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) 25

Bi-Pc.25.1.1 BD.3.292 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a certain nun having walked for alms, having spread out a damp robe,[1] entered a dwelling-place. A certain nun, having put on that robe, entered a village for almsfood. She, having come out,[2] asked the nuns: “Ladies, have you not seen my robe?” The nuns told this matter to that nun. Then that nun … spread it about, saying:

“How can this nun, without asking (for permission) put on my robe?” Then this nun told this matter to the nuns. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can this nun put on a nun’s robe without asking (for permission)?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that a nun … without asking (for permission)?”

“It is true, lord.”

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How, monks, can a nun … without asking (for permission)? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should wear a robe that should be handed back,[3] there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.25.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

A robe that should be handed back means: if she dresses in or puts on any one robe of the five (kinds of) robes of BD.3.293 one who is ordained, either if it was not given to her or without asking (permission) for it, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.25.2.2 If she thinks that she is ordained when she is ordained (and) wears a robe that should be handed back, 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. Vin.4.283 If she wears a robe of one who is not ordained and that should be handed back, 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.25.2.3 There is no offence if she gives it or, if asking (permission) for it, she dresses in it or puts it on; if she is one whose robe is stolen,[5] if she is one whose robe is destroyed[6]; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

allacīvara. Cf. Ja.6.51. Alla can mean wet, moist, and also fresh, new.

2.

This must refer to the first nun, meaning when she (later) came out of the dwelling-place.

3.

cīvarasaṃkamanīyaṃ, explained at Vin-a.930 as paṭidātabbacīvara, a robe that should be restored, given back (to the rightful owner).

4.

Should doubtless read, “there is no offence.”

5.

Cf. above, BD.3.284.

6.

Cf. above, BD.3.284