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A Buddhist View of Women: A Comparative Study of the Rules
for Bhik.su.niis and Bhik.sus based on the Chinese Praatimok.sa
In Young Chung
Journal of Buddhist Ethics 6 (1999):29-105
There is a generalized view of women in Buddhism implied in the Buddhist monastic rules for bhik.su.niis(2) and bhik.sus(3) in the vinaya.(4) Referring to the monastic rules for bhik.su.niis, most Buddhist scholars, writers and practitioners agree that the rules in the vinaya subordinated the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha(5) to the Bhik.su Sa"ngha.(6) Many people are also potentially misled into thinking that the rules in the vinaya are unfairly more harsh for bhik.su.niis because of the larger number of rules, including the "Eight Rules,"(7) which are only for bhik.su.niis. In addition, many bhik.sus and even bhik.su.niis believe that bhik.su.niis must be subordinated to bhik.sus because of the prescriptions set forth in the Eight Rules. As a result, some Buddhist scholars, writers, and practitioners claim that bhik.su.niis as women have been discriminated against in the monastic rules. For example, Kate Wheeler asserts:
Diana Y. Paul explains the vinaya:
Rita M. Gross also describes the vinaya rules as:
Nancy Schuster Barnes explains the rules:
Richard H. Robinson and Willard L. Johnson say:
Susan Murcott mentions:
Richard Gombrich contends:
Uma Chakravarti comments:
Audrey Mck. Fernandez mentions:
Although most Buddhist scholars and writers contend that bhik.su.niis were subordinated to bhik.sus by having so many additional rules and the Eight Rules imposed upon them, I disagree. Rather, a close and comparative examination of the Buddhist monastic rules for both bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus reveals a compassionate and practical regulation of the daily monastic life of both men and women, based on the realities of life at the time the rules were formulated. This is seen in the meticulous care and compassionate understanding of women's "alms life"(18) in the vinaya. It is perhaps a mistake to depend solely on the existence of the additional monastic rules for bhik.su.niis, without examining their origin or social context, to form a generalized Buddhist view of women.
Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to examine the rules for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus in the Praatimok.sa.(19) I believe that the guidelines for discipline set down in the rules in the Bhik.su.nii and the Bhik.su Praatimok.sas allow us to infer a Buddhist attitude toward women. This paper, by comparing the rules for both bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus, presents a different interpretation of the rules.
The text used in this paper is primarily from the Chinese Ssu fen lu, the vinaya of the Dharmaguptaka School.(20) However, because no English translation of the Chinese Ssu fen lu is available, when the rules are the same in both the Chinese and the Paali Vinayas,(21) I prefer to use an English translation of the Paali vinaya because this text is easily accessible to Westerners. According to W. Pachow,
E. Frauwallner also says that the Dharmaguptaka vinaya is one of the most complete and well preserved of the vinayas. Its numbers and contents are very close to those of the Paali vinaya.(24) Sukumar Dutt says:
Chatsumarn Kabilsingh also explains that although there is no definite proof that the Paali vinaya is the oldest and the only original text, through a comparative study of the rules in six vinaya schools,(26) she suggests that the Paali vinaya did not have any rules added to it later as did the other vinayas, and that its contents are very old because the rules in the Paali vinaya are always shared with either one or more of the other schools.(27) The Paali vinaya has been transmitted by the Theravaada School and is observed by Theravaadin bhik.sus today. The translations of the Paali vinaya available in English are: Hermann Oldenberg's translation,(28) T. W. Rhys David's and H. Oldenberg's(29) and I. B. Horner's.(30)
On the other hand, the Dharmaguptaka vinaya was translated into the Chinese as the Ssu fen lu tsung or Caturvaga vinaya by Buddhayasas with Chu Fo-nien, possibly between 410 and 412 C. E. in the capital of China, Ch'ang-an.(31) The Chinese Ssu fen lu (vinaya of the Four Divisions) consists of four parts: Bhik.su-vibha"nga,(32) Bhik.su.nii-vibha"nga,(33) Skandhaka,(34) and the appendices. The Ssu fen lu has been very influential and widely used in East Asian Buddhist countries.
The rules contained in the Ssu fen lu are still observed by the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis today. Even though the only Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha existing in the world is in the tradition of the Dharmaguptaka vinaya, so far as I have been able to discover the Chinese Ssu fen lu is not available in English, particularly the rules for bhik.su.niis. In her book A Comparative Study of Bhikkhunii Paa.timokkha, Kabilsingh says that she used the Chinese Dharmagutaka vinaya which had been translated into Thai.(36) In the following, I give the meanings of the rules, rather than translating word for word. In order to understand the rules more easily, I have included comparative tables of the rules for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus side by side in each category of the Praatimok.sas.
The Praatimok.sa is a collection of monastic rules contained in the vinaya Pi.taka(37) (Basket of Discipline), one of the three large collections of the Buddhist canon known as the Tripi.taka. In addition to the vinaya Pi.taka, the Tripi.taka includes the Suutra Pi.taka (Basket of Discourses), and the Abhidharma Pi.taka (Basket of the Special Teaching). Many scholars have explained the possible meaning of the Sanskrit word Praatimok.sa(Paali: Paa.timokkha), but these explains remain speculative. Sukumar Dutt and Gokuldas De, who represent the majority opinion, say:
The Praatimok.sa contains the Bhik.su Praatimok.sa and the Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.sa because it concerns both bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis. The Dharmaguptaka vinaya, the Ssu fen lu, also contains the monastic rules for bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis in the sections known as the Bhik.su Ssu fen lu and the Bhik.su.nii Ssu fen lu. The Bhik.su.nii Ssu fen lu has seven categories of rules, while the Bhik.su Ssu fen lu contains eight categories, adding the aniyata dharmas(undetermined rules).(40) In order to make a complete comparative analysis of the rules in each category in the Praatimok.sa, I will cover each category of the rules chapter by chapter in turn: paaraajika dharmas(defeat), sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas(formal meeting), aniyata dharmas(undetermined), ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas(forfeiture), paayantika dharmas(expiation), pratide"saniiya dharmas(confession), "saik.sa dharmas(training), and adhikara.na-"samatha dharmas (legal questions).(41) Finally, I will explore the interpolation of the Eight Rules which are mandated for bhik.su.niis only, by comparing the Eight Rules and the Bhik.su.nii paayantika Rules.
PART I - Paaraajika Dharma (Defeat)
The categories of rules in the Ssu fen lu and the Paali vinaya are arranged in order of the severity of the offenses. The most serious offenses against monastic life are the paaraajika dharmas(Paali: paaraajika) for both bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus. I. B. Horner explains the term paaraajika as follows:
E. J. Thomas says that "Buddhaghosa interprets paaraajika as suffering defeat, and the Muulasarvaastivaadins appear to do the same, but the earliest commentary in the vinaya gives no suggestion of this meaning."(43)
In explaining the term paaraajika dharmas(Chinese: po luo yi fa) the Ssu fen lu says that if a bhik.su [or bhik.su.nii] commits a paaraajika offense, he [she] is compared with "a person whose head is cut off." The offender totally loses his [her] monastic status and is no longer in association with the pure bhik.su.niis or bhik.sus.(44) In this category, we see that bhik.su.niis have four additional rules concerning sexual behaviors. If a bhik.su is involved in a sexual offense in this category, the bhik.su is required to leave the Bhik.su sa"ngha. In the same way, if a bhik.su.nii has committed a sexual offense in this category, she is also required to leave the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha. However, the result of the bhik.su.nii's sexual offense may lead to pregnancy because bhik.su.niis are potentially fertile. For this reason, the four additional rules in this category are restricted rules to bhik.su.niis. The paaraajika dharmas are as follows.
TABLE NO. 1
As table number one shows, bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus share the first four paaraajika dharmas. There are four additional rules (#5, 6, 7, 8) for bhik.su.niis. Violation of any one of the paaraajika dharmas has no possibility of rehabilitation and entails permanent expulsion from the sa"ngha.(50) Two rules (#5, 6) of the additional rules for bhik.su.niis deal with sexual offenses, number seven with concealing another bhik.su.nii's paaraajika offense, and number eight with a bhik.su who is suspended by the sa"ngha. Without having sufficient knowledge of the Buddhist view of women, some may think that the four more rules were added because of women's unrestrained sexual desires. For example, a Korean (male) Buddhist scholar, Jung-shup Han, comments on the Bhik.su.nii Paaraajika additional rules:
However, Richard F. Gombrich points out:
Gross also mentions:
Nagata Mizu additionally claims a practical reason for the two additional rules (#5, 6) concerning sexual prohibition for bhik.su.niis. He notes that these rules prohibit bhik.su.niis from physical contact with men at any time and in any situation because of the bhik.su.niis' potential fertility, childbearing being contrary to monastic life.(54)
The Ssu fen lu does not elaborate on how the seventh paaraajika dharma for bhik.su.niis came to be formulated.(55) However, the Paali vinaya gives an historical account of how the rule was formed. The bhik.su.nii Sundariinandaa was involved in sexual relations with the layman Saa.lha, Migaara's grandson, and became pregnant. She was forced to leave the sa"ngha after she could no longer conceal her condition. Her sister, Thullanandaa, concealed Sundariinandaa's offense even though she knew that Sundariinandaa had committed a paaraajika offense. So even though rule number seven of the paaraajika dharmas at first glance seems to deal with the concealment of an offense, it also indicates a concern with sexual matters between men and women.(56)
Although Gautama Buddha laid down the rules that bhik.su.niis should learn the dharma from bhik.sus who were authorized by the Bhik.su sa"ngha,(57) he also established rule number eight to protect bhik.su.niis from abuse by a man who was no longer a bhik.su. This rule may be a relic of the early period of the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha when some bhik.su.niis were used by a bhik.su who had been expelled by the sa"ngha.(58) The additional rules for bhik.su.niis in the paaraajika dharmas look varied, but the case histories establish them as generally concerning sexual offenses. Rule number eight is one of the most important rules of the monastic life for bhik.su.niis; however, violation of the rule is not an offense until the third admonition. Chatsuman Kabilsingh comments on rule number eight:
Nagata Mizu contends that if a bhik.su.nii is involved in sexual relations, she is required to leave the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha. Additionally, the result of the offense can cause her pregnancy, and this can result in a serious external problem for the Buddhist community as well as the individual. In contrast, if a bhik.su is involved in sexual relations, the punishment of the offense could be inwardly limited only to the bhik.su.(60)
From a close examination of the comparative study of the paaraajika dharmas for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus, we see that the four additional paaraajika dharmas for bhik.su.niis actually deal with sexual matters. It seems that Gautama Buddha put great emphasis on providing stronger guards for the life of chastity for bhik.su.niis than for bhik.sus, and strong guards against sexual behavior for bhik.su.niis because of their potential fertility. As Nagata Mizu asserts, the results of sexual offenses of bhik.su.niis can be greatly different from those of bhik.sus. The result of the sexual offense of a bhik.su.nii is not simply settled by only leaving the sa"ngha herself, because of her motherhood and childbearing.
