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) 48

Bi-Pc.48.1.1 BD.3.335 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Thullanandā, not having given up her dwelling,[1] set out on almstour. Now at that time the nun Thullanandā’s dwelling caught fire. Nuns spoke thus: “Come along, ladies, we are bringing out the things.” Some spoke thus: “Ladies, we will not bring them out; she will make us responsible for[2] everything that is destroyed.” The nun Thullanandā, having come back again to that dwelling, asked the nuns, saying: “Ladies, did you bring out my things?”

“We, lady, did not bring them out.”

The nun Thullanandā … spread it about, saying:

“How can these nuns, when a dwelling is on fire, not bring out the things?” Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying:

“How can the lady Thullanandā, not having given up her dwelling, set out on almstour?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Thullanandā … set out on almstour?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the nun Thullanandā, not having given up her dwelling, set out on almstour? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun, not having given up her dwelling, should set out on almstour, there is an offence of expiation.”[3]


Bi-Pc.48.2.1 BD.3.336 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Dwelling means: it is called fastened by a door.[4]

Not having given up, should set out on almstour means: if, not having given up to a nun or to a probationer or to a female novice, in passing beyond the enclosure of a dwelling that is fenced in, there is an offence of expiation. In passing beyond the precincts of a dwelling that is not fenced in, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.48.2.2 If she thinks that it is not given up when it is not given up (and) sets out, there is an offence of expiation. If she is in doubt as to whether it is not given up … If she thinks that it is given up when it is not given up … offence of expiation. If, not having given up what is not fastened by a door, she sets out, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that it is not given up when it is given up … If she is in doubt as to whether it is given up, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that it is given up when it is given up, there is no offence. Vin.4.305


Bi-Pc.48.2.3 There is no offence if she sets out having given it up; if there is an obstacle; if having looked about she does not get the chance; if she is ill; if there are accidents[5]; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

āvasatha.

2.

amhe abhiyuñjissati.

3.

The offence is not in not saving property and helping one another, but in not making proper provision for the cure of property.

4.

Cf. definition of “quarters,” upassaya, at BD.3.312, above.