Interpretation of the third Precept pericope—evidence from the Agamas, by Ravichander R

I’ve had some conversations off-list with our commenter Ravichander. He had some interesting thoughts regarding the third precept, so I encouraged him to put them in a form I could publish here. So here they are. Congratulations, Ravichander, it’s not easy doing this reasearch!


Preliminary evidence from the Agama version suggests that the explanation of sexual misconduct referred to rape or at least included it in its purview. Further comparisons from the Chinese/Sanskrit fragments would add more clarity to this matter.

Interpretation of the third Precept pericope

While browsing through the translations from the Tibetan version of the Upayika at, I came across the passage that explains the precept on sexual misconduct. It was much the same as the Pali version except for one significant detail1. This led to a hunt for the Sanskrit/Agama version of the passage resulting in this study.

I give the Pali text and its translation first:

Kāmesumicchācārī kho pana hoti. Yā tā māturakkhitā piturakkhitā mātāpiturakkhitā bhāturakkhitā bhaginirakkhitā ñātirakkhitā gottarakkhitā dhammarakkhitā sassāmikā saparidaṇḍā antamaso mālāguḷaparikkhittāpi, tathārūpāsu cārittaṃ āpajjitā hoti.2

Translation 1: He is given over to misconduct in sexual desires: he has intercourse with such (women) as are protected by the mother, father, (mother and father), brother, sister, relatives, as have a husband, as entail a penalty, and also with those that are garlanded in token of betrothal.3

Translation 2: Misbehaves in sexuality, misbehaving with those protected by father, mother, mother and father, brother, sister, relations, with those with a husband, becoming liable to punishment, or even those garlanded and made to promise.4

(Italics mine)

The Pali doesn’t actually say ‘has intercourse with’ or ‘misbehaving with’. Literally it says ‘gets into action’ with them (cārittaṃ āpajjitā hoti). Of course, from the context it has been inferred that it refers to sex and hence sex with any of the types of women listed in the passage is considered a violation of the third precept.

The list itself seems to be illustrative of various kinds of single (unmarried/widowed/celibate) and non-single (married/betrothed) women.

(Some editions of the sutta apparently don’t include ‘gottarakkhita’ meaning protected by the clan/gotra and ‘dhammarakkhita’ meaning protected by dhamma usually interpreted to mean nuns. They are not included in the translations presented above)

Parallel versions I have been able to find so far:

Sanskrit Mahaparinirvana sutra

( kiṁ nu) tvayānanda śrutaṁ yās tā vṛjīnāṁ vṛjiprajāpatyo) vṛjikumārikāś) ca pitṛrakṣitā mātṛrakṣitā bhrātṛrakṣitā bhaginīrakṣitāḥ śvaśurarakṣitāḥ śvaśrurakṣitā jñātirakṣitā gotrarakṣitāḥ saparidaṇḍāḥ sasvāmikāḥ kan)yāḥ paraparigṛ(hītā antaśo) mālāguṇaparikṣiptā api tadrūpāsu) na sa (hasā cāritram āpadyante | )5

Dharmaskandha, Sarvastivada Abhidharma

DhskM 21r8. -mithyācārād vairamaṇir upāsakasya śikṣāpadam iti kāmamithyācāraḥ katamaḥ / evaṃ hy uktaṃ bhagavatā kāmamithyācārī khalv ihaiko bhavati sa yās tā bhavanti parastriyaḥ parabhāryās tadyathā mātṛrakṣitā vā pitṛrākṣitā vā //

DhskM 21r9. śvaśrūrakṣitā vā śvaśurarakṣitā vā jñātirakṣitā vā jātirakṣitā vā gotrarakṣitā vā sadaṇḍāḥ / sāvaraṇāḥ sadaṇḍāvaraṇā antato mālāguṇaparikṣiptā / api tadrūpāsu sahasā balenānupraskandya kāmeṣu cāritram āpadyaty ayam ucyate ///

Upayika version

Some who have committed sexual misconduct—these are those who have not abstained from sexual misconduct, that is, seducing a woman guarded by her mother or guarded by her father or guarded by her brother or guarded by her sister or guarded by her father-in-law or guarded by her mother-in-law or guarded by her relatives or guarded by her family or guarded by her clan or a woman who has been garlanded in token of betrothal and isunder threat of punishment and veiled, because she has been already obtained by somebody else and is thus somebody else’s woman, or having sexual intercourse with her by overwhelming her.

