Parajika Dhamma
Rules of Defeat

The Parajika Dhamma is the first 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 Parajika is a short section of Buddhist religious text outlining the ways in which a bhikkhu (monk) or bhikkhuni (nun) could become disrobed and cast out of the Sangha (the monastic order).

The word "parajika" comes from a Pali verb meaning something along the lines of "to lose" or "to be defeated". The ending phrase "[to be] defeated and no longer in communion" refers to a spiritual sense of defeat, and expulsion from the sangha. Parajika is also the term for one of the offenses outlined in the above text. If a bhikkhu or commits one of the parajikas, he is dismissed from the monastic order and will not be reordained in his present lifetime. Accidental or otherwise unintentional offenses are not looked upon lightly, but are considered on a case-by-case basis.

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 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 these four Rules, concerning those acts which bring about Defeat, come into recitation.

  1. Whatsoever Bhikkhu who has taken upon himself the Bhikkhus' system of self-training and rule of life, and has not thereafter withdrawn from the training, or declared his weakness, shall have carnal knowledge of any one, down even to an animal, he has fallen into defeat, he is no longer in communion.
  2. Whatsoever Bhikkhu shall take, from village or from wood, anything not given—what men call 'theft'—in such manner of taking as kings would seize the thief for, and slay, or bind, or banish him, saying, 'Thou art a thief, thou art stupid, thou art a fool, thou art dishonest,'—the Bhikkhu who in that manner takes the thing not given, he, too, has fallen into defeat, he is no longer in communion.
  3. Whatsoever Bhikkhu shall knowingly deprive of life a human being, or shall seek out an assassin against a human being, or shall utter the praises of death, or incite another to self-destruction, saying, 'Ho! my friend! what good do you get from this sinful, wretched life? death is better to thee than life!'—if, so thinking, and with such an aim, he, by various argument, utter the praises of death or incite another to self-destruction—he, too, is fallen into defeat, he is no longer in communion3.
  4. Whatsoever Bhikkhu, without being clearly conscious of extraordinary qualities, shall give out regarding himself that insight into the knowledge of the noble ones has been accomplished, saying, 'Thus do I know,' 'Thus do I perceive:' and at some subsequent time whether on being pressed, or without being pressed, he, feeling guilty, shall be desirous of being cleansed from his fault, and shall say, 'Brethren! when I knew not, I said that I knew; when I saw not, I said that I saw—telling a fruitless falsehood;' then, unless he so spake through undue confidence he, too, has fallen into defeat, he is no longer in communion.

Venerable Sirs, the four Conditions of Defeat have been recited, of which when a Bhikkhu has fallen into one or other, he is no longer allowed to be in co-residence with the Bhikkhus. As before, so afterwards, he is defeated, he is not in communion.

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

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

A third time I ask, '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 Parajikas.