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) 31

Bi-Pc.31.1.1 BD.3.304 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time two nuns shared[1] one couch.[2] People, engaged in touring the dwelling-place, having seen (them) … spread it about, saying: “How can two nuns share one couch, like women householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses?” Nuns heard these people who … spread it about. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can two nuns share one couch?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that two nuns shared one couch?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can two nuns share one couch? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training: Vin.4.289

Whatever two nuns should share one couch, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.31.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Nuns mean: they are called ordained.

Two should share one couch means: if one is lying down and the other lies down, there is an offence of expiation. Or if both are lying down, there is an offence of expiation. If having got up, they lie down again, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.31.2.2 There is no offence if one is lying down and the other sits down, or if both are sitting down; if they are mad, if they are the first wrong-doers.

Footnotes and references:

1.

tuvaṭṭenti, explained at Vin-a.932 as to lie down on.

2.

At Vin.2.124 it is made a dukkaṭa offence for monks to share one couch. At Vin.2.10 one of the bad habits indulged in by lax monks was the sharing of one couch with women of respectable families.