away. He shouldn’t stand too near. He shouldn’t stand for too long a time. He shouldn’t stand for too short a time. While standing, he should observe whether they want to give alms or not. If (the potential donor) puts down his/her work or rises from his/her seat or wipes a spoon, wipes a dish, or sets one out, he should remain, (thinking,) ‘It looks like he/she wants to give.’ When alms are being given, having raised the outer robe with his left hand, having uncovered the bowl with his right hand, having grasped the bowl with both hands, he should receive the alms. While alms are being given he should not look (the donor) in the face. He should then observe, ‘Do they want to give bean curry or not?’ If the donor wipes a spoon, wipes a dish, or sets one out, he should remain, (thinking,) ‘It looks like he/she wants to give.’ When alms have been given, having concealed the bowl under his outer robe, he should leave carefully and unhurriedly. ODD-NUMBERED SEKHIYAS 1-25. [C: If there is no water in the wilderness area, one may have one’s meal in the village, wash up, and then return to one’s dwelling. If there is water in the wilderness area, one should take one’s meal outside of the village.]

“Having set out from the village, having placed the bowl in the bag and slung it over his shoulder, having folded up his robe and placed it on his head, having put on his sandals, he may continue on his way.

“A bhikkhu living in the wilderness should set out drinking water, should set out washing water, should set out fire (keep a fire going), should set out fire sticks, should memorize the zodiac, the whole or a part; should be skilled in the cardinal directions.” [C: If there are not enough vessels, one may have one vessel for both drinking water and washing water. If one has no fire sticks, no need to set out fire.]

— Cv.VIII.6.2-3

 

8) Lodging Duties

Now at that time a number of bhikkhus were making robes in the open air. Some group-of-six bhikkhus were beating their lodgings in a yard upwind. Those (the other) bhikkhus were covered with dust.

“In whatever dwelling one is living in, if the dwelling is dirty and one is able, one should clean it.” (As in student duties, plus:

After “Look for any rubbish and throw it away”: “Lodgings are not to be beaten near bhikkhus… near dwellings… near drinking water… near washing water. Lodgings are not to be beaten in the yard upwind. Lodgings are to be beaten downwind.”

After, “If there is no water in the pitcher for rinsing in the restroom, pour it into the pitcher”: “If one is staying in a dwelling with a more senior bhikkhu, then — without asking the senior — one should not give a recitation, give an interrogation, should not chant, should not give a Dhamma talk, should not light a lamp, should not put out a lamp, should not open windows, should not close windows. [C: No need to ask permission before opening or closing doors. The junior bhikkhu may ask in advance for permission to do any of these things at any time. Also, no need to ask if the senior bhikkhu is a close friend.] If doing walking meditation on the same meditation path with the senior, one should turn when the senior turns but should not hit him with the corner of one’s outer robe.”)

— Cv.VIII.7.2-4

 

9) Sauna Duties

Now at that time some group-of-six bhikkhus, blocked from the sauna by some elder bhikkhus, out of disrespect brought up a large number of sticks, set them on fire, closed the door, and sat in the door. The elder bhikkhus, oppressed with the heat, unable to get out the door, keeled over stiff.

“Being blocked from the sauna by elder bhikkhus, one should not, out of disrespect, bring up a large number of sticks and set them on fire. Whoever should set them on fire: an offense of wrongdoing. Having closed the door, one should not sit in the door. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrongdoing.”

— Cv.VIII.8.1

“Whoever goes first to the sauna, if ashes have accumulated, should throw out the ashes. If the sauna is dirty, he should sweep it. If the outer corridor… the yard… the porch… the sauna-hall is dirty, he should sweep it. He should knead the chunam,moisten clay, pour water into the water tank. One entering the sauna may do so after smearing the face with clay and covering oneself front and back (with cloth?). One should sit not encroaching on the elder bhikkhus and not depriving the newer bhikkhus of a seat. If one is able/willing, one may look after the needs of the elder bhikkhus in the sauna [C: e.g., stoking the fire, providing them with clay and hot water]. One leaving the sauna may do so after taking the sauna-chair and covering oneself front and back. If one is able/willing, one may look after the needs of the elder bhikkhus even in the water [C: e.g., scrubbing them]. One should not bathe in front of the elder bhikkhus or upstream from them. When coming out of the water after bathing, make way for those entering the water.

