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) 11

Bi-Pc.11.1.1 BD.3.263 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a man, a relative[1] of a nun who was a pupil of Bhaddā Kāpilānī,[2] set out from a village for Sāvatthī on some business. Then that nun stood together with and further talked with that man, the one with the other, in the dark of the night when there was no light. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can this nun stand together with and further talk with a man, the one with the other, in the dark of the night when there is no light?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that a nun … when there was no light?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can a nun … when there was no light? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should stand together with or should talk with[3] a man, the one with the other, in the dark of the night when there is no light, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.11.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

In the dark of the night means: after the sun has gone down.[4]

When there is no light means: when it is dark.[5] Vin.4.269

BD.3.264 Man means: a human man, not a yakkha, not a departed one, not an animal; one who is learned, competent to stand, to talk.

Together with means: together.[6]

The one with the other means: there is a man as well as a nun.[7]

Should stand together with means: if she stands within a reach of a man’s hand, there is an offence of expiation.

Or should talk with means: if she talks, standing within a reach of a man’s hand, there is an offence of expiation. If she stands or talks, having left (the space of) a reach of the hand,[8] there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she stands together with or talks with a yakkha or a departed one or a eunuch or an animal in human form, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Bi-Pc.11.2.2 There is no offence if some learned friend comes to be (present); if she, not wishing for a private place, stands or talks thinking about something else[9]; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Fact that he was a relative did not mitigate the offence.

3.

Vin-a.926 “about worldly life.”

4.

Same phrase used in definition of atthaṃgate suriye, “after sunset,” at Vin.4.55 (BD.2.275).

5.

anāloke.

8.

Cf. Vin.4.95.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: