Religious texts

The Vinayapitaka (Skt./Pa.) is the ‘basket of righteous behaviour’ and belongs to the Three Baskets. It contains, among other things, 227 rules for monks and 311 rules for nuns, along with the necessary explanations. For example, it lays down how monks and nuns should behave, both within the monastery as well as outside in public – for instance, showing respect for the elderly or abstaining from work – as well as rules relating to such things as poverty, begging, travelling, equality, and purity. The Vinayapitaka also contains instructions concerning ceremonies and such matters as dress, housing, and items of daily use. Violations can result in a monk or nun being expelled from the order.



«Should any bhikkhu (monk) — participating in the training and livelihood of the bhikkhus, without having renounced the training, without having declared his weakness — engage in sexual intercourse, even with a female animal, he is defeated and no longer in affiliation.

Should any bhikkhu, in what is reckoned a theft, take what is not given from an inhabited area or from the wilderness — just as when, in the taking of what is not given, kings arresting the criminal would flog, imprison, or banish him, saying, ‘You are a robber, you are a fool, you are benighted, you are a thief’ — a bhikkhu in the same way taking what is not given also is defeated and no longer in affiliation.

Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive a human being of life, or search for an assassin for him, or praise the advantages of death, or incite him to die (saying,): ‘My good man, what use is this evil, miserable life to you? Death would be better for you than life,’ – or with such an idea in mind, such a purpose in mind, should in various ways praise the advantages of death or incite him to die, he also is defeated and no longer in affiliation.»1


1 Bikkhu Patimokkha, The Bikkhu’s Code of Discipline, translated from Pali by Thanissaro Bhikku, see:, last accessed 24. 09. 2018.