“Whoever is the last to leave the sauna, if the sauna is splattered/muddy, should wash it. He may leave after having washed the clay-tub, having put away the sauna chair(s), having extinguished the fire, and having closed the door.”

— Cv.VIII.8.2

 

10) Toilet Duties

“If there is water, one should not not rinse after having defecated. Whoever should not rinse: an offense of wrongdoing.” [C: If there is no vessel to dip in the water, that counts as ‘there being no water.’]

— Cv.VIII.9

“One should not defecate in the toilet in order of seniority. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrongdoing. I allow that one defecate in order of arrival.”

— Cv.VIII.10.1

“Whoever goes to a toilet should, while standing outside, clear his throat. The one sitting inside should also clear his throat. Having put aside the (upper) robe on a bamboo pole or a cord, one should enter the toilet properly and unhurriedly. One should not pull up one’s lower robe while entering (§). One should pull up one’s lower robe while standing on the toilet shoes (§). One should not groan/grunt while defecating. One should not defecate while chewing tooth-wood. [C: This rule applies wherever one may be defecating, and not just in a restroom.] One should not defecate outside of the toilet, one should not urinate outside of the urinal. One should not spit into the urinal. One should not wipe oneself with a rough stick. One should not drop the wiping stick into the cesspool. One should cover oneself (with one’s lower robe) while standing on the toilet-shoes (§). One should not leave hurriedly. One should not leave with one’s lower robe pulled up (§). One should pull it up while standing on the rinsing-room shoes (§). One shouldn’t make a smacking sound (§) while rinsing. One should not leave any water remaining in the rinsing vessel. [C: OK to leave water in the rinsing vessel if it’s in a toilet for one’s private use or if one is suffering from frequent diarrhea attacks.] One should cover oneself (with one’s lower robe) while standing on the rinsing-room shoes (§).

“If the toilet is splattered it should be washed. If the basket/receptacle for wiping sticks is full, the wiping sticks should be thrown away. If the toilet is dirty it should be swept. If the outer corridor… the yard… the porch is dirty, it should be swept. If there is no water in the rinsing jar, water should be poured into the rinsing jar.”

— Cv.VIII.10.3

 

11) *Pupils’ Duties

“Having gotten up early, having taken off his sandals, having arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, the pupil should provide tooth-cleaning sticks and washing water for the face.” [C: On the first three days when one is performing these services, one should provide the mentor with three lengths of tooth-cleaning sticks — long, medium, and short — and notice which one he takes. If he takes the same length on all three days, provide him only with that length from then on. If he is not particular about the length, provide him with whatever length is available. A similar principle holds for the water: On the first three days, provide him with both warm and cold water. If he consistently takes either the warm or the cold, provide him only with that kind of water from then on. If not, provide him with whatever water is available.] (The Commentary suggests that in ‘providing’ these things, one need only set them out, rather than hand them to the mentor. Once they have been set out, one should proceed to sweep out the bathroom and its surrounding area while the mentor is using the tooth-cleaning sticks and water. Then, while the mentor is using the bathroom, one should proceed to the next step.)

“Make a seat ready. If there is conjey, then having washed a bowl, place the conjey near the mentor. When he has drunk the conjey, then having given him water, having received the bowl, having lowered it (so as not to let the washing water wet one’s robes), wash it properly without scraping it [C: knocking it against the floor] and then put it away. When the mentor has gotten up, remove the seat. If the place is soiled, sweep it.

“If the mentor wishes to enter the village for alms, give him his lower robe, receiving the lower robe (he is wearing) from him in return. (This is one of the few passages showing that the practice of having spare robes was already current when the Canon was being compiled.) Give him his belt; give him his upper and outer robe, arranged so that the upper robe forms a lining for the outer one (§). Having rinsed out the bowl, give it to him while it is still wet (i.e., pour out as much of the rinsing water as possible, but don’t wipe it dry).

