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) 55

Bi-Pc.55.1.1 BD.3.350 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a certain nun, walking for alms along a certain road in Sāvatthī, approached a certain family; having approached, she sat down on an appointed seat. Then these people, having offered food to this nun, spoke thus: “Lady, other nuns may also come.” Then this nun, thinking: “How may these nuns not come?” having approached the nuns, spoke thus: “Ladies, in such and such a place there are fierce dogs, a wild bull, the place is a swamp, do not go there.” But a certain nun, walking for alms along that road, approached that family; having approached, she sat down on an appointed seat. Then these people, having offered food to that nun, spoke thus: “Why do not the other nuns come, lady?” Then this nun told this matter to those people. The people … spread it about, saying: “How can that nun be grudging as to families?”[1]

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that a nun was grudging as to families?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can a nun be grudging as to families? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should be one who is grudging as to families, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.55.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

BD.3.351 Family means: … low caste family.[2]

Should be one who is grudging as to families means: if they say, “Why do the nuns not come?” (and) she speaks dispraise of a family in front of nuns, there is an offence of expiation. Or if she speaks dispraise of nuns in front of a family, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.55.2.2 There is no offence if, not being grudging as to families, she merely explains that there is a danger[3]; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer. Vin.4.313

Footnotes and references:

1.

Five forms of meanness, stinginess or grudgingness, macchariya, are given at AN.iii.139, AN.iii.258, AN.iii.266, AN.iii.273, AN.iv.459; DN.iii.234; Ds.1122 (see Buddhist Psychological Ethics, § 1122, n.); Vism.683.

3.

According to Vin-a.938 she either explains to the nuns that the family are non-believers, or she explains to the family that the nuns are of weak morality and of depraved states of mind.