German Translation of a Chinese version from Mulasarvastivada Vinaya

Ananda, hast du wohl gehört und weißt du, ob die frauen und jungfrauen jenes Landes behütet werden von den Müttern, behütet werden von den Vätern oder von den Brüdern, den Schwestern, den schwiegereltern oder der verwandtschaft behütet werden; ob diese (verwandten) sie, wenn sie übertretungen begangen haben, ermahnen und strafen; ob (die Frauen und Jungfrauen,) wenn sie Frauen order Nebenfrauen eines anderen (d.h. Mannes) geworden sind und sogar durch blumenüberreichung deren Ehefrauen zu werden gestattet haben, nicht mit diesen übereilt unsittliche Dinge treiben?6

(Italics mine)

Apart from the inclusion/variations in the list of women, the material difference seems to be the addition of the Sanskrit/Pali word – sahasā.

This term has two meanings: (i) Forcibly and (ii) Hastily

That the Chinese version also contained the word ‘sahasā’ can be inferred from the German word ‘übereilt’ in the translation. It means hasty/rash.

Choice of translation

The Tibetan translators of the Upayika apparently preferred the first meaning (forcibly) while the Chinese the second (hastily). We have two sources to show that the first meaning is to be preferred.

Vasala sutta in the Suttanipata(uraga vagga) uses the term ‘sahasā’ contrasting it with ‘sampiyena’ clearly referring to forced vs consensual sex. The commentary also confirms this.

‘‘Yo ñātīnaṃ sakhīnaṃ vā, dāresu paṭidissati;

Sāhasā [sahasā (sī. syā.)] sampiyena vā, taṃ jaññā vasalo iti.

Commentary: sāhasāti balakkārena

The Dharmaskandha version quoted above glosses the word with ‘balenānupraskandya’ ie having entered by force.

Construing the sentence with sahasā

The English translation of the Upayika adds ‘or’ to the last phrase. But the Sanskrit sources do not seem to contain it and neither does the Pali.

The last type of woman listed is ‘even those garlanded and made to promise’ ie betrothed. The addition of ‘api’(even) shows that the list has come to an end.

Then comes the phrase ‘tathārūpāsu’ which can be translated as with such women as these; The commentary confirms this by saying ‘evarūpāsu itthīsu’. This would imply that the list is only illustrative(showing the range of single/non-single women) and not exhaustive.

Now, including the word ‘sahasā’ following the Northern sources we have ‘sahasā cārittam āpajjitā hoti’. This translates to ‘gets into forcible action with’.

Therefore, the passage ends with ‘(he) gets into forcible action with women such as these’. In the absence of words like or/and (vā/ca), I feel the whole pericope refers exclusively to rape. I can’t see how else to construe the passage.

This point can be clarified only by collecting and comparing all parallel versions of this passage.( I hope Sāmaṇerī Dhammadinnā can re-confirm if the Tibetan Upayika indeed contains ‘or’ in the final phrase).

For discussion (not a conclusion!)

The question remains whether the word ‘sahasā’ was dropped from the Pali version or added to the Sanskrit version. Even if it was added by the Sarvastivadins, it would imply that they added it as a clarificatory gloss. This further implies that they considered the pericope as referring to rape even without the word.

However, it might just be possible that the word was dropped inadvertently or advertently from the Pali.

