Interpretation of bhikkhunī pārājika 5

Dear Friends,

I am trying to figure out what seems like a conundrum in the bhikkhunī Vinaya. It concerns bhikkhunī pārājika 5. The rule reads as follows:

Yā pana bhikkhunī avassutā avassutassa purisapuggalassa adhakkhakaṁ ubbhajāṇumaṇḍalaṁ āmasanaṁ vā parāmasanaṁ vā gahaṇaṁ vā chupanaṁ vā paṭipīḷanaṁ vā sādiyeyya, ayampi pārājikā hoti asaṁvāsā ubbhajāṇumaṇḍalikā ti.

If a lustful nun consents to a lustful man making physical contact with her, to touching her, to taking hold of her, to contacting her, or to squeezing her, anywhere below the collar bone but above the knees, she too is expelled and excluded from the community. The training rule on above the knees. (Bi Pj 5:1.54.1)

It seems quite clear from this that there is only a pārājika offence when a bhikkhunī consents to a man touching her, not when a bhikkhunī touches a man. I have always found this rather strange, because it means there is no rule for a bhikkhunī inappropriately touching a man, as there is in the parallel case of monks touching a woman.

I thought I had found a solution to this conundrum in the Vibhaṅga, the explanatory material that accompanies the rules, more specifically in the permutation series. Until recently, I had thought that this material expands the rule to include the case of a bhikkhunī touching a man. Having looked at it again, however, I am no longer so sure. I would be interested to hear others’ considered view of the matter.

But first, let me give some more details on how I have seen this issue until now. Hopefully this will help everyone understand where I am coming from.

There is an important difficulty in interpreting the entire permutation series of pārājika 5, namely, that the agent of the verb āmasati, “to touch”, is never specified. Here is the first sentence from this series, which is typical of the whole sequence:

Ubhatoavassute adhakkhakaṁ ubbhajāṇumaṇḍalaṁ kāyena kāyaṁ āmasati, āpatti pārājikassa.

If both have lust and he/she makes physical contact, below the collar bone but above the knees, body to body, she commits an offense entailing expulsion. (Bi Pj 5:2.2.1)

The question is, who makes the physical contact? This is not clear from the sentence itself, but on the face of it, one would expect the agent to be the man, because that would match with what we find in the rule. Yet the commentary explains that the person here refers to either the man or the bhikkhunī:

Kāyena kāyaṃ āmasatīti bhikkhunī yathāparicchinnena kāyena purisassa yaṃkiñci kāyaṃ puriso vā yena kenaci kāyena bhikkhuniyā yathāparicchinnaṃ kāyaṃ āmasati, ubhayathāpi bhikkhuniyā pārājikaṃ.

Makes physical contact, body with body: the bhikkhunī touches whatever (part of the) body of a man with her body as delimited, or the man touches the body of the bhikkhunī as delimited with whatever (part of) his body. In both cases, there is a pārājika offence for the bhikkhunī. (“As delimited” presumably refers to the fact that the touching must be below the collar bone and above the knees.) (Sp 2.659)

Is there anything in the Canonical text to give support to the commentary? As it happens, it appears that there is. The ambiguity in the agent continues for the entire permutation series, except in one sentence:

Ubhatoavassute yakkhassa vā petassa vā paṇḍakassa vā tiracchānagatamanussaviggahassa vā adhakkhakaṁ ubbhajāṇumaṇḍalaṁ kāyena kāyaṁ āmasati, āpatti thullaccayassa.

If both have lust and she makes physical contact with a spirit, a ghost, a paṇḍaka, or an animal in human form, below the collar bone but above the knees, body to body, she commits a serious offense. (Bi Pj 5:

Contrary to the formulation of the rule, in this sentence it seems required that the bhikkhunī is the agent. The various beings that are mentioned here are all in the genitive/dative case, which suggests they are not doing the touching, but are being touched. If the agent of āmasati here is the bhikkhunī, then it would be natural to conclude that the same must be true for the entire permutation series. The parallels in wording are just too strong. This would lend support to the commentarial interpretation, which would mean that the agent may be either the man or the bhikkhunī. This would resolve the ambiguity.

