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) 10

[1] Bi-Ss.10.1.1 BD.3.201 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Caṇḍakālī, having quarrelled with nuns,[2] angry, displeased, spoke thus: “I repudiate[3] the enlightened one, I repudiate dhamma, I repudiate the Order, I repudiate the training. What indeed are these recluses who are recluses, daughters of the Sakyans? For there are other recluses, conscientious, scrupulous, desirous of training; I will lead the Brahma-life among these.” Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can the lady Caṇḍakālī, a nun, angry, displeased, speak thus: ‘I repudiate … I will lead the Brahma-life among these’?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Caṇḍakālī, angry, displeased, spoke thus: ‘I repudiate … I will lead the Brahma-life among these’?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the nun Caṇḍakālī, angry, displeased, Vin.4.236 speak thus: ‘I repudiate … I will lead the Brahma-life among these’? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun, angry, displeased, should speak thus: ‘I repudiate the enlightened one … I repudiate the training. What indeed are these recluses who are recluses, daughters of the Sakyans? For there are other recluses, conscientious, scrupulous,’ desirous of training; I will lead the Brahma-life among these,’ that nun should be spoken to thus by the nuns: ‘Do BD.3.202 not, lady, angry, displeased, speak thus: “I repudiate the enlightened one … I will lead the Brahma-life among these.” Be satisfied, lady, dhamma is well preached, lead the Brahma-life for the utter ending of ill.’ And if that nun, being spoken to thus by the nuns, persists as before, that nun should be admonished by the nuns up to a third time[4] for giving up that (course). If, being admonished up to a third time, she should give it up, that is good. If she should not give it up, that nun also has fallen into a matter that is an offence on the third (admonition),[5] entailing a formal meeting of the Order involving being sent away.”


Bi-Ss.10.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Angry, displeased means: dissatisfied, the mind worsened, stubborn.[6]

Should speak thus means: ‘I repudiate … I will lead the Brahma-life among these.’

That nun means: whatever nun speaks thus.

By the nuns means: by other nuns who see, who hear; she should be told by these[7]: “Do not, lady, angry, displeased … for the utter ending of ill.” 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. And that nun, having been pulled into the midst of the Order, should be told: “Do not, lady, angry, displeased, speak thus: ‘I repudiate the enlightened one, I repudiate, dhamma, I repudiate the Order, I repudiate the training … I will lead the Brahma-life among these.’ Be satisfied, lady, … lead the Brahma-life for the utter ending of ill.” And a second time she should be told, and a third time she BD.3.203 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, angry, displeased, spoke thus: ‘I repudiate … I will lead the Brahma-life among these.’ She does not give up this course. If it seems right to the Order, let the Order admonish the nun so and so Vin.4.237 for giving 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 for the giving up of this course. If the admonition of the mm so and so for the giving up of 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 the giving up of this course. It is pleasing … Thus 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 entailing a formal meeting of the Order. If she is committing an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order, the offence of wrong-doing according to the motion and the grave offences according to the two proclamations, subside.[8]

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

Up to the third time means: she falls on the third admonition, not through transgression of a course.[9]

Involving being sent away means: she is caused to be sent away by the Order.

Offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order means: BD.3.204 … therefore again it is called an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order.


Bi-Ss.10.2.2 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 entailing a formal meeting of the Order. If she is in doubt as to whether it is a legally valid act … 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 entailing a formal meeting of the Order. 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.[10]


Bi-Ss.10.2.3 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.[11]

Footnotes and references:

1.

Note by Sujato: Saṅghādisesa 7 in I.B. Horner’s edition.

2.

See Bi-Ss.4, where she is again shown as quarrelsome.

3.

paccācikkhati, intensive of paccakkhāti, on which see BD.1.40, n.2.

4.

yāvatatiyaṃ.

5.

yāvatatiyakaṃ. Cf. BD.1.328, n.2.

9.

Cf. above, BD.3.180.