PART II - Sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas (Formal Meeting)
The second most serious group of monastic rules in the Praatimok.sa are the sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas(Paali: sa"nghadisesa). The meaning of the term sa.mghaava"se.sa is also controversial among scholars. Kabilsingh explains that "[i]n some of the Sanskrit texts the word occurs in the form sa.mghaava"se.sa, sa"nghadise.sa would thus be an old Maghadhi form of sa"nghavasesa, a later Sanskrit rendering of the original sa"ghadisesa."(61) Horner notes:
Sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas translates into the Chinese as seng ts'an fa, which means "remaining in the sa"ngha."(63) The Chinese Shih sung lu explains the term sa.mghaava"se.sa as the offenses despite which one could still remain in the sa"ngha. When a bhik.su [or bhik.su.nii] confesses to the sa"ngha his [or her] offense, he [or she] can be expiated from the wrongdoing.(64) In this category, we see that bhik.su.niis have four more rules than bhik.sus. Even though there are four additional rules for bhik.su.niis in this category, the punishment for violation of them shows a compassionate way for bhik.su.niis because it requires three admonitions. As a result, the four additional rules for bhik.su.niis provide more opportunities for bhik.su.niis for self-training in their alms life. Sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas are as follows.
TABLE NO. 2
TABLE NO. 3
The seventeen rules for bhik.su.niis and thirteen rules for bhik.sus in this category represent the second severe breach of the monastic discipline. Seven rules (#1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13 for bhik.su.niis, #5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 for bhik.sus) are common to bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus. Of the ten sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas which are different for bhik.su.niis and for bhik.sus, rule number four for bhik.su.niis deals with behavior with lay people; rule five with false ordination; rule six with restoring a suspended bhik.su.nii without permission from the sa"ngha; rule seven is about those who go alone into the village or cross the bank of the river, and spend a night alone; rules eight and nine are related to safeguarding bhik.su.niis from the dangers of lustful men; rules fourteen and fifteen forbid bhik.su.niis from concealing the offenses of others; rule sixteen concerns the bhik.su.nii who shows disrespect to the Buddha, Dharma and the sa"ngha; and rule seventeen deals with a quarrelsome bhik.su.nii.
Just as bhik.su.niis have rules which apply only to them in this category, bhik.sus likewise have rules specific to their situations (Table No. 3). The six different rules for bhik.sus in this category cover such matters: four rules (#1, 2, 3, 4) are related to sex; and two (#6, 7) are concerned with the construction of a hut or a large dwelling place. These rules, which are only for bhik.sus, also provide glimpses into the lives of bhik.su.niis. For example, with regard to the two rules about building dwelling place, Kabilsingh claims that, because these rules "are not shared by the bhik.su.niis, it might be understood that usually the nuns are not themselves in charge of construction."(69)
The first nine of the sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus become offenses at once when a bhik.su.nii or a bhik.su transgresses any of these rules, whereas the final seven (#10-17) for bhik.su.niis and final four (#10-13) for bhik.sus do not become offenses until a third admonition of bhik.su.niis or bhik.sus is necessary. The offenses of the four additional rules (#14, 15, 16, 17) for bhik.su.niis in this category require three admonitions of the bhik.su.nii involved.(70)
When a bhik.su commits any one of the sa.mghaava"se.sa offenses, he is subjected to a period of parivaasa(71) [Paali: parivaasa] for as many days as the offense is concealed. If a bhik.su informs another bhik.su at once about his offense of the sa.mghaava"se.sa dharma, he is required to undergo only a period of the six nights of the maanatva(72) [Paali: maanatta] in the Bhik.su sa"ngha. However, if a bhik.su conceals his offense, first he must go through a period of the parivaasa for as many days as it is concealed, and then a further period called maanatva must also be spent in the Bhik.su sa"ngha.(73)
In contrast, when a bhik.su.nii has violated one of the sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas, she is required to undergo only the period of maanatva for a half month in both Bhik.su and Bhik.su.nii Sa"nghas, no matter whether she has concealed her offense for some period or not.(74) bhik.su.niis are not required to do the parivaasa. However, bhik.su.niis are subjected to a period of the maanatva in both sa"nghas for half a month. She has to approach both Bhik.su and Bhik.su.nii Sa"nghas, and beg for the period of the maanatva.(75) The Paali Bhik.su.nii vinaya states that:
On the other hand, the Bhik.su.nii Ssu fen lu requires a larger sa"ngha members stating that:
In comparing the two versions above, we note that they disagree in the required numbers for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus. The Paali vinaya requires only twenty bhik.su.niis as a sufficient number for rehabilitation, but it does not specifically give the number required for bhik.sus. However, the Chinese Ssu fen lu requires twenty bhik.sus and twenty bhik.su.niis in each sa"ngha as a sufficient number for the rehabilitation.(78) Perhaps during the long history of translation of the vinaya, the additional sufficient numbers may have been added to the Chinese Bhik.su.nii Ssu fen lu.
Taking a look at "performing the maanatva discipline before both sa"nghas for bhik.su.niis," it might be thought that the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha subordinated its position to the Bhik.su sa"ngha and that bhik.su.niis are subjected to a heavier penalty than bhik.sus for an offense of the sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas. However, Ian Astley argues:
I fully agree with Astley that the formal acts required for bhik.su.niis before both sa"nghas, and some of the additional rules, were generated because of the specific social and cultural context during the time of Gautama Buddha. In the vinaya there are several examples of Brahmins who spoke of bhik.su.niis as "harlots or whores." These stories provide a glimpse of bhik.su.niis in the midst of the Brahmin social milieu during the time of Gautama Buddha. For example:
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Within these social conditions, Gautama Buddha opened up new horizons for women by founding the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha. This social and spiritual advancement for women was ahead of the times and, therefore, drew many objections from men, including bhik.sus. He was probably well aware of the controversy that would be caused by the harassment of his female disciples. In Buddhist history, the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha was founded five years later than the Bhik.su sa"ngha.(83) In the early stage of the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha, bhik.su.niis learned all forms of disciplinary acts and various aspects of knowledge from bhik.sus. The Paali Cullavagga (The Less or Lesser Division of the vinaya)(84) shows how the Bhik.su sa"ngha was modeled on the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha.
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As I have discussed, the performance of the formal acts for bhik.su.niis before both sa"nghas provided a close tie between the two sa"nghas. By legitimately associating with the Bhik.su sa"ngha, the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha had benefits and protection from outside harm in ancient India. When we especially consider the cultural context of ancient India, the formal acts before both sa"nghas might have been necessary for the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha. As I have already mentioned, the four additional rules for bhik.su.niis (#14, 15, 16, 17) in this category belong to the last eight rules which require three admonitions before punishment. This requirement of three admonitions for the offenses of the four additional rules for bhik.su.niis, I believe, provides more opportunities for bhik.su.niis to develop their religious lives without overly strict punishment. These also encourage bhik.su.niis to expand their self-cultivation with the three admonitions, adding a compassionately accommodating limit to behavior.
PART III - Aniyata dharmas (Undetermined)
The third category of the rules for bhik.sus is the aniyata dharmas(Paali: aniyataa) which do not exist in the Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.sa. Aniyata has been defined as "[s]ince the nature of the offense is uncertain, this section of the Paa.timokkha is called aniyata dharma, that is, 'to be decided.' "(90) Charles S. Prebish says that "[t]his category of offenses is referred to as "undetermined offenses."(91) Aniyata dharmas translates into Chinese as pu ting fa,(92) which means indefinite or undetermined. In this category, the two rules for bhik.sus show an astonishing degree of trust in women to testify against a bhik.su who has committed one of the aniyata dharmas. Aniyata dharmas are as follows.
