The Pali word senāsana—literally meaning “sleeping place and sitting place” and translated here as “lodging”—covers outdoor resting spots, buildings used as dwellings, and the items used to furnish dwellings. This chapter covers all three aspects of the word, together with the etiquette to follow with respect to dwellings and furnishings. The protocols for looking after lodgings are discussed in Chapter 9; the procedures to follow in assigning lodgings, in Chapter 18.
Outdoor resting spots
A bhikkhu’s basic support in terms of lodging is a tree-root (rukkha-mūla—see Mv.I.30.4), which the commentaries interpret as the area shaded by a tree when the sun is overhead at noon. The Sub-commentary expands on this topic by mentioning other suitable outdoor spots for meditation, many of which are mentioned in the suttas: a mountain or boulder, a mountain cleft, a forest grove or wilderness, under the open sky (making a tent of one’s robe), a hay stack, a cave, a watch-tower platform, an open pavilion, a bamboo thicket, a tent.
The Canon allows five kinds of lodgings used as dwellings: a vihāra (usually translated as “dwelling”; the Commentary says it covers all kinds of buildings aside from the following four), a barrel-vaulted building, a multi-storied building, a gabled building, and a cell. The Commentary defines a gabled building as a multi-storied building with a gabled pavilion on top of a flat roof; as for the cell, it simply says that this may be made of brick, stone, wood, or earth. At present, concrete blocks would come under the category of brick. Given the way the Commentary defines vihāra, it would seem that no style of building would be forbidden as a dwelling, although the Vibhaṅga to Pr 2 contains a rule imposing a dukkaṭa on the act of building a hut entirely of earth. This the Commentary interprets as a hut fashioned of clay like a large jar and then fired. The Vibhaṅga to Pr 2 goes on to quote the Buddha as ordering the bhikkhus to destroy such a hut; and from this the Commentary gives permission for bhikkhus to destroy any bhikkhu’s hut built in an inappropriate way or an improper place. The example it gives is of a hut that a bhikkhu builds in a territory without getting permission from the resident senior bhikkhus in that territory (see Sg 6 & 7). It adds, however, that the hut should be dismantled in such a way that the building materials can be used again. Those who dismantle it should then inform the offender to take his materials back. If he delays, and the materials get damaged for one reason or another, the bhikkhus who dismantled the hut are in no way to be held responsible.
During the Rains-residence, one is not allowed to live in the hollow of a tree, in the fork of a tree, in the open air, in a non-lodging (according to the Commentary, this means a place covered with any of the five kinds of allowable facing/roofing but lacking a door that can be opened and closed), in a charnel house, under a canopy, or in a large storage vessel. However, there is no rule against living temporarily in any of these places during the rest of the year.
The following allowances give an idea of the construction practices current when the Khandhakas were composed. As with medicines, the variations of building technology over time and from place to place require frequent use of the Great Standards to translate these allowances into a form suitable for present-day needs.
A dwelling may be built high off the ground to prevent flooding. The foundation and stairway leading up to the dwelling may be made of brick, stone, or wood; and the stairway may have a railing. The Commentary interprets the allowance for building “high off the ground” as permission to use landfill as well.
The roof may be lashed on and covered with any of five materials: tiles, stones, plaster, grass, or leaves. The same materials may be used as a facing on the walls (see Pc 19). The building may be plastered inside and out with any of three kinds of plastering: white, black, or ochre. Each of these requires different techniques for getting the plaster to stick to the walls. In all three cases, an undercoating of earth mixed with grain husks may be put on and spread with a trowel, after which the plaster may be applied. If this doesn’t work with white plaster, one may put on an undercoating of fine clay, spread it with a trowel, and then apply the white plaster. Tree sap and wet flour paste may be used as binding agents. If the basic undercoating doesn’t work for black plaster, one may apply earthworm clay (excrement), spread it with a trowel, and then apply the black plaster. Tree sap and astringent decoctions are allowed as binding agents. If the basic undercoating doesn’t work for ochre plaster, one may apply the red powder from beneath rice husks mixed with clay, spread it with a trowel, and then apply the ochre plaster. Mustard seed powder and beeswax oil are allowed as binding agents. If this last mixture is too thick, it may be wiped off with a cloth.
