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) 77

Bi-Pc.77.1.1 BD.3.389 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a certain probationer, having approached the nun Thullanandā, asked for the upasampadā ordination. The nun Thullanandā, having said to that probationer, “If you, lady, will give me a robe, then will I ordain you,” neither ordained her nor made an effort to get her ordained.[1] Then that probationer told this matter to the nuns. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can the lady Thullanandā, having said … neither ordain her nor make an effort to get her ordained?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Thullanandā … nor made an effort to get her ordained?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the nun Thullanandā … nor make an effort to get her ordained? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun, having said to a probationer: ‘If you, lady, will give me a robe, then will I ordain you,’ (yet) if she is not afterwards prevented, should neither ordain her nor should make an effort to get her ordained, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.77.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Probationer means: one who has trained for two years in the six rules.

‘If you, lady, will give me a robe, then will I ordain you’ means: then will I confer the upasampadā ordination on you.

BD.3.390 If she is not afterwards prevented means: if there is not an obstacle.

Should neither ordain her means: should not herself ordain her.

Nor should make an effort to get her ordained means : should not command another.

If she thinks, “I will neither ordain her nor make an effort to get her ordained,” in throwing off the responsibility, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.77.2.2 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[2]; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer. Vin.4.333 .

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