Vinaya Pitaka (2): The Analysis of Nun’ Rules (Bhikkhuni-vibhanga)

by I. B. Horner | 2014 | 66,469 words | ISBN-13: 9781921842160

The English translation of the Bhikkhuni-vibhanga: the second 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 acollection of rules for Buddhist nuns. The English translation of the Vinaya-pitaka (second part, bhikkhuni-vibhanga) contain...

Nuns’ Defeat (Pārājika) 7

[1] Bi-Pj.7.1.1 BD.3.169 Vin.4.218 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Thullanandā imitated the monk Ariṭṭha who had formerly been a vulture-trainer,[2] and who was suspended by a complete Order.[3] Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying:

“How can the lady Thullanandā imitate the monk … suspended by a complete Order?” … “It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the nun Thullanandā imitate the monk … suspended by a complete Order? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, let the nuns set forth this rule of training:

Whatever nun should imitate him—a monk suspended by a complete Order, one who is disrespectful towards, who does not make amends towards,[4] one who is unfriendly towards[5] the rule,[6] the discipline, the teacher’s instruction—that nun should be spoken to thus by the nuns: ‘Lady, this monk, suspended by a complete Order, is disrespectful towards, he does not make amends towards, he is unfriendly towards the rule, the discipline, the teacher’s instruction. Do not imitate this monk, lady.’ And if this nun, being spoken to thus by BD.3.170 these nuns, should persist as before, that nun should be admonished by the nuns up to the third time for giving up this (course). If, being admonished up to the third time, she should give it up, that is good. But if she should not give it up, she also becomes one who is defeated, she is not in communion, she is an imitator of one who is suspended.”[7]


Bi-Pj.7.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Complete Order means: belonging to the same communion, staying within the same boundary.[8]

Suspended means: suspended for not seeing or for not making amends for or for not giving up an offence.[9]

Towards the rule, the discipline means: towards whatever is the rule, whatever is the discipline.[10]

Towards the teacher’s instruction means: towards the conqueror’s instruction, the enlightened one’s instruction.[11]

Disrespectful means: he does not heed an Order or a group or an individual or a (formal) act.

Does not make amends towards means: he is suspended, not restored.[12]

Unfriendly towards means: monks belonging to the same communion are called friends. He who is not together with these is therefore called unfriendly.

Should imitate him means: if he becomes one of such views, of such indulgence, of such pleasures, she too becomes one of those views, of that indulgence, of those pleasures.

That nun means: whatever nun is an imitator of one who is suspended.

By the nuns[13] means: by other nuns: these sec, these BD.3.171 hear; she should be told by these saying: ‘Lady, this monk, suspended by a complete Order, … do not imitate this monk, lady.’ And a second time she should be told … And a third time she should be told … If she gives it up, that is good; if she does not give it up, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If, having heard, they do not speak, there is an offence of wrong-doing. That nun, having been pulled into the midst of the Order, should be told: ‘Lady, this monk, suspended by a complete Order, … do not imitate this monk, lady.’ And a second time … And a third time she should be told … If she gives it up, that is good; if she does not give it up, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

That nun should be admonished. And thus, monks, should she be admonished: the Order should be informed by an experienced, competent nun, saying: ‘Ladies, let the Order listen to me. This nun so and so imitated a monk suspended by a complete Order, one who is disrespectful towards, who does not make amends towards, who is unfriendly towards the rule, the discipline, the teacher’s instruction. She does not give up this course. If it seems right to the Order, let the Order admonish the nun so and so in order that she may give up this course. This is the motion. Ladies, let the Order listen to me. This nun so and so … She does not give up this course. The Order admonishes the nun so and so in order that she may give up this course. If the admonishing of the nun so and so in order that she may give up this course is pleasing to the ladies, let them be silent; if it is not pleasing, then you should speak. And a second time I speak forth this matter … And a third time I speak forth this matter … The nun so and so is admonished by the Order for giving up this course. It is pleasing to the Order … So do I understand this.’

As a result of the motion there is an offence of wrong-doing; as a result of two proclamations there are grave offences; at the end of the proclamations, there is an offence involving defeat.

BD.3.172 She also means: she is so called in reference to the former.

She becomes one who is defeated means: as a flat stone broken in half cannot be put together again,[14] so a nun, being admonished up to the third time, Vin.4.220 not giving it up, becomes one who is not a (true) recluse, not a daughter of the Sakyans; therefore she is called she becomes one who is defeated.

Not in communion means: communion … is therefore called not in communion.


Bi-Pj.7.2.2 If she thinks that it is a legally valid act when it is a legally valid act (and) does not give it up, there is an offence involving defeat. If she is in doubt as to whether it is a legally valid act (and) does not give it up, there is an offence involving defeat. If she thinks that it is not a legally valid act when it is a legally valid act (and) does not give it up, there is an offence involving defeat. If she thinks that it is a legally valid act when it is not a legally valid act, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she is in doubt as to whether it is not a legally valid act, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that it is not a legally valid act when it is not a legally valid act, there is an offence of wrong-doing.[15]


Bi-Pj.7.2.3 There is no offence if she is not admonished; if she gives it up, if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.[16]

Told is the Third Offence involving Defeat

Footnotes and references:

1.

Note by Sujato: Pārājika 3 in I.B. Horner’s edition.

2.

See Monks’ Bu-Pc.68, Bu-Pc.69.

3.

See Monks’ Bu-Pc.69.

4.

apaṭikāra. Cf. Vin.1.97, appaṭikamma and paṭikaroti used with āpatti, an offence. Also AN.ii.241ff., yathFādhammaṃ paṭikarissati, he (or she) will make amends according to the rule, for having fallen into a pārājika, saṅghādisesa, pācittiya or pāṭidesaniya(ka) offence (dhamma). Paṭikaroti is also “to confess.”

5.

akatasahāya. Critical Pali Dictionary’s “who has not taken an advocate” cannot be accepted here.

6.

dhamma.

7.

As in Monks’ Bu-Pc.68, this is more like Saṅghādisesa method and material than Pārājika.

8.

= above, BD.3.65, below, BD.3.193, and Vin.3.173.

9.

= below, BD.3.193.

10.

= below, BD.3.193.

11.

= below, BD.3.193.

12.

= above, BD.3.28, in definition of akaṭānudhamma, “has not acted according to the rule.”

15.

Cf. Vin.3.174, Vin.3.177, Vin.3.179, Vin.3.186; Vin.4.136, where last clause of Bi-Pj.7.2.2 ends anāpatti instead of, as on these other occasions, āpatti dukkaṭassa.

16.

Cf. Vin.3.174, Vin.3.177, Vin.3.179, Vin.3.186; Vin.4.136, where last clause of Bi-Pj.7.2.2 ends anāpatti instead of, as on these other occasions, āpatti dukkaṭassa.