Still, this argument is not quite satisfactory. I will now set out why I don’t think so.

There are some immediate problems with the above suggestion. As we have just seen, the above sentence (Bi Pj 5: suggests that the bhikkhunī is the only agent. Yet taking the bhikkhunī as the sole agent for the entire permutation series goes too far, because it would fly in the face of the wording of the rule. What we have, in fact, are two different and irreconcilable positions: (i) the positron of the rule, which says the man is the agent, and (ii) the position of the one sentence from the Vibhaṅga, which says the bhikkhunī is the agent. Only in the Commentary is this combined to suggest that either the man or the bhikkhunī can be the agent in all cases, including in the rule. Yet it is by no means obvious that the commentary is right about this.

Let’s return to the sentence above that apparently concerns a bhikkhunī touching various kinds of beings. The first problem with understanding this sentence in this way is that it leaves out the case of these being touching the bhikkhunī. This is a rather major problem since the bhikkhunī being touched, not the bhikkhunī touching, is the concern of the main rule. It would mean that there is no statement anywhere about what the offence is if, for instance, a bhikkhunī consented to being touched by a paṇḍaka. In this way, a secondary development would be mentioned, whereas the main concern of the rule would not.

Another problem is that the permutation series would then mention the case of a bhikkhunī touching a number of beings of various kinds, including those belonging to non-human realms, but would not mention the case of a bhikkhunī touching a man. Thus, the most important case, by far, would be left out.

Given these obvious problems, I am uncomfortable reading the entire permutation series in light of this one unusual sentence. My preference is to disregard it, and understand the rule as only concerned with the case of a bhikkhunī consenting to a man touching her. The case of a bhikkhunī touching a man would then not be covered.

Is there any way of explaining why we have the above sentence with a bhikkhunī touching all sorts of beings? My suggestion is that this sentence may originally have had a structure closer to the one in the main rule. In the main rule the bhikkhunī consents to the touch of a man. The man is in the genitive case, purisapuggalassa. I suggest the genitive in the permutation series should be understood in the same way, that is, the beings in the genitive are actually doing the touching. This would solve both of the problems set out above. Yet as the text stands, this is not a natural reading. Could it be, however, that the text has got corrupted?

I would love to hear from any monastics on the forum, especially bhikkhunīs, who might be able to throw some light on what is going on here. Anyone else is, of course, also most welcome to comment.


I hope some senior bhikkhunīs reply. These are just some comments from the most junior nun in the universe.

The implication in the word ‘consent’ is that if she doesn’t want some fellow groping her, she’s not likely to want to touch him either. But if she’s consenting to being touched, chances are she’s probably going to be doing some touching too. That she has to ‘consent’ only makes sense within such a scenario, where both will be touching or both will have an active intention to be touching.

Please don’t anyone shoot me for sounding sexist or over generalising, but considering the likely situation in India back then, but also perhaps now, I think the monks rule is coming from a very different motivation and understanding of society. Women tended to be, and I think still tend to be, the ones that get touched when they don’t want to be. The monks’ rule is probably to get the monks to stop and look at their own minds and to restrain themselves, and to protect the women who they might see from time to time.

The nuns’ rule, I feel, is coming from a very different place. I suspect back then, women weren’t told much about setting boundaries and personal space. This rule is telling her she must use her voice and say ‘no’ quite clearly.

So I’m not surprised there isn’t a parallel rule about nuns touching men.

Ajahn if yourself and Sp 2.662 are correct,the permutations show that if only she has lust, then it is not a pārājika. This indicates that the scenario has to be a mutually satisfactory one and that the term ‘consent’ is quite important. This is about her saying ‘no’ and indeed I feel it’s about empowering her (within that cultural context this means something) to say ‘no’ and to understand that she can do so.

