Dipavamsa (study)

by Sibani Barman | 2017 | 55,946 words

This page relates ‘Attha-garudhamma or Eight important rules for Buddhist Nuns’ of the study on the Dipavamsa conducted by S. Barman in 2017. The Dipavamsa is the base material of the Vamsa literatures of Ceylon (Srilanka or Sri-Lanka) writtin the Pali language.

Appendix 1 - The Aṭṭha-garudhammā or Eight important rules for Buddhist Nuns

Context: “Ānanda was charged for advocating in favour of the admission of women into the order. The Buddha did not want to admit women into the Order with the thought that the Saṅgha may be in danger and hesitated to establish the Bhikkhunī Saṅgha. Yet, after repeated requests of Ānanda, the Lord admitted the women into the order on eight conditions or Aṭṭhagarudhammā which were laid down in the Vinaya Piṭaka.”

[cf. Buddhist Councils And Development Of Buddhism, Barua, Sumangal, p. 30.]

The eight chief rules are as follows:

1. Salutation: an almswoman even if of hundred year’s standing, shall make salutation to, shall rise up in the presence of, shall bow down before and shall perform all proper duties towards an allmsman, if only just initiated.

2. Rainy season: An almswoman is not to spend the rainy season (of Vassa) in a district where there is no almsman.

3.Upasatha Ceremony and Exhortation: Every half-month an almswoman is to await for the Chapter of Almsmen two things, i) the asking as to the date of the Uposatha ceremony,and ii) the time when the almsman will come to give the exhortation.

4. Pavāraṇā: After keeping the rainy season the almswoman is to hold Pavāraṇā (to enquire wheather any fault can be laid to her charge) before that of Saṇghas—as well that of the Almsmen as that of the Almswomen—with respect to three matters namely: what has been seen, what has been heard and what has been suspected.

5. Manatta discipline: An almswoman who has been guilty of a serious offence is to undergo the Manatta discipline towards both the Saṇghas (Almsmen and Almswomen). The nature of Manatta siscipline is unknown (CV., X., I, 4.)

6. Upasampadā initiation: When an almswoman, as novice, has been trained for two years in the Six Rules, she is to ask leave for the Upasampadā initiation from both Saṇghas (as well that of the Almsmen as that of the Almswomen).

7. Abuse of Almsmen: An Almswoman is on no pretext to revile or abuse an Almsman.

8. Admonition: From henceforth official admonition by Almswomen of Almsman is forbidden.

These are the rules to be revered and reverenced, honoured and observed and her life long never to be transgressed. (Women Under Primitive Buddhism, Horner, I.B. p. 119.)

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