TABLE NO. 4
Aniyata Dharmas for only bhik.sus (Undetermined)
My discussion of these two rules for bhik.sus may seem irrelevant. However, they contain a Buddhist view of women. As Prebish points out, "[t]he two [aniyata] offenses in this category reflect an outstanding and somewhat surprising degree of trust in the female lay follower."(94) If a bhik.su has taken a seat together with a woman in a secret place which is convenient for sexual relations or in an open place unsuitable for lustful desires, he may be charged with one of the offenses of the paaraajika, sa.mghaava"se.sa or paayantika dharmas. The punishment may vary from the paaraajika to the paayantika according to the eyewitness testimony of a female lay follower, based on her personal word.(95) It is noteworthy that the word of a woman was held in such high regard, and certainly unusual given the general low status of women at the time the rules were formulated. In the penalties for the offenses of the aniyata dharmas for bhik.sus, these two rules put a considerable trust in women, even though the aniyata dharmas are not applicable to bhik.su.niis. Horner notes:
PART IV - Ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas (Forfeiture)
The ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas(Paali: nissaggiya paacittiya) are particularly concerned with conduct concerning material possessions. They follow the sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas in the Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.sa, while they follow the aniyata dharmas as the fourth category in the Bhik.su Praatimok.sa.
The term ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas translates into the Chinese as she to fa.(98) In the Chinese she means to abandon, while the Chinese to means to fall. The Sanskrit term paayantika in the Chinese refers to roasting, boiling and falling. If a bhik.su [or bhik.su.nii] commits an offense of the ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas, it is believed that he [or she] will fall into hell and suffer by being boiled and roasted.(99) Even though there are the same numbers of the rules both for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus in this category, some rules for bhik.sus do not allow them to demand from bhik.su.niis feminine tasks which would interfere with the bhik.su.niis' own religious pursuits. The ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas are as follows.
TABLE NO. 5
The ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas contain thirty rules for both bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus. However, the contents of some rules differ. Nineteen rules for bhik.su.niis have been taken from the rules for bhik.sus, while the remaining eleven rules for bhik.su.niis are different from those for bhik.sus. The ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus cover such topics as robes, bowls, medicine, money, funds, etc. Violation of any of the ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas requires a bhik.su.nii or a bhik.su to abandon those robes or bowls, etc., and then to formally confess the offense in the presence of the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha or the Bhik.su sa"ngha, providing that the sa"ngha not be less than five members.(106) Therefore, the transgression of the ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas does not require any punishment, per se, only confession.(107)
The ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas for bhik.su.niis are comprised of seventeen rules (#1-8, 13-15, 17, 26-30) dealing with robes; three (#9, 10, 11) with gold and silver, and buying and selling; three (#12, 24, 25) with bowls; one (#16) with medicine; two (#18, 19) with appropriating sa"ngha property and asking for food; and four (#20, 21, 22, 23) with misuse of funds. In contrast, the ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas for bhik.sus which are different from those for bhik.su.niis number eleven, as follows.
TABLE NO. 6
Dharmas for bhik.sus
Six of the rules for bhik.sus above (#11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16) deal with the use and making of various types of rugs; two of the rules (#27, 29) deal with robes. Three rules (#4, 5, 17) actually prevent bhik.sus from taking advantage of bhik.su.niis. This is clearly shown in rule number seventeen for bhik.sus, which is illustrated in the following story given in the Bhik.su-vibha.ngha:
Horner also points out:
In comparing the ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus, we see that some rules for bhik.sus forbid them from taking advantage of bhik.su.niis. Thus freed from abuse, bhik.su.niis can put more attention into their spiritual practice. Gross notes:
PART V - Paayantika dharmas (Expiation)
The paayantika or patayantika dharmas translates into the Chinese tan t'i fa,(113) or tan to fa.(114) They are even less severe than the previous categories for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus, and cover a wide a range of topics. There are one hundred seventy-eight rules for bhik.su.niis and ninety rules for bhik.sus in this particular category. Horner explains:
While paayantika [Paali: paacittiya] is a transgression which causes the breaking down of ku"sala-karma (good acts), nevertheless, it is an aapatti (offense), which one merely needs to be mindful of.(116) This category includes a great difference in the number of rules for bhik.su.niis from those for bhik.sus. The purpose of these rules, which is mainly based on the historical realities of the daily life of bhik.su.niis, is to encourage bhik.su.niis to be mindful of speech, behavior, and the regulations of the sa"ngha, etc. Wijayaratna points out "[t]he paacittiyas [Skt. paayantikas] deal with offenses requiring only confession."(117) When a bhik.su.nii or a bhik.su violates one of the paayantika dharmas, the offender is required to confess to another bhik.su.nii or bhik.su, or a group or the sa"ngha.(118) paayantika dharmas are as follows.
TABLE NO. 7
As we see in the table number seven, seventy-one rules for bhik.su.niis are shared with bhik.sus. The rules in this category are extremely divergent in their contents and may appear somewhat arbitrary; however; an examination of the contents of the rules yields several major groups. In order to closely examine the wide range of the rules embracing various aspects of bhik.su.niis' lives, the paayantika dharmas for bhik.su.niis may roughly be classified as pertaining to the following groups:
TABLE NO. 8
An Overview of the Paayantika Dharmas(133)
(I did not include in the above classification rules 139, 174 and 175 because they will be discussed in detail later.)
An overview of the paayantika dharmas reveals that the additional rules for bhik.su.niis concern ordination, clothes, ornament and skin care, the qualifications and responsibilities of a preceptor, actions around men, playfulness and public conduct, exhortation on Observance Day and the rainy season retreat, traveling and etiquette with bhik.sus, etc. Nagata Mizu notes that many of the additional rules for bhik.su.niis in this category are historically related to bhik.su.niis' dwelling places during the time of Gautama Buddha. At that time, bhik.su.niis lived mainly in towns or villages, while bhik.sus could live either in towns or forests.(134) After a young bhik.su.nii was seduced by a man, in the Paali Cullavagga (The Less or Lesser Division of the vinaya), Gautama Buddha forbade bhik.su.niis to live in forests:
Susan Murcott tells another story:
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There are several stories about men who seduced or raped bhik.su.niis in the vinaya. Stories about male violence against bhik.su.niis happened during the time of Gautama Buddha.
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By settling the community of bhik.su.niis in towns or villages, bhik.su.niis might be exposed to people who could find fault with them. According to the vinaya, lay people and non-Buddhists were always free to criticize bad conduct of bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus. Accusations and gossip of people towards bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus abound in the vinaya. As I showed in some examples above, harsher opprobrium was directed toward bhik.su.niis than toward bhik.sus. When a bhik.su.nii did something wrong, people frequently reproved bhik.su.niis as "shaven-headed strumpets or whores." In contrast, when a bhik.su did something wrong, people never spoke in derogatory terms of him as "shaven-headed ... ," so far as I have been able to discover. In the Chinese Bhik.su.nii Ssu fen lu many times people insulted bhik.su.niis as "prostitutes or thieves."(144) Comparison of the criticisms of bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus suggests that people in ancient Indian society were more wrathful toward the wrongdoings of bhik.su.niis than those of bhik.sus. It also suggests that this was a reason to generate more rules for bhik.su.niis than bhik.sus in this category. People in society were reluctant to allow women to break away from household life and free them to go into alms life. Many rules for bhik.su.niis in this category were generated because of bhik.su.niis living in this kind of situation.
Classification of the Bhik.su.nii paayantika dharmas(Table No. 8) shows that there are an outstanding numbers of rules about the ordination of women. No other topic is given as much attention in the Bhik.su.nii-vibha"nga. Horner notes:
In the rules concerning the ordination of women, rules 122 and 123 particularly require women to train for two years(146) under six rules. Nagata Mizu says that since a "siik.samaa.na (probationer) is required to train for two years under the six rules and there are stricter rules for the ordination of women, it suggests that bhik.su.niis had more difficulty in alms life than bhik.sus.(147) However, Horner explains:
I also personally have lived the bhik.su.nii's life and think that the requirement of training for two years under the six rules for a "siik.samaa.na is related to the special circumstances and education of women. For example, when a woman enters a temple to became a probationer, she may not know whether she is pregnant. She may give birth almost a year after entering a temple. This happened during the time of Gautama Buddha, as related in the Cullavagga:
Rules 119 and 120 of the Bhik.su.nii paayantika Dharmas tell how difficult is to lead the alms life as a bhik.su.nii with her child:
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Lekshe Tsomo explains the training of a "siik.samaa.na for two years under the six rules:
Ji-kwan Lee explicitly insists that the purpose of training for two years under the six rules for a "siik.samaa.na is to test the possibility of pregnancy and the ability for being a bhik.su.nii. It is also possible that Gautama Buddha's main purpose in training of a "siik.samaa.na for two years under the six rules was to raise the status of women through intensive education before ordination. We also should consider that in the social environment of ancient India women received little or no education. For example, the Bhik.su.nii paacittiya [Skt. paayantika] LXVI in the Paali vinaya shows:
When we consider the lower status and the poorer education of women in those days, it was a practical way for female novices to spend two years in a novitiate leading to full ordination.
The second largest grouping of rules in the Bhik.su.nii paayantika Dharmas concerns such topics as clothes, ornaments and skin care. The rules in these groups mostly deal with specific matters of female concern and perhaps this is why the same rules did not have to be instituted for bhik.sus. Some of the rules in these groups proscribe minor matters special to women, for example, spinning yarn, or wearing a petticoat or a vest.
A third large group of additional rules for bhik.su.niis concerns the qualifications and duties of the preceptor, who must take full responsibility for her disciples. Traditionally, in the Buddhist sa"ngha, every novice and probationer depends on the preceptor for her or his education. Therefore, the preceptor's personal qualifications and responsibilities are extremely important in the ordination of women and men. The preceptor-disciple relationship is that the preceptor should teach her or his disciple every aspect of what she needs to know. These responsibilities and duties of a preceptor are equally necessary for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus.
