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) 87

Bi-Pc.87.1.1 BD.3.406 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six nuns wore women’s ornaments. People … spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns wear women’s ornaments, 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 wear women’s ornaments?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that … women’s ornaments?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

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

Whatever nun should wear women’s ornaments, there is an offence of expiation.”

Bi-Pc.87.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Women’s ornaments mean: they go on the head, round the neck, on the hands,[1] on the feet, round the hips.[2]

Should wear means: if she wears them even once, there is an offence of expiation.Vin.3.341

Bi-Pc.87.2.2 There is no offence if it is on account of illness[3]; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:


hattha also means “forearm,” see definition of “hand” at BD.1.203.


Cf. Vin.3.239 (BD.2.107) where these phrases occur in definition of kata, “shaped.”


It is difficult to imagine what diseases could be cured or alleviated by wearing ornaments.