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’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 8

Bi-Pc.8.1.1 BD.3.257 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a certain brahmin who earned (his keep) as a hireling of a king,[1] saying, “I will ask for wages as before,” having washed his head, went along beside a nunnery to the royal court. A certain nun, having relieved herself in a receptacle, in throwing it away over a wall, let it fall[2] on that brahmin’s head. Then that brahmin … spread it about, saying: “These shaven-headed strumpets are not true recluses.[3] How can they let a pot fall on my head? I will set fire to their dwelling,” and having taken up a fire-brand, he entered the dwelling. A certain lay follower as he was going out from the dwelling saw that brahmin who, having taken up the fire-brand, was entering the dwelling. Seeing him, he spoke thus to that brahmin: “Why do you, good sir, having taken up a fire-brand, enter the dwelling?”

“Good sir, these shaven-headed strumpets let a pot fall on my head. I will set fire to their dwelling.”

“Go away, good brahmin, this is auspicious; you will receive a thousand, and this is (your) wage.” Then that brahmin, having washed his head, having gone to the royal court, received a thousand, and this was the wage. Then that lay follower, having entered the dwelling, having told this matter to the nuns, scolded them. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns throw out excrement over a wall?” …

Is it true, as is said, monks, that nuns threw out excrement over a wall?”

“It is true, lord.”

BD.3.258 The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying:

“How, monks, can nuns … over a wall? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should throw out or should cause (another) to throw out excrement or urine or rubbish or remains of food over a wall or over a fence, there is an offence of expiation.” Vin.4.266

Bi-Pc.8.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Excrement means: it is called faeces.

Urine means: it is called water.

Rubbish means: it is called sweepings.

Remains of food means: odd bits or bones or impure water.[4]

Wall means: there are three (kinds of) walls, a wall of bricks, a wall of stones, a wall of wood.

Fence means: there are three (kinds of) fences, a fence of bricks, a fence of stones, a fence of wood.

Over a wall means: beyond a wall.

Over a fence means: beyond a fence.

Should throw out means: if she herself throws out, there is an offence of expiation.

Should cause (another) to throw out means: if she commands another, there is an offence of expiation. When once commanded, if she throws out many times, there is an offence of expiation.

Bi-Pc.8.2.2 There is no offence if she throws out having looked over; if she throws out into what is not a track[5]; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:


nibbiṭṭharājabhaṭa. Cf. Snp.25.


āsumbhi. Cf. above, BD.3.252.


Cf. above, BD.3.178, below, BD.3.275.


This list occurs at Vin.2.115, monks there being forbidden to take these things out in their bowls, as though they were waste-tubs.


avalañje—i.e., presumably meaning into a place where no one is likely to pass, avalañja meaning “impassable, out of use” (Critical Pali Dictionary), and valañja, meaning a “track” (Pali-English Dictionary). Commentary is of no help.