The additional rules for bhik.su.niis dealing with the qualifications and responsibilities of a woman preceptor might be an outcome of educational enterprise for women. Some rules in this group, for example, state:
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These rules also imply that Gautama Buddha was trying to raise the status of women through education, and to bring them to a realization of their abilities in the midst of a society which oppressed them.
The fourth major group of additional rules for bhik.su.niis prescribes correct actions around men, proper public conduct and playfulness. As I have mentioned earlier, these rules are essentially concerned with people's awareness of bhik.su.niis' daily lives. Because of bhik.su.niis' living situations, they had to be aware of people's concerns and were required to be more mindful than bhik.sus of such concerns in everyday life. In other words, the bhik.su.niis were subject to more scrutiny by people.
The fifth largest group of additional rules for bhik.su.niis is related to exhortations regarding Observance Day and the rainy season retreat. Two rules (#140, 141) deal with the admonition of Observance Day. Three (#142, 143, 164) deal with the rainy season retreat. Three rules (#141, 142, 143) are the same as the rules (#6, 7, 8) of the Eight Rules in the Chinese Ssu fen lu.(157) Four rules in particular (#140, 141, 142, 143) have caused many people to think that the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha was subordinated to the Bhik.su sa"ngha. However, Kabilsingh explains:
Horner also notes:
When we also look at the contents of rules 140, 141 and 142 for bhik.su.niis, we see the bhik.su's position as a teacher or advisor for bhik.su.niis. In fact, rules twenty-one and twenty-two of the Bhik.su paayantika Dharmas specifically prescribe the qualification of bhik.sus as teachers or advisors. On the contrary, rule number 172 of the Bhik.su.nii paayantika Dharmas shows how a bhik.su teacher who was not authorized by the Bhik.su sa"ngha was ridiculed and felt ashamed when he could not give correct answers to questions from a learned bhik.su.nii. Nancy Auer Falk generally describes the rules for bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis:
Wijayaratna also explains the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha:
Jampa Tsedroen suggests an additional reason for bhik.sus to advise bhik.su.niis:
Some of the sixth largest group of additional rules for bhik.su.niis provide a safeguard for bhik.su.niis to travel to dangerous places. As I have discussed earlier, several stories about the raping of bhik.su.niis and the robbing of bhik.sus or men in the vinaya suggest that the society during the time of Gautama Buddha was not safe to travel for women.
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When we consider the above stories in the vinaya, some of rules in the sixth group show concern for the bhik.su.niis own protection and Gautama Buddha's concern for his female disciples.
The seventh largest group of additional rules for bhik.su.niis concerns etiquette toward bhik.sus. Rule number seventy-five prevents bhik.su.niis from serving bhik.sus with water or fanning for a bhik.su during his meal. Rule number 144 deals with the proper manner for bhik.su.niis to enter a bhik.su monastery. Rule number 145 of this group is the same as rule number two of the Eight Rules. This rule will be discussed in further detail later.
Just as bhik.su.niis had rules particular to their way of life and special concerns at the time the sa"nghas were developed, so too did bhik.sus have rules particular to them. The following table details these twenty rules special for bhik.sus.
TABLE NO. 9
Paayantika Dharmas for
As we see from table number nine, twenty rules for bhik.sus are different from those for bhik.su.niis: one rule (#30) concerns women; five (#32, 35, 36, 40, 41) concern alms (food); four (#86, 87, 88, 90) deal with cloth; one (#64) with concealing another's grave offense; nine (#21-29) with relationships with bhik.su.niis. Rule number sixty-four is concerned with concealment of another bhik.su's grave offense, which is itself a most grave violation, categorized in both paaraajika or sa.mghaava"se.sa offenses.(170) In contrast, the corresponding Bhik.su.nii Paaraajika Dharma number seven refers only to the concealment of another bhik.su.nii's paaraajika offense.(171)
Some of the Bhik.su.nii paayantika Dharmas might have been inserted later. "We also find that the number of rules in the nun's Praatimok.sa is considerably larger than in the monk's version, many rules having been inserted specifically for females."(172) Rule number 174 for bhik.su.niis might have been added later, because this rule is not in the Paali Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.sa, and also it deals with the worship of pagodas. Kabilsingh says that the Dharmaguptaka vinaya has a particular group of rules about worshipping pagodas. It is possible that the rules for the worship of pagodas might have been developed in China, where Mahaayaana Buddhism was prevalent.(173) Rule number 139 does not appear in the Paali Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.sa, so far as I have discovered. However, the Paali Cullavagga demands that a candidate for bhik.su.nii receive ordination from bhik.su.niis first, and then have the ordination confirmed in a ceremony with bhik.sus.(174) Rule number 175 might also be a later addition. It is not found in the Paali Praatimok.sa but is found in the Ssu fen lu. This will be discussed later with the Eight Rules.
Comparing the numbers of the Bhik.su.nii paayantika Dharmas in the Ssu fen lu and those in the Paali Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.sa, we find that the Bhik.su.nii Ssu fen lu contains twelve more rules, while at the same time the Bhik.su paayantika Dharmas are decreased by two rules in the Bhik.su Ssu fen lu. It is impossible to identify the rules which might be late additions because little information is available. For example, I think that one of the two rules numbered 162 and 163 for bhik.su.niis in this category might have been inserted later because the contents of those are repeated.
An examination of additional paayantika dharmas for bhik.su.niis shows bhik.su.niis' efforts to be mindful in their ways of daily life. Many rules for bhik.su.niis also deal with specific feminine matters. From the outstanding number of rules for the ordination of women, we notice that Gautama Buddha was trying to raise the status of women and to help them to develop their abilities through education. This concern is evident in the qualifications and responsibilities of a woman preceptor, and in the care with which the rules for the ordination of women were developed. In the rules for bhik.sus about exhortation to bhik.su.niis, some rules strictly prescribe the qualification of a bhik.su as a teacher or an adviser to bhik.su.niis. This suggests that Gautama Buddha was deeply concerned about the education of women. We also see that many additional rules for bhik.su.niis in this category were generated according to their living situations and social context in ancient India.
PART VI - Pratide"saniiya dharmas (Confession)
The pratide"saniiya dharmas(Paali: paa.tidesaniiya) follow the paayantika dharmas and contain eight rules for bhik.su.niis and four rules for bhik.sus. According to Hirakawa, the meaning of the term pratide"saniiya refers to the need of bhik.su.niis or bhik.sus to confess his or her wrongdoing to another bhik.su.nii or bhik.su.(175) It translates into the Chinese t'i she ni fa(176) or hui kuo fa.(177) Violation of any of the pratide"saniiya dharmas requires one to confess the offense in front of a bhik.su.nii or a bhik.su.(178) All these rules are connected with asking for food. The eight Bhik.su.nii Pratide"saniiya Dharmas simply state that if a bhik.su.nii is not ill, she should not beg excellent foods such as ghee, oil, honey, molasses, milk, curds, fish or meat.(179) In this category, we see that the rules concerning food for bhik.su.niis are less strict than for bhik.sus. The Bhik.su Pratide"saniiya Dharmas, on the other hand, are more various as follows.
TABLE NO. 10
Although there are twice as many rules for bhik.su.niis as there are for bhik.sus in this category, the eight Bhik.su.nii Pratide"saniiya Dharmas are extremely simple in character and seem in fact to be a splitting up of the single rule which is the Bhik.su paayantika Dharma number forty in the previous category. On the other hand, the rules for bhik.sus in this category are wider in their scope. Rules one and two determine the relations of bhik.sus with bhik.su.niis at meals. Rule number one again prevents bhik.sus from taking advantage of bhik.su.niis. On one occasion, a certain bhik.su took the alms (food) of an elderly bhik.su.nii. After three days of providing the bhik.su with her alms (food), the elderly bhik.su.nii collapsed of starvation.(181) When the Buddha learned that, he set down the pratide"saniiya rule number one for bhik.sus:
The third pratide"saniiya dharma for bhik.sus proscribes against possible exploitation of a pious family by an inconsiderate bhik.su. The last pratide"saniiya dharma for bhik.sus deals with special situations in residences.
A comparison of the pratide"saniiya dharmas for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus demonstrates that the violations for bhik.su.niis in this category are less strict than for bhik.sus. These eight Bhik.su.nii Pratide"saniiya Dharmas are almost the same as the single rule number forty of the Bhik.su paayantika Dharmas, and belong to a looser offense category for bhik.su.niis than for bhik.sus. In addition, Gautama Buddha permitted a bhik.su.nii to eat special high quality food when she is ill.
PART VII - "Saik.sa dharmas (Training)
The sixth category of the Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.sa contains the "saik.sa dharmas(Paali: sekhiyaa), while this same category comprises the seventh grouping of the Bhik.su Praatimok.sa. In the Paali vinaya, the violation of a "saik.sa dharma is "an offense of wrongdoing."(183) Horner says that the "saik.sa dharmas are "rules for good behavior, etiquette: the rules regarding matters connected with discipline."(184) The "saik.sa dharmas translates into the Chinese shih cha chia luo ni fa,(185) pai chung hsueh fa(186) or ying dang hsueh.(187) These one hundred rules are exactly the same for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus, and are essentially concerned with correct ways of dressing, eating, sitting, walking, preaching and so forth. In this category, which has exactly the same numbers and contents of rules for both bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus, we see what the leading role of bhik.sus in the formulation of the rules in the vinaya really means. Many rules were specifically pronounced for bhik.sus to focus their ways of life in the vinaya, and then were also held to he applicable to bhik.su.niis. This causes some people to think that bhik.su.niis were discriminated against in the laying down of the rules. However, the central role of bhik.sus as the subjects of the rules in the vinaya only suggests that bhik.sus were greater trouble-makers than bhik.su.niis in the Buddhist community. There is no reason to believe that bhik.su.niis were discriminated against in the generation and production of the rules. The "saik.sa dharmas are as follows.