Inadvertantly because the sentence makes easier sense with the word – ‘acts forcibly’ instead of just ‘acts’.

Advertantly perhaps to widen the meaning to include consensual sex with the non-single women listed.

Only when more translations of the Agama versions are made available, can we draw any definite conclusions.

Irrespective of the meaning of the pericope, it is generally agreed that every precept has a primary meaning and then a wider one – as evidenced by many canonical passages. Thus the first precept primarily refers to killing but the wider meaning includes cruelty of any kind. The fourth precept primarily refers to false testimony but in a wider sense to any kind of harmful lies/slander. Similarly the third precept might primarily refer to rape but certainly includes adultery in its wider sense as evidenced, for example, by the Veludvara sutta in the Samyutta nikaya.

1 Includes the phrase “or having sexual intercourse with her by overwhelming her”. (

2 Saleyyaka Sutta MN41 (



5; Text probably based on the work of Ernst Waldschmidt

6 Researches in Indian and Buddhist Philosophy: Essays in honour of Professor Alex Wayman; Pg 13.(translation by Ernst Waldschmidt)

36 thoughts on “Interpretation of the third Precept pericope—evidence from the Agamas, by Ravichander R

  1. Greetings in Anjali and with due respects…

    …the care of those with guardians etc … is well explained and respected …

    A nagging question for the precepts for humans …

    Wht abt those uncared abused without guardians etc (irrespective of gender) shld be treated? by silence on the subject does it mean they can be seen and watched with equanimity if they are abused and enslaved??? or is it even better to help and support the abusers too …???

    wht is metta wht is love unconditional when the way we treat others does not reflect wht we preach …???


    • Greetings to you too!
      1. As mentioned in the post, the list of women is illustrative and not exhaustive.

      2. We can infer from the pericope itself that women generally were not let unguarded; that in the absence of a father, mother took care(mattu rakkhita), in the absence of both – either the brother or the sister, in the absence of immediate family by relatives(nati rakkhita) or by the clan(gotta rakkhita). No doubt there were exceptions as indicated by a couple of Therigatha verses but at least as a general rule, we can assume that the society expected women to be not left without a guardian. Hence the illustrative list stops there.

      3. We also infer the social more of Buddha’s time from the rest of the Pali canon and also from Arthasastra – parts of which date to the time of Chandragupta Maurya(grandfather of Asoka).
      For example, violence against a slave was not considered acceptable in Arthasastra and this holds good for Buddha’s time as confirmed by the Kakacupama sutta (Vaidehika vs Kali).

      The Arthasastra treats raping of a woman living by herself and of a prostitute(though entailing a lesser penalty) as crimes. We can’t be far wrong if we thought same holds good for Buddha’s time.

      (Note: Interestingly,Arthasastra refers to Dirgha Karayana as an earlier writer and he is probably identical with the minister of King Pasenadi mentioned in the Dhammacetiya sutta as Digha Karayana).

      4. Whenever something is not mentioned as prohibited or allowed by the Buddha, we have a beautiful standard on how to judge the case – given by Buddha himself (which Ven Thanissaro regards as the passage referred to by Asoka in his edict as ‘vinaya samukase’.
      “Bhikkhus, whatever I have not objected to, saying, ‘This is not allowable,’ if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

      “Whatever I have not objected to, saying, ‘This is not allowable,’ if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you.

      “And whatever I have not permitted, saying, ‘This is allowable,’ if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

      “And whatever I have not permitted, saying, ‘This is allowable,’ if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you.”

      I think we can safely assume raping a woman without guard was also not acceptable going by the spirit of the passage.

      With metta,

    • Hi,

      Thanks for that, it doesn’t say much about men or society in those times or others if women need to be guarded, must have been quite a debouche and violent time.

