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) 81

Bi-Pc.81.1.1 BD.3.396 … at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove at the squirrels’ feeding place. Now at that time the nun Thullanandā thinking: “I will ordain a probationer,” having had monks who were elders convened, having seen sumptuous solid foods and soft foods, saying: “Masters, I will not ordain the probationer yet,” having dismissed the monks who were elders, having had Devadatta, Kokālika, Kaṭamorakatissaka, the son of the lady Khaṇḍā and Samuddadatta[1] convened, she ordained the probationer. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can the lady Thullanandā ordain a probationer by showing[2] favouritism[3] to (monks) placed on probation[4]?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the nun Thullanandā ordained a probationer by showing favouritism to (monks) placed on probation?”

“It is true, lord.”

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How, monks, can the nun Thullanandā … (monks) placed on probation? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should ordain a probationer by showing favouritism to (monks) placed on probation, there is an offence of expiation.

Bi-Pc.81.2.1 BD.3.397 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case. Vin.4.336

By showing favouritism to (monks) placed on probation means: to a company that has risen.[5]

Probationer means: Bi-Pc.80.2 … and an offence of wrong-doing for the group and for the woman teacher.

Bi-Pc.81.2.2 There is no offence if she ordains her if the company has not risen; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:


Schismatic monks; cf. Monks’ Bu-Ss.10, Bu-Ss.11. At Vin.4.66 Thullanandā says that these five were mahānagā (great heroes) to her.


Literally giving, dāna.


chanda; as at Vin.4.38 (BD.2.235).


pārivāsikā bhikkhū. Cf. Vin.1.136; and Vin.2.31ff., where in Kd.12, Kd.13 the rules for monks under probation are discussed at length. The “four months’ probation” is described at Vin.1.69, three other types in Kd.13. Four still further kinds given at Vin-a.943f. See also S. Dutt, Early Buddhist Monachism, p.168.


vuṭṭhitāya parisāya. Cf. Vin.1.136, where it is said that uposatha should not be held by (accepting) the declaration of purity of (a monk) placed on probation except if the company has not (yet) risen “Has risen” would here seem to apply to monks considered not fit to carry out the various formal acts in a seated assembly of monks.