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) 20

Bi-Pc.20.1.1 BD.3.281 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Caṇḍakalī, having quarrelled with the nuns, wept having struck[1] herself again and again. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can the lady Caṇḍakalī weep, having struck herself again and again?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Caṇḍakalī wept, having struck herself again and again?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the nun Caṇḍakalī weep, having struck herself again and again? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should weep, having struck herself again and again, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.20.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Herself means: herself (individually).[2]

If she weeps, having struck herself again and again, there is an offence of expiation. If she strikes, (but) does not weep, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she weeps, (but) does not strike, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


Bi-Pc.20.2.2 There is no offence if, smitten by loss of relations or by BD.3.282 loss of possessions[3] or by loss of health,[4] she weeps (but) does not strike; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

The Second Division: that on the dark Vin.4.278

Footnotes and references:

1.

vadhitvā, also meaning to punish.

2.

See above, BD.3.280.

3.

bhoga, usually translated in this sequence as “wealth,” must here refer either to the nun’s own few possessions or to her relatives’ wealth.

4.

Here three misfortunes or losses, vyasana, occur; five are given at AN.iii.147, DN.iii.235, where it is said that of these five, three (those mentioned above) do not cause beings to arise after death in painful states, while the other two do.