      I think it is some times the other way around, that men and society need to be guarded by the women closely associated with men – alot of women use men to bully and abuse other women, by acting as victims they get the men to abuse other women or use young girls to do this because young women can be very aggressive and ambitious, but then they try to claim they are women deserving of respect – when in fact they play men to get rid of other women, use young girls to intimidate and try to make other women react, so they can take control and gain power and status.

      So sometimes possibly other women and men are also being guarded against the ambitions of young women or or old women, their wives etc as well – like it works both ways.



    • The use of young girls to abuse and intimidate other women in their middle years is a common tactic by men in power and women who wish for power, so I think it is right
      that women or even men (even though they possibly think this is a good thing) be guarded against these young girls that will do anything for power and money.

      Men and older women cannot stand women in their middle years because unlike the children they recruit as their bullies or even older people, these days such women have been educated etc so have no need to for these people to so they have to set about destroying women in their middle years so they can gain the power and they wish for.

    • Hi Ravi,

      Just a side note here: the passage from the Vinaya that you quote is not really relevant, and in addition it’s unlikely to be the passage Ashoka refers to. Scratch that, it almost certainly isn’t. It is a very minor principle in the Vinaya, which appears only in the context of deciding what should or should not be allowable for such things as what monastics can eat in the afternoon. It was never used as a more general ethical principle, only for sorting our trivial legalities. For real ethics, of course, we must consider intention and harm, the key factors in Buddhist ethics. Perhaps Thanissaro mentions it here because it is something that plays quite a role in the Thia forest tradition that he comes from, which is very concerned about such niceties. It is, however, completely out of character for Ashoka, and highly unlikely that he would know such an obscure principle. Thanissaro only includes it because it is referred to once in the Parivara, an obscure Sri Lankan Vinaya treatise that is, in any case, post-Ashokan. If we look in the first chapter of the Vinaya Khandhaka, we see that the most common teaching framework is called the “gradual teaching”, which lead up from generosity and ethics to the “special teaching (samukkamsa) of the Buddhas”, i.e. the four noble truths. Surely this must be what Ashoka was referring to.

    • Thanks for the clarification Bhante!

      I guess it would have been better if I had chosen the Ambalatthika Rahulovada sutta instead, where the principle of harm is mentioned.(any action that harms oneself, or others or both is unskillful and should not be done).

      There seems to be scholarly consensus that this is the sutta which is referred to in the last item of Asoka’s edict.

      As an aside to the aside, I wonder if the reference to this sutta in the edict is evidence that at least some of the ‘settings’ of the suttas were pre-Asokan. The edict does say it was spoken to Rahula…

      Also, hope we get to see pieces of Vinaya translations in Suttacentral made by Ven Brahmali soon(that you mentioned in an earlier post).

    • Re the settings: I would say that the bulk of the settings are in fact pre-Ashokan, it’s just that we often can’t really confirm which ones are meant to apply literally. However, in cases where the teaching and the character are closely related, such as this case, then it is much more likely that the two have been kept together. It is really the texts where the setting is mostly irrelevant that we usually find problems. In any case, we never find definitively post-Ashokan elements in the settings.

  2. It still seems that women are considered by Buddhist to be one level up from animals, possession that need to be “guarded” are “obtained” and enslaved for the purpose of domestic slavery and breeding and/or to be enslaved to look after others.

    While men are free to do what choose.

    So women are then low beings not much better than animals although apparently lower because if a man raped an animal who wasn’t owned by mother, father, brother or sold to a man they would be at least not be highly regarded by other men, or religion

    It also seems that it is not the fault of those who the women have to be guarded against that is the problem, it is not the problem that they abuse, or that people need to be guarded or protected against violence, sexual misconduct, that it is apparently not wrong to abuse or do what ever would entail someone to be protected, therefore violence against women is a good it is their fault because they are not guarded against it, it is not the fault of the person exploiting or abusing?

    Also it seems women who are not enslaved to a man, children or old people or the w…… of men or in buddhist institution are at fault therefore it is good lawfule and admirable to abuse women who are free from enslavement to men and children and the power crazy whores of men or that men used ot oppress women who are free.

