Правило 6. Несогласованное строительство хижины

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6 When a bhikkhu is having a hut built from (gains acquired by) his own begging (§)—having no sponsor and destined for himself—he is to have it built to the standard measurement.
Here the standard is this: twelve spans, using the sugata span, in length (measuring outside); seven in width, (measuring) inside.
Bhikkhus are to be assembled to designate the site.
The site the bhikkhus designate should be without disturbances and with adequate space.
If the bhikkhu should have a hut built from his own begging on a site with disturbances and without adequate space, or if he should not assemble the bhikkhus to designate the site, or if he should have the standard exceeded, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community. ¶
“At that time the bhikkhus of Āḷavī were having huts built from their own begging—having no sponsors, destined for themselves, not to any standard measurement—that did not come to completion.
They were continually begging, continually hinting: ‘Give a man, give labor, give an ox, give a wagon, give a knife, give an ax, give an adze, give a hoe, give a chisel, give rushes, give bamboo, give reeds, give grass, give clay.
’ People, harassed with the begging, harassed with the hinting, on seeing bhikkhus would feel apprehensive, alarmed, would run away; would take another route, face another direction, close the door.
Even on seeing cows, they would run away, imagining them to be bhikkhus. ” ¶
There are three factors for a full offense under this rule. ¶
Effort: One completes, or gets someone else to complete, through begging for its materials, ¶
Object: a hut that exceeds the standard mentioned in the rule or whose site has not been designated by the Community. ¶
Intention: One intends the hut for one’s own use. ¶
We will discuss these factors in reverse order. ¶
Intention ¶
The Canon repeatedly refers to two arrangements for the ownership of dwellings used by bhikkhus: They belong either to the Community or to an individual (or group of individuals).
From the point of view of Community governance, the prior arrangement is preferable, for the Community can then allot the dwelling as it sees fit (see BMC2, Chapter 18).
Also, a number of the rules governing the care and use of huts—such as Pc 15, 16, & 17—apply only to dwellings belonging to the Community. ¶
The Vibhaṅga to this rule defines destined for himself as “for his own use.
” On the surface this could mean that one plans to use the hut after handing ownership over to the Community, but the Commentary states that this is not so.
To dedicate something for one’s own use, it says, is to claim ownership over it: In this case, one regards the dwelling as “mine.
” The Commentary’s position is supported by the protocols followed by the lodging claim-giver and lodging assignor (see BMC2, Chapter 18) in allotting dwellings belonging to the Community: Outside of the Rains-residence, a bhikkhu could be moved from a Community dwelling at any time; during the Rains-residence, the bhikkhu who built a particular dwelling might find himself unable to stay there because many bhikkhus with more seniority or more pressing needs had decided to spend the Rains in that location.
Thus if a bhikkhu planned the dwelling for his own use, he would not want it to be subject to the protocols governing Community dwellings. ¶
The Commentary’s interpretation thus suggests that this rule and the following one were intended to discourage bhikkhus from maintaining ownership over the huts they build, for as the non-offense clauses state, the stipulations in this rule do not apply to huts built for the use of others.
As the Commentary notes, this exemption applies both to huts built for other people—such as one’s preceptor or mentor—or for the Community.
This would open a loophole for one to build a hut for another bhikkhu and for him to claim ownership over it independently of the Community, all without following the stipulations under the rules, but apparently the compilers of the Vibhaṅga did not regard the act of building a hut as a gift for another bhikkhu as something they had the right to forbid. ¶
Object ¶
This factor is divided into two main sub-factors: the hut and the procedures that need to be followed to get the Community’s permission for its construction. ¶
The hut.
The Vibhaṅga defines a hut as “plastered inside, outside, or both.
” It also states that this rule does not apply to a leṇa, a guhā, or to a grass hut.
A leṇa, according to the Commentary, is a cave.
A guhā it doesn’t define, except to say that guhās may be built out of wood, stone, or earth.
