Vinaya Pitaka (1): The Analysis of Monks’ Rules (Bhikkhu-vibhanga)

by I. B. Horner | 2014 | 345,334 words | ISBN-13: 9781921842160

The English translation of the Bhikkhu-vibhanga: the first part of the Suttavibhanga, which itself is the first book of the Pali Vinaya Pitaka, one of the three major ‘baskets’ of Therevada canonical literature. It is a collection of rules for Buddhist monks. The English translation of the Vinaya-pitaka (first part, bhikkhu-vibhanga) contains many...

Monks’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 23

Bu-Pc.23.1.1 BD.2.276 … among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan monastery.[1] Now at that time the group of six monks, approaching the nuns’ quarters, exhorted the group of six nuns. Nuns spoke thus to the group of six nuns: “Come, ladies, Vin.4.56 we will go for exhortation.”

“Well, ladies, we would go for the sake of exhortation, (but) the group of the six masters exhort us in this very place.”[2]

Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying:

“How can the group of the six monks, approaching nuns’ quarters, exhort nuns?”

Then these nuns told this matter to the monks. Those who were modest monks … spread it about, saying:

“How can the group of six monks … exhort nuns?” …

“Is it true, as is said, that you, monks … exhorted nuns?”

“It is true, lord.”

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying:

“How can you, foolish men … exhort nuns? Foolish men, it is not for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

“Whatever monk, approaching nuns’ quarters, should exhort nuns, there is an offence of expiation.”[3]

And thus this rule of training for monks came to be laid down by the lord.


Bu-Pc.23.2.1 BD.2.277 Now at that time Mahāpajāpatī the Gotamid became ill. Monks who were elders approached Mahāpajāpatī the Gotamid, and having approached they spoke thus to Mahāpajāpatī the Gotamid:

Gotami, we hope things are going well with you, we hope you are keeping going.”

“Masters, things are not going well with me, I am not keeping going. Please, masters, give dhamma.”

“Sister, it is not allowable, approaching nuns’ quarters, to give dhamma to a nun,” they said, and being scrupulous they did not give it. Then the lord, dressing in the morning, taking his bowl and robe, approached Mahāpajāpatī the Gotamid, and having approached he sat down on the appointed seat. As he was sitting down, the lord spoke thus to Mahāpajāpatī the Gotamid:

“Gotami, I hope things are going well with you, I hope you are keeping going.”

“Formerly, lord, monks who were elders, coming to me, gave dhamma: because of this comfort came to be for me.[4] But now they say it is forbidden by the lord, and being scrupulous they do not give it; because of this comfort does not come to be for me.”

Then the lord having … delighted Mahāpajāpatī the Gotamid with talk on dhamma, rising up from his seat, departed. Then the lord, on this occasion, in this connection, having given dhamma-talk, addressed the monks, saying:

“I allow you, monks, approaching nuns’ quarters, to exhort a nun who is ill. And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth: Vin.4.57

Whatever monk, approaching nuns’ quarters, should exhort the nuns except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. This is a right time in this case: if a nun comes to be ill; this, in this case, is a right time.”


Bu-Pc.23.3.1 Whatever means: … is monk to be understood in this case.

BD.2.278 Nuns’ quarters means: where nuns stay even for one night.

Approaching means: going there.

Nuns means: ordained by both Orders.

Should exhort means: if he exhorts concerning the eight important rules, there is an offence of expiation.

Except at a right time means: setting aside a right time.

An ill nun means: if she is unable to go for exhortation or for communion.[5]


Bu-Pc.23.3.2 If he thinks that she is ordained when she is ordained, (and) approaching the nuns’ quarters, exhorts her—except at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether she is ordained … at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. If he thinks that she is not ordained when she is ordained … at a right time, there is an offence of expiation. If he exhorts (her) concerning a different rule, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he exhorts one who is ordained by one (Order only), there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that she is ordained when she is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether she is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If he thinks that she is not ordained when she is not ordained, there is no offence.


Bu-Pc.23.3.3 There is no offence if it is at a right time, (in) giving an exposition, giving an interrogation as Bu-Pc.22.2.3 … if he is the first wrong-doer.

The Third

Footnotes and references:

1.

Cf. above, BD.2.94.

2.

Idh’ eva, literally “right here,” as the Americans say.

3.

Cf. Vin.2.259, where the laity complain that the monks go to nuns’ quarters to recite the Pātimokkha.

4.

Cf. below, BD.2.342, BD.2.399.

5.

saṃvāsa. For definition of this, see Old Commentary’s exegesis on asaṃvāsa in each Pārājika (BD.1).