At present, arguing from the Great Standards, the allowance for plastering extends to cement plaster as well. Any materials or procedures that would help bind the cement plaster to a wall would also be allowable.
The plaster may be decorated with four types of designs: garland designs, creeper designs, dragon-teeth designs, five-petaled designs. According to the Commentary, one may make these drawings oneself. However, the Canon forbids drawings of male and female forms. (“Now at that time some group-of-six bhikkhus had an obscene picture with figures of women and men made in a dwelling. People touring the dwelling, on seeing it, criticized and complained and spread it about, ‘Just like householders who partake of sensual pleasures.’”) The Commentary extends this injunction to cover not only human forms, but also any animal forms, even earthworms (!). One should not draw these things oneself or get others to draw them, it says, but one may get others to illustrate inspiring stories such as the Jātakas or to draw pictures to inspire dispassion.
There is an allowance for a timber buttress, which the Commentary explains as a means of holding up an old wall. To keep out rain, eaves are allowed, as well as a paste of clay, ashes, and cow dung, which apparently is meant to plug leaks. When a snake fell through a roof onto a bhikkhu underneath, an allowance was made for ceilings and canopies.
Three kinds of window-openings are allowed: a window with a railing, a window covered with latticework, and a window with bars. Curtains, window shutters, and small window mats or bolsters are allowed to keep dust and pests from coming in the windows. Glass windowpanes were unknown in the Buddha’s time, but are allowable under the Great Standards.
Doors, doorposts, and lintels are allowed. A small upper dowel is allowed as a hinge for the door, and a hollow like a mortar for the door-dowel to revolve in may be made in the lintel. To secure the door, a hole may be made in it and a cord run through the hole and attached to the doorpost (or to another door, if the doors are double). The Commentary says that all kinds of cords are allowable here, even tigers’ tails (!). For greater security in keeping the door closed, bolts and crossbars are allowed, together with posts to hold them, holes to receive them, and pins to secure them. For still greater security, keys (made of metal, wood, or horn) are allowed, together with slotted keys, keyholes, and locks.
For privacy, one is allowed to divide the room inside with a curtain or a half-wall. Separate rooms—square or rectangular—may be divided off. The private room may be placed off to one side in a small dwelling, and in the middle of a large dwelling. A private room may also be made in the rafters. The Commentary defines this as a gabled room on top of a (flat) roof, but a loft would seem to come under this allowance as well.
Allowable construction details include a peg or an elephant-tusk on the wall for hanging bags, a pole for hanging up robes, a cord for hanging up robes, a verandah, a covered terrace, an inner court, a slat-roofed porch, a moveable (sliding?) screen, and a screen on rollers.
The area around the dwelling may be fenced with bricks, stones, or wood. The fence may have a porch that, like the dwelling, may be made high off the ground, plastered inside and out, and decorated with the four allowable patterns. It may also have a door, together with all the equipment needed for securing and locking it.
To keep the area around the dwelling from getting muddy, it may be strewn with gravel or paved with flagstones, and a water drain installed.
A foot wiper may be placed at the entrance, made of stone, stone fragment(s) (pebbles), or pumice. At present, a foot wiper made of cement would apparently also be allowable. The purpose of the foot wiper, according to the Commentary to Cv.V.22.1, is to provide a place to stand on before washing one’s feet or while wiping or drying them after they are washed. For some reason, an earthenware foot wiper was considered inappropriate, and so Cv.V.22.1 forbids a bhikkhu from using one. According to the Commentary to that rule, this means that he is also forbidden from accepting one.
As mentioned above, these allowances and prohibitions may be extended through the Great Standards to apply to construction practices at present.
If a dwelling is to be given to a Community, the procedure is to “establish” it for the Community of the four directions, present and to come. In other words, it becomes the common property of the entire Saṅgha, now and into the future, and not just of the bhikkhus currently residing in the monastery.
As the Vinaya-mukha points out, this is another area where the Great Standards have to be kept in mind. Furnishings are divided into two sorts: allowable and not.
Grass matting is allowed, as are the following kinds of beds: a hard-board bed, a wicker bed (made of twisted (vines?) or woven of bamboo strips, says the Commentary), a bed or bench with a frame attached to the feet, a bed or bench made of slats, a bed or bench with curved legs, a bed or bench with detachable legs (see Pc 18), a bed woven of cord or rope, and a bed or bench covered with cloth.
