Fire ceremonies are likely categorized as ‘rites and rituals’, but is/was the basic usage of fire for warmth prohibited by monastic rules?


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See pages 564 and 565 of The Pāṭimokkha Rules Translated & Explained by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Should any bhikkhu who is not ill, seeking to warm himself, kindle a fire or have one kindled—unless there is a suitable reason—it is to be confessed.

The explanation includes,

There is no offense if one lights a fire or has one lit for purposes other than warming oneself.


In addition, there is no offense in warming oneself at raked-out coals or at a fire lit by someone else (not at one’s request).


The purpose of this rule is suggested by AN 5:219, which lists the five disadvantages of sitting around a fire: It is bad for one’s eyes, bad for one’s skin, bad for one’s strength, and (most importantly, in this context) groups tend to form (that can turn into factions), and they spend their time in animal talk.

Summary: Lighting a fire to warm oneself—or having it lit—when one does not need the warmth for one’s health is a pācittiya offense

You're also not allowed to light a fire on soil -- because that's counted as (and covered by the rule against) digging soil.

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