In Buddhism, the Patimokkha is the basic code of monastic discipline, consisting of 227 rules for monks (bhikkhus) and 311 for nuns (bhikkhunis). It is contained in the Suttavibhanga, a division of the Vinaya Pitaka.
It is not so much a rulebook for monastic training as it is a distillation of what’s really important in Buddhism.
The essence of what Buddha said went something like this: Cease to do evil, cultivate that which is good, purify the heart. This is the Way of the Awakened Ones.
The rules are arranged into sections:
- Parajika – Rules entailing expulsion from the Sangha (defeat)
- Sanghadisesa – Rules entailing an initial and subsequent meeting of the Sangha (communal meetings)
- Aniyata – Indefinite rules
- Nissaggiya Pacittiya – Rules entailing forfeiture and confession
- Pacittiya – Rules entailing confession
- Patidesaniya – Rules entailing acknowledgement
- Sekhiya – Rules of training
- Adhikarana Samatha – Rules for settling disputes