A square seat not large enough to lie down on (āsandika—see Pc 87) is allowable even if its legs are tall, and the same holds true for a bench with a back and arms. The Commentary notes that these allowances mean that Pc 87 applies only to non-square rectangular seats without a back and arms. Other allowable seats include a wicker bench, a bench plaited with cloth, a ram-legged bench (this the Commentary defines as a bench with legs fastened on top of wooden blocks), a bench with interlocking legs, a wooden bench, a stool/chair, and a straw bench.
Five kinds of mattresses/cushions are allowed: stuffed with animal hair, cloth, bark fibers, grass, or leaves. According to the Commentary, animal hair includes all fur and feathers except for human hair, as well as woolen cloth used as stuffing. It also cites a reference to “masuraka” (defined by the Sub-commentary as leather cushions) in the ancient Kurundī commentary, to assert that these are also allowed. There is no maximum size for a mattress, so the Commentary recommends sizing it to one’s needs. Examples it gives: a mattress to cover a bed, one for a bench, one for a floor, one for a meditation path, and a foot-wiping cushion.
The Canon allows that cloth be used to cover mattresses/ cushions. Here the Commentary states that all six kinds of cloth allowed for robes are included under this allowance. The Canon also states that a mattress/cushion may be placed on a bed/bench only after a cloth underpad has been made and spread there. To identify mattress/cushion covers in the event that they are stolen, one may make a spot, a printed mark, or a handprint on it. The Commentary says that the spot may be made with dye or turmeric, and that the handprint should include all five fingers.
Cloth may be used as an under-pad for such things as floor mats (to protect a finished floor from getting scratched, the Commentary says). Cotton down—from the cotton of trees, creepers, or grass—may be used to make pillows (see Pc 88). The Commentary notes here that these three types of cotton include cotton from all kinds of plants, and that the five kinds of stuffing allowable for mattresses are also allowed for pillows. The largest pillow allowed by the Canon is the size of the head. This, the Commentary says, quoting the Kurundī, means for a triangular pillow, one span and four fingerbreadths from corner to corner, 1 and 1/2 cubits in length, 1 and 1/4 cubits in the middle (i.e., in circumference, says the Sub-commentary, but the numbers don’t add up). The Commentary also states that a bhikkhu who is not ill may use pillows only for his head and feet, whereas an ill bhikkhu may use many pillows, covered with cloth like a mattress. The Canon imposes a dukkaṭa on a bhikkhu using a pillow half the size of the body. Cotton batting, as a blanket or bed-covering, may not be used on its own, but may be combed out into cotton down from which pillows can then be made.
As mentioned in Chapter 3, a mosquito net is allowed.
For some reason, the Commentary to Pr 2—which contains a long list of items that should not be decorated—allows the following items to be decorated: beds, benches, chairs, stools, mattresses/ cushions, pillows, floor coverings, drinking glasses, water flasks, and foot wipers.
The Canon forbids the use of high and great furnishings. Here the Commentary defines high as above the allowable height (as in Pc 87), and great as covered with improper coverings and decorations. Examples listed in the Canon include: a dais (āsandi—a tall square platform, large enough to lie on—see Pc 87), a throne (pallaṅka—a seat with carvings of fierce animals on the feet), a long-haired coverlet, a decorated coverlet, a white spread made of animal hair, a wool coverlet with floral designs, a blanket of cotton batting, a wool coverlet decorated with animals, a wool covering with fleece on both sides, a wool covering with fleece on one side (I follow the Sub-commentary for these two translations), a silken sheet studded with jewels (or woven with silver or gold threads), a silken sheet decorated with jewels (or fringed with silver or gold), a dancer’s carpet, an elephant-back rug, a horse-back rug, a chariot rug, a spread of black antelope skins, a sheet of kadali-deer hide, a bed with a canopy above, a bed with red cushions at either end.
With regard to these items, the Commentary says that a plain silken sheet is allowable, as is a bed with a canopy if it has no improper coverings. As for the bed with red cushions at either end, this means pillows for the head and feet; if one pillow is red and the other another color, the bed is allowable.