And as for a grass hut, the Commentary says that this refers to any building with a grass roof, which means that even a dwelling with plastered walls but a grass roof would not count as a hut under this rule (although a hut whose roof has been plastered and then covered with grass would count as a hut here). ¶
The Commentary goes on to stipulate that the plastering mentioned in the Vibhaṅga refers to a plastered roof, that the plaster must be either clay or white lime (plastering with cow dung or mud doesn’t count, although cement would probably come under “white lime” here), and that the plastering on the inside or outside of the roof must be contiguous with the plastering on the inside or outside of the walls.
Thus if the builder leaves a gap in the plastering around the top of the wall so that the plastering of the roof and the plastering of the walls don’t touch at any point, the building doesn’t qualify as a hut and so doesn’t come under the rule. ¶
The Sub-commentary treats the question raised by the Commentary’s emphasis on the plastering of the roof: Does this mean that a dwelling with a plastered roof but unplastered walls would also count as a hut?
Arguing from the Commentary’s many references to making the roof-plastering contiguous with the wall-plastering, the Sub-commentary concludes that the answer is No: Both the roof and the walls must be plastered. ¶
The commentaries’ stipulations on these points may seem like attempts to create gaping loopholes in the rule, but there is nothing in the Vibhaṅga to prove them wrong.
Perhaps in those days only buildings that were fully plastered, roof and all, were considered to be finished, permanent structures, while everything else was considered makeshift and temporary and thus not worth the fuss and bother of the procedures we will discuss below. ¶
At another point in its discussions, the Commentary adds that any building three sugata spans wide or less is not big enough to move a bed around in and so does not count as a hut under this rule.
The Commentary itself defines a sugata span as three times the span of a normal person, which would put it at approximately 75 cm.
More recent calculations based on the fact that the Buddha was not abnormally tall set the sugata span at 25 cm. ¶
The maximum size of the hut, as the rule states, is no more than twelve spans long and seven spans wide, or approximately 3 x 1.75 meters.
For some reason the Vibhaṅga states that the length of the hut is measured from the outside (excluding the plastering, says the Commentary), while the width is measured from the inside.
Neither of these measurements may be exceeded even by the breadth of a hair.
Thus a hut measuring ten by eight spans, even though it has less floor area than a twelve-by-seven-span hut, would exceed the standard width and so would be a violation of this rule. ¶
The procedures.
If, for his own use, a bhikkhu is planning to build a hut as defined in this rule, he must choose a site, clear it, and ask for a Community to inspect and approve it before he can go ahead with the actual construction. ¶
—The site must be free of disturbances and have adequate space. ¶
The Vibhaṅga gives a long list of “disturbances,” which for ease of understanding we can divide into three categories: A site free of disturbances is (1) not the abode of such creatures as termites, ants, or rats who might do harm to the building.
(2) It is not the abode of those—such as snakes, scorpions, tigers, lions, elephants, or bears—who might do harm to its inhabitant.
The Commentary states that the Vibhaṅga’s purpose in forbidding a bhikkhu from building on a site where termites and other small animals have their home is to show compassion to these and other small creatures like them by not destroying their nests.
As for the stipulation against building where snakes and other dangerous animals live, this also extends, it says, to the areas where they regularly forage for food. ¶
(3) The site is not near any places that will disturb the bhikkhu’s peace and quiet.
Examples given in the Vibhaṅga are: fields, orchards, places of execution, cemeteries, pleasure groves, royal property, elephant stables, horse stables, prisons, taverns, slaughterhouses, highways, crossroads, public rest-houses, and meeting places. ¶
Adequate space means that there is enough room on the site for a yoked wagon or a man carrying a ladder to go around the proposed hut.
The question arises as to whether this means that all trees within that radius of the hut must be cut down or simply that there must be enough land around the hut so that if the trees were not there it would be possible to go around the hut in the ways mentioned.
The Sub-commentary states that the stipulation for adequate space is so that the hut will not be built on the edge of a precipice or next to a cliff wall, and the Vinaya-mukha notes that the Vibhaṅga here is following the Laws of Manu (an ancient Indian legal text) in ensuring that the dwelling not be built right against someone else’s property.
