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) 22

Bi-Pc.22.1.1 BD.3.285 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time bathing cloths for the nuns were allowed by the lord.[1] Vin.4.279 The group of six nuns, saying: “Bathing cloths are allowed by the lord,” wore bathing cloths that were not of a (proper) measure; they went about trailing (these) in front as well as behind.[2] Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can the group of six nuns wear bathing cloths that are not of a (proper) measure?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six nuns wear bathing cloths that are not of a (proper) measure?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the group of six nuns wear bathing cloths that are not of a (proper) measure? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

When a bathing cloth is being made for a nun, it must be made to a (proper) measure. This is the (proper) measure here: in length four spans according to the accepted span, in width two spans. For her who exceeds this (measure), there is an offence of expiation involving cutting down.[3]


Bi-Pc.22.2.1 Bathing cloth means: dressed in[4] which, she bathes.

BD.3.286 Is being made means: making or causing to be made.[5]

It must be made to a (proper) measure. This is the (proper) measure here: in length four spans according to the accepted span, in width two spans means: if she makes it or causes it to be made exceeding this (measure), in the business there is an offence of wrong-doing; having cut it down on acquisition, an offence of expiation is to be confessed.

If what was incompletely executed by herself she has finished by herself, there is an offence of expiation. If she makes others finish what was incompletely executed by herself … If what was incompletely executed by others she has finished by herself … If she makes others finish what was incompletely executed by others, there is an offence of expiation. If she makes it or causes it to be made for another, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If, having acquired what was made for another, she makes use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing.[6]


Bi-Pc.22.2.2 There is no offence if she makes it to the (proper) measure; if she makes it to less than the (proper) measure; if having acquired what was made for another (but) exceeding the (proper) measure, having cut it down, she makes use of it; if she makes a canopy or a ground-covering or a screen-wall or a mattress or a squatting-mat; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.[7]

Footnotes and references:

1.

At Vin.1.294. The giving of bathing cloths for the Order of nuns was the last of the eight boons which Visakha asked the lord to confer on her. The bathing cloth was the fifth robe to be pointed out to a nun at her ordination, Vin.2.272.

2.

Cf. above, BD.3.99.

3.

Cf. Monks’ Bu-Pc.87, Bu-Pc.89, Bu-Pc.90, Bu-Pc.91.

4.

Here is another example of a garment to which nivattha refers; see BD.2.32, n.2.