In a related section, the Canon prohibits lying down to sleep on a high bed. Bed-leg supports are allowed, but only if they are no more than eight fingerbreadths in height. One should also not lie down on a bed strewn with flowers. A bhikkhu presented with scents may make a five-finger mark at the door. If given flowers, he may put them to one side in the dwelling. As the Vinaya-mukha notes, at present the proper use of scents and flowers is to place them in front of a Buddha image.
There is a prohibition against using large skins, such as lion skin, tiger skin, or leopard skin. This prohibition was partially relaxed for areas outside of the middle Ganges Valley, where a bhikkhu may use sheepskin, goatskin, or deerskin spreads. According to the Commentary, this allowance does not include the skins of monkeys, kadali deer, or any ferocious beast. In addition to beasts that are obviously ferocious, it says that this last category includes cattle, buffalo, rabbits, and cats (!). For some reason, however, the Canon says that a bear hide accruing to the Community—even in the middle Ganges Valley—may be used as a foot-wiping mat.
There is a separate rule forbidding the use of cowhide or any hide. This prohibition is not relaxed outside of the Ganges Valley, although two obvious exceptions everywhere are leather footwear and the leather goods listed as garubhaṇḍa in Chapter 7. The prohibition here seems aimed against hides used as furnishings or as covering for the body.
If visiting a householder’s home, one is allowed to sit on hides or high or great furnishings arranged by them (according to the Sub-commentary, this means belonging to them), with three exceptions: a dais, a throne, or anything covered with cotton batting. However, one is not permitted to lie down on any of these items. Even if a piece of furniture has leather bindings, one is allowed to sit on or lean against it.
Cv.VI.14 cites an instance where a multi-storied palace is presented to the Community, and an allowance is made for “all the appurtenances of a multi-storied building.” If a dais is included among these, it may be used after its legs are cut down to the proper length (see Pc 87); if a throne, it may be used after its fierce animal decorations have been cut off; if a cotton-batting blanket, it may be combed out into cotton down and made into pillows. Any other unallowable furnishings may be made into floor cloths.
The Commentary takes this allowance as carte blanche, including under “all the appurtenances of a multi-storied building” such things as windows, furniture, and fans embellished with silver or gold; water containers and dippers made of silver or gold; and beautifully decorated accessories. Any fancy cloths, it says, may be placed on Dhamma seats under the allowance for “what is arranged by householders;” while any slaves, fields, or cattle that come along with the building are allowable and automatically accepted when the building is accepted. This last statement is in direct contradiction to the Sāmaññaphala Sutta’s list of items that a virtuous bhikkhu does not accept:
“He abstains from accepting uncooked grain… raw meat… women and girls… male and female slaves… goats and sheep… fowl and pigs… elephants, cattle, steeds, and mares… fields and property.”
In saying that the Community as a whole may accept slaves and cattle, even though individual bhikkhus may not, the Commentary may be reasoning from the fact that a Community may own land while an individual bhikkhu may not. Still, in doing so, it is following a line of thought that allowed the extravagant monastic estates of medieval Sri Lanka and India to develop, much to the detriment of the Teaching.
A more reasonable interpretation would be to limit appurtenances to inanimate items, and to apply the rule concerning āsandis, pallaṅkas, and cotton batting to other fancy items inappropriate for a bhikkhu’s use as well. In other words, they should be used only after they have been converted into something more appropriate. As for items that cannot be converted that way, Cv.VI.19 allows that they be exchanged for something profitable and useful (see the following chapter). Slaves and cattle should not be regarded as appurtenances to a lodging, and should not be accepted, either by individual bhikkhus or by Communities.
Etiquette with regard to lodgings
One should not tread on a lodging with unwashed feet, with wet feet, or while wearing footwear. The Commentary defines lodging here as a Community bed or bench, a treated floor, or a floor covering. As for wet feet, it says that if only slight traces of dampness remain where one has stepped, there is no offense.
One should also not spit on a treated floor. Spittoons are allowed as an alternative. To prevent the feet of beds and benches from scratching a treated floor, they may be wrapped in cloth. Here the Commentary says that if there is no mat or other floor covering to protect the floor, the feet of beds and benches must be wrapped in cloth. If there is no cloth, put down leaves as a protection. To place furniture on a treated floor with no protection at all, it says, incurs a dukkaṭa.