TABLE NO. 11
Ji-kwan Lee has noted that these rules are divided into ten sections: the first section (#1-2) deals with the wearing of robes, the second (#3-25) with entering a house, the third (#26-46) with eating alms (food), the fourth (#47-48) with handling the bowl, the fifth (#49-51) with making excrement and urine, the sixth (#52-59) with preaching Dharma, the seventh (#60-85) with worship of the stuupa, the eighth (#86-92) with preaching Dharma, the ninth (#93-95) with walking on the road and climbing a tree, the tenth (#96-100) with preaching Dharma.(198) W. Pachow says that "[t]hey ["saik.sa dharmas] do not come under any penal section, inasmuch as there will not be any sanction or punishment for their breaches or violations. The violation of any of them by a bhik.su [or bhik.su.nii] is not considered to be a criminal act but simply bad manners."(199)
Some people, reading the vinaya, may think that Gautama Buddha discriminated against bhik.su.niis because the rules in the vinaya seem to have been laid down mainly for bhik.sus, and many rules for bhik.su.niis were taken from those for bhik.sus. However, even though bhik.sus played the leading role as subjects of concern during the production of the rules in the vinaya, this proves only that they, more than bhik.su.niis, were the trouble-makers.(200) All one hundred rules in the this category were generated because of the group of six trouble-makers of bhik.sus.(201) This provides supporting evidence for a better understanding of the central leading role of bhik.sus as the focus of attention in the promulgation of the various rules in the vinaya, when considered in light of the structure and contents of the vinaya.(202) When a bhik.su or bhik.su.nii did wrong, he [she] was investigated by the Buddha, who then laid down a rule for bhik.sus concerning that misdeed. The rule was extended to be applicable to bhik.su.niis as well, but only as a matter of form. As Kabilsingh points out, so far no one has paid much attention to the trouble-makers among the bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis. Interesting points can be drawn from study of the trouble-makers in both sa"nghas. There are far more bhik.sus trouble-makers in the vinaya.(203) The formulation of many rules in the vinaya came about in response to specific wrongdoings, especially by the group of six bhik.sus. For example:
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As we see from the above, the formulation of the rules in the vinaya traces the struggles which Gautama Buddha had with the Bhik.su sa"ngha, and in no way demonstrates a special discrimination against either bhik.su.niis or women in general.
PART VIII - Adhikara.na-"Samatha Dharmas (Legal Questions)
The last category for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus in the Praatimok.sa contains the adhikara.na-"samatha dharmas (Paali: adhikara.na samatha), or "rules for deciding legal questions."(207) Adhikara.na-"samatha Dharmas dharmas translates into Chinese as mie cheng fa,(208) which means "settling disputes." The adhikara.na-"samatha Dharmas dharmas are exactly the same in both contents and numbering for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus. This category contains seven rules dealing with seven different ways of all forms of disciplinary action within monastic community. In these rules, we see that both the Bhik.su sa"ngha and the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha use exactly the same procedures to settle disputes among members of the sa"nghas. Adhikara.na-"samatha dharmas are as follows.
TABLE NO. 12
When a dispute occurs in the sa"ngha, it should be settled in accordance with these seven rules. According to Ji-kwan Lee, there are four kinds of disputes. A dispute arises out of a dispute regarding Dharma or vinaya which needs a clear decision as to the right or wrong. A dispute arises out of a dispute regarding the censure of a bhik.su or a bhik.su.nii's opinion, morals, character, conduct or manner of life. A dispute arises out of a dispute regarding a bhik.su or a bhik.su.nii's offense which must be clarified as to truth or untruth, and categorized as light or heavy. A dispute arises out of a dispute regarding the procedure for any formal act of the sa"ngha.(211)
The adhikara.na-"samatha dharmas represent a system for carrying out all forms of disciplinary action in both sa"nghas. As these rules are not rules regarding offenses per se, there is no punishment of any violation in this category.(212) I believe that because Gautama Buddha saw the potential equal abilities of men and women, he prescribed that the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha follow exactly the same method in all forms of disciplinary action as the Bhik.su sa"ngha in this category.
IX - Gurudharmas
I have discussed the rules for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus above. In addition, both bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus have rules which apply only to them. bhik.sus are governed by the special category of the aniyata dharmas as discussed above. The special rules which apply only to bhik.su.niis cannot be said to comprise a formal category of their own, as I will discuss. They are known as the "Eight Rules"(Skt. Gurudharmas). The contents of the Eight Rules are almost the same in the Chinese and the Paali Vinayas, although they are numbered differently. The Gotamii Sutta(214) [Skt. Suutra] and the Cullavagga(215) in the Paali canon both contain the story of the ordination of Mahaapajaapatii Gotamii, the Buddha's foster mother and his aunt, and the formulation of the Eight Important Rules (Paali: A.t.tha Garudhammaa).(216) Five years after Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment,(217) he received a visit at the Banyan Tree Park in Kapilavastu from Mahaapajaapatii Gotamii, accompanied by a large group of women. Gotamii asked him to allow women to join the monastic life. The Buddha refused three times without explaining the reason for his refusal. She and her followers were saddened and left weeping. The Buddha then went on to Vesaalii. They were saddened but adopted a life of renunciation without the Buddha's permission: shaving their heads and putting on saffron-colored robes as the symbol of ordination. Gotamii and her followers followed him from Kapilavatthu to Vesaalii, the Buddha's next stopping place.
While Gotamii and her followers were standing outside Gabled Hall in Mahaavana near Vesaalii, they met Aananda, a disciple and cousin of the Buddha. Aananda was sorry to see his aunt, Gotamii, standing outside the hall weeping with tears, with swollen feet and travel-strained body. Aananda decided to act as a mediator between the Buddha and Gotamii. Eventually the Buddha agreed that women could enter the sa"ngha, but he stipulated that women must accept the Eight Rules. Gotamii accepted them and she became the first bhik.su.nii in Buddhism. The Chinese vinaya also gives a detailed explanation of both the ordination of Mahaapajaapatii Gotamii and the formulation of the Eight Rules.(218) The Eight Rules translates into Chinese pa pu k'o wei fa or pa ching fa(219) which means "the Eight Rules must not be transgressed." The Eight Rules are as follows.
TABLE NO. 13
The Eight Rules only for bhik.su.niis
As we see above, six of the Eight Rules (#1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8) are the same or similar to rules in the Bhik.su.nii paayantika dharmas(#175, 145, 124 or 126, 141, 143, 142) in the Ssu fen lu. As I mentioned in the introduction, some Buddhist scholars, writers and practitioners have frequently discussed the place of women in Buddhism according to the Eight Rules. For example, Anne Bancroft says:
Nancy Schuster Barnes writes:
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Susan Murcott also says:
Dharmacharini Sanghadevi points out:
Lorna Devaraja also says:
However, as the table number thirteen shows, the Eight Rules reveal irreconcilability with the story of the founding of the Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha and the penalty for violation of rules in the Bhik.su.nii paayantika Dharmas. Roykan Nagasaki argues that although the Eight Rules are the most important rules for women who want to be ordained and must be observed, it is doubtful that they were laid down by Gautama Buddha when Mahaapajaapatii Gotamii was ordained. At that time there was no Bhik.su.nii sa"ngha, and training rules for two years under the six rules for a "siik.samaa.na (probationer) had not yet been instituted. However, these matters are mentioned in four of the Eight Rules (#4, 5, 6, 8). It seems likely that the Eight Rules might have been appended after the establishment of both sa"nghas.(230)
Hae-ju Chun, a bhik.su.nii and assistant professor at Tongguk University in Seoul, Korea, argues that six of the Eight Rules (#1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8) belong to the Bhik.su.nii paayantika Dharmas, as they are the same as or similar to rules found there. We may compare the differences in the punishment for any offense of the Eight Rules with that for an offense of the paayantika dharmas. Violation of any of the Eight Rules means that women cannot be ordained. The Eight Rules must be observed throughout the bhik.su.niis lives. However, the paayantika dharmas(#175, 145, 124 or 126, 141, 143, 142) require only confession, as there offenses of bhik.su.niis are considered to be violations of "minor rules." Based on the differences in the gravity of offenses between the Eight Rules and the paayantika dharmas, she also asserts the probability that the Eight Rules might have been added later.(231)
The first of the Eight Rules does not appear in the Paali Bhik.su.nii vinaya, as far as I have been able to discover, but it is repeated in rule number 175 of the Bhik.su.nii paayantika Dharma in the Chinese Ssu fen lu. This first rule is the most notorious among the Eight Rules and is frequently discussed in regard to the position of women in Buddhism. It was probably inserted into the Chinese Pratimok.sa by compilers who wished to put unflattering ideas of women into the scriptures. In regard to this rule, I doubt whether during the time of Gautama Buddha a bhik.su who was ordained that very day and did not have any of the eight qualities(232) could receive proper homage from many Arhat (Paali: Arahat) (233) senior bhik.su.niis. Nancy Auer Falk asserts:
As I have tried to demonstrate above, the original intention of the Buddha must have been quite otherwise. The discrepancy between the compassionate and understanding regulation of the bhik.su.niis' lives, as expressed in the formal categories of rules, and the self-servingly chauvinistic demands of the Eight Rules is difficult to reconcile. I fully agree with Hirakawa:
As Hirakawa claims, I believe that the only logical explanation must be that these rules were appended later. The strongest support for this explanation is to be found in the puzzling differences between the mere contrition requested for transgressions of the paayantika dharmas, and the penalty to bhik.su.niis of life-long subservience demanded by the Eight Rules.