But… In your note to you state that the Pali only says one of them has to have lust. To me, this also makes sense.

It’s possible for a woman to not feel lustful and still agree to engage in physical contact, for a number of reasons. So, yes, if it’s the man feeling the lust, her mental purity is better, and it’s not a pārājika, but it’s still a serious offense which indicates that she really ought to say ‘no’ and that she really ought to take a good hard look at her non-lustful reasons for agreeing to contact. The fact that only one person is lustful, regardless of who, means that the whole notion of mutual consent, is weakened; perhaps this is also why this is a serious offense and not a pārājika.

I think this supports what I’ve said so far. Even though it sounds like an either or, I think the point is that the initial touching is consensual.

But also, going back to what you said here:

Perhaps this is because it was understood that in a mutually consensual situation, it didn’t matter much who actually made first contact. At some point, even if it is the woman who makes first contact, the man is going to touch her and then pārājika 5 comes into effect.

I still feel it’s implied because the notion of consent, suggests a situation where she’s likely to be touching too. I just don’t think it’s possible to have a situation where there is mutual lust, consent, and only the man is touching!! Perhaps the text isn’t meant to be complete in a ‘let’s make sure all the boxes are ticked’ sort of way. And maybe it really is that the rule is all about a woman, in that time and place, in that culture, being told, she must be clear in her mind and also verbally, that she is allowed, infact, to say ‘no’.

It is a little curious… Perhaps a greater understanding of the culture and norms of that time, and how such beings were viewed would shed some light on this?

Ajahn, what do the parallels say? I’m assuming the rule is the same across traditions. Are the permutations the same across traditions?


I just checked the parallel rules in the Chinese vinayas, and as expected, there’s no consensus either. Some vinayas only have the bhikkhuni consenting to a man’s touch, and some vinayas include the bhikkhuni doing the touching herself as well. So this conundrum seems to have persisted since the early times. (Ajahn @brahmali, let me know if you want to read the parallels. I can DM them to you.)

This is how I understand the Pali rule.

This seems to be a typical case of the bhikkhuni rules being badly preserved and/or badly edited, so that it’s hard to make sense of the details. I think there will always be some inconsistencies in the bhikkhuni vinaya, no matter how we read it, because the text is a bit messy. Maybe it was lost in the course of time, or maybe the “original” vinaya was never fully developed to cover all the different possibilities. In that case, the bhikkhuni vinaya was left in an undeveloped “early” state, whereas a lot of editorial work was done on the bhikkhu vinaya to make it comprehensive.


I fully agree with this and would hesitate to draw too many parallels with the bhikkhu sanghadisesas. Even if they seem similar on the surface, the situation would often be completely different, and we should not simply copy and paste definitions or permutations from the bhikkhus into the bhikkhuni rules.


Was ‘consent’ mentioned in the latter also?

1 Like

Wait. Just so we’re all clear about what you’re saying: a Bhikkhuni who mentally doesn’t consent but who also fails to clearly say ‘no’: is she Parajika or not?

That’s not the point of what I was saying. The point is that the rule encourages us to understand that our consent is important. It encourages personal responsibility. It encourages us to understand ourselves and our defilements. Also, most nuns wouldn’t want to go any where near any of the serious rules. Part of keeping a healthy distance might be to understand the broader picture which underpins them.

When I suggest that consent is the issue, I’m not suggesting that the letter of the rule isn’t important in determining a pārājika. And the letter of the rule doesn’t say anything about whether the consent is verbal or mental or indeed communicated through gestures.