One should not lean against a treated wall, so as to keep it from getting stained. Treated, according to the Commentary, means plastered or otherwise decorated. Wall it extends to include doors, windows, and posts of stone or wood. The Canon includes an allowance for a leaning board; and to keep it from scratching the wall or floor, its upper and lower ends may be wrapped in cloth. The Commentary notes that if there is no leaning board, one may use a robe or other cloth as protection for the wall.
One is allowed to lie down on lodgings after having spread a sheet there. According to the Commentary, this rule applies to places where feet must be washed (i.e., a Community bed or bench, a treated floor, or a floor covering, as above). It then proceeds to give an extreme interpretation of this point, saying that if, while one is sleeping, one’s sheet gets pulled away and any part of one’s body touches the lodging, there is a dukkaṭa for every body hair that makes contact. The same holds true for leaning against a bed or bench. The Vinaya-mukha and the Thai translator of the Commentary object strongly to this interpretation, the Vinaya-mukha adding sarcastically, “How fortunate we are that the Buddha allowed us to confess multiple offenses collectively under the term ‘sambahulā,’ for what would we do if we had to count such things?” The only leniency granted by the Commentary is an allowance for touching the lodging with the unprotected palms of one’s hands or soles of one’s feet, and for touching furnishings with one’s body when moving them.
A more reasonable interpretation would be to remember the context of this allowance: It follows on a prohibition aimed against soiling lodgings with dirty or wet feet, and deals specifically with the act of lying down. Thus, simply touching the lodgings with one’s arms, etc., should not entail a penalty. It is also important to remember that the Vinaya generally does not impose penalties for actions done while asleep. As the allowance gives explicit permission to lie down on a lodging after spreading a proper covering, that in itself should be enough to absolve one from any further offense with regard to touching the lodging while lying there. The penalty should be reserved for cases where one lies down on such a lodging without first having spread a proper covering.
Finally, the Vibhaṅga to Pr 1 contains an allowance to the effect that, if a bhikkhu is staying in a lodging with a door that can be closed, he may close the door if he lies down during the day.
“I allow five (kinds of) lodgings [reading senāsanāni with the Thai edition; the Sri Lankan, Burmese, and PTS editions read leṇāni/lenāni, “shelter,” but senāsana is the term most generally used in the Canon for dwelling places in general (see, for instance, Mv.VI.22.1 and Mv.VIII.26.1)]: a dwelling (vihāra), a barrel-vaulted building (§), a multi-storied building (§), a gabled building, a cell (§).”—Cv.VI.1.2
“I allow that (the dwelling) be made high off the ground”…. “I allow three kinds of pilings to be put up: made of brick, made of stone, made of wood”…. “I allow three kinds of staircases: a staircase made of brick, made of stone, made of wood”…. “I allow a stair railing.”—Cv.VI.3.3
“I allow that, having lashed on (a roof), it be plastered inside and out”…. “I allow three kinds of window-openings: a window with a railing, a window covered with lattice work, a window with bars (§)”…. “I allow curtains”…. “I allow window shutters, small window bolsters.”—Cv.VI.2.2
“I allow white, black, and ochre (§) plastering in a dwelling.” (The white plaster wouldn’t stick to rough walls) “I allow that earth mixed with grain husks be put on and spread with a trowel (§) and then to apply the white plaster”…. “I allow that fine clay be put on and spread with a trowel and then that white plaster be applied”…. “I allow tree sap and wet flour paste.”
(The ochre wouldn’t stick to rough walls) “I allow that earth mixed with grain husks be put on and spread with a trowel and then to apply the ochre plaster”…. “I allow that the red powder from beneath rice husks mixed with clay be put on and spread with a trowel and then that ochre plaster be applied”…. “I allow mustard seed powder and beeswax oil”… (The mixture was too thick) “I allow that it be wiped off with a cloth.”
