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) 57

Bi-Pc.57.1.1 BD.3.354 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time several nuns, having kept the rains in a village residence, went to Sāvatthī. Nuns spoke thus to these nuns: “Where did the ladies keep the rains? Was an Order of monks Vin.4.314 ‘invited’[1]?”

“Ladies, we did not ‘invite’ an Order of monks.” Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns, having spent the rains, not ‘invite’ an Order of monks?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that nuns … did not ‘invite’ an Order of monks?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can nuns … not ‘invite’ an Order of monks? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun, having kept the rains, should not ‘invite’ both Orders in respect of three matters: what was seen or heard or suspected, there is an offence of expiation.”[2]


Bi-Pc.57.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Having kept the rains means: having kept the first three months or the last three months.[3]

If she thinks, “I will not ‘invite’ both Orders in respect of three matters: what was seen or heard or BD.3.355 suspected,” in throwing off the responsibility, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.57.2.2 There is no offence if there is an obstacle; if, having looked about, she does not get the chance; if she is ill; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.[4]

Footnotes and references:

1.

pavārito, a technical term. See BD.2.268, n.8. Regulations for nuns to hold the pavāraṇā ceremony, using the word pavāreti, given at Vin.2.275. Cf. also Vin.1.161.

2.

Cf. the fourth “important rule,” BD.2.268.

3.

Cf. definition of “during the rains,” above, BD.3.321.

4.

Cf. above, BD.3.289, BD.3.310, BD.3.331, BD.3.336; and below, BD.3.376.