Bhikkhuni Vinaya's parajika offense on 8 types of flirting

8 types of flirtation

Would you be able to expand on what the 8 types of flirtation are please?


Yes please.

Looks like:

Pārājika 8: Should any bhikkhuni, lusting, [1] consent to a lusting man’s taking hold of her hand and [2] touching the edge of her outer robe, and [3] should she stand with him and [4] converse with him and [5] go to a rendezvous with him, and [6] should she consent to his approaching her, and [7] should she enter a hidden place with him, and [8] should she dispose her body to him—(any of these) for the purpose of that unrighteous act—then she also is defeated and no longer in communion for ‘eight grounds.’


Thank you @Sumano.

I can easily see the applicability of most of these, but 3, 4 and 6, are a bit more problematic, as in themselves there may be no action/flirtation involved. I imagine it would come down to intention … to converse with the intention of flirting or for speech to progress to a physical touch?

If a person feels attraction or lust, then it is obviously not wise to seek out the company of that individual, but certainly polite and correct interaction while mindfully aware, could not be a Parajika offence… or is the clue in the last words

So are 3, 4 and 6, all about intention in basic ‘innocent’ interactions, ie using these situations to facilitate lustful intent?

In writing this response, I realise that it’s deviating away from the topic, so I’ll move this to a more appropriate spot.


I think this phrase holds the key to answering your question, friend @Viveka! If, lusting, the Bhikkuni commits any or all of the eight flirtations, then those actions are in violation of the training.


I was going to say something similar to @Timothy, ie that they seem to read as an escalating series. & Tim is right about lust being the key: it’s one thing to allow a random male to approach me about something mundane, but even as a lay person once lust is involved allowing a man to approach me is something else altogether.


That’s a very sexist remark I just made. It would be just the same if it were me approaching the guy, if lust were hovering above us. … Is this offence the same in the bhikus’ rules?

Was there a sexist intention? :laughing:


That’s the trouble with words. :worried: :see_no_evil: :hear_no_evil:

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I’ve yet to please anyone totally to their satisfaction with words…and I hope this won’t be taken to mean I condone misogyny!

Bhikkhus don’t have this rule.
Their sanghadisesas 2-4 are somewhat similar, but sanghadisesas are lesser offenses than parajikas.


The problem I have with this is the very statement that this applies when the Bikkhuni is “lusting”.

I cannot see that the ‘feeling’ of lust could or should be identified as something punishable. It is simply a hindrance - something to be identified, and then skillful practice applied to eventually lead to its cessation. It’s the same as to say "if feeling greed … " etc. The greed is a natural human condition, born of ignorance and delusion, to be overcome by the gradual training. I believe that actions resulting from these states may be punishable… eg acting on lust > sexual misconduct or acting on greed > taking without being given etc… But not the feeling itself

The point I was trying to make earlier


Note that the rule in fact applies to the completion of all of these things, not to any of them, as implied by the extra words Ven Thanissaro has inserted into his translation.

The Vibhanga is quite explicit on this point. The commission of any one of these acts, with the intention to lead up to having sex (etassa asaddhammassa paṭisevanatthāya), results in a thullaccaya (āpatti thullaccayassa), usually translated as “grave offence”.

Thullaccaya is the standard class of offence for acts that are a partial commission of a parajika. Despite the serious-sounding name, like most offences it may be dealt with through a simple confession.

Only when a bhikkhuni completes the final of the eight acts is she parajika (bhikkhunī aṭṭhamaṃ vatthuṃ paripūrentī).

There is also, it should be noted, a rather extensive series of exemptions for this: if she acts unintentionally or unmindfully or unknowingly or without giving consent or if she is mad or confused or in pain.