(The black plaster wouldn’t stick to rough walls) “I allow that earth mixed with grain husks be put on and spread with a trowel and then to apply the black plaster”…. “I allow that earthworm clay (excrement) be put on and spread with a trowel and then that black plaster be applied”…. “I allow tree sap and astringent decoctions.”—Cv.VI.3.1
“One should not have a drawing made of male or female forms. Whoever should have one made: an offense of wrong doing. I allow garland designs, creeper designs, dragon-teeth designs, five-petaled designs.”—Cv.VI.3.2
(The base of a wall collapsed) “I allow a timber buttress”…. (To keep out rain blowing in from the side) “I allow eaves and a paste made of clay, ashes, and cow dung”…. (A snake fell from the roof onto a bhikkhu) “I allow a ceiling/canopy.”—Cv.VI.3.4
“I allow a door”…. “I allow a doorpost and lintel, a hollow like a mortar (for the door to revolve in), a small upper dowel (on the door)”…. (The doors didn’t meet) “I allow a hole for pulling (a cord) through, a cord for pulling through”…. (The doors didn’t stay closed) “I allow a post for the bolt (crossbar?), a ‘monkey’s head (a hole to receive the bolt?),’ a pin (to secure the bolt), a bolt”…. (The doors couldn’t be opened) “I allow a keyhole and three kinds of keys: made of metal, made of wood, made of horn”…. (Dwellings were still broken into) “I allow a lock and a slotted key (§).”—Cv.VI.2.1
(Bhikkhus were embarrassed to lie down in an exposed room) “I allow a curtain”…. “I allow a half-wall”…. “I allow a square private room, a rectangular private room, a private room in the rafters”…. “I allow that the private room be made to one side in a small dwelling, and in the middle of a large one.”—Cv.VI.3.3
“I allow a peg in the wall or an elephant-tusk peg (for hanging bags)”….“I allow a pole for hanging up robes, a cord for hanging up robes”…. “I allow a verandah, a vestibule (§), an inner court, a slat-roofed porch”…. “I allow a moveable (sliding?) screen, a screen on rollers (§).”—Cv.VI.3.5
“I allow (the dwelling) to be fenced in with three kinds of fence: a fence of bricks, a fence of stones, a fence of wood”…. “I allow a porch”…. “I allow that the porch be made high off the ground”…. “I allow a door, a door post and lintel, a hollow like a mortar (for the door to revolve in), a small upper dowel (on the door), a post for the bolt, a ‘monkey’s head (a hole to receive the bolt?),’ a pin (to secure the bolt), a bolt, a keyhole, a hole for pulling (a cord) through, a cord for pulling through”…. “I allow that, having lashed on (a roof), it be plastered inside and out with plaster—white, black, or ochre—with garland designs, creeper designs, dragon-teeth designs, five-petaled designs (§)”…. (The area (§) around the dwelling became muddy) “I allow that it be strewn with gravel”…. “I allow that flagstones be laid down”…. “I allow a water drain.”—Cv.VI.3.8
“I allow five kinds of roofing (facing): tiles, stones, plaster, grass, or leaves.”—Cv.VI.3.11
“An earthenware foot wiper is not to be used. Whoever should use one: an offense of wrong doing. I allow three kinds of foot wipers: stone, stone fragment(s), pumice.”—Cv.V.22.1
Dwellings are to be “established” for the Community of the four directions, present and to come.—Cv.VI.1.4
“I allow grass matting”… “I allow a bedplank”… “I allow a wicker bed [C: of twisted (vines/twigs) or woven of bamboo strips]”… “I allow a bed with a frame (attached to the feet)”… “I allow a bench with a frame”… “I allow a bed made of slats… a bench made of slats”… “I allow a bed with curved legs… a bench with curved legs”… “I allow a bed with detachable legs… a bench with detachable legs.”—Cv.VI.2.3
“I allow a square seat (āsandika)”… “I allow a square seat even if high”… “I allow a bench with a back and arms”… “I allow a bench with a back and arms even if tall”… “I allow a wicker bench… a bench plaited with cloth… a ram-legged bench… a bench with interlocking legs… a wooden bench… a stool (chair)… a straw bench.”—Cv.VI.2.4
“I allow that a bed be woven of string/rope”… (Not enough for a close weave) “I allow, having pierced holes (in the frame), to weave a checkerboard weave”… (A rag accrued) “I allow that an under-pad (§)be made”… (Cotton batting accrued) “I allow that, having combed it out, to make a pillow. Three kinds of cotton down: from trees, from creepers, from grass”… “A pillow half the size of the body should not be used. Whoever should use one: an offense of wrong doing. I allow a pillow to be made the size of the head.”—Cv.VI.2.6