Many people have had the idea that bhik.su.niis as women were discriminated against in the monastic rules. However, from a close and comparative study of the rules for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus, I have presented a different interpretation of the rules. The additional rules for bhik.su.niis in the paaraajika dharmas were designed to safeguard bhik.su.niis from potential motherhood, which would be disruptive both to a bhik.su.nii individually and to the larger sa"ngha. These additional rules for bhik.su.niis treat sexual matters very seriously for this very reason. These rules not only attempt to guard the chastity of bhik.su.niis, but also try to protect them from their fertility. Again, some of the additional rules for bhik.su.niis in the sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas provide extra safeguards against falling victim to the lustful desires of men. The punishments for offenses against the four additional rules in the sa.mghaava"se.sa dharmas support bhik.su.niis by requiring three admonitions, which give more opportunities for bhik.su.niis to expand spiritual development.
Other categories of rules protect bhik.su.niis from being taken advantage of in more general ways. Social conditions at the time of the formation of the two sa"nghas created a climate conducive to allowing bhik.sus to overburden bhik.su.niis with various demands and tasks. Therefore, further rules were devised only for bhik.sus, to encourage them in more equitable treatment of bhik.su.niis. For example, some of the ni.hsargika-paayantika dharmas for bhik.sus forbid them from using the service of bhik.su.niis to wash, dye or even receive a robe from an unrelated bhik.su.nii.
Further regulations pertaining to the interaction of the Bhik.su.nii and the Bhik.su Sa"nghas are found among the paayantika dharmas. This group of rules also contains the largest percentage of regulations, outside of the "Eight Rules," which pertain only to bhik.su.niis. The purpose of these additional paayantika dharmas for bhik.su.niis is to provide reasonable living conditions for them, while fostering growth in the alms life, all within the social constraints of the time. This care for the unique female condition of bhik.su.niis is further seen in the Bhik.su.nii Pratide"saniiya Dharmas, which are more elaborate than those for bhik.sus. These allow an ill bhik.su.nii to request foods especially supportive of health, such as ghee, oil, honey, molasses, milk, curds, and even fish and meat.
Equality of bhik.su.nii and bhik.su, men and women, can be inferred in several of the rules groupings. The penalties for offenses against those aniyata dharmas written only for bhik.sus, for example, point up a landmark of female-male equality. Here, in a gesture of trust in women most unusual for the time, a trustworthy female lay follower can bring a charge against a bhik.su based only on her personal eyewitness testimony, in order to force an investigation of that bhik.su's conduct. Additionally, equal abilities of men and women are presumed in the regulations for settlement of disciplinary matters in the seven adhikara.na-"samatha Dharmas dharmas, which are exactly the same, in both numbers and contents, for both the Bhik.su and the Bhik.su.nii Sa"nghas.
The "Eight Rules" present a thorny problem. These "Eight Rules" are so different in character and tone from the rest of the body of the Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.sa that I believe they can be disregarded as later additions, appended by the compilers, and not indicative of either the intentions of Gautama Buddha himself, or of the Buddhist traditions as a whole. For these reasons, the Buddhist monastic rules are consistent with an affirmation of the equality of men and women, and with a reasonable and compassionate understanding of the differences which were created for men and women by their biological dissimilarities, as well as by the larger cultural context within which they pursued the monastic life
A. English Sources
Akira, Hirakawa. A History of Indian Buddhism: A History of Indian Buddhism from "Saakyamuni to Early Mahaayaana. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press, 1990.
Bancroft, Anne. "Women in Buddhism." Women in the World's Religions, Past and Present. ed. Ursula King. New York: Paragon House, 1987.
Barnes, Nancy Schuster. "Buddhism." Women in World Religions, ed. Arvind Sharma. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987.
Cabezon, Jose Ignacio, ed. Buddhism, Sexuality, and Gender. New York: State University of New York Press, 1992.
Chakravariti, Uma. The Social Dimensions of Early Buddhism. Calcutta: Mohendra Nath Dutt, 1987.
De, Gokuldas. Democracy in Early Buddhist Sa"ngha. Calcutta: Calcutta University, 1995.
Dhirasekera, Jotiya. Buddhist Monasticism Discipline. Colombo: M. D. Gunasena & Co. Ltd., 1982.
Dutt, Sukumar. Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1962.
___________. Early Buddhist Monasticism. London: Munshiram Monoharlal Publishers Put. Ltd., 1984.
___________ . Buddha and Five After-Centuries. Calcutta: Sahitya Samsad, 1978.
Falk, Nancy Auer. "The Case of the Vanishing Nuns: The Fruits of Ambivalence in Ancient Indian Buddhism." Unspoken Words: Women and Religious Lives, ed. Nancy Auer Falk and Rita M. Gross. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1989.
Frauwallner, E. The Earliest Vinaya and The Beginnings of Buddhist Literature. Stampato, Italia: Roma Is. M. E. O., 1956.
Gombrich, Richard F. Theravaada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo. London & New York: Routledge, 1988.
Gross, Rita M. Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism. New York: State University of New York Press, 1993.
___________. "Buddhism and Feminism: Toward their Mutual Transformation (I)." The Eastern Buddhism. Vol. XIX No. 1. Spring 1986. Kyoto: Komiyama Printing Co., 1986.
Horner, I. B. Women Under Primitive Buddhism. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1930.
__________ . Women in Early Buddhist Literature. Kandy : Buddhist Publication Society, 1982.
Kabilsingh, Chatsumarn. A Comparative Study of Bhikkhunii Paa.timokkha. Delhi: Chaukhambha Orientalia, 1984.
Kajiyama, Yuich. "Women in Buddhism." The Eastern Buddhism. Vol. XV, No. 2. Autumm, 1982. Kyoto: Komiyama Printing Co., 1982.
Lorna, Devaraja. "The Position of Women in Buddhism." Sakyadhiitaa: International Association of Buddhist Women. Vol. 4, No. 1. Summer 1993. Honolulu: Sakyadhita, 1993.
Macdonell, Arthur Anthony. A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965.
Murcott, Susan. The First Buddhist Women: Translations and Commentary on the Theriigaathaa. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1991.
Pachow, W. A Comparative Study of the Praatimok.sa: On the Basis of Its Chinese, Tibetan, Sanskrit and Paali Versions. Santiniketan, India: The Sino-Indian Cultural Society, 1955.
Paul, Diana Y. Women in Buddhism: Images of the Feminine in the Mahaayaana Tradition. Berkeley: University of California, 1985.
Prebish, Charles S. "Vinaya and Praatimok.sa: The Foundation of Buddhist Ethics." Studies in History of Buddhism, ed. A. K. Narain, Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation, 1980.
Robinson, Richard H. and Willard L. Johnson. The Buddhist Religion: A Historical Introduction. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1982.
Sanghadevi, Dharmacharini. "The History of the Ordination of Women in Buddhism: Including an Overview of the Contemporary Situation." Dakini. Issue 7, Summer 1991. Glasgow, Scotland: Ink Print and Design, 1991.
Thomas, Edward J. The History of Buddhist Thought. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1933.
Tsomo, Karma Lekshe. "Prospects for an International Bhik.su.nii Sa"ngha." Sakyadhiitaa: Daughters of the Buddha, ed. Karma Lekshe Tsomo.Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications, 1988.
Upasak, C. S. Dictionary of Early Buddhist Monastic Terms: Based on Paali Literature. Varanasi: Bharati Prakashan, 1975.
Well, Russell, ed. An Analysis of the Paali Canon. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society, 1991.
Wheeler, Kate. "Bowing Not Scraping." Tricycle, ed. Helen Tworkov. Vol. III, No. 2. Winter 1993. NJ: Mack Printing Corp., 1993.
Wijayaratna, Mohan. Buddhist Monastic Life: According to the Texts of the Theravaada Tradition, Translated by Claude Grangier and Steven Collins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Women & Buddhism: A Special Issue of Spring Wind-Buddhist Cultural Forum. Vol. 6, No. 1, 2, & 3. Ontario: Spring Wind, 1986.
B. Chinese Sources
Taisho Shinshu Daizokyo 85 Vols. compiled by Takakusu Junjiro and Watanabe Kaigyoku. Tokyo: Taisho Shinshu Daizokyo Kanko Kai, 1924-1929.
C. Texts with English Translations
Akira, Hirakawa, trans. Monastic Discipline for the Buddhist Nuns: An English Translation of the Chinese Text of the Mahaasa"nghika-Bhik.su.nii-Vinaya. Patna, India: K. P. Jayaswal Research Institute, 1982.
Hare, E. M., trans. The Book of the Gradual Sayings (A.nguttara-Nikaaya). Vols. III-IV. London: P. T. S, 1979, 1982.
Horner, I. B., trans. Sacred Books of the Buddhists, Vols. X, XI, XIII, XIV, XX, XXV (The Book of the Discipline Parts I-VI) (Vinaya-Pi.taka). London: P. T. S., 1940-1966.
Ùamoli, trans. The Paa.timokkha. Bangkok: The Social Science Association Press of Thailand, 1966.
Norman, K. R., trans. The Elders' Verses I and II (Theraagathaa and Theriigaatha). London: P. T. S., 1969.
Prebish, Charles S., trans. Buddhist Monastic Discipline: The Sanskrit Praatimok.sa Suutras of the Mahaasaa"nghikas and Muulasarvaastivaadins. University Park and London: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1975.
