Patidesaniya Dhamma
Rules of Matters of Confession

The Patidesaniya Dhamma is the sixth part of the Suttavibhanga.
The Suttavibhanga is the first part of the Vinaya Pitaka ("Basket of Discipline").
The Vinaya Pitaka is the first part of the Tipitaka ("Three Baskets"), a.k.a. the Pali Canon.
The Tipitaka is the major religious text of Theravada Buddhism.

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The Patidesaniya Dhamma contains four examples of situations involving the acceptance of alms food from bhikkhunis (nuns), which should be openly confessed to the Sangha (Buddhist monastic order).

The text was translated by T. W. Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg in 1881; the translation is in the public domain. It was taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe13/index.htm. Text in [square brackets] (and all pipelinks) was added and does not appear in the translation; text in (parentheses) does appear in the translation.


Here, venerable Sirs, the four rules regarding matters which ought to be confessed come into recitation.

  1. Whatsoever Bhikkhu, when a Bhikkhuni not related to him has entered within the houses, shall, with his own hand, accept at her hands food, either hard or soft, and eat or enjoy it—that is a matter which ought to be confessed by that Bhikkhu, saying, 'I have fallen, Brethren, into a blameworthy offence, unbecoming, which ought to be confessed; and I confess it!'
  2. Now Bhikkhus, when they have been invited to laymen's houses, eat. If the Bhikkhuni stay there giving directions, saying, 'Here give curry, give rice here!' the Bhikkhuni ought to be rebuked by those Bhikkhus, saying, 'Stand aside, Sister, as long as the Bhikkhus are eating!' If it should not occur to a single Bhikkhu to rebuke the Bhikkhuni, saying, 'Stand aside, Sister, as long as the Bhikkhus are eating!'—that is a matter that ought to be confessed by those Bhikkhus, saying, 'We have fallen, Brethren, into a blameworthy offence, unbecoming, which ought to be confessed; and we confess it!'
  3. Whatsoever Bhikkhu shall accept, with his own hand, food, either hard or soft, in such households as have been (by a formal sammuti) declared to be households, under discipline, without having been previously invited, and without being sick, and eat it or enjoy it—that is a matter that ought to be confessed by that Bhikkhu, saying, 'I have fallen, Brethren, into a blameworthy offence, unbecoming, which ought to be confessed; and I confess it!'
  4. Whatsoever Bhikkhu, while he is dwelling in a place belonging to the class of those forest dwellings which are held to be insecure and dangerous, shall accept, with his own hand, at his home, food, either hard or soft, without having previously given notice (of the danger incurred by people that enter that forest), unless he is sick, and shall eat it or enjoy it—that is a matter that ought to be confessed by that Bhikkhu, saying, 'I have fallen, Brethren, into a blameworthy offence, unbecoming, which ought to be confessed; and I confess it!'

Here end the Patidesaniyas.

Venerable Sirs, the four rules regarding matters which require confession have been recited.

In respect of them I ask the venerable ones, 'Are you pure in this matter?'

A second time I ask the venerable ones, 'Are you pure in this matter?'

A third time I ask the venerable ones, 'Are you pure in this matter?'

The venerable ones are pure herein. Therefore do they keep silence. Thus I understand.

Here endeth the recitation of the Patidesaniyas.

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