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) 56

Bi-Pc.56.1.1 BD.3.352 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time several nuns, having spent the rains in a village residence, went to Sāvatthī. Nuns spoke thus to these nuns: “Where did the ladies spend the rains? We hope that the exhortation was effective?”[1]

“There were no monks there, ladies; how could the exhortation be effective?” Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying:

“How can these nuns spend the rains in a residence where there is no monk?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nuns … where there was no monk?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the nuns … where there is no monk? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should spend the rains in a residence where there is no monk, there is an offence of expiation.”[2]


Bi-Pc.56.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

A residence where there is no monk means: it is not possible to go for exhortation[3] or for communion.[4] BD.3.353 If she thinks, “I will spend the rains,” (and) prepares a lodging, provides drinking water and water for washing, sweeps a cell, there is an offence of wrong-doing. With sunrise, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.56.2.2 There is no offence if monks, having entered on the rains-settlement, come to have gone away or left the Order or done their time or gone over to (another) side; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.[5]

Footnotes and references:

1.

iddha, as at Vin.4.50, Vin.4.54.

2.

This rule is the same as the second of the eight “important rules,” see BD.2.268.

3.

Rules for exhortation in the eight “important rules” occur at Monks’ Bu-Pc.21Bu-Pc.24.

4.

saṃvāsa. (To go) for communion explained at Vin-a.938 to mean (to go) for asking the (date of the) Observance day, uposatha, and the Invitation ceremony, pavāraṇā. See BD.2.268 and n.6, n.8; also Nuns’ Bi-Pc.57; but also see definition of saṃvāsa at end of each Pārājika rule, and below, BD.3.356.

5.

= above, BD.3.190, where see n.3.