Suppose a bhikkhu living in the forest was to come across an abandoned shelter not frequented for several years. Dwelling is clearly in decay and not maintained, with spider webs & hornet's nest etc.

Suppose it's natutally assumed to be an illegal structure by law of the land.

Can he make use of the dwelling and appropriate the requisites if those are otherwise allowable, to do with as he sees fit? Can he dismantle the dwelling? How long does it take for requisites to be considered forsaken and fit to make use of in general?

Im looking primarily for relevant guidelines & anecdotes from the vinayas & commentary of early schools, not interested in mahayana/vajrayana answers.

2 Answers 2


It's not a matter of how long, since you can't know for certain anyway. If you perceive it to be abandon, then you can go ahead and use it as deem fit.


I remember reading a sutta regarding Buddha told Bhikkus to be mindful of King's will (law of the land) .. this event was from when king Pasenthikosola (if I remember correctly) wished to move planting season in his kingdom (sooner or later, I don't remember), Buddha then instructed Bhikkus to observe rainy retreat accordingly. This is a quick answer as to monks need to be mindful of the local laws. Sorry if I can't find a reference at the moment . Maybe someone remembers it better than I do.

You must log in to answer this question.