That would be someone like me :joy:

In addition to Ven. Vimutti’s and Ven. Vimalañānī’s well-stated comments – especially as they are monastics! – I would add a rather banal observation. (For the sake of brevity, I’ll refer to those assigned female at birth as “women” here, which includes myself.) Women tend toward physical arousal through being touched. Of course this isn’t a universal rule but, in all my decades of discussions with women, this has been validated to a large extent. In this case, the desire is to be touched first and for arousal to proceed this way. Even if a woman is not in a state of lust, she can be aroused to this end through being touched first.

I’m certain to offend with this comment and that’s not my intention. Besides, I’m not sure how procreation would ever proceed successfully without this dynamic. As Ven. Vimutti said, “…if she doesn’t want some fellow groping her, she’s not likely to want to touch him either.”

Please don’t. Trans men (some of whom browse this forum) are not women and don’t want to be referred to as women, despite being erroneously assigned female at birth. It is transphobic to call trans men women, just FYI.

(Like, I am just informing you about how this language is perceived by trans people, I am not attacking you, thanks :slight_smile: :rainbow: :green_heart: )

Edit: And of course there are also non-binary people who aren’t women (or men) and don’t want to be referred to as either.


I was reading these permutations the other day and had a similar question. I can’t say I resolved it satisfactorily. However here are some (explicit) thoughts. :blush:

I disagree that this is a rule about consent any more than it need be to rule which protects a bhikkhuni from an offence due to non-consent. I don’t think this is a rule about saying ‘no’.

As I had understood this rule, it is about a bhikkhuni who is oooooozing with lust. avasutta
May I suggest that this is a very physical state of arousal for people with a certain genital configuration (AFAB).
This might be the equivalent to someone with a penis (AMAB) having an erection and then consenting to physical contact.

Additionally, the point where a bhikkhu (AMAB/a person with a penis) achieves orgasm is clearly defined in the vinaya, right down to the colours of semen! However, this is something that is harder to define in bhikkhuni vinaya and possibly why we have weird rules like this. On an AFAB body the physical contact might not need to be made on the genitals for orgasm to be achieved. Then it doesn’t matter so much who is making the contact, only that it is consensual contact for the offence to occur. A bhikkhuni who is unwillingly groped doesn’t get a parajika.

Then we take into account that historically, and to some extent today, women are seen as the ‘passive’ partner in sexual relations. A bhikkhuni’s arousal is seen as something that is brought about by an ‘other’, even in the origin story of Bi Pc 3 (two nuns who were plagued by lust entered their room…).

So there are two people who are very, very close to having sex and are involved in foreplay (possibly clothed).

If a highly aroused nun consents to a highly aroused man making physical contact with her, to touching her, to taking hold of her, to contacting her, or to squeezing her, anywhere below the collar bone but above the knees, she too is expelled and excluded from the community. The training rule on above the knees

Just a different perspective to what might be happening. :wink: :blush:


I am happy to say this is probably wrong. These days there are so many bhikkhunīs getting ordained! :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, I had similar thoughts. This would explain why the rule is as it is.

Still, there are women of all kinds, and I am sure there are some who would initiate contact. And so I am not sure if this is a sufficient reason to explain why this case seems to be missing from both the rule and the Vibhaṅga.

Perhaps there is a psychological dimension here, such as the difficulty in distinguishing between affection and lust. It seems to me that there is a lot of grey area between these two emotions. Could it be that it is more difficult for women to make this distinction than it is for men? I mean, is it not the case that women are generally more affectionate than men? An obvious counterargument is that there is probably much more variety within each gender than between the genders. Yet even if this distinction between the genders is not quite true, it could be a common perception that might have influenced the formulation of the rule.

Consent is an important factor throughout the Vinaya, both for monks and nuns. But you are right that it is especially important for the nuns, as we see in several of the bhikkhunī pārājikas and saṅghādisesas.

Thanks so much for this; it’s very helpful! It’s the sort of reply I was hoping for! I would love to read the parallels. If you would DM them at your convenience, that would be great.