Both of these statements suggest that there is no need to cut the trees down. ¶
The Vinaya-mukha deduces further from the Vibhaṅga’s discussion that the procedures for getting the site approved are concerned basically with laying claim to unclaimed land and thus don’t need to be followed in locations where the Community already owns the land, such as in a monastery; if a bhikkhu in such Communities wishes to build a hut for his own use on monastery land, he need only get the approval of the abbot.
Nothing in the ancient texts, however, supports this opinion. ¶
—Clearing the site.
Before notifying the local Community, the bhikkhu must get the site cleared—so says the Vibhaṅga, and the Commentary adds that he should get it leveled as well.
In both cases, he should arrange to have this done in such a way that does not violate Pc 10 & 11. If one is planning to build the hut on monastery grounds, the wise policy would be to obtain permission from the abbot before clearing the site.
Again, the question arises as to whether clearing the site means cutting down the trees on the spot where one proposes building the hut.
In the origin story to the following rule, Ven. Channa caused an uproar by cutting down a venerated tree on a site where he planned to build, which led the Buddha to formulate the rule that the Community must inspect and approve the site to prevent uproars of this sort.
This suggests that clearing the site here means clearing the underbrush so that the presence or absence of termites, etc., can be clearly determined.
Only after the Community has approved the site should the necessary trees be cut down. ¶
—Getting the site inspected.
The bhikkhu then goes to the Community and formally asks them to inspect the site.
(The Pali passages for this and the remaining formal requests and announcements are in the Vibhaṅga.) If all the members of the Community are able to go and inspect the site, they should all go.
If not, the Community should select some of its members to go and inspect the site in its stead.
The Vibhaṅga says that these inspectors should know what does and does not constitute a disturbance and adequate space, and requires that they be chosen by a formal motion with one announcement.
The Commentary says that they may also be chosen by a simple declaration (apalokana), but this opinion violates the principle set forth in Mv. IX. 3.3 that if a shorter form is used for a transaction requiring a longer form, the transaction is invalid.
Thus the Commentary’s opinion here cannot stand. ¶
The inspectors then visit the site.
If they find any disturbances or see that the site has inadequate space, they should tell the bhikkhu not to build there.
If the site passes inspection, though, they should return and inform the Community that the site is free of disturbances and has adequate space. ¶
—Getting the site approved.
The bhikkhu returns to the Community and formally asks it to approve the site.
The transaction statement involves a motion and one announcement.
Once this has passed, the bhikkhu may start construction. ¶
Offenses.
The Vibhaṅga allots the penalties related to the factor of object—a hut without a sponsor, for one’s own use, built without regard for the stipulations in this rule—as follows: ¶
an oversized hut—a saṅghādisesa; ¶
a hut on an unapproved site—a saṅghādisesa; ¶
a hut on a site without adequate space—a dukkaṭa; ¶
a hut on a site with disturbances—a dukkaṭa. ¶
These penalties are additive.
Thus, for example, an oversized hut on an unapproved site would entail a double saṅghādisesa. ¶
The wording of the training rule, though, suggests that building a hut without a sponsor, for one’s own use, on a site with disturbances and without adequate space would entail a saṅghādisesa; but the Sub-commentary says—without offering explanation—that to read the rule in this way is to misinterpret it.
Because the penalty for a multiple saṅghādisesa is the same as that for a single one, there is only one case where this would make an appreciable difference: a hut of the proper size, built on an approved site that has disturbances or does not have adequate space.
This is a case of a Community transaction improperly performed: Either the bhikkhus inspecting the site were incompetent, or the disturbances were not immediately apparent.
Because the usual penalty for improperly performing a Community transaction is a dukkaṭa (Mv.II.16.4), this may be why the Vibhaṅga allots penalties as it does.
As we noted in the Introduction, in cases where the Vibhaṅga is explaining the training rules that deal with Community transactions, it sometimes has to deviate from the wording of the rules to bring them in line with the general pattern for such transactions, a pattern that was apparently formulated after the rules and came to take precedence over them. ¶
Usually, if a Community transaction has been improperly performed, it is invalid and unfit to stand even if the bhikkhus involved think that they are following the proper procedure.
