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) 70

Bi-Pc.70.1.1 BD.3.379 … 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that time the nun Thullanandā, having ordained (the woman) who lived with her,[1] neither withdrew[2] her nor had her withdrawn; her husband seized her. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can the lady Thullanandā, having ordained (the woman) who lives with her, neither withdraw her nor have her withdrawn? Her husband seized her. If this nun had departed her husband could not have seized her.” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Thullanandā … nor had her withdrawn (so that) her husband seized her?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the nun Thullanandā … nor have her withdrawn (so that) her husband seized her? 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Whatever nun, having ordained (the woman) who lives with her, should neither withdraw her nor have her withdrawn even to (a distance of) five or six yojanas, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.70.2.1 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 upasampadā ordination.[4] Vin.4.327

BD.3.380 Should neither withdraw her[5] means: should not herself withdraw her.

Nor should have her withdrawn means: should not command another.

If she thinks: “I will neither withdraw her nor will I have her withdrawn even to (a distance of) five or six yojanas,” in throwing off the responsibility, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.70.2.2 There is no offence if there is an obstacle; if, having looked about for a nun as a companion, 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.[6]

Footnotes and references:

1.

Cf. above, BD.3.309, BD.3.375.

2.

vūpakāsesi, to withdraw, seclude, alienate—i.e., from the haunts of men.

3.

Cf. above, BD.3.309, BD.3.375.

4.

Cf. above, BD.3.361, BD.3.375.

5.

Vin-a.941, “if having taken her, she should not go away.”