Adhikarana Samatha Dhamma
Rules of Settling Cases
The Adhikarana Samatha Dhamma is the eighth and last 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 Adhikarana Samatha Dhamma brings an end to the Patimokkha with a brief list of how to settle disputes that may arise in the Sangha (Buddhist monastic order). It starts by listing what the verdict must be delivered in the presence of, and goes on to list the possible verdicts (which I have explained in brackets following each one).
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 seven rules regarding the settlement of cases come into recitation.
For the decision and settlement of cases as they from time to time arise, the Proceeding in presence must be performed [the issue must be settled in the presence of the Sangha, the individuals involved, and the Dhamma and Vinaya],
or the Proceeding for the consciously innocent [innocent: the accused fully remembers not having done the offense],
or the Proceeding in the case of those who are no longer out of their mind [innocent: the accused was temporarily insane],
or the Proceeding on confession of guilt [guilty: the accused admits the offense freely, in accordance with the Dhamma dealing with the offense],
or the Proceeding by majority of the chapter [a decision cannot be made unanimously, and a majority vote is taken],
or the Proceeding for the obstinate [guilty: the accuser admits the offense, but only after being questioned],
or the Proceeding by covering over as with grass [both sides of a dispute realize that they have each made offenses, and so all bhikkhus (even sick ones) attend a meeting at which a representative of each side makes a blanket confession for all offenses of the side].
Venerable Sirs, the seven rules regarding the settlement of cases 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 Adhikarana samathas.
Venerable Sirs! Recited is the Introduction.
Recited are the four Paragika Rules.
Recited are the thirteen Sanghadisesa Rules.
Recited are the two Aniyata Rules.
Recited are the thirty Nissaggiya Pakittiya Rules.
Recited are the ninety-two Pakittiya Rules.
Pecited are the four Patidesaniya Rules.
Recited are the Sekhiya Rules.
Recited are the seven Adhikarana Samatha Rules.
So much (of the words) of the Blessed One, handed down in the Suttas, embraced in the Suttas, comes into recitation every half month. It behoveth all to train themselves according thereto in concord, in pleasantness, without dispute!
Here endeth the recitation of the Patimokkha for the use of the Bhikkhus.