In other words, in the case just mentioned, the site would strictly speaking not count as approved, and the hut would involve a saṅghādisesa.
However, the Vibhaṅga seems to be making a special exemption here in assigning only a dukkaṭa, perhaps so as not to punish unduly a bhikkhu who went to all the trouble to follow, as best he and his fellow bhikkhus knew how, the proper procedures prior to building his hut. ¶
Effort ¶
The Vibhaṅga allots the derived penalties related to the factor of effort under this rule as follows: If the hut is such that when finished it will entail a saṅghādisesa or two, each act in its construction entails a dukkaṭa, until the next to the last act, which entails a thullaccaya. ¶
If a bhikkhu, intending it for his own use, completes a hut that others have started, he is still bound by the stipulations given in this rule.
In other words, the offenses here do not apply only to the original initiator of the hut’s construction. ¶
The Commentary mentions a special case in which two bhikkhus, building a hut for their own use but not to the stipulations under this rule, complete it without having decided which part of the hut will go to which bhikkhu.
Because of their indecision, the Commentary states that neither of them incurs the full offense until he has laid claim to his part of the hut. ¶
Getting others to build the hut.
The Vibhaṅga states that if, instead of building the hut himself, a bhikkhu tells others, “Build this hut for me,” he must inform them of the four stipulations mentioned in this rule.
If he neglects to inform them, and they finish the hut in such a way that it does not meet any or all of the stipulations, he incurs all the relevant offenses for the stipulations that he neglected to mention and that the builders violated.
For example: He tells them to build a hut of the right size, but neglects to tell them to have the site approved.
They build it to the right size, the site is without disturbances and has adequate space but is not approved, and he incurs a saṅghādisesa.
Offenses in cases like this apply whether he gets them to start the hut’s construction or gets them to complete a hut that he has started. ¶
If, while the builders are still building the hut, he hears of what they are doing, he must either go himself or send a messenger to tell them of the stipulations he neglected to mention.
If he does neither, he incurs a dukkaṭa, and when the hut is finished he incurs all the relevant offenses for the stipulations that he neglected to mention and that the builders violated. ¶
If, while the hut is still unfinished, he returns to the site and discovers that the stipulations he neglected to mention are being violated, he must either have the hut torn down (to the ground, says the Commentary) and have it rebuilt in line with the stipulations, give it to another bhikkhu or the Community, or face the full penalty—when the hut is finished—for each of the stipulations that he neglected to mention and that the builders violated. ¶
If the bhikkhu originally mentions the proper stipulations but later learns that the builders are ignoring them, he must go himself or send a messenger to reiterate the stipulations.
Not to do so incurs a dukkaṭa.
If, having been reminded of the stipulations, the builders still ignore them, the bhikkhu incurs no penalty; but they—if they are bhikkhus—incur a dukkaṭa for each of the three criteria regarding the site that they disobey.
As for the standard measurement, they are not bound by it as they are building the hut for another’s use. ¶
Begging ¶
The Vibhaṅga to this rule does not go into any great detail on the issue of begging for construction materials.
However, the Commentary contains a long discussion of what a bhikkhu may and may not beg for when building any kind of building, even those not covered by this rule.
Because the Commentary’s discussion here is not based on the Canon, not all Communities regard these points as binding.
Still, many of its suggestions merit serious consideration.
Its main points are these: ¶
A bhikkhu may ask for people to give labor in any situation (although this point seems to conflict with the spirit of the origin story to this rule).
Thus he may ask stone masons to carry stone posts to his construction site, or carpenters to carry boards there.
If, after he has asked them to help with the labor, they volunteer to donate the materials as well, he may accept them without penalty.
Otherwise, he has to reimburse them for the materials. ¶
As for tools, vehicles, and other things he will use in the process of construction, he may ask only to borrow them from other people and may not ask for them outright (except when asking from relatives or those who have made an offer).
If the tools get damaged, he is responsible for getting them repaired before returning them to the owner.
