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) 86

Bi-Pc.86.1.1 BD.3.404 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a certain nun frequented a certain woman’s family. Then that woman spoke thus to that nun: “Please, lady, give this petticoat to such and such a woman.” Then that nun, thinking: “If I go away taking it in my bowl, there will be trouble for me,”[1] went away having tied it on. When she was on the high road the strings broke and were scattered. People … spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns[2] wear a petticoat, like women householders who enjoy pleasures of the senses?” Nuns … heard these people who … spread it about. Those who were modest nuns Vin.4.340 … spread it about, saying: “How can this nun wear a petticoat?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that a nun wore a petticoat?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

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

Whatever nun should wear a petticoat, there is an offence of expiation.”

Bi-Pc.86.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Petticoat means: whatever goes about the hips.

Should wear means: if she wears it even once, there is an offence of expiation.

Bi-Pc.86.2.2 BD.3.405 There is no offence if it is on account of illness; if she wears a hip-string[3]; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:


= above, BD.3.157, BD.3.188.


The people generalise from one instance.


kaṭisuttaka, allowed to nuns at Vin.2.271, but not to be worn all the time; a dukkaṭa for monks to wear them at Vin.2.106, but where meaning may be an ornamental waist-band.