Woodware, F. L., trans. The Book of the Gradual Sayings (A"nguttara-Nikaaya). Vols. I-II. London: P. T. S., 1979, 1982.
D. Japanese and Korean Sources
Chon, Hae-ju [Chun, Hae-ju]. "A View of Women in Buddhism," The Pobpo Sinmun (The Dharma Newspaper) Nov. 1992. Seoul: Pobpo Sinmunsa, 1992.
Kang, Chong-hui. "A Buddhist View of Women's Education Manifested in the Bhik.su.nii-Vinaya."(Master Thesis) Seoul: Tongguk University, 1983.
Kuk, Muk-dam and Han Chung-sop. Pulgyo kyeyul haesol (A Translation and Commentary on the Chinese Bhik.su and Bhik.su.nii Ssu fen lu). Seoul: Ihwa Munhwasa, 1987.
Lee, Chi-gwan [Lee, Ji-kwan]. Biguni kyoyul yon'gu (A Study on the Chinese Bhik.su.nii Ssu fen lu). Seoul: Taegakhoe Ch'ulpanbu, 1982.
Mizu, Nagata. "The View of Women in the Bhik.su.nii-Vinaya." The Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Indogaku Bukkyogaku Kenya). Vol. 54, ed. Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Niho-Indogaku-Bukkyogaku-Kai). Tokyo: University of Tokyo, 1979.
Ryokan, Nagasaki. "A Study on the Ordination of Mahaapajaapatii-Gotamii Bhik.su.nii." The Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Indogaku Bukkyogaku Kenya). Vol. 52, ed. Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Niho-Indogaku-Bukkyogaku-Kai). Tokyo: University of Tokyo, 1987.
1. S. B. S. Vol. X, pp. 37-8. Return to Text
2. A bhik.su.nii [Skt.] is a fully ordained Buddhist nun. There are three different levels of ordination in the sa"ngha of women in Buddhism. A novice nun [Skt. "sraama.nerii] receives ten precepts: 1) Abstention from taking life, 2) Abstention from taking what is not given, 3) Abstention from sexual contact, 4) Abstention from lying, 5) Abstention from drinking alcohol, 6) Abstention from beautifying oneself with ornaments or cosmetics, 7) Abstention from dancing, singing and entertainment, 8) Abstention from using high or luxurious seat and bed, 9) Abstention from eating food at a wrong time, 10) Abstention from handling silver or gold (T. Vol. XII, pp. 1042, 1048). When a female novice becomes eighteen, she is required to receive an interim ordination as a probationary nun [Skt. "siik.smaa.na]. A "siik.smaa.na a must be trained for two years under the six rules (see footnote 129 in Part V). The contents and numbers of the six rules differ among the various Vinaya Schools, but the "siik.smaa.na a ordination basically represents a training period in preparation for full ordination, bhik.suniiood. It is not required for bhik.sus (monks). A male novice monk [Skt. "sraama.nera] receives the ten precepts like a novice nun. When he becomes twenty, he may be fully ordained as a bhik.su. Return to Text
3. Fully ordained Buddhist monks [Skt. bhik.sus]. Return to Text
4. The rules of the Buddhist monastic discipline. Return to Text
5. The community of Buddhist nuns. Return to Text
6. The community of Buddhist monks. Return to Text
7. See this paper, pp. 89-90. Return to Text
8. The Eight Rules. Return to Text
9. Kate Wheeler, "Bowing Not Scraping," in Tricycle, ed. Helen Tworkov (NJ: Mark Printing Corp., 1993), p. 27. Return to Text
10. Diana Y. Paul, Women in Buddhism: Images of the Feminine in the Mahaayaana Tradition (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), p. 80 Return to Text
11. Rita M. Gross, "Buddhism and Feminism: Toward Their Mutual Transformation (I), in The Eastern Buddhist (Tokyo: Komiyama Printing Co., 1986), p. 46. Return to Text
12. Nancy Schuster Barnes, "Buddhism," in Women in World Religions, ed. Arvind, Sharma (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987), p. 108. Return to Text
13. Richard H. Robinson and Willard L. Johnson, The Buddhist Religion: A Historical Introduction (Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1987), p. 57 Return to Text
14. Susan Murcott, The First Buddhist Women: Translations and Commentary on the Theriigathaa (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1991), p. 196. Return to Text
15. Richard F. Gombrich, Theravaada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo (London and New York: Routledge, 1991), p. 105. Return to Text
16. Uma Chakravarti, The Social Dimensions of Early Buddhism (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 33. Return to Text
17. Audrey Mck. Fernandez, "Women in Buddhism," in Women & Buddhism: A Special Issue of Spring Wind-Buddhist Cultural Forum. Vol. 6, No. 1, 2, & 3. Published by the Zen Lotus Society (Ontario: Spring Wind, 1986), p. 39. Return to Text
18. I have followed Horner's expression in referring to the life of bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis as "alms life." Some Buddhist scholars express "homeless life" or "monastic life." Return to Text
19. The list of the Buddhist monastic rules for bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis recited at the fortnightly assemblies. Return to Text
20. See E. Frauwallner, The Earliest Vinaya and the Beginnings of Buddhist Literature (Stampato, Italia: Roma Is. M. E. O., 1956) pp. 180-2. Return to Text
21. See Frauwallner, pp. 184-94. Return to Text
22. The sta [Skt.] is a dome-shaped monument containing relics among Buddhists or Jains. Return to Text
23. W. Pachow, A Comparative Study of the Praa.timok.sa: On the Basis of Its Chinese, Tibetan, Sanskrit and Pali Versions (Santinetan: Sino-Indian Cultural Society, 1955), p. 42. Return to Text
24. Frauwallner, pp. 181, 185. Return to Text
25. Sukumar Dutt, The Buddha and Five After-Centuries (Calcutta: Sahitya Samsad, 1978), p. 110. Return to Text
26. Charles S. Prebish (p. 28) says that "[w]e find fully developed Vinayas of only six schools: Mahaasaa"nghikas, Theravaadins, Mahii"saasakas, Dharmaguptakas, Sarvaastivaadins, and Muulasarvaastivaadins (From Buddhist Monastic Discipline: the Sanskrit Praa.timok.sa Suutras of the Mahaasaa"nghikas and Muulasarvastivaadins (University Park and London: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1975). Return to Text
27. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, A Comparative Study of Bhikkhunii Paa.timokkha (Delhi: Chaukhambha Orientalia, 1984), p. 97. Return to Text
29. The Paa.timokkha has also been published. A partial English translation of the full Pali Vinaya was done for the Sacred Books of the East (Vols. 13, 17, 20). Return to Text
30. A complete English translation of the full vinaya, titled The Book of the Discipline (Vols. 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 25), was done for the Sacred Books of the Buddhists. Return to Text
31. Akira Hirakawa, Monastic Discipline for the Buddhist Nuns: An English Translation of the Chinese Text of the Mahaasaa"nghika-Bhik.su.nii-Vinaya (Patna, India: K. P. Jayaswal Research Institute, 1982), p.8, 415. Return to Text
32. Explanation of the rules for bhik.sus. Return to Text
33. Explanation of the rules for bhik.su.niis. Return to Text
34. Chapters on procedures for assemblies and other subjects. Return to Text
35. Kabilsingh, p. 153. Return to Text
36. Ibid., pp. ix-x. Return to Text
37. The collection of the Buddhist monastic disciplinary rules. Return to Text
38. Sukumar Dutt, Early Buddhist Monasticism (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Put. Ltd., 1984), pp. 72-3. Return to Text
39. Gokuldas De, Democracy in Early Buddhist Sa"ngha (Calcultta: Calcultta University, 1955), p. 60. Return to Text
40. Categories and numbers
of rules for bhik.sus
41. I present technical terminology in the Sanskrit. I have followed Charles S. Prebish's Sanskrit terms. Return to Text
42. S. B. B. Vol. X, p. xxvi. Return to Text
43. E. J. Thomas, The History of Buddhist Thought (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1933), p. 16. Return to Text
44. T. Vol. XXII, p. 571. Return to Text
45. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 568-79, 1015-6. Return to Text
46. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 714-8, 1031-2. This and all succeeding tables are the author's translation from the Chinese. If the reader wants to understand more fully the rules for bhik.su.niis and bhik.sus, I recommend that the reader read the vinaya. Return to Text
47. Who is filled with sexual desire: infatuated, full of desire, physically in love with. Return to Text
48. The special eight actions (T. Vol. XXII, p. 715): to hold the hands of a man, to touch the cloth of a man, to enter a secret place with a man, to stand with a man, to talk with a man, to press against limbs of a man, to make an appointment to take a walk with a man, to make an appointment for meeting. Return to Text
49. This rule is violated after three admonitions have been given to the violator (T. Vol. XXII, pp. 717-8). Return to Text
50. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 571, 1015-6. Return to Text
51. Muk-dam Kuk and Jung-shup Han, Pulgyo kyeyul haesol (A Translation and Commentary on the Chinese Bhik.su and Bhik.su.nii Sse fen lu) (Seoul: Seoul: Ihwa Munhwasa, 1987), pp. 136-7. Return to Text
52. Richard F. Gombrich, pp. 104-5. Return to Text
53. Gross, p. 45. Return to Text
54. Nagata Mizu, "A View of Women in the Bhik.su.nii-Vinaya," in Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Indogaku Bukkyogaku Kenyu) Vol. 54 (Tokyo: University of Tokyo, 1978), p. 708. Return to Text
55. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 716-7. Return to Text
56. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, pp. 165-8. Return to Text
57. See this paper, p. 47, rules number 140 and 141 of the paayantika dharmas for bhik.su.niis. Return to Text
58. Mizu, p. 708. Return to Text
59. Kabilsingh, p. 54. Return to Text
60. Mizu, p. 708. Return to Text
61. Kabilsingh, pp. 57-8. Return to Text