Yes, well put. This is an important point. We can also see this from the fact is that there is much less Vinaya material on the bhikkhunī rules, both in the Vibhaṅga and in the commentaries, than there is for the monks’ rules. The overall impression is that the nuns’ rules were not as carefully preserved or studied as the monks’ rules.

Again, I tend to agree.


Yes, I think I am leaning towards this as the explanation for the phrasing of the rule as we have it.

I am beginning to see that I will have to annotate this rule quite a bit more. Perhaps a short essay will be required.

Thanks everyone for your engagement and valuable comments!


But do you see this as amounting to a decisive objection to your initial solution? I wouldn’t be inclined to myself. I mean lots of things fly in the face of how a sikkhāpada happens to be worded.

Though I’m not at all well-versed in the Bhikkhunī-pātimokkha, I know that in the Bhikkhu-pātimokkha there are several rules where following the Vibhaṅga will in certain circumstances give rise to a different verdict than that obtained when going by the wording of the rule. The best-known and most-discussed example is pārājika 2 (if a monk steals an item worth under five māsakas but gets successfully prosecuted for doing so, is his offence a thullaccaya or a pārājika? It depends whether we go by the Vibhaṅga or by the wording of the rule), but there’s also sanghādisesa 8, aniyata 1, nissaggiya pācittiya 16 and pācittiya 77.

In BMC1 Ajahn Thanissaro gives a plausible account of how such discrepancies may have arisen, along with a good case for letting the Vibhaṅga have the last word.


I do tend to think of it as decisive. If only one, or a few, of the permutations had the bhikkhunī as the sole agent, then, fair enough, it would not be decisive. In that case it would probably be no more than the working out of subsidiary offences under the main rule.

But if the entire permutation series takes the bhikkhunī as the sole agent, then we are no longer dealing with interpretation, but with a rewriting of the rule. Offences based on the man making contact would not appear at all. At this point we have a different rule. The commentary then tries to bridge the gap, but this is not appropriate if the gap is illegitimately produced.

Yes, but to my mind these still fall within the scope of interpretation.

This is an interesting example. At the time of the Buddha, or shortly afterwards, it was presumably the case that a theft to the value of five māsakas tended to result in a prison sentence. In this situation, the five māsaka interpretation is a useful heuristic. But at what point had society changed so much that this interpretation no longer made sense? For instance, we would expect over time for the value of the māsaka to increase or decrease. We would also expect the philosophy of incarceration to change. At some point the māsaka would be no more than a historical curiosity, for which it would be impossible to even guess the actual value. This is where we are now. Regardless of what the Vibhaṅga says, it has become impossible to follow the māsaka standard.

Ajahn Thanissaro then uses the subcommentary, the Uttaravinicchaya-ṭīkā, to arrive at a more definitive standard. According to this, a pārājika is incurred when the theft exceeds the value of
20 rice grains of gold, which he suggests is the equivalent to 1/24 ounce troy of gold.

There are lots of problems with this, too. First, it is not clear whether this is tied to the five māsaka standard or the imprisonment standard (or some other standard). Second, we have no idea what a “rice grain” meant to the authors of the subcommentary, or whether this has any relation to what is now called a “grain”. To suggest that the ancient “rice grain” is equivalent to 1/24 ounce troy is no more than a wild guess. Third, the price of gold is itself quite volatile.

What this suggests to me is that using the Vibhaṅga or the commentaries as authoritative is often impossible. I think it is better to regard these authorities as interpretations that made sense at a particular time in a particular culture. As the culture changes, we need new interpretation that make sense in the light of the changes. And so the rule stands, but the interpretation is fluid. Just to be clear, I am not suggesting we throw out the Vibhaṅga or the commentaries, but that we use them wisely.

I assume you are referring to this passage:

As far as discrepancies between the Vibhaṅga and the rules are concerned, the following passage in the Cullavagga (X.4) suggests that the Buddha himself gave preference to the way the bhikkhus worked out the rules in the Vibhaṅga:

As she was standing to one side, Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, those rules of training for the bhikkhunīs that are in common with those for the bhikkhus: What line of conduct should we follow in regard to them?”