“If the mentor desires an attendant, one should put on one’s lower robe so as to cover the three circles all around (see Sekhiyas 1 & 2). Having put on the belt, having put the upper and outer robes together and having put them on, having fastened the ties, having washed and taken a bowl, be the mentor’s attendant. Do not walk too far behind him, do not walk too close. [C: One to two steps behind him is appropriate.] Receive the mentor’s bowl and its contents. [C: If the mentor’s bowl is heavy or hot to the touch, take his bowl and give him one’s own bowl (which is presumably lighter or less hot to the touch) in return.]

“Do not interrupt the mentor when he is speaking. If he is bordering on an offense [C: e.g., Pacittiya 4 or Sanghadisesa 3], one should speak in an indirect way so as to call him to his senses. [C: These two duties apply everywhere, not only on alms round.] (The Sub-commentary adds that, unlike the pupil’s other duties, these must also be observed even when one is ill.)

“Returning ahead of the mentor, one should make a seat ready. Set out washing water for the feet, a foot stand, and a towel for drying the feet. Having gone to meet him, receive his bowl and robe. Give him his lower robe; receive the lower robe [C: that he has been wearing] in return. If the upper and outer robes are damp with perspiration, dry them for a short time in the sun’s warmth, but do not leave them there long in the sun. Fold up the robes {SC: separately}, keeping the edges four fingerbreadths apart so that neither robe becomes creased in the middle. (One should follow the same practice in folding and hanging one’s own robes.) Place the belt in the fold of the robe. (From these statements it would appear the bhikkhus in those days wore only their lower robes while inside their dwellings.)

“If there is alms food, and the mentor wishes to eat, give him water and place the alms food near him. Offer him drinking water. [C: If there is enough time before noon, one should wait by the mentor while he is eating, in order to offer him drinking water, and eat one’s own meal only when he is finished. If there is not enough time for this, one should simply set out the water and proceed to one’s own meal.]

“When he has finished eating, then having given him water, receive the bowl, lower it, and wash it properly without scraping it. Then, having wiped away the water, dry it for a short time in the sun’s warmth, but do not leave it there long.

“Put away the bowl and robes. When putting away the bowl, take the bowl in one hand, feel under the bed or bench with the other hand, and place the bowl there, but do not place it on the bare ground [C: any place where it will get soiled]. When putting away the robe, take the robe with one hand, stroke the other hand along the rod or cord for the robes [C: to check for any rough spots or splinters on the cord or rod that will rip the cloth], place the robe over the cord or rod with the edges away from one and the fold towards one. [C: The fold should not be placed on the side of the wall, for if there is a splinter in the wall, it may rip the robe in the middle (making its determination lapse).] (Again, one should follow these same practices in putting away one’s own robe and bowl.)

“When the mentor has gotten up, remove the seat. Put away the washing water for the feet, the foot-stand, and the foot wiper. If the place is soiled, sweep it.

“If the mentor wishes to bathe, prepare a bath. Prepare a cold bath if he wants a cold one, a hot bath if he wants a hot one.

“If the mentor wishes to enter the sauna, knead the chunam (bathing powder), moisten the bathing clay, take a chair for the sauna, and follow closely behind him. Give him the chair, receive his robe in return, and lay it to one side [C: where there is no soot or smoke]. Give him the chunam and clay. If one is able to, enter the sauna, having smeared one’s face with the bathing clay and covering oneself front and back.

“Sit so as not to encroach on the senior bhikkhus, at the same time not depriving the junior bhikkhus of a seat. Look after the mentor’s needs [C: stoking the fire, providing him with clay and hot water]. When he is leaving the sauna, take the chair and, covering oneself front and back, leave the sauna. Look after the mentor’s needs in the bathing water. When both have bathed, the pupil should come out of the water first, dry himself, and put on his lower robe. Then he should dry off his mentor, give him his lower robe and then his outer robe.

“Taking the chair, the pupil should return first, make ready a seat, put out washing water for the feet, a foot stand, and a foot wiper. When the mentor has sat down, offer him drinking water.

