I recall having read somewhere that monks are allowed to bathe only once every 15 days. What is the actual Patimokkha rule behind this ? Also, what is the reason behind this rule and what are its possible benefits ? Is there any specific story corresponding to this rule ?

1 Answer 1


It's Pācittiya 57:

  1. Should any bhikkhu bathe at intervals of less than half a month, except at the proper occasions, it is to be confessed. Here the proper occasions are these: the last month and a half of the hot season, the first month of the rains, these two and a half months being a time of heat, a time of fever; (also) a time of illness; a time of work; a time of going on a journey; a time of wind or rain. These are the proper occasions here.

(Thanissaro, trans)

The reason is ostensibly that bathing is an unnecessary luxury. The benefit to the rule is that monks will not become overly attached to cleanliness and that they will not become a burden on society. The story behind it is that the king was unable to bathe because the monks were bathing.

Note that the rule only applies to bathing; showering is not mentioned.

  • 1
    Ven. Sir - What, in this case, can be considered to be a difference between bathing and showering ?
    – Monk
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 17:05
  • 1
    Bathing is getting inside a tub, a river or a lake and submerging oneself in water. Showering is just using the shower in the bathroom. Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 4:29
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    There seems to be less reason why showering should be something different, not at least because such as shower in a bathroom is even till today unknown, as well such as taking a full bath on many places.
    – user11235
    Commented Oct 14, 2017 at 10:45
  • @Monk To Bathe is clean oneself in some sort of body of water, such as a tub or lake. To shower is to be sprayed with water while cleaning oneself not in a body of water. I hope that makes the distinctions clear.
    – user16793
    Commented Nov 28, 2019 at 16:27

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