“Those rules of training for the bhikkhunīs, Gotamī, that are in common with those for the bhikkhus: As the bhikkhus train themselves, so should you train yourselves.”

“And those rules of training for bhikkhunīs that are not in common with those for bhikkhus, venerable sir: What line of conduct should we follow in regard to them?”

“Those rules of training for the bhikkhunīs, Gotamī, that are not in common with those for the bhikkhus: Train yourselves in them as they are formulated.”

This passage implies that already in the time of the Buddha the bhikkhus had begun working out a way to interpret the rules that in some cases was not exactly in line with the way the Buddha had originally formulated them.

Yes, this acknowledges the need for interpretation of the rules. But it does not say how such interpretation is to be done. I would argue that each generation of bhikkhus has to undertake the job interpretation. Yes, this obviously means leaning on previous generations, but it does not mean that we are bound by what they have decided. I have already shown that this is sometimes impractical. That the bhikkhunīs should follow what the bhikkhu decide does not change this. It just means that the nuns should be supported by the monks, not that the monks are bound to follow tradition.

Coming back to the case of bhikkhunī pārājika 5, I do think it is quite likely the Vibhaṅga has been corrupted. If this is so, we need to revert to the rule. It does not make sense to follow a corrupted text. And I do think this is in harmony with how the Buddha would have us practice:

As long as the mendicants don’t make new decrees or abolish existing decrees, but undertake and follow the training rules as they have been decreed, they can expect growth, not decline.


Ajahn, two questions here:

In Bi Pj 8 You have used AND for vā but in Bi Pj 5 OR.
Therefor if any of the things happen the nun is parajika in Pj5, but all of the things have to happen in Pj8. Could you please explain why you chose to translate this way?

In Bi Pj 8 we have a similar situation where the nun is having her hand taken. She is not taking the hand of the man and is again in the passive position for all the following acts. Do you think the issues you raised for Pj5 are the same for Pj8?


I am happy to explain! :slightly_smiling_face:

Pārājika 8 was big headache for me. One the one hand, I assumed always means “or”, on the other, it was clear that each of the factors could not be pārājika in its own right. Something had to give, and that something had to be the interpretation of , for otherwise the rule would not be compatible with the rest of the bhikkhunī vinaya. @Dhammanando kindly informed me that, according to the commentaries, sometimes can mean “and”. Bhante @Sujato made the important contribution that is used in the Ānāpanasati Sutta in way that can only be rendered as “and” in English, that is, one breathes both long and short breaths, not one or the other.

The reason the is used in the Pali seems to be that the actions happen at different times. On other words, at any given time, you either breathe in or out. This is presumably what is going on in bhikkhunī pārājika 8, too. Each of the actions is done at different times, and so the is used. Still, the pārājika is incurred only when all eight have been completed.

Well, for pārājika 8 there is no permutation series, and so the problem does not really arise. We can take the rule at face value. So yes, it would seem to mean that the agency of the nun is limited to the consent she gives. And of course, mental consent would be enough.


For Pj 8 , all the Chinese parallels, as well as the Pali vibhanga, agree that she must commit all eight factors to fall into the parajika. Each individual factor is just a thullaccaya.
So for once, the bhikkhuni vinaya is actually clear on an issue. :slightly_smiling_face:


This doesn’t mean that consent isn’t a significant aspect of this rule.

Exactly. Regardless of the degree of lust, the consent is important.

This is why I was suggesting that even though the letter of the rule has it that the man has to make contact (at some point), the implication is that everybody’s touching!

I think here we run the risk of imposing modern notions of such cultures, upon their ancestor cultures.

I’m no expert but as far as I know, the attitudes to sexuality on the subcontinent were far from prudish prior to colonisation.