    Therefore the precepts are wrong and the aim of Buddhist and the world are really to enact abuse, violence and rape on women. considering monestries will apparently (because they are owned and controlled by men ordain and take in any man or children but not women because even serial killers are worse than women who are “unguarded” that makes women as the very evile creatures beyond anything imaginable therefore by definitation of Buddhists and religions and abuse, rape etc a good thing.

    So what is the use of Buddism and religion then? to aniliate women not enslaved to men, whores of men protected by them, and children?

    Get a life people


  3. Also it is apparently at least in one insight meditation centre considered a good thing for a women to enslave and abuse and use men to abuse other women such women are rewarded for this and protected by Buddhists, but repected as independent women.

    In doing that Buddhism, as they call themselves Buddhist consider abuse and violence against women as apparently a good buddhist action and as seems the usual thing in Buddhism the person who undertakes alleged non buddhist actions is always rewarded it seems by Buddhists and religion and protected while athe victims blamed and left to be unprotected, thrown out on the streets to suffer further torment as unguarded people..

    Therefore as long as a women is having sex with a man that makes her powerful, allowed to abuse other women and do anything including abusing other women…. women who do this to other womenare to me are the lowest of the low, but according to this centre such women who abuse women not having sex with a man or who will not through force and coercion become the slaeve to the women having sex with a man, who is protected by such men even those from the insight meeditation center in America. As long as the women having sex with a man is happy then that is all that matters not what is done to the victim who is further abused if they say anything.

    This action is then taken out in other centers because this is set up as a precedent.

    Sex is a good investment it seems in Buddhism

  4. Therefor as sex is a good investment, and a bodhisattva is considered to be close to a Buddha in some religions, prostitutes must be the most respected and intellignet women on the planet above that of wives, daughters, mothers and even nuns; because they offer sex for money and in doing so stop other women from being raped or abused.

  5. If though a person defends themselfagainst abuse, exploitation etc as did the Nun Baddha those who are protecting those who are exploiting, abusing, selling false, misleading products, Buddhism will then claim they are being abused,

    Therefore defending oneself family etc against such actions is considered wrong and therefore such rubbish is accepted as right and good are supported by those who consider themselves right and good for exploiting and protection of those who are exploited etc.

    Therefore defending oneself against such actions is bad and those who exploite etc are considered good and rewarded, therefore karma does not work and/or exploited slaves etc are the best people on the planet above that of monks, men lay buddhists.

  6. Therefore, those protecting those who are exploiting, conning, manipulating according to religion or the corporate academic world are considered good and right and rewarded, however those who defend against this and do not go along with this as slaves to this mentality are considered bad, and thrown out on the street, arrested etic, however those who then do go along with this will then be accussed of being bad by those who set up this view anyway and then again those who protect those who exploited, abuse will again be rewarded for setting up or using the person they have set up and forced to go along with their paradigm.

    So that either means there is no such thing as karma according to Buddhist teachings or prisoners are the best people on the planet above that of religions

  7. Therefore, prisoners, prostitutes are the best people on teh planet and there is no buddhism or religiotn therefore no jobs for monks and nuns – who are out of work and therefore have to go on the dole.

    In doing so they will therefore possibly be exploited and forces to work for people who are exploiting, conning and manipulating, as such they will either defend themselves against with Buddhist precepts and therefore be accussed of undermining the values of the people or organisation or they will go along with these .

    As such they will either start to manipulate, exploite etc and when something occurs will be blamed by those exploiting manipulating etc, or defend themselves against this – either way they will end up in prison because (a) they take the blame (or) they get arrested for defending themselves against those seen as right and good and protected to exploite manipulate etc.


  8. Therefore, the moral to this story is donate to Dhammasala Nuns Monestry – it may save alot of confusion for everyone.

