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the 75 Training Rules (Sekhiya): Rules of Etiquette and Comportment for monastics.

BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
edited July 2015 in Sanghas

I've just been reviewing these rules which make up 75 of the 227 rules for Bhikkhus. Since I will be samanera soon I am working on following these basic rules as much as I can remember them.

it is not expected for samanera to follow them, or any of the Bhikkhu's rules actually, but it's good practice to try and live by the monks rules since I'll be looking no different from the Bhikkhus. I wanted to share this with everyone to show how the rules effect how monks should comport themselves and act in society, and because I think some of the rules can garner some interesting discussion haha.

75 Rules of training (Sekhiyavatta) for monks and nuns:
In many countries, it is also standard for novice monks (samanera) to follow the Sekhiyavatta rules in addition to the 10 precepts.

  1. I will wear the under robe properly.
  2. I will wear the upper robe properly.
  3. I will cover my body properly when going in inhabited areas.
  4. I will cover my body properly when sitting in inhabited areas.
  5. I will properly restrain the movements of hands and feet when going in inhabited areas.
  6. I will properly restrain the movements of hands and feet when sitting in inhabited areas.
  7. I will keep my eyes looking down when going in inhabited areas.
  8. I will keep my eyes looking down when sitting in inhabited areas.
  9. I will not hitch up my robes when going in inhabited areas.
  10. I will not hitch up my robes when sitting in inhabited areas.
  11. I will not laugh loudly when going in inhabited areas.
  12. I will not laugh loudly when sitting in inhabited areas.
  13. I will not speak loudly when going in inhabited areas.
  14. I will not speak loudly when sitting in inhabited areas.
  15. I will not sway my body about when going in inhabited areas.
  16. I will not sway my body about when sitting in inhabited areas.
  17. I will not swing my arms about when going in inhabited areas.
  18. I will not swing my arms about when sitting in inhabited areas.
  19. I will not shake my head about when going in inhabited areas.
  20. I will not shake my head about when sitting in inhabited areas.
  21. I will not put my arms (akimbo) when going in inhabited areas.
  22. I will not put my arms (akimbo) when sitting in inhabited areas.
  23. I will not cover my head with a cloth when going in inhabited areas.
  24. I will not cover my head with a cloth when sitting in inhabited areas.
  25. I will not walk on tiptoe when going in inhabited areas.
  26. I will not sit clasping the knees in inhabited areas.

-

  1. I will receive pindapāta (alms round) food attentively.
  2. When receiving pindapāta food, I will look only into the bowl.
  3. I will receive curries in the right proportion to the rice.
  4. I will receive pindapāta food only until it reached the rim of the bowl.
  5. I will eat pindapāta food attentively.
  6. When eating pindapāta food, I will look only into the bowl.
  7. I will not dig up the rice making it uneven.
  8. I will eat curries in the right proportion to the rice.
  9. I will not eat rice only working from the top down.
  10. I will not cover up curries; or curry mixed with rice; with white rice because of a desire to get a lot.
  11. When I am not sick, I will not ask for curries or rice for the purpose of eating them myself.
  12. I will not look at another's bowl with the idea of finding fault.
  13. I will not make up a very large mouthful of food.
  14. I will make food up into suitably round mouthfuls.
  15. I will not open my mouth until the portion of food has been brought to it.
  16. When eating, I will not put my fingers into my mouth.
  17. When food is still in my mouth, I will not speak.
  18. I will not throw lumps of food into my mouth.
  19. I will not eat by biting off mouthfuls of rice.
  20. I will not eat stuffing out my cheeks.
  21. I will not eat and shake my hand about at the same time.
  22. I will not eat scattering grains of rice about so that they fall back into the bowl or elsewhere.
  23. I will not eat putting my tongue out.
  24. I will not eat making a champing sound.
  25. I will not eat (or drink) making a sucking sound.
  26. I will not eat licking my hands.
  27. I will not eat scraping the bowl.
  28. I will not eat licking my lips.
  29. I will not take hold of a vessel of water with my hand soiled with food.
  30. I will not throw out bowl-washing water which has grains of rice in it in a place where there are houses.

