Transgressions and Punishments

In the following pages are grouped some representative transgressions covering the various fields of monastic life and the punishments prescribed for these.

These are based chiefly on the following texts:


(1) Mulacara (Mul. )

(2) Anagaradharmamrita (Angd.)


(1) Vyovahara (Vav.)

(2) Nissha (Nis.)

(3) Kappa (Kalp.)

(4) Brhatkalpa-bhasya (Brh. kalp. Bha.)

(5) Jitakalpa (Jit.)

One remarkable feature is that the texts and some of the Bhasas are at variance in the nature of the punishment prescribed for the same fault. For instance, faults listed under dhai-pinda, malapahada etc. (under food) have to be met with caummasiya pariharatthana ugghaiya’ according to the Nisihasutta; whereas for the same faults, the Brhatkalpabhasy, prescribes ‘masalaghu’. Does it mean that by the time of the Bhasas, the nature of punishment was made less harsh?

This list is by no means exhaustive, nor it is attempted to be so, in view of the size of this monograph.

Alocana, pratikramana and kayotsarga were part and parcel of the daily routine of a monk’s life. Besides the routine practice of these, these were to be performed on the following occasions.


(1) Practicing penance without the permission of the acarya,

(2) Taking requisites of others without permission,

(3) Condemning those who are not present,

(4) Disobeying the acarya,

(5) Moving out without the permission of seniors,

(6) Leaving the samgha without the knowledge of its members and joining one’s own,

(7) Forgetting to perform the avasyakas.

                                  Anga. 7, 38 ff.


(1) Touching the body of the acarya,

(2) For quarrels,

(3) Transgressions pertaining to study and service,

(4) Becoming passionate when on the begging round, (5) troubling others.

                                   Angd. pp. 503 04.

                                    Mul 7, 114-133.

                                   DEO, op. cit., p. 350.


1. For performing improperly alocana,

2. At the fall of worms,

3. Transgressions pertaining to insects,

4. Walking over wet ground or over grass or wet mud,

5. Crossing knee-deep water for purposes not allowed by Law,

6. Crossing the river in a boat,

7. After the fall of a book or image,

8. After easing nature on a non-scanned area.