“I allow five kinds of mattresses/cushions: (stuffed with) animal hair, cloth, bark fibers, grass, leaves”… (Cloth for lodging requisites accrued) “I allow that it be used to cover mattresses/cushions”… “I allow an upholstered bed, an upholstered bench”(i.e., covered with a cushion or mattress)… “I allow that a cushion/mattress be placed (on a bed/bench only) after a cloth under-pad (§) has been made and spread”… (To identify a mattress/cushion cover in case it is stolen) “I allow that a spot be made on it… that a printed mark be made on it… that a hand print be made on it.”—Cv.VI.2.7
“One should not use high and great furnishings for reclining, such as a dais (§), a throne (§), a long-haired coverlet, a decorated coverlet, a white spread made of animal hair, a wool coverlet with floral designs, a blanket of cotton batting, a wool coverlet decorated with animals, a wool covering with fleece on both sides, a wool covering with the fleece on one side, a silken sheet studded with jewels (woven with silver or gold threads), a silken sheet decorated with jewels (fringed with silver or gold), a dancer’s carpet, an elephant-back rug, a horse-back rug, a chariot rug, a spread of black antelope skins, a sheet of kadali-deer hide, a bed (§) with a canopy above, a bed with red cushions at either end. Whoever should use them: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.V.10.5
“Large skins, such as a lion skin, a tiger skin, a leopard skin, should not be used. Whoever should use them: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.V.10.6
“And one should not make use of a cow-hide. Whoever should make use of one: an offense of wrong doing. Nor should one make use of any hide. Whoever should make use of one: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.V.10.10
(A bear hide accrued to the Community) “I allow that it be made into a foot-wiping mat.”—Cv.VI.19
“I allow in all outlying districts hide-coverings: sheepskin, goatskin, deerskin.”—Mv.V.13.13
“One should not lie down to sleep on a high bed. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing”… (A bhikkhu was bitten by a snake while lying on a low bed) “I allow bed-leg supports”… “High bed-leg supports should not be used. Whoever should use them: an offense of wrong doing. I allow bed-leg supports eight fingerbreadths at most.”—Cv.VI.2.5
“One should not lie down on a sleeping place strewn with flowers. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing”… “I allow taking scents and making a five-finger mark on the door post, and taking flowers and putting them to one side in a dwelling.”—Cv.V.18
“I allow one to sit on what is arranged by householders, but not to lie down on it… I allow one to sit on (lean against) the amount of hide used for binding.”—Mv.V.11
(Householders, in their own homes, arranged sitting places for bhikkhus that included all the objects forbidden in Mv.V.10.5) “I allow that—aside from a dais, a throne, and a blanket of cotton batting—one sit on (furnishings) arranged for/by householders but not to lie on them”…. (With reference to benches and beds upholstered with cotton down:) “I allow one to sit on what is arranged for/by householders, but not to lie down on it.”—Cv.VI.8
“I allow all the appurtenances (furnishings) of a multi-storied building”… “I allow that a dais with its legs cut off be used; that a throne whose fierce animals (§) have been cut off be used; that a blanket of cotton batting, having been combed out (into cotton down), be made into a pillow (see Cv.VI.2.6); that the remaining unallowable furnishings (see Mv.V.10.5) be made into floor coverings.”—Cv.VI.14
Etiquette in Lodgings
“A lodging should not be trodden on with unwashed feet. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing”… “A lodging should not be trodden on with wet feet. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing”… “A lodging should not be trodden on with sandals on. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing.”—Cv.VI.20.1
“A polished (treated) floor should not be spat on. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing. I allow a spittoon.” Now at that time the feet of beds and benches scratched the polished floor. “I allow that they be wrapped in cloth”… “A treated wall is not to be leaned on. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing. I allow a leaning board.” The lower end scratched the floor; the upper end, the treated wall [following the reading in the Thai and Sri Lankan editions; the PTS edition says that the upper end damaged the treated wall]. “I allow that the upper and lower ends be wrapped in cloth.” (Bhikkhus with washed feet were doubtful about lying down:) “I allow you to lie down having spread a sheet.”—Cv.VI.20.2