Adapted from Translation by Thanissaro Bhikku, T.W.Rhys Davids & Hermann Oldenberg.
9. THE ADHIKARANA-SAMATHA DHAMMA
(SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES)
Here, venerable Sirs, the seven rules regarding the settlement of cases come into recitation.
1. A face-to-face verdict should be given : This means that the formal act settling the issue must be carried out in the presence of the Community, in the presence of the individuals, and in the presence of the Dhamma and Vinaya.
2. A verdict of mindfulness may be given : This is the verdict of innocence given in an accusation, based on the fact that the accused remembers fully that he did not commit the offense in question.
3. A verdict of past insanity may be given : This is another verdict of innocence given in an accusation, based on the fact that the accused was out of his mind when he committed the offense in question and so is absolved of any responsibility for it.
4. Acting in accordance with what is admitted : This refers to the ordinary confession of offenses, where no formal interrogation is involved. The confession is valid only if in accord with the facts, e.g., a bhikkhu actually commits a pachittiya offense and then confesses it as such, and not as a stronger or lesser offense. If he were to confess it as a dukkata or a sanghadisesa, that would be invalid.
5. Acting in accordance with the majority : This refers to cases in which bhikkhus are unable to settle a dispute unanimously, even after all the proper procedures are followed, and — in the words of the Canon — are "wounding one another with weapons of the tongue." In cases such as these, decisions can be made by majority vote.
6. Acting for his (the accused's) further punishment : This refers to cases where a bhikkhu admits to having committed the offense in question only after being formally interrogated about it. He is then to be reproved for his actions, made to remember the offense, and to confess it. After that the Community imposes the further punishment of a Community transaction that requires him to forfeit a long list of his normal rights as a bhikkhu for a period of time until they are satisfied that he has taken the lesson to heart.
7. Covering over as with grass : This refers to situations in which both sides of a dispute realize that, in the course of their dispute, they have done much that is unworthy of a contemplative. If they were to deal with one another for their offenses, the only result would be greater divisiveness. Thus if both sides agree, all the bhikkhus gather in one place. (According to the Commentary, this means that all bhikkhus in the sima must attend. No one should send his consent, and even sick bhikkhus must go.) A motion is made to the entire group that this procedure will be followed. One member of each side then makes a formal motion to the members of his faction that he will make a confession for them. When both sides are ready, the representative of each side addresses the entire group and makes the blanket confession, using the form of a motion and one announcement (natti-dutiya-kamma).
- Venerable Sirs, the seven rules regarding the settlement of cases have been recited.
- ln respect of them l ask the venerable ones, 'Are you pure in this matter?'
- A second time I ask the venerable ones, 'Are you pure in this matter?'
- A third time I ask the venerable ones, 'Are you pure in this matter?'
- The venerable ones are pure herein. Therefore do they keep silence. Thus I understand.
Here endeth the recitation of the Adhikarana-samathas.
- Venerable Sirs! Recited is the Nidana(Introduction).
- Recited are the four Pârâjika Rules.
- Recited are the thirteen Sanghâdisesa Rules.
- Recited are the two Aniyata Rules.
- Recited are the thirty Nissaggiya-Pâchittiya Rules.
- Recited are the ninety-two Pâchittiya Rules.
- Recited are the four Pâtidesaniya Rules.
- Recited are the Sekhiya Rules.
- Recited are the seven Adhikarana-samatha Rules.
So much (of the words) of the Blessed One, handed down in the Suttas, embraced in the Suttas, comes into recitation every half month. It requires all to train themselves accordingly in concord, in pleasantness, without dispute!
Here endeth the recitation of the Pâtimokkha for the use of the Bhikkhus.