(This opinion, however, seems based on the Commentary’s concept of bhaṇḍadeyya, which we have already rejected under Pr 2.)
The only things he needn’t return to the owner are light articles (lahubhaṇḍa), which the Sub-commentary identifies as things like reeds, rushes, grass, and clay—i. e. , things having little or no monetary value at all. ¶
This means that unless a bhikkhu is going to build his dwelling out of reeds, etc., or out of thrown-away scraps, he may not ask people in general for any of the materials that will actually go into the dwelling.
Keep in mind that these rules were made during a period when wilderness was still plentiful, and solid building materials such as timber and stones were free for the taking.
At present, unless a bhikkhu has access to unclaimed wilderness of this sort, to unclaimed garbage, or has enough funds on deposit with his steward (see NP 10) to cover the cost of materials, his only recourse if he wants a solid structure is either to rammed earth or to hinting. ¶
The Commentary notes that while hinting is not allowed with regard to food or cloth, it is allowed with regard to construction materials (although again, this point seems to conflict with the spirit of the origin story).
One example it gives is asking, “Do you think this is a good place to build a hut?
An ordination hall?”
Another example is staking out a construction site in hope that someone will ask, “What are you planning to do here?”
If people get the hint and offer the materials, the bhikkhu may accept them.
If they don’t, he may not ask directly for any materials except the “light articles” mentioned above. ¶
From this it should be obvious that even in cases not covered by this rule—i. e. , the dwelling he is building doesn’t qualify as a “hut,” or he is building something for other people to use—a bhikkhu engaged in construction work should not be burdensome to the laity.
This is an important point, as the Buddha illustrated in a story he told to the bhikkhus at Āḷavī.
A certain bhikkhu had once come to him with a complaint, and he reports the conversation as follows: ¶
“‘Venerable sir, there is a large stand of forest on the slopes of the Himalayas, and not far from it is a broad, low-lying marsh.
A great flock of birds, after feeding all day in the marsh, goes to roost in the forest at nightfall.
That is why I have come to see the Blessed One—because I am annoyed by the noise of that flock of birds. ’“ ¶
‘Bhikkhu, do you want those birds not to come there? ’ ¶
“‘Yes, venerable sir, I want them not to come there. ’ ¶
“‘Then in that case, go back there, enter the stand of forest, and in the first watch of the night make this announcement three times: “Listen to me, good birds.
I want a feather from everyone roosting in this forest.
Each of you give me one feather.”
In the second watch….
In the third watch of the night make this announcement three times: “Listen to me, good birds.
I want a feather from everyone roosting in this forest.
Each of you give me one feather”….
(The bhikkhu did as he was told.) Then the flock of birds, thinking, ‘The bhikkhu asks for a feather, the bhikkhu wants a feather,’ left the forest.
And after they were gone, they never again returned.
Bhikkhus, begging is unpleasant, hinting is unpleasant even to these common animals—how much more so to human beings? ” ¶
Non-offenses ¶
The Vibhaṅga’s non-offense clauses mention, in addition to the usual exemptions, that there is no offense “in a leṇa, in a guhā, in a grass hut, in (a dwelling) for another’s use, or in anything other than a dwelling.”
The Commentary explains that no offense here means that these cases are not subject to any of the four stipulations given in this rule.
With regard to “another’s use,” it says that this could mean a dwelling that will belong to another individual—such as one’s preceptor or mentor—or to the Community.
As for the last case, it explains that if a bhikkhu is building, e. g. , a meeting hall, he is not bound by this rule, but if he plans to lay claim to it and use it as his dwelling as well, he is. ¶
Further restrictions and allowances ¶
Further restrictions and allowances concerning the construction of dwellings are discussed under Pc 19 and in BMC2, Chapters 6 and 18. ¶
Summary: Building a plastered hut—or having it built—without a sponsor, destined for one’s own use, without having obtained the Community’s approval, is a saṅghādisesa offense.
Building a plastered hut—or having it built—without a sponsor, destined for one’s own use, exceeding the standard measurements, is also a saṅghādisesa offense. ¶
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