“If the mentor wants one to recite [C: memorize passages of Dhamma or Vinaya], one should recite. If he wants to interrogate one [C: on the meaning of the passages], one should answer his interrogation.

“If the place where the mentor is staying is soiled, the pupil should clean it if he is able to. First take out the bowl and robe and lay them to one side. Take out the sitting cloth and the sheet and lay them to one side. Then take out the mattress and pillow and lay them to one side.

“Having lowered the bed [C: from its supports], take it out properly, without scraping it [C: along the floor] or knocking it against the door or door posts, and then lay it to one side. Lower the bench, take it out properly, without scraping it [C: along the floor] or knocking it against the door or the door posts, and lay it to one side. Take out the supports for the bed… the spittoon… the reclining board (a board or stone for resting the head, arms or elbows) and lay them to one side. Take out the ground-covering, after observing how it was laid down, and put it to one side.

“If there are cobwebs, sweep them out, starting from the ceiling and working down. Wipe the windows, the doors, and the corners. If the wall or floor have become moldy (§), moisten a rag, wring it out, and wipe them with it. If the floor of the room is treated with blackening (polished), then he should moisten a rag, wring it out, and wipe the floor with it. If the floor is bare ground, sprinkle it all over with water before sweeping it, so that the dust does not fly up and soil the room. Look for any rubbish and throw it away.

“Having dried the ground-covering in the sun, clean it, shake it out, bring it back in, and lay it down as it was laid down before. Having dried the supports for the bed in the sun, wipe them, bring them back, and place them where they were before. Having dried the bed… the bench in the sun, clean them, shake them out, lower them, bring them back in properly without scraping them [C: against the floor] or knocking them against the door or door posts, and place them where they were placed before. Having dried the mattress and pillow… the sitting cloth and sheet in the sun, clean them, shake them out, bring them back in, and place them where they were before. Having dried the spittoon in the sun, wipe it, bring it back in, and place it where it was before. Having dried the reclining board in the sun, wipe it, bring it back in, and place it where it was before. (One should follow these same procedures in cleaning one’s own room.) Put away the bowl and robes (as above).

“If dusty winds blow from the east, close the eastern windows. If from the west, close the western windows. If from the north, close the northern windows. If from the south, close the southern windows. If the weather is cool, open the windows by day and close them at night. If the weather is hot, close them by day and open them at night. (Again, one should follow these same procedures in looking after one’s own room.)

“If a courtyard is dirty, sweep it (§). If a porch… attendance hall… fire hall (sauna)… restroom is dirty, sweep it. If there is no drinking water, provide it. If there is no washing water, provide it. If there is no water in the pitcher for rinsing [C: in the restroom], pour it into the pitcher.

“If dissatisfaction (with the celibate life) arises in the mentor, one should allay it or get someone else to allay it or one should give him a Dhamma talk. If anxiety (over his conduct with regard to the rules) arises in the mentor, one should dispel it or get someone else to dispel it or one should give him a Dhamma talk. If wrong view arises in the mentor, one should dissuade him or get someone else to dissuade him or one should give him a Dhamma talk.

“If the mentor has committed an offense against a heavy (sanghadisesa) rule and deserves probation, the pupil should make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can the community grant my mentor probation?’ If the mentor deserves to be sent back to the beginning… deserves penance… deserves rehabilitation, the pupil should make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can the community grant my mentor rehabilitation?’

“If the community wants to carry out a transaction against the mentor — censure, guidance, banishment, reconciliation, or suspension — the pupil should make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can the community not carry out that transaction against my mentor or else change it to a lighter one?’ But if the transaction — censure… suspension — is carried out against him, the pupil should make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can my mentor behave properly, lower his hackles, mend his ways, so that the community will rescind that transaction?’

