Vinaya Doodles 😁


I walk with a hat and sunglasses to prevent skin cancer and cataracts. I thought that to do otherwise would be self-mortification.

Is there an origin story for this that I might study for clarification? :pray:


Well, there is an origin story, but it’s not going to clarify much. It’s only one sentence:

Now at that time, the group-of-six bhikkhus went into town with their heads covered…


I know that for example in Australia, some monastics wear hats because of the high UV radiation and risk of skin cancer there. They make use of the exception for sick monastics, since you would get sick if you didn’t protect yourself.

In Asia, people are more strict with the sekhiyas and use umbrellas as sunshade instead. So the nuns break a pacittiya to keep a sekhiya… :roll_eyes: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Remind yourself the context was probably of a Sangha of contemplatives finding itself with more material support than necessary and coming up with needs for accessories only those wealthy would have access to back then.
The intent is to foster frugality and minimisd the risk of bhikkhus creating in laity expectations of donations of RayBans and fancy costly hats!


Sorry, but is using a sunshade not ‘allowable’, if a monk or nun doesn’t have an illness? What about unpleasant heat from the sun? Isn’t housing also a form of protection from the weather, as is clothing? :smirk:


I was referring to nuns’ pacittiya 84. Monks have that rule as well, somewhere in the Cullavagga I think.
The point seems to be that a sunshade was a status symbol in the Buddha’s time. That’s why it’s also not allowable to teach Dhamma to someone holding a sunshade.

And as you said, if there’s a health risk, a monastic can always make use of the exception for sickness.

And remember, these sekhiyas only apply in a village or town. If monastics are in the wilderness or a monastery, they can wear hats as much as they like.


I suppose if someone needs something due to an illness they can get it from the store. But if the nun in charge of the store needs something does she have to get permission? How does someone know it’s is a reasonable request!?


This may be handled differently in different monasteries, but in all places I have stayed so far, you just simply get what you request. Monastics are adults, not small children. They make their own decisions and know what they need.

Generally, the sangha operates on the assumption that everyone is interested to develop in the Dhamma and will not make excessive requests.
As soon as someone tries to control the others, the atmosphere becomes poisoned, and the “good” monastics usually leave.


Thank you for this gem! It explains a lot.


What good fortune that you are not ordained. :smile:


The sekhiyas

(rules 25-32 of 75)

  1. Squatting while walking in inhabited areas
  2. Sitting clasping the knees in inhabited areas
  3. Not receiving food respectfully
  4. Not receiving food with attention focussed on the bowl
  5. Not receiving rice and curries in the right proportion
  6. Not receiving food level with the brim of the bowl
  7. Not eating food respectfully
  8. Not eating food with attention focussed on the bowl


Re: receiving food. I was just thinking of how in Sri Lanka they doesn’t use a formal thank you. I guess it’s implied by the appropriate behaviour


They don’t do an anumodana chant?


There’s nothing about thank yous in this rule. The vinaya just says that you shouldn’t receive the food as if you want to throw it away.
From the early texts, it rather seems that the monastics were quite silent and restrained on pindapata. It seems unlikely to me that they did an anumodana chant for every donor.
If there was a meal dana by one single donor, they usually did the anumodana after the meal.

Here in Sri Lanka, I go pindapata every day, and there’s no chanting. I just say sukhi hotu.


I do fear I would drive my fellow monastics completely insane with all my yammering and questions. :thinking:

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Now THAT is interesting. This implies that even discussing dhamma while eating is inappropriate. One just eats.


Silently. :zipper_mouth_face:


Oh, no, just thinking about cultural practice among lay people. We don’t generally say ‘good morning’ ‘thank you’ etc.


Good morning, Mat!
…and thank you.

One of the odder experiences I’ve had in the USA is being in Pennsylvania, walking meditation in a shopping mall before store opening. Given the extremity of Pennsylvania weather, walking the mall in all seasons is a common practice. It’s quite peaceful except for the passersby who continually pass me quickly from behind saying, “GOOD MORNING!”

Since I was also listening to DN33 at the same time, I started hearing things like…

All sentient beings are sustained by GOOD MORNING food.



Good morning, to you too! :wave:


Numbers 27 & 31! Lol :joy:


About No 29, receiving bean curry and rice proportionally, that’s a tough one to convey. It was intended to make sure one doesn’t get more than one’s fair share of the good stuff, but it suggests more control over the alms donation than we typically envision for almsround. Ajahn Thanissaro explained that it probably applies to occasions when monks can help themselves.

From his BMC 1:

29. I will receive almsfood with bean curry in proper proportion: a training to be observed.
This rule refers specifically to eating habits at the time of the Buddha. Bean curry means dishes made with gram, pulses, vetch, etc., thick enough that they can be placed in the bowl by the hand. In proper proportion, according to the Commentary, means no more than one-quarter of the total food. The Vinaya-mukha tries to interpret this rule as covering curries and soups of all kinds, but the Vibhaºga and commentaries state unequivocally that it covers only bean curries. Other gravies, soups, stews, and sauces are exempt.

This rule probably refers to situations in which bhikkhus are offered food from a serving dish from which they help themselves—as was the custom when they were invited to homes in the Buddha’s time, and is still the custom in Sri Lanka and Burma—for the Vibhaºga states that there is no offense in receiving more than the proper proportion if one is invited to accept more than that. There is also no offense in taking more than the proper proportion if one is ill, one is accepting it from relatives, one is accepting it for the sake of another, or one has obtained the food through one’s own resources.[BMC1.pdf]

This reminds me of the stone trenches - buffet stations - that can still be seen amidst the ruins of great ancient monasteries in Sri Lanka. If I recall correctly, it was at Abhayagiri Monastery ruins in Sri Lanka that I saw one huge long stone trench for rice and a shorter one for the curries (that is, everything to go on the rice), for feeding thousands of monks. I was told that an entire village would take on the duty to fill a trench on a chosen day. They looked like the trenches in this photo and this photo. I suppose lay donors would be ladling out the trench contents into the monks’ bowls as the monks filed past, but still, someone could get in line twice or indicate their wish through body language.

Anyway, I think the drawing could show the monastic leaning over a bowl of curry heaping it into their own bowl - perhaps with others in line piling up behind him or her?

[Edit: fixed typos]