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) 6

Bi-Ss.6.1.1 BD.3.198 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Sundarīnandā was beautiful, good to look upon, charming. People, having seen the nun Sundarīnandā in the refectory, were filled with desire (and) gave the very best meals to the nun Sundarīnandā.[1] The nun Sundarīnandā, being scrupulous, did not accept. The nun immediately following her[2] spoke thus to the nun Sundarīnandā: “Why do you, lady, not accept?”

“He is filled with desire, lady.”

“But are you, lady, filled with desire?”

“I am not filled with desire.”

“What can this man,[3] whether he is filled with desire or not filled with desire, do to you, lady, since you are not filled with desire? Please, lady, eat or partake of the solid food or the soft food which this man is giving to you, you having accepted it with your own hand.”

Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can this nun speak thus: ‘What can this man … Please, lady, eat or partake of … having accepted it with your own hand’?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that a nun spoke thus: ‘What can this man … Please, lady, eat or partake of … having accepted it with your own hand’?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can a nun speak thus: ‘What can this man … Please, lady, eat or partake of … having accepted it with your own hand’? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

BD.3.199Whatever nun should speak thus: ‘What can this man, whether he is filled with desire or not filled with desire, do to you, lady, since you are not filled with desire? Please, lady, eat or partake of the solid food or the soft food which this man is giving to you, you having accepted it with your own hand,’ 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.6.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Should speak thus: ‘What can this man … with your own hand’ (and) instigates[4] her, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If, at her bidding she accepts, thinking, “I will eat, I will partake of,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every Vin.4.235 mouthful, there is a grave offence. At the end of the meal, 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.6.2.2 If she instigates her, saying: “Accept water for cleansing the teeth,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. If, at her bidding she accepts, thinking, “I will eat, I will partake of,” there is an offence of wrong-doing.

If one is filled with desire (and) she instigates her saying: “Eat or partake of solid food or soft food from the hand of a yakkha or of a departed one or of a enunch or of an animal in human form,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. If, at her bidding she accepts, thinking: “I will eat, I will partake of,” there is an offence of wrong-doing. For every mouthful, there is an offence of wrong-doing. At the end of the meal, there is a grave offence. If she instigates her, saying: “Accept water for cleansing the teeth,” there is an BD.3.200 offence of wrong-doing. If at her bidding she accepts, thinking: “I will eat, I will partake of,” there is an offence of wrong-doing,


Bi-Ss.6.2.3 There is no offence if she instigates her knowing that he is not filled with desire; if she instigates her, thinking: “Being angry, she does not accept”; if she instigates her, thinking: “She does not accept out of compassion for a family”; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

= opening of Bi-Ss.5, above.

2.

I.e., in the procession for alms.

3.

purisapuggala, as at Vin.4.212.

4.

uyyojeti.