Is unintentionally receiving money an offence?

In the eighteenth rule entailing confession and forfeiture - a monk falls into an offence for taking money. A common occurrence is that a lay person will offer an envelope or package containing money and the monk will accept it, not realizing the contents until it is too late. My understanding is that the monk has still fallen into an offence because there is no factor of intention present in the rule. If you take it, you take it, even accidentally. Am I right in this?


Wouldn’t it depend on where the misinformation was?

In order for the monk to take the money unintentionally, they would have to not know that money was inside.

Either they A) did not ask, so did not know, or B) were lied to by the laity.

If A, then that would be an offense on the monk’s side for not having mindfulness to ask what was inside. If B, then that would not be an offense on the monk’s side, it would be on the laity’s side for falsifying information.

That’s my analysis, at least.

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This analysis recoupes very nicely with some Ajahn Cha’s teaching that I have listened too on the Amaravati site:

I couldn’t point out to which one, but all of them are worth listening to anyway :smiley: , in case you want to see for yourself :wink: .

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Here is a textual reference from [1]:

`For example, if you doubt… suppose there is a woman and, not knowing whether she is a woman or a man, you touch her. You’re not sure, but still go ahead and touch… that’s still wrong. I used to wonder why that should be wrong, but when I considered the practice, I realized that a meditator must have sati, he must be circumspect. Whether talking, touching or holding things, he must first thoroughly consider. The error in this case is that there is no sati, or insufficient sati, or a lack of concern at that time.

And here is the audio version that I have found indeed.

Hopefully the in-depth answer (from Ajahn Cha, not this humble post) should be of use for you Bhante @Jhanarato :anjal: .



Sorry guys, I should do my homework.

The answer is in the “Permutations” section of NP18.

If it is money, but he does not perceive it as money, and he receives it, he commits an offense entailing relinquishment and confession.

It looks like the Bhikkhunis have a similar rule (NP21) but there does not seem to be an English translation.

Anyway, thanks for your input. :slight_smile:


Yes the Bhikkhūnī rule just requires relinquishment. The funds can be used by anyone except the nun relinquishing as far as I can remember. There is an English translation somewhere


Excellent! Thank you very much for the real answer, Bhante. It appears that I need to do my homework, as well.

It makes sense: If one can not penetrate the true nature of something as gross as conceptual reality, then one will be fooled by the mind. Clearly, a weakness in my own practice has appeared! Wonderful.

It is true what they say:

kālena dhammasākacchā etam maṅgalamuttamaṁ

Talk about Dhamma at the right time is one of the greatest blessings

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