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’ Forfeiture (Nissaggiya) 3

Bi-NP.3.1.1 BD.3.220 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Thullanandā, having exchanged[1] a robe with a certain nun, made use of it. Then that nun, having folded up that robe, laid it aside.[2] The nun Thullanandā spoke thus to that nun: “Lady, that robe Vin.4.247 which was exchanged by you with me, where is that robe?” Then that nun, having taken out that robe, showed it to the nun Thullanandā. The nun Thullanandā spoke thus to that nun: “Lady, take back[3] your robe, give[4] me this robe. That which is yours is yours, that which is mine is mine. Give this to me, take away your own,” and she tore it away.[5] Then that nun told this matter to the nuns … to the monks. The monks … to the lord. He said:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Thullanandā … tore it away?”

“It is true, lord.”

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How, monks, can the nun Thullanandā … tear it away? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun, having exchanged a robe with a nun, should afterwards speak thus: ‘Lady, take your robe, give this robe to me. That which is yours is yours, that which is mine is mine. Give this to me, take away BD.3.221 your own,’ (and) should tear it away or should cause (another) to tear it away, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.[6]


Bi-NP.3.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

With a nun means: with another nun.

Robe means: any one robe of the six (kinds of) robes (including) the least one fit for assignment.[7]

Having exchanged means: something large for something small or something small for something large.

Should tear it away means[8]: if she tears it away herself, there is an offence of’ expiation involving forfeiture.

Should cause (another) to tear it away means: if she commands another, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If having commanded once, she then tears many away, it is to be forfeited. It should be forfeited to an Order or to a group or to one nun. And thus, monks, should it be forfeited: ‘Ladies, having exchanged this robe with a nun, it was torn away by me; it is to be forfeited. I forfeit it to the Order’‘the Order should give back … let the ladies give back … I will give back (this robe) to the lady.’


Bi-NP.3.2.2 If she thinks that she is ordained when she is ordained, (and) having exchanged a robe, tears it away or causes (another) to tear it away, there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture. Vin.4.248 If she is in doubt as to whether she is ordained … If she thinks that she is not ordained when she is ordained … involving forfeiture. Having exchanged another requisite, if she tears it away or causes (another) to tear it away, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Having exchanged a robe or another requisite with one who is not ordained, if she tears it away or causes (another) to tear it away, there BD.3.222 is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that she is ordained when she is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she is in doubt as to whether she is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that she is not ordained when she is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Bi-NP.3.2.3 There is no offence if she gives it or takes it from her in a friendly manner; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Or bartered, parivattetvā. In Bhikkhu Bu-NP.5 monks are allowed to accept robes in exchange from monks, nuns, probationers, male and female novices; while in Bhikkhu Bu-Pc.25 they are allowed to give robes in exchange to these same five classes of people.

3.

handa. Vin-a.917 says gaṇha, take.

4.

āharati here has sense of to give, as at Vin.3.206.

5.

Cf. Vin.3.254 (= BD.2.139).

6.

Cf. Monks’ Bu-NP.25 where a monk having himself given a robe to a monk must-not then tear it away from him.

8.

From here to end cf. Monks’ Bu-NP.25.