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) 36

Bi-Pc.36.1.1 BD.3.314 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Caṇḍakalī kept company[1] with a householder and with a householder’s son.[2] Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can the lady Caṇḍakalī keep company …?”…

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Caṇḍakalī kept company …?”

“It is true, lord.”

“How, monks, Vin.4.294 can the nun Caṇḍakalī keep company with a householder and a householder’s son? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should keep company with a householder or with a householder’s son, that nun should be spoken to thus by the nuns: ‘Do not, lady, keep company with a householder and with a householder’s son. Let the lady desist, the Order praises such detachment in a sister.’ But if that nun, being spoken to thus by the nuns, should persist as before, that nun should be admonished by the nuns up to the third time for giving up that (course). If she should give it up, while being admonished up to the third time, that is good. If she should not give it up, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.36.2.1 BD.3.315 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Keeps company means: keeps company unbecomingly as to body and speech.

Householder means: he who inhabits a house. Householder s son means: he who is a son or brothers.[3]

That nun means: that nun who keeps company.

By the nuns means: by other nuns who see, who hear; she should be told by these: “Do not, lady, … the Order praises such detachment in a sister.” And a second time she should be told. And a third time she should be told. If she gives it up, that is good. But if she does not give it up, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Having heard, if they do not speak, there is an offence of wrong-doing. That nun, having been pulled to the midst of the Order, should be told: “Do not, lady, … the Order praises such detachment in a sister.” And a second time she should be told. And a third time she should be told. If she gives it up, that is good. But if she does not give it up, there is an offence of wrong-doing. That nun should be admonished. And thus, monks, should she be admonished: the Order should be informed by an experienced, competent nun, saying: “Ladies, let the Order listen to me. This nun so and so keeps company with a householder and with a householder’s son. She does not give up this course. If it seems right to the Order let the Order admonish the nun so and so for giving up this course. This is the motion. Ladies, let the Order listen to me. This nun so and so …” And a second time I speak forth this matter … And a third time I speak forth this matter … The nun so and so is admonished by the Order for giving up this course. If it is pleasing … So do I understand this.[4] Vin.4.295

As a result of the motion, there is an offence of wrong-doing; as a result of two proclamations, there are offences of wrong-doing. At the end of the proclamations, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.36.2.2 BD.3.316 If she thinks that it is a legally valid act when it is a legally valid act (and) does not give it up, there is an offence of expiation. If she is in doubt as to whether it is a legally valid act … If she thinks that it is not a legally valid act when it is a legally valid act … offence of expiation. If she thinks that it is a legally valid act when it is not a legally valid act, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she is in doubt as to whether it is not a legally valid act, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that it is not a legally valid act when it is not a legally valid act, there is an offence of wrong-doing.[5]


Bi-Pc.36.2.3 There is no offence if she is not admonished; if she gives it up; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.[6]

Footnotes and references:

1.

This Pācittya should be compared with the Nuns’ Bi-Ss.12. The Pācittiya, partaking as it does of Saṅghādisesa material and character, seems out of place here. The main difference is that in the Pācittiya, a nun lived ia society with a householder, while in the Saṅghādisesa, nuns who were pupils lived in society and were of evil habits and so on. Cf. also Bi-Pc.79.

2.

gahapatināpi gahapatiputtena pi. Cf. DN.i.62; MN.i.179, MN.i.344.

3.

yo koci puttabhātaro.

4.

Cf. Nuns’ Bi-Ss.10.

5.

Should no doubt read “no offence.”

6.

Cf. Nuns’ Bi-Ss.10.