Vinaya Pitaka (2): Bhikkhuni-vibhanga (the analysis of Nun’ rules)

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) 28

Bi-Pc.28.1.1 BD.3.298 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Thullanandā gave[1] recluses’ robe-material to players[2] and to dancers[3] and to female tumblers[4] and to female conjurors[5] and to drummers,[6] saying: “Do praise me in public.”[7] The players and the dancers and the tumblers and the conjurors and the drummers praised the nun Thullanandā in public, saying: “The lady Thullanandā is very learned, she is a repeater, she is wise, she is skilled in giving talk on dhamma.[8] Give for the lady, make for the lady.” Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying:

BD.3.299 “How can the lady Thullanandā give recluses’ robe-material to a householder?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Thullanandā gave recluses’ robe-material to a householder?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the nun Thullanandā give recluses’ robe-material to a householder? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should give recluses’ robe-material to a householder or to a wanderer or to a female wanderer, there is an offence of expiation.”

Bi-Pc.28.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Householder means: he who inhabits a house.[9]

Wanderer means: excluding monk and novice, he who has reached (the stage of a) wanderer.[10]

Female wanderer means: excluding nun and probationer and female novice, she who has reached (the stage of a) female wanderer.[11] Vin.4.286

Recluses’ robe-material means: it is called made allowable.[12] If she gives, there is an offence of expiation.

Bi-Pc.28.2.2 There is no offence if she gives to (her) parents; if she gives for the time being[13]; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:


Cf. below, BD.3.332.


naṭā, explained at Vin-a.931 as “those who play (or dance, nāṭenti) a pantomime (or dance, nāṭakaṃ).” This last is probably dance-drama. There was no hard-and-fast line in ancient India between dancing, acting and miming; all were needed together, with drumming, for the full production. At SN.iv.306f. players, nāṭa, are said by Gotama, as recorded, to arouse wrong states of mind in their audience, and to be reborn in the Hell of Laughter.


nāṭaka, explained at Vin-a.931 as those who dance (naccanti). Word occurs at Mil.331, translated as “play actor,” and at Mil.191.


laṅghikā, “those who do tumbling on bamboos and thongs,” Vin-a.931. Laṅghakā (plural) occurs at Mil.34, Mil.191, Mil.331; Ja.2.142.


sokajjhāyikā. Vin-a.931 reads sokasāyikā, with variant readings as text and sokachāyi, and explains as “illusion-makers.” Cf. Ja.6.580, explained thus here too, and with the further meaning of those who allay and dispel grief.


kumbhathūṇikā, explained at Vin-a.931 as players with a small jar (ghaṭaka?). Word also occurs at Ja.5.506, Ja.6.580 (not explained) and DN.i.6; see Dialogues of the Buddha 1.8, n.4. DN-a.84 says that kumbhathūṇa is the noise of a pot striking a four-cornered trough, which explanation Dialogues of the Buddha 1.8, n.4 says is “obscure and probably corrupt.”




As in Nuns’ Bu-NP.10, Bu-NP.11, Bu-Pc.33.


= Vin.4.92 (BD.2.349) = below, BD.3.332, and cf. Vin.4.224.


= Vin.4.92 (BD.2.349) = below, BD.3.332, and cf. Vin.4.224.


kappakata. Cf. definition of “new (robe)” as akalakappa at Vin.4.120. See BD.2.407, n.5, n.6, and BD.2.409, n.5.

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