62. S. B. B. Vol. X, pp. xxix-xxx. Return to Text
63. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 579, 718. Return to Text
64. Ibid., p. 14. Return to Text
65. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 579-600, 1016-7. Return to Text
66. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 716-27, 1032-3. Return to Text
67. Ibid., pp. 579-87, 1016-7. Return to Text
68. In length: twelve spans of the Buddha; in width: seven spans of the Buddha (T. Vol. XXII, p. 585). Return to Text
69. Kabilsingh, p. 69. Return to Text
70. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 722-7,1033. Return to Text
71. Period of probation, see more details, C. S. Upasak, Dictionary of Early Buddhist Monastic terms (Varanasi: Bharati Prakashan, 1975), pp. 158-60. Return to Text
72. A temporary probation, see more details, Upasak, pp. 183-40. Return to Text
73. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 1016-7. Return to Text
74. T. Vol. XXII, p. 1033, 1062-3, 1068-9. Return to Text
75. Ibid. Return to Text
76. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 212. Return to Text
77. T. Vol. XII, p. 1033. Return to Text
78. When a bhik.su.nii has committed one of the sa.mghaava"se.sa offenses, so far as I have been able to discover in the Pali Vinaya, she is required to approach both sa"nghas and beg for the period of the maanatva. The Pali Vinaya does not clearly give the required numbers of bhik.sus for the rehabilitation of bhik.su.niis. Return to Text
79. Ian Astley,(A book review of) Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism, in Studies in Central & East Asian Religions Vol. 5/6 (Copenhagen: Journal of the Seminar for Buddhist Studies, 1992-3), p. 208. Return to Text
80. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 275. Return to Text
81. Ibid., p. 178. Return to Text
82. Ibid., p. 257. Return to Text
83. Kajiyama Yuichi, "Women in Buddhism," in The Eastern Buddhist Vol. XV No. 2 Autumn 1982 (Tokyo: Komiyama Printing Co., 1982), pp. 159-60. Return to Text
84. See Russell Webb, ed. An Analysis of the Pali Canon (Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society, 1991) , p. 3. Return to Text
85. S. B. B. Vol. XX, p. 359. Return to Text
86. Ibid., p. 360. Return to Text
87. Ibid. Return to Text
88. Ibid., p. 361. Return to Text
89. Ibid. Return to Text
90. C. S. Upasak, Dictionary of Early Buddhist Monastic Terms (Varanasi: Bharati Prakashan, 1975), p. 14. Return to Text
91. Charles S. Prebish, Buddhist Monastic Discipline: The Sanskrit Praa.timok.sa Suutras of the Mahaasaa.mghikas and Muulasarvastivaains (New York: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1975), p. 13. Return to Text
92. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 600-1. Return to Text
93. Ibid., pp. 600-1, 1017. Return to Text
94. Prebish, p. 13. Return to Text
95. T. Vol. XXII, p. 1017. Return to Text
96. S. B. B. Vol. X, p. xxxiii. Return to Text
97. S. B. B. Vol. XI, p. vii. Return to Text
98. T. Vol. XXII, p. 601. Return to Text
99. T. Vol. XXIII, p. 762. Return to Text
100. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 601-34, 1017-8. Return to Text
101. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 727-34, 1033-4. Return to Text
102. Bhik.sus can possess three robes: antaraavaasaka (the inner robe or cloth), uttaraasa"nga (the upper robe or cloth), and sa"nghaa.thi (the outer cloak). Bhik.su.niis are also permitted to possess the same three robes as bhik.sus, with two additional robes, udakasaa.tikaa (a robe for bath), and samakaccikaa (a vest). Return to Text
103. The robe has been stolen, the robe has been lost, the robe has been burned, the robe has been washed away.(T. Vol. XXII, p. 609) Return to Text
104. Gombrich (pp. 99-100) explains that "[a]t the end of the rains retreat the laity offer the material for a robe to their local monastery. This material has to be new, or at least in good condition. The local sa"ngha cut it up and stitch it together again and then offer it to one of their number - the theory is that he should be one who has kept the rules of the retreat. There is a special name for this robe: ka.thina. See more detail, Upasak, pp. 60-2. Return to Text
105. A robe costing more than four times sixteen old coins (a coin whose value is about a half-crown). Return to Text
106. T. Vol. XXII, p. 1055. Return to Text
107. Mohan Wijayaratna, Buddhist Monastic Life: According to the Texts of the Theravaada Tradition, trans. Claude Grangier and Steven Collins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), p. 147. Return to Text
108. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 605-33, 1017-8. Return to Text
109. A measure of length, which is about seven miles. Return to Text
110. S. B. B. Vol. XI, pp. 94-5 or T. Vol. XXII, p. 618. Return to Text
111. I. B. Horner, Women Under Primitive Buddhism: Laywomen and Almswomen (New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1930), p. 274. Return to Text
112. Gross, p. 37. Return to Text
113. T. Vol. XXII, p. 634. Return to Text
114. Ji-kwan Lee, Biguni kyeyul yon'gu (A Study on the Chinese Bhik.su.nii Sse fen lu) (Seoul: Taegakhoe Ch'ulpanbu, 1982), p. 220. Return to Text
115. S. B. B. Vol. XI, p. XXV. Return to Text
116. Kabilsingh, p. 91. Return to Text
117. Wijayaratna, p. 142. Return to Text
118. T. Vol. XXII, p. 1056. Return to Text
119. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 634-95, 1018-20. Return to Text
120. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 734-78, 1034-8. Return to Text
121. The Ssu fen lu does not give an explanation of "one who is not ordained," but the Pali Vinaya (S. B. B. Vol. XI, p. 190) explains "ones who are disrespectful, not deferential towards bhik.sus [or bhik.su.niis]. Return to Text
122. This is a right time (T. Vol. XXII, p. 658): a time of illness, a time of making cloth, a time of the giving of robes, a time of going on a journey, a time of being boarded on a boat. Return to Text
123. The wrong time (T. Vol. XXII, p. 662): from noon to the following early morning before the dawn. Return to Text
124. A right time (T. Vol. XX, p. 675): a time of hot season, a time of illness, a time of wind and rain, a time of going on a journey. Return to Text
125. T. Vol. XXII, p. 678. Return to Text
126. A female postulant who is training for two years (or probationary period) under the six rules (see footnote 129 in Part V ) to proceed to her higher ordination. Return to Text
127. The rainy season retreat lasts for three months, beginning either the day after the full moon of June-July or one month after that full moon. For more details, see Upasak, pp. 198-9. Return to Text
128. (T. Vol. XXII, p. 749) in length, six spans of the Buddha, in width, two and half spans of the Buddha. Return to Text
129. The six rules for a
(T. Vol. XXII, pp. 756, 1432, 1048):
130. The Observance Day (Uposatha ceremony) is the end of every lunar month (on the fourteenth or fifteenth day of the lunar month depending on its length). The main ritual of this statutory ceremony is the recitation of the Praatimok.sa. All bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis must participate in this ceremony. During the recitation of the Praatimok.sa each bhik.su or bhik.su.nii declares himself or herself pure or guilty of an offense. According to Wijayaratna,(p. 136), the uposatha ceremony for bhik.su.niis was held in their own meeting hall, where they were addressed as "noble ladies (Pali: ayya)." Return to Text
131. A "sraama.nerii (Pali: samanerii) is a female novice of the Bhik.su.nii Sa"ngha. This is the first stage of the three stages towards the bhik.su.niihood. Return to Text
132. There are twenty-four disqualifications for the admission of a woman into full membership of the sa"ngha. See more details, S . B. B. Vol. XX, pp. 375-9 or Horner, pp. 145-54. Concerning the disqualifications for the admission of a man into full membership of the sa"ngha, see Wijayaratna, p. 120. Return to Text
133. Jung Hee Kang, "The Buddhist View of Women: Women's Education Manifested in Bhik.su.nii-Vinaya"(Master Thesis) (Seoul: Tongguk University, 1983), pp. 48-9. I have referred to Kang's overview of the paayantika dharmas but I modified several classification of offenses. Return to Text
134. Mizu, p. 709. Return to Text
135. S. B. B. Vol. XX, p. 385. Return to Text
136. Murcott, p. 67. Return to Text
137. Ibid., p. 4. Return to Text
138. Kabilsingh, p. 106. Return to Text
139. S. B. B. Vol. XI, p. 289 or T. Vol. XXII, pp. 652-3. Return to Text
140. S. B. B. Vol. XI, p. 293 or T. Vol. XXII, p. 652. Return to Text
141. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 187 or T. Vol. XXII, p. 720. Return to Text
142. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 189. Return to Text
143. Gross, p. 36. Return to Text
144. Thirty three times: 25 times in the Bhik.su.nii Paayantika Dharmas, 8 times in the Bhik.su.nii Pratide"saniiya Dharmas. Return to Text
145. S. B. B. Vol. XX, p. xiv. Return to Text
146. Although male probationers are not required to have a fixed period of time for the probation period, they also have to complete some periods of training before the major Ordination. Wijayaratna (p. 120) explains that "[a]ccording to these rules [the rules for ordination], postulants had to undergo a period of preparation and education under the guidance of their preceptors. Sometime this training was given before the minor Ordination, sometimes in between the minor and major Ordinations. Novices had to wait until they were twenty years of age before they could be given the major Ordination. Return to Text
147. Mizu, p. 707. Return to Text
148