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) 74

Bi-Pc.74.1.1 BD.3.384 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time nuns ordained while they were less than twelve years (of standing).[1] They were ignorant, inexperienced, they did not know what was allowable or what was not allowable; moreover, the women who’ shared their cells 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 these nuns ordain while they are less than twelve years (of standing)?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that nuns … less than twelve years (of standing)?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can nuns … less than twelve years (of standing)? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should ordain while she is less than twelve years (of standing) there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.74.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Less than twelve years means: not attained to twelve years.

Should ordain means: Bi-Pc.61.2.1 … offence of wrong-doing for the group and for the woman teacher.


Bi-Pc.74.2.2 There is no offence if she ordains when she has completed twelve years (of standing); if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer. Vin.4.330

Footnotes and references:

1.

ūnadvādasavassā, probably to be taken as nominative plural agreeing with bhikkhuniyo, and meaning less than twelve years from their own ordination. See next two Pācittiyas, and BD.3, Introduction, p.lii.