Bhikkhuni, aka: Bhikkhunī, Bhikkhuṇī; 5 Definition(s)


Bhikkhuni means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

The third of the seven daughters of Kiki, king of Benares.

She was a previous birth of Patacara. E.g., Ap.ii.546, 561; ThigA.114; but see, where Bhikkhuni is given as a common noun. I am inclined to think that this latter reading is wrong.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

F A female bhikkhu (see above).

Following the strong insistence of his aunt (Maha Pajapati Gotami), other women and Venerable Ananda, Buddha consented to found a female sangha, which was interrupted around a thousand years later (Around the 6th century of Common era).

See also: Nuns discipline

(Source): Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

General definition (in Buddhism)

A Bhikkhuni (Pali: Bhikkhuni) is a fully ordained female Buddhist monastic. Male monastics are called Bhikkhus. Both Bhikkunis and Bhikkhus live by the vinaya. Bhikkhuni lineages enjoy a broad basis in Mahayana countries like Korea, Vietnam, China and Taiwan.

According to Buddhist scriptures, the order of bhikkhunis was first created by the Buddha at the specific request of his foster mother Mahapajapati Gotami, who became the first ordained bhikkuni, relayed via his attendant Ananda. The bhikkhuni order spread to many countries.

(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

bhikkhuṇī : (f.) a Buddhist nun.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Bhikkhunī, (f.) (fr. bhikkhu, cp. BSk. bhiksuṇī, but classical Sk. bhikṣukī) an almswoman, a female mendicant, a Buddhist nun D. III, 123 sq. , 148, 168 sq. , 264; Vin. IV, 224 sq. , 258 sq. (°saṅgha); S. I, 128; II, 215 sq. , IV. 159 sq. ; A. I, 88, 113, 279; II, 132 (°parisā), 144; III, 109; IV, 75; Miln. 28; VbhA. 498 (dahara°, story of); VvA. 77. (Page 504)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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