Patimokkha recital in practice

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Patimokkha recital in practice

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:21 am

Greetings,

I've just been doing some reading of the monastic practice of the Patimokka recital and have some questions about how it actually works in practice. Across the various Vinaya texts that evolved over time, there are two key requirements that appear to be somewhat at cross purposes. These are the requirements that:

- All monks are to engage in the fortnightly Patimokkha recital
- Only those monks who are pure of conduct can attend the Patimokkha recital

It appears that the second requirement may be managed through a private confession to another bhikkhu prior to the official ceremony, so that any misdemeanours are already confessed and remedied previously, prior to the formal session.

In summary that's how I understand it, but I have no doubt that it varies significantly between communities, let alone across countries, and that different communities will place different emphasis on different things, and place different emphasis on the "earlier" or "latter" developments (in relation to the two requirements stated above the first appears to be earlier than the second).

So... a couple of questions to anyone here who has participated in a Patimokkha ceremony...

- Were offenses confessed at, or prior to the formal Patimokkha recital?
- What has been your experience of Patimokkha recitals generally, and how have they differed amongst different communities?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and insights.

:buddha2:

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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Patimokkha recital in practice

Postby James the Giant » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:39 am

At the monastery I stayed at (Ajahn Chah Forest Tradition, in NZ) the monks had a confession/discussion session with each other in private in the afternoon, before reciting the patimokkha in the evening.
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you will put an end to suffering and stress.
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Re: Patimokkha recital in practice

Postby daverupa » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:22 am

retrofuturist wrote:- What has been your experience of Patimokkha recitals generally, and how have they differed amongst different communities?


Bhante Sujato was known for a quick tongue, and could fly through the Patimokkha, which was appreciated by anyone who I heard comment on it. Another was known for a slower chant, which was not appreciated as much. Superficial differences, sure, but there you go - I don't get much of a charge from languages I don't understand, so speed would be appreciated. (Bhante Jaganatta had discussed doing it in English when his initial five years were over, when one is no longer attached to a senior monk. He called it 'going rogue'.)
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Patimokkha recital in practice

Postby Mr Man » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:46 am

Offenses below Sanghadisesa are confessed prior to the formal Patimokkha recital (in Pali and not specifically). The recital normally lasts just under an hour. All monks sit within forearms length of each other with the reciting monk in the middle. One monk follows the reciter from text and prompts or corrects as needed. Normally some kind of talk or exhortation followed. Visiting Theravada monks from other groupings were usually excluded.

Ajahn Chah tradition
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Re: Patimokkha recital in practice

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:20 pm

hi retro
- All monks are to engage in the fortnightly Patimokkha recital
- Only those monks who are pure of conduct can attend the Patimokkha recital

It is to observe the observance, the requirement to recite the patimokkha is only for a full sangha (5 or more).
the monks need to confess any offence they have commited and there are several allowances for uncertainty, or the like.


- Were offenses confessed at, or prior to the formal Patimokkha recital?
- What has been your experience of Patimokkha recitals generally, and how have they differed amongst different communities?

At present the general protocol is befor, although how the matica is worded at the end of each section does show that it may of been done after each group, however there is a sutta where the recitation is posponed by the buddha would sugest that prior confession is a long standing tradition from the early days...
after saying that though the offence not mentioned in the text would of possibly been a parajika (?)
originally a monk would go & confess the offence immediately but this became burdensome so the confession was only on the observance day from then on, try to read the Culavagga (I think it is) there is one available online I will share the link to later.

I don't think it is very different in how it is done, although in Thailand it is unusual for monks to know the patimokkha well enough to recite, wearas in Burma it is the reverse.
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