“If the mentor’s robe should be washed, the pupil should wash it or make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can my mentor’s robe be washed?’ If the mentor’s robe should be made, the pupil should make it or make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can my mentor’s robe be made?’ If the mentor’s dye should be boiled, the pupil should boil it or make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can my mentor’s dye be boiled?’ If the mentor’s robe should be dyed, the pupil should dye it or make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can my mentor’s robe be dyed?’ While dyeing the robe, he should dye it properly, turning it again and again (in the dye water), and he shouldn’t go away until, (after hanging the mentor’s dyed robe out to dry,) the drips have ceased.

“Without having taken the mentor’s leave, the pupil should not give an alms bowl to anyone [C: on bad terms with the mentor] nor should he receive an alms bowl from that person. He should not give/receive a robe/robe-material… a requisite to/from that person. He should not cut that person’s hair nor have his own hair cut by that person. He should not look after that person’s needs or have that person look after his own needs. He should not act as that person’s agent or have that person act as his own agent. He should not be that person’s attendant or take that person as his own attendant. He should not bring back alms food for that person or have that person bring back alms food for him.

“Without having taken the mentor’s leave, he should not enter a town, should not go to a cemetery, should not leave the district.

“If the mentor is ill, he should tend to him as long as life lasts; he should stay with him until he recovers.

— Cv.VIII.11.2-18

 

12) *Preceptors’ Duties (Upagghaya)

“The pupil should be helped, assisted, with recitation, interrogation, exhortation, instruction. If the mentor has a bowl but the pupil does not, the mentor should give a bowl to the pupil, or he should make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can a bowl be procured for my pupil?’ If the mentor has a robe/robe-material… requisite but the pupil does not, the mentor should give a requisite to the pupil, or he should make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can a requisite be procured for my pupil?’

“If the pupil is ill, the mentor should (perform services that pupil performs for him, from attending to him in the morning to cleaning the room and grounds, except that he does not go as the pupil’s attendant on the alms round, and he is not forbidden from interrupting the pupil while the latter is speaking.)

“If dissatisfaction (with the celibate life) arises in the pupil, the mentor should allay it or get someone else to allay it or he should give him a Dhamma talk. If anxiety [C: over his conduct with regard to the rules] arises in the pupil, the mentor should dispel it or get someone else to dispel it or he should give him a Dhamma talk. If wrong view arises in the pupil, the mentor should dissuade him or get someone else to dissuade him or he should give him a Dhamma talk.

“If the pupil has committed an offense against a heavy (sanghadisesa) rule and deserves probation, the mentor should make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can the community grant my pupil probation?’ If the pupil deserves to be sent back to the beginning… deserves penance… deserves rehabilitation, the mentor should make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can the community grant my pupil rehabilitation?’

“If the community wants to carry out a transaction against the pupil — censure, guidance, banishment, reconciliation, or suspension — the mentor should make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can the community not carry out that transaction against my pupil or else change it to a lighter one?’ But if the transaction — censure… suspension — is carried out against him, the mentor should make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can my pupil behave properly, lower his hackles, mend his ways, so that the community will rescind that transaction?’

“If the pupil’s robe should be washed, the mentor should wash it or make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can my pupil’s robe be washed?’ If the pupil’s robe should be made, the mentor should make it or make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can my pupil’s robe be made?’ If the pupil’s dye should be boiled, the mentor should boil it or make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can my pupil’s dye be boiled?’ If the pupil’s robe should be dyed, the mentor should dye it or make an effort, (thinking,) ‘How can my pupil’s robe be dyed?’ While dyeing the robe, he should dye it properly, turning it again and again [C: in the dye water], and he shouldn’t go away until (after hanging the dyed robe out to dry) the drips have ceased.

“If the pupil is ill, the mentor should tend to him as long as life lasts; he should stay with him until he recovers.

— Cv.VIII.12.2-11

 

13) **Pupils’ Duties 

The same as Pupils’ Duties

 

14) **Preceptors’ Duties

The same as Preceptors’ Duties

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*Pupil = Saddhivihārika

**Pupil = Antevāsika; One who lives in; a monk who lives under his teacher

*Preceptor = Upajjhāya; A senior monk who conducts the ordination ceremony and is also responsible for the teaching of newly ordained monks for the first five years

**Preceptor = Ācariya; Teacher; mentor

Khandhaka-Vatta 14
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