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) 85

Bi-Pc.85.1.1 BD.3.402 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six nuns went[1] in a vehicle.[2] People … spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns go in a vehicle, 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 go in a vehicle?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six nuns went in a vehicle?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can this group of six nuns go in a vehicle? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training: Vin.4.339

“Whatever nun should go in a vehicle, there is an offence of expiation.”[3]

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


Bi-Pc.85.1.2 Now at that time a certain nun came to be ill. She was not able to go on foot. They told this matter to the lord. He said: “I allow, monks, a vehicle for a nun who is ill.[4] And thus, monks … this rule of training:

BD.3.403Whatever nun who is not ill should go in a vehicle, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.85.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Not ill means: she is able to go on foot.

Ill means: she is not able to go on foot.

Vehicle[5] means: a cart,[6] a carriage, a waggon, a chariot, a palanquin,[7] or a sedan chair.[8]

Should go means: if she goes even once, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.85.2.2 If she thinks that she is not ill when she is not ill (and) goes in a vehicle, 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 thinks that she is not ill when she is ill, there is an offence of wrong-doing. 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.85.2.3 There is no offence if she is ill; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

yāyanti. Geiger, Pali Literature und Sprache, §138, gives “geht”, which seems more suitable than “have themselves earned” (Vinaya Texts ii.25), for “go” covers both driving and being carried in the vehicles mentioned by the Old Commentary.

2.

yāna; see n. at BD.1.81.

3.

A dukkaṭa for monks at Vin.1.191; at Vin.2.276 it is said that nuns going in a vehicle “should be dealt with according to the rule”—i.e., this Pācittiya. Cf. Bu-Sk.63.

4.

This recurs at Vin.2.276. Corresponding permission for mons given at Vin.1.191.

5.

= Vin.4.201, and cf. Vin.3.49.

6.

See above, BD.3.144, n.3.

7.

See above, BD.3.144, n.5.

8.

See above, BD.3.144, n.5