-

A bhikku should train himself thus: I will not teach Dhamma to someone who is not sick and...
57. who has an umbrella in his hand.
58. who has a wooden stick (club) in his hand.
59. who has a sharp-edged weapon in his hand.
60. who has a weapon in his hand.
61. who is wearing (wooden-soled) sandals.
62. who is wearing shoes.
63. who is in a vehicle.
64. who is on a bed (or couch).
65. who is sitting clasping the knees.
66. who has a head wrapping (turban).
67. whose head is covered.
68. who is sitting on a seat while I am sitting on the ground.
69. who is sitting on a high seat while I am sitting on a low seat.
70. who is sitting while I am standing.
71. who is walking in front of me while I am walking behind him.
72. who is walking on a pathway while I am walking beside the pathway.
A bhikku should train himself thus: If I am not sick...
73. I will not defecate or urinate while standing.
74. I will not defecate, urinate or spit on green vegetation.
75. I will not defecate, urinate or spit into water.
(from the Vinaya Pitaka)

bookworm

Comments

  • howhow Veteran
    edited July 2015

    (400000001). I will not teach Dhamma to someone who is not sick and on a computer.

    What it would look like today if rule making had not been capped long ago.

    WalkerbookwormEarthninja
  • howhow Veteran

    @Jayantha
    While not being a part of my tradition, I used to study the 227 rules of pātimokkha to have them highlight the different expressions of ego that one could be mindful of in order to facilitate a more collegial temple life.

    I had also thought it historically represented the great diversity of cultural and social differences that the early Sangha had to address but in truth, the same versions of me-isms that caused these rules to be created, still exist today as common expressions of the human condition.

    Invincible_summer
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Lobster gets to rule 15, faints and does not move ... ;)

    silverEarthninjaBunksroots
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    I will not teach dhamma to someone holding an umbrella?!
    Or wearing shoes?

    Seems legit. Don't ever trust someone wearing wooden shoes.

    This is incredible stuff.

    lobstersilverInvincible_summer
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran

    @how said:
    (400000001). I will not teach Dhamma to someone who is not sick and on a computer.

    What it would look like today if rule making had not been capped long ago.

    No using facebook while chanting on a mountain in full view of lay persons.....

    @how said:

    Jayantha
    While not being a part of my tradition, I used to study the 227 rules of pātimokkha to have them highlight the different expressions of ego that one could be mindful of in order to facilitate a more collegial temple life.

    I had also thought it historically represented the great diversity of cultural and social differences that the early Sangha had to address but in truth, the same versions of me-isms that caused these rules to be created, still exist today as common expressions of the human condition.

    yes actually reading the stories that explain WHY the rules came about is extremely interesting and the best part of the rules. The monks were human after all and did some amazingly nasty shocking stuff lol,

    @lobster said:
    Lobster gets to rule 15, faints and does not move ... ;)

    don't sway those hips in those robes!

    @Earthninja said:
    I will not teach dhamma to someone holding an umbrella?!
    Or wearing shoes?

    Seems legit. Don't ever trust someone wearing wooden shoes.

    This is incredible stuff.

    lol it's not about trust, it's about proper atmosphere for teaching Dhamma. Even today we have these rules like take your hat off in church and the like, such is the culture.

    roots
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Jayantha said: 21. I will not put my arms (akimbo) when going in inhabited areas.

    I like that one! But seriously, it seems an awful lot to remember.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    What reasons and justifications are there for such mundane and seemingly bizarre rules? I'm sorry, I'm not being antagonistic - some of them are perfectly logical - rules of standard etiquette, even... but others (such as the 'arms akimbo' one...?) .... I'm just flummoxed....

  • howhow Veteran

    @federica

    I don't know if this helps but...

    these rules primarily ask the practitioner who has accepted them ...

    Just how mindful are you of body and mind in each moment.?

    BunksrootsInvincible_summer
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Why not just say that?

    Vastmind
  • howhow Veteran

    @federica said:
    Why not just say that?

    I think for the same reason that the Buddha elaborated on suffering's cause and the way towards it's cessation.

    There is a difference in the specificness of just asking a renunciate to be mindful compared
    to teaching a renunciate of the many ways that they can manifest a lack of mindfulness.

    VastmindInvincible_summer
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    It's nice to be talked through these things.... And I so get the 'rice' rules....!

    EarthninjaInvincible_summer
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Jayantha said: we also have to realize the cultural meanings placed to certain postures near 3000 years ago.....

    Have there been any moves to modernise these rules?

    VastmindEarthninja
  • rootsroots Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Have there been any moves to modernise these rules?

    I can understand how 66 could be seen as culturally insensitive in a modern context. A quick translation reprieve aughtta clear that up.

  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran

    Have there been any moves to modernise these rules?

    in what way?

  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran

    @federica said:
    Why not just say that?

    Don't know if you've noticed, but Buddhist texts and rules aren't exactly known for their brevity or concise nature... :wink:

    Walkerroots
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Tell me about it...!

    (On second thoughts......)

    Invincible_summerroots
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