    If though some one donates to a centre protecting…. (etc etc) and the Centre for instance has is goes bankrupt or closes or financial has issues still if protected by men protecting..(etc etc) . possilby this is no problem for those who donate because corporate support protecting (etc etc) would mean that insurance would cover this anyway would it not? so no problem anyway

    So donate anyway to whatever

  9. I did think that exploitation of the vulnerable people was not democratic or legal in this country.

    Remembering my experience at an Insight Centre in the Blue Mountains though possibly it is just karma and nothing wrong with it.

    I recall offering to volunteer for 15 hours a week. The Job Description though was about three pages long. While as a volunteer (paid a stipend and accommodation) I did not really take the job description to seriously however on moving in it seemed it was a full time committment and they did – like it or not.

    I recall I was not allowed to leave the Centre and forced into having a “mentor” who I did not know or want – even though I was just volunteering at the Centre.

    One of the “10 year meditators” blew a fuse and flipped when
    I suggest shopping at an organic place rather than coles (which by the way is actually cheaper than coles) and I think I really blew it when I suggested moving the tea tray four feet to the left so the que didn’t get so long – big mistake: don’t ever suggest to 20 year meditator any sort of change for fear of a committe meeting being called to deal with this.

    Then I think again one of the “10 year meditators” blew another fuse when I said I was going out with friends rather than out with “the committee”, apparently my time was there time too

    Finally after about a week of non-stop work I said I had to move my belongings from a rented flat – becasue someone else was moving in there, but was told I believe I wasn’t allowed to do this as I had to work that day as well. After which I think I politely or maybe not too politely said ….too bad

    I believe after a bit more pressure from the people instituting a well thought out plan to take ownership of this centre – I told them I was leaving as things were getting a little uncomfortable, not that being forced to work for the benefit ot these people was a great problem
    but not what I really had in mind, I thought it was about meditation ie freedom but apparently I had got that wrong and had joined the army instead,
    must have read the sign at the front wrong anyway such divergence from the modus operantdi of preconcieved take overs by this couple was considered worthy of counselling to force my mind into obedience to their desires for power and need for obedient slaves to go along with
    the take over – of which I do not recall wanting to work for or part of the job description.

    Upon telling the “10 year meditators” I was resigning from, yes leaving the military camp – well do I need to say what the peaceful ten year meditators did then – yes – took all my belongings threww them outside, threatened to throw me out physical if I did not leave and left me homeless in the freezing cold – the beautiful compassionate 10 year mediator qho it now seems has taken possession of this centre found this episode very funney and though rang me the next day laughing about this and asked are yoer I organised a place to stay with a friend I was told by one of the peaceful 10 year mediators, who only wanted people to work for the cause of his and his girlfriends take over plans for the centrre …leave now or
    I will through you out.

    Bascially leaving me homeless on the street in 0 degrees.

    Apparently the 10 year mediators have been successful in their takeover of the Centre or are close to it.

  10. The peaceful caring 10 year meditator was then reward by teh Centre and the other 20 year meditators and I think given a job as a counsellor for vulnerable people .. touching isn’t it.

    Therefore if you wish to be a buddhist leader abuse someone; apparently this is considered Buddhism in some circles.

  11. If women are being coerced and/or exploited voicing these concerns to the local council would be in order; why should such people get tax exemptions to bludge off the community if they give nothing but but simply want power over others.

    Women should not be used and abused by other women who desire or will power over vulnerable especially if these women who are guarded by thugs and bullies to do so.

  12. As I said so called Buddhists or people at least who claim to be Buddhists always blame the victim.

    True Buddhists don’t.

    Fine thanks and yourself?

  13. Hi

    Could you do some chants or something for the Blue Mountains or ask Ajahn Brahm to do so – if that does any good, which I am sure it does.


  14. _/\_

    seeking clarification… i thot there were some interpretation of ‘kamesu’ as bodily misconduct instead of sexual misconduct?

