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) 95

Bi-Pc.95.1.1 BD.3.415 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time nuns asked a question of a monk who had not given leave.[1] Monks … spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns ask a question of a monk who has not given leave?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks … see Bi-Pc.94.1 … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should ask a question of a monk who has not given leave, there is an offence of expiation.”


Bi-Pc.95.2.1 Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Not given leave means: without asking (for permission).[2]

Should ask a question means: if, having asked for leave[3] in regard to Suttanta, she asks about Discipline or about Abhidhamma,[4] there is an offence of expiation. If, having asked for leave in regard to Discipline, she asks about Suttanta or about Abhidhamma, there is an offence of expiation. If, having asked for leave in regard to Abhidhamma, she asks about Suttanta or about Discipline, there is an offence of expiation.


Bi-Pc.95.2.2 If she thinks that she has not asked (for permission) when she has not asked (for permission and) asks a BD.3.416 question … Bi-Pc.94.2.2 … there is no offence.


Bi-Pc.95.2.3 There is no offence if she asks, having asked for leave; if having asked for leave in general, she asks concerning whatever she likes[5]; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.

Footnotes and references:

1.

anokāsakataṃ, accusative, agreeing with bhikkhuṃ, meaning “who has not made an occasion” for allowing himself to be questioned. Cf. Vin.1.114, Vin.1.170. It seems as if the nun had to give some kind of notice, and get the monk’s permission to put her question.

2.

The monk could not give leave before the nun had asked permission for it.

3.

okāsaṃ kārāpetvā, having had an opportunity made.

4.

Here probably meaning the literary digest of this name. This passage would therefore seem late, dating from some time after the compilation of the three Piṭakas. See BD.3, Introduction, p.xff.

5.

yattha katthaci, there wherever, presumably meaning that she asks a question on any part of the Suttantas, Vinaya or Abhidhamma, and without having specified beforehand which of these three she would be asking about.