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) 34

Bi-Pc.34.1.1 BD.3.309 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Thullanandā, when (the woman) who lived with her[1] was ailing, neither attended to her nor made an effort[2] to get her attended to. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can the lady Thullanandā, when (the woman) who lives with her is ailing, neither attend to her nor make an effort to get her attended to?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Thullanandā … neither attended to her nor … attended to?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the nun Thullanandā, when (the woman) who lives with her is ailing, neither attend to her nor make an effort to get her attended to? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should neither attend to an ailing (woman) who lives with her nor should make an effort to get her attended to, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.34.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Ailing means: she is called ill.

(Woman) who lives with her means: she is called one who shares her cell.[3]

BD.3.310 Should neither attend to her means: should not herself attend to her.[4]

Nor should make an effort to get her attended to means: should not command another.[5]

If she thinks, “I will neither attend to her nor make an effort to get her attended to,” in throwing off the responsibility, there is an offence of expiation.[6] If she attends neither to a pupil nor to one who is not ordained nor makes an effort to get her attended to, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Vin.4.292


Bi-Pc.34.2.2 There is no offence if there is an obstacle[7]; if, having looked about, she does not get the chance; if she is ill; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

sahajīvinī. cf. below, BD.3.375, BD.3.379. Not necessarily a fully ordained nun, for the sahajīvinī might be a pupil or one not ordained (see Bi-Pc.34.2.1 below), while Bi-Pc.68 and Bi-Pc.70 speak of Thullanandā ordaining her sahajīvinī, which means that they had shared a cell before the latter was ordained.

2.

Cf. above, BD.3.287, below, BD.3.330.

3.

saddhivihārinī, co-resident. Also below, BD.3.375, BD.3.379.

4.

Cf. above, BD.3.288, below, BD.3.331.

5.

Cf. above, BD.3.288, below, BD.3.331.

6.

Cf. above, BD.3.288, below, BD.3.331.

7.

Cf. above, BD.3.289, but where the text’s punctuation is different, and below, BD.3.331. I prefer that obtaining in Bi-Pc.34 and Bi-Pc.45.