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) 41

Bi-Pc.41.1.1 BD.3.324 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a bold design[1] was made in a picture gallery[2] in King Pasenadi of Kosala’s pleasure grove. Many people went to see the picture gallery. The group of six nuns also went to see the picture gallery. People … spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six nuns go to see the picture gallery, 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 this group of six nuns go to see a picture gallery?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six nuns went to see a picture gallery?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can this group of six nuns go to see a picture gallery? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should go to see a king’s pleasure house[3] or a picture gallery or a park or a pleasure grove or a lotus pond,[4] there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.41.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

King’s pleasure house means: wherever it is made for a king to amuse himself, to enjoy himself.

BD.3.325 Picture gallery means: wherever it is made for people to amuse themselves, to enjoy themselves.

Park[5] means: wherever it is made for people to amuse themselves, to enjoy themselves.

Pleasure grove means: wherever it is made for people to amuse themselves, to enjoy themselves.[6]

Lotus pond means: wherever it is made for people to amuse themselves, to enjoy themselves.

If she goes to see, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Standing where she sees, there is an offence of expiation. Having left the region of sight, if she sees again, there is an offence of expiation. If she goes to see one or the other, there is an offence of wrong-doing. Standing where she sees, there is an offence of expiation. Having left the region of sight, if she sees again, there is an offence of expiation.[7] Vin.4.299


Bi-Pc.41.2.2 There is no offence if, standing in a monastery, she sees;[8] if she sees as she is going out or coming in[9]; if she sees, having gone out as there is something to be done;[10] if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

paṭibhānacitta. See BD.2.285, n.5.

[2]:

cittāgāra.

[3]:

rājāgāra. Cf. DN.i.1, °ka, which DN-a.42 explains as: “there they made a rest house (agāra) adorned with various designs (paṭibhānacitta) for the king’s amusement. It was called a rājāgāra.

[4]:

At Vin.2.123 a lay follower wanted to have a lotus pond built for the monks. The lord, as is said, allowed the lotus pond to the monks.

[5]:

ārāma, which I have usually translated as “monastery”; see BD.2.2, n.2.

[6]:

uyyāna therefore here does not have the special meaning of “royal” pleasance, as is sometimes the case.

[7]:

Cf. Vin.4.108 (BD.2.380). As Vin-a.934 points out, the last two clauses there, corresponding to the last two above, incur an offence of wrong-doing. It is sometimes the case that monks incur a lesser penalty than the nuns for a comparable offence.

[8]:

According to Vin-a.934 this means that if she sees them building a king’s pleasure house and so on when she is inside a monastery.

[9]:

Vin-a.934 explains that if she sees when on the road for her almstour, there is no offence.

[10]:

Vin-a.934, in the king’s presence.

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