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) 84

Bi-Pc.84.1.1 BD.3.400 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six nuns used sunshades and sandals. People … spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns use sunshades and sandals, like women householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses?” Nuns heard these people who … spread it about. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six nuns use sunshades and sandals?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks … and sandals?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can … and sandals? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

“Whatever nun should use a sunshade and sandals, there is an offence of expiation.”

And thus this rule of training for nuns came to be laid down by the lord.


Bi-Pc.84.1.2 At that time a certain nun came to be ill; Vin.4.338 there was no comfort for her without a sunshade and sandals. They told this matter to the lord. He said: “Monks, I allow a sunshade and sandals to a nun who is ill. And thus, monks, let the nuns set forth this rule of training:

Whatever nun who is not ill should use a sunshade and sandals, there is an offence of expiation.”[1]


Bi-Pc.84.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Who is not ill means: for whom there is comfort without a sunshade and sandals.

BD.3.401 Who is ill means: for whom there is not comfort without a sunshade and sandals.

Sunshade means: there are three (kinds of) sunshade: white sunshade, sunshade of rushes, sunshade of leaves, fastened at the middle, fastened to the rim.[2]

Should use means: if she uses (them) even once, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.84.2.2 If she thinks that she is not ill when she is not ill (and) uses a sunshade and sandals, there is an offence of expiation. If she is in doubt as to whether she is not ill … If she thinks that she is ill when she is not ill … offence of expiation. If she uses a sunshade (but) not sandals, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she uses sandals (but) not a sunshade, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that she is not ill when she is ill … If she is in doubt as to whether she is ill, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that she is ill when she is ill, there is no offence.


Bi-Pc.84.2.3 There is no offence if she is ill; if she uses (them) in a monastery, in monastery precincts[3]; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

2.

= Vin.4.200. N.B. sandals, upāhana, not defined by Old Commentary.

3.

At Vin.2.130f. regulations for monks using sunshades are: (1) sunshades allowed; (2) whoever uses one, offence of wrong-doing; (3) allowed for an ill monk; (4) allowed to be used by a monk whether ill or not ill in a monastery or monastery precincts. At Vin.2.207 it is said that incoming monks on entering the monastery should put down their sunshades—as a sign of respect.