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) 18

Bi-Pc.18.1.1 BD.3.277 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun who was the pupil of Bhaddā Kāpilānī[1] attended on Bhaddā Kāpilānī respectfully. Bhaddā Kāpilānī spoke thus to the nuns: “Ladies, this nun attends on me respectfully, I will give her this robe.” Then that nun, because of a misapprehension,[2] because of a misunderstanding,[3] saying: “Ladies, they say that I do not attend respectfully upon the lady, they do not say that she will give me a robe,” made (someone) look down upon another. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can this nun because of a misapprehension, because of a misunderstanding, make (someone) look down upon another?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that a nun … made (someone) look down upon another?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can a nun, because of a misapprehension, because of a misunderstanding, make (someone) look down upon another? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun, because of a misapprehension, because of a misunderstanding, should make (someone) look down upon another, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.18.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

BD.3.278 Because of a misapprehension means: because it was apprehended in a different manner.

Because of a misunderstanding means: because it was understood in a different manner.

Another means: one who is ordained. If she makes (someone) look down upon (her), there is an offence of expiation. Vin.4.276


Bi-Pc.18.2.2 If she thinks that she is ordained when she is ordained (and) makes (someone) look down upon (her), there is an offence of expiation. If she is in doubt as to whether she is ordained … If she thinks that she is not ordained when she is ordained … offence of expiation. If she makes (someone) look down upon one who is not ordained, there 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.[4]


Bi-Pc.18.2.3 There is no offence if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.[5]

Footnotes and references:

2.

duggahitena. I think here it does not mean that the robe was taken wrongly, but what Bhaddā said.

3.

dūpadhāritena.

4.

Surely should read anāpatti, no offence.

5.

This Pācittiya is unique in the nuns’ group in having no more than these two regularly recurring instances where no offence is caused.

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