Vinaya Pitaka (2): Bhikkhuni-vibhanga (the analysis of Nun’ rules)

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) 68

Bi-Pc.68.1.1 BD.3.375 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Thullanandā, having ordained the woman who lived with her,[1] for two years neither helped her nor had her helped. These[2] were ignorant, inexperienced, they did not know what was allowable or what was not allowable. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can the lady Thullanandā, having ordained the woman who lives with her, for two years neither Vin.4.325 help her nor have her helped?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Thullanandā … nor had her helped?”

“It is true, lord.”

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How, monks, can the nun Thullanandā … nor have her helped? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun, having ordained the woman who lives with her, for two years should neither help her nor have her helped, there is an offence of expiation.”

Bi-Pc.68.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Woman who lives with her means: she is called the one who shares her cell.[3]

Having ordained means: having conferred the upasampada ordination.

Two years means: two years.[4]

BD.3.376 Should neither help her means: should not herself help her in regard to the exposition, the interrogation,[5] the exhortation, the instruction.[6]

Nor should have her helped means: should not command another.

If for two years she thinks: “I will neither help her nor have her helped,” in throwing off the responsibility, there is an offence of expiation.

Bi-Pc.68.2.2 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.[7]

Footnotes and references:


Cf. above, BD.3.309, below, BD.3.379.


This must mean that at least for more than one year Thullanandā had ordained her sahajīvinīs.


= above, BD.3.309.


= above, BD.3.366, BD.3.368, BD.3.374.


anusāsanī. Cf. Vin.1.50 for repetition of these four words.

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