Again, no expert, but even the Vinaya contains examples of women very confident in their sexuality and their sexual needs. The story of the poor monk who was basically raped while asleep comes to mind.

My reading of Suttas and Vinaya (limited as it is) has shown me that women did have some agency, but not generally. I mean they were included in lists of property, along with cattle and slaves. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean they were necessarily sexually passive. I would argue that sexuality was an area they were probably encouraged to explore. I suspect they didn’t have the hang ups, taboos and repression that women today have to grapple with. I suspect it was seen as being part of the job of being a woman, to be accomplished in these ways.

The issue of consent, when seen within this kind of context, becomes something rather radical. The notion that she doesn’t have to take her sexuality to be what she is and what she does; that she doesn’t have to be measured by it or identify with it, would have I think, been extraordinarily strange and liberating.

If she is indeed oozing with lust; the notion of not giving consent is about her remembering the Dhamma and the higher calling that she went forth in.

Certainly. And I think what Ven @vimalanyani said about the original vinaya possibly not having had the chance to fully develop to cover all the different possibilities rings true. And it’s why I feel that the notion that she is making contact also is probably likely, it’s just that it’s not explicated clearly in this rule.

I’m awfully sorry Ajahn, with respect, I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make here. What does affection have to do with it?

Again, I’m no expert, but I don’t think female sexuality, historically, in Indian culture was passive. I’m happy to be corrected. Being seen as property, not having many rights or say, doesn’t equate to passivity in sexual relations. Thus, the notion of consent, was a spiritually radical option.

Today when we talk about consent and women (or anyone) saying ‘no’, it has very specific connotations. Particularly within western cultures. It’s embedded in a particular history, a particular struggle.

That’s not how I’m seeing ‘consent’ in this rule. What I see is a person who has lived in a culture and society where sexuality was something women had to develop, and couldn’t help identify with. Not necessarily in a slavish, agency-less way. Imagine someone like this, regardless of whether she suffers from a lot of lust or not, being told that when faced with a situation where she could act how she would normally act, that there was another, spiritual choice that she could make. What a strange and wonderful notion! To me this is a moment of renunciation when faced with not just strong desire, but strong social conditioning. It is the memory of the rule that helps wisdom to arise in this moment when she is faced with the choice to consent or not to consent. Moreover, not consenting doesn’t have to mean that she’s assaulted against her will, it might mean that she just, perhaps with some degree of difficulty, walks away.

1 Like

I think it’s always helpful to view rules with regards to people who would’ve tried to circumvent the rules.

With regards to the rule of a monk touching a female, I can envision a case where a dishonest woman might’ve stayed passive for a sensual act, and then tried to plead her case arguing I wasn’t touching, he was!” and such. It would’ve been hard for a similar case like that to happen to a man (though, not impossible).

The wording to me implies that as long as it wasn’t a rape, if a woman is receiving sexual intimacy, it’s an offense, no matter if she wasn’t doing the touching per se. Perhaps the part about a woman touching another man sexually was omitted over time, perhaps it was felt as if it’d be redundant, I don’t know.

Again, What dishonest argument does this wording fight against is a good idea to analyse weird rules like this, IMO.

Ajahn, :pray:t5: I think your quoting of me above might not clearly reflect what I was saying. Below is the quote again, but with more context.

So these lines weren’t intended as a comment on Bi pārājika 5. They were referring to the relevant Bu sanghadisesa. My intention was to show that the two rules originated quite differently. My feeling was that the monks’ rule was intended, not just to protect the monks, but to protect the women some of the monks might see; it wasn’t just the nuns who were a product of the culture and society of that time!


1 Like

I think consent applies to the situation where, if you get groped, even if you have lust, but you didnt want to be touched. It makes sense for spaces where you have little bodily autonomy.

Maybe at the busy market square in India 2500 years ago, someone would grab you or touch you against your will, just like at the modern dance floor today?