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’ Training (Sekhiya) 1–75

Bi-Sk.75.1.1 BD.3.424 These rules for training, ladies, come up for recitation.[1]

At that time the enlightened one, the lord, was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six nuns dressed with the inner robe hanging down in front and behind. People … spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns dress with the inner robe hanging down in front and behind, 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 dress … and behind?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six nuns … and behind?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

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

‘I will dress with the inner robe all round (me),’ is a training to be observed.

One should dress with the inner robe going all round one for covering the circle of the navel, the circle of the knees. Whoever out of disrespect dresses with the inner robe hanging down in front or behind, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

There is no offence if it is unintentional; if she is not thinking; if she does not know; if she is ill; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer …


Bi-Sk.75.2.1 … at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the group of six nuns eased themselves and spat in the water. People … BD.3.425 spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns ease themselves and spit in the water, 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 Vin.4.350 nuns … in the water?” Then these nuns told this matter to the monks. The monks told this matter to the lord. Then the lord questioned the monks, saying:

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six nuns … in the water?”

“It is true, lord.”

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying: “How, monks, can this group of six nuns … in the water? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

“‘I will not ease myself or spit in the water,’ is a training to be observed.

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


Bi-Sk.75.2.2 Now at that time ill nuns were (too) scrupulous to ease themselves and spit in the water. They told this matter to the lord. He said:

“I allow, monks, a nun if she is ill to ease herself and spit in the water. And thus, monks, let the nuns set forth this rule of training:

‘I will not ease myself or spit in the water, if not ill,’ is a training to be observed.

If she is not ill she should not ease herself or spit in the water. Whoever out of disrespect, if not ill … offence of wrong-doing.

There is no offence if it is unintentional; if she is not thinking; if she does not know; if she is ill; if done on dry land she pours water over it; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.


Bi-Sk.76.1.1 Recited, ladies, are the rules for training. Concerning them, I ask the ladies … thus do I understand this.

Told are the Rules for Training Vin.4.351

Footnotes and references:

1.

Being the same as the Monks’ Sekhiyas, only the first and the last are reprinted here, as in Oldenberg’s edition.