May the Samgho, reverend Sirs, hear me!
To-day is the sacred day (of the full, or new, moon), the fifteenth day of
the half-month. If it be convenient to the Chapter, let the Chapter hold
Uposatha, let it repeat the Pâtimokkha. How is it with respect to the necessary
preliminaries to a meeting of the Order? Let the reverend brethren announce
their purity, and I will rehearse the Pâtimokkha! We all gladly give ear and do
Whosoever have incurred a fault, let him declare it! If no fault have been
incurred it is meet to keep silence!
Now, venerable Sirs, it is by your silence, that I shall know whether you are
pure. As to each one question put there must be an answer, so, in such a meeting
as this, each question is put1 as many as three times. Then if any Bhikkhu, when
it has been three times put, knowingly omit to declare a fault incurred, he is
guilty of uttering a conscious lie. Venerable Sirs, the uttering of a deliberate
lie has been declared by the Blessed One to be a condition hurtful (to spiritual
progress). Therefore a fault, if there be one, should be declared by that
Bhikkhu who remembers it, and desires to be cleansed therefrom. For a fault,
when declared, shall be light to him.
Venerable Sirs, the Introduction is now recited.
Thus do I question you, venerable Sirs, 'Are you pure in this matter?'
A second time do I question you, 'Are you pure in this matter?'
A third time do I question you, 'Are you pure in this matter?'
The venerable ones are pure herein. Therefore do they keep silence. Thus I
Here endeth the recitation of the Introduction.