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’ Formal Meeting (Saṅghādisesa) 5

Bi-Ss.5.1.1 BD.3.195 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Sundarīnanda was beautiful, good to look upon, charming.[1] People, having seen the nun Sundarīnanda in the refectory, were filled with desire (and) gave the very best meals to the nun Sundarīnanda[2] who was filled with desire. The nun Sundarīnanda ate as much as she pleased; other nuns did not obtain as much as expected. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can the lady Sundarīnanda, filled with desire, having accepted with her own hand from the hand of a man who is filled with desire, solid food, Vin.4.233 soft food, eat it, partake of it?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Sundarīnanda, filled with desire … ate it, partook of it?’

“It is true, lord.”

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How, monks, can the nun Sundarīnanda, filled with desire, having accepted with her own hand … solid food or soft food, eat it, partake of it? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks … this rule of training:

Whatever nun, filled with desire, having accepted with her own hand from the hand of a man who is filled with desire, solid food or soft food, should eat it or partake of it, that nun also has fallen into a matter that is an offence at once, entailing a formal meeting of the Order involving being sent away.”


Bi-Ss.5.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

BD.3.196 Filled with desire[3] means: infatuated, full of desire, physically in love with.

Filled with desire[4] means: infatuated, full of desire, physically in love with.

Man means: a human man, not a yakkha, not a departed one, not an animal[5]; he is learned, competent to be infatuated.

Solid food means: having set aside the five (kinds of) meals[6] (and) water for cleansing the teeth,[7] the rest is called solid food.

Soft food means: the five kinds (of) meals: conjey, barley-meal, food made with flour, fish, meat.[8]

If, thinking, “I will eat, I will partake of,” she accepts, there is a grave offence. For every mouthful there is an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.

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

Offence at once means: … therefore again it is called an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.


Bi-Ss.5.2.2 If she accepts water for cleansing the teeth, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

If one is filled with desire (and) she accepts, thinking, “I will eat, I will partake of,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful, there is a grave offence. If she accepts water for cleansing the teeth, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

If both are filled with desire (and) thinking, “I will eat, I will partake of,” she accepts from the hand of a yakkha or of a departed one or of a eunuch or of an animal in human form, there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful there is a grave offence. If she accepts water for cleansing the teeth, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

If one is filled with desire (and) she accepts, thinking, “I will eat, I will partake of,” there is an offence of BD.3.197 wrong-doing. For every mouthful, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she accepts water for cleansing the teeth, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Vin.4.234


Bi-Ss.5.2.3 There is no offence if neither comes to be filled with desire; if she accepts, knowing, “He is not filled with desire”; if he is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Cf. Vin.4.211 (= above, BD.3.156), Vin.4.234 (= below, BD.3.198).

2.

To here from beginning = Bi-Ss.6.

3.

= above, BD.3.161.

4.

= above, BD.3.161.

5.

= above, BD.3.161.

6.

Cf. Vin.4.83.

7.

See Monks’ Bu-Pc.40.