    Can please help to provide an answer to a irritating and persistent nigglling question ?
    wht is the karma for those who does dana to the Noble Sangha for self appropriation and malicious intent on others and wht are the karma for those Sangha who receives knowing of the intents???


  15. It would be good to encourage teachings or interpretations of the suttas from older women as well – sexual discrimination based on age is a little pase.

    • Thanks for that, That is good, there are women here and now know also in the year 2013 who are good buddhists.

      Years ago if people mentioned a particular culture or group that group would be shuffled off into that group ie over 70 – this is over 70’s group, asian.. come and live in Australia so you can live in an asian community.. people with disabilities go an live in an institution etc. now all differences ie people who have been in prison for murder, rape etc have if ok to do so been intergrated or are included in the community and society and the workforce

      Lets hope one day women, not just advertisements for breeding are also accepted, included or integrated in the world and society…

      it might happen one day, you never know.

    • Maybe it sounds strange, but better not to come again or if, in a better condition. What is a live, what does gender mean in this frame. Good deeds will lead to better conditions and bad deeds to more worse condition.
      Its up to you. Change starts with you intention. And what is good intention?

      “And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill-will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.”

      SN 45.8

      Male is not for sure yet, female is not for sure yet and going beyond is pretty unrealistic is not letting go of such for a better.

      Image you would be reborn as a male in a traumatized female society of priest hunters 🙂 what a karmic story. Image such a possible outcome. There are no accidents when pain comes up in mind. So better let go as to fight another battle, just to be the man.

      Maybe you like to read no 7 once more, there is really a lot to do for such independency and it needs a lot of work to keep old ripping stuff down so that there is not again another birth in a even lower realm.

      Being a human being and not dull is very exclusive and it really does not matter which family and gender one falls into. As long life as well as facing dukkha is pretty good for developing wisdom. Nothing else lost, the fools will come back any way, don’t worry.

      Here we go again.

      Don’t forget to smile 🙂

  16. The leaders in Womens Buddhism are obviously as with Men’s Buddhism, the nuns that follow the teachings are the rules of Buddhism as set out by the Buddha or close to ie this would be a female Abbot of a Monestry or close to it.

    Someone, a women who does not follow the Vinaya, has not studied the Dhamma does not by definition and basic logic understand Buddhism to be a leader in it – they could be a supporter of a leader or help out but someone not learnt in the Dharma cannot be a leader of it.

    To state that a person is a leader in women’s buddhism but does not follow the Vinaya, is not ordained but just supported by certain people would seem to be almost fraudulent and very misleading.

    • Hi Ven,

      The term doesn’t seem to be used in any other early context in Pali. The commentaries explain it as a woman regarding whom it has been advertised that intercourse is punishable:

      ‘Yo itthannāmaṃ itthiṃ gacchati, tassa ettako daṇḍo’ti evaṃ gāmaṃ vā gehaṃ vā vīthiṃ vā uddissa ṭhapitadaṇḍā, pana saparidaṇḍā nāma.

      Or else:

      Yassā gamane raññā daṇḍo ṭhapito, sā saparidaṇḍā

      Seems a bit weird, but there we have it. It agrees with the Pali, since it is the woman who is “with paridanda”, not the man. It also agrees with the Sanskrit variant sadaṇḍāvaraṇā. So unless I’m missing something it seems that saparidanda doesn’t imply that the woman is taken forcibly.

    • Neither can I. 🙂
      My thinking is a woman who indicates NO is a saparidaṇḍā. Same goes for a female who’s underage. Having sex with them entails punishment by law of the land.
      Anyway, it’s just my commentary.

    • It seems to me that it’s obvious from basic Buddhist ethics that rape is wrong. We don’t need to be stretching passages to find a reference there. The passages on the precepts are short, and they can’t cover all cases. There are several examples where rape is condemned, and of course raping a nun is regarded as one of the most heinous of all crimes.

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