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) 76

Bi-Pc.76.1.1 BD.3.387 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun Caṇḍakālī, having approached the Order of nuns, asked for the agreement to ordain. Then the Order of nuns, having tested[1] the nun Caṇḍakālī, saying: “You have ordained sufficiently, lady, for the time being,”[2] did not give her the agreement to ordain. The nun Caṇḍakālī answered, “Very good.” Now at that time the Order of nuns gave the agreement to ordain to other nuns. The nun Caṇḍakālī … spread it about, saying: “Am I then ignorant, am I then unconscientious,[3] that the Order gives the agreement to ordain to other nuns, but does not give it to me?” Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying:

“How can the lady Caṇḍakālī, on being told, ‘You have ordained sufficiently, lady, for the time being,’ and having answered, ‘Very good,’ afterwards engage in criticism?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Caṇḍakālī … afterwards engaged in criticism[4]?”

“It is true, lord.”

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How, monks, can the nun Caṇḍakālī … afterwards engage in criticism? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun, on being told, ‘You have ordained BD.3.388 sufficiently, lady, for the time being,’ and having answered, ‘very good,’ should afterwards engage in criticism, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.76.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

‘You have ordained sufficiently, lady, for the time being’ means: ‘You have conferred the upasampadā,[5] sufficiently, lady, for the time being.’

If, having answered, ‘Very good,’ she afterwards engages in criticism, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.76.2.2 There is no offence if she criticises one acting by nature from desire, from hatred, from confusion, from fear[6]; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer. Vin.4.332

Footnotes and references:

1.

paricchitvā; cf. previous Pācittiya.

2.

alaṃ tāva te ayye vuṭṭhāpitena, or “please stop ordaining,” or “there is no need for you to ordain at present.” Cf. alaṃ te idhavāsena at Vin.3.184.

3.

The two points on which nuns had to be tested according to the previous Pācittya.

4.

See above, BD.3.59, BD.3.64, and notes.

5.

At Bi-Pc.79 below, Caṇḍakālī is called a probationer, and was ordained by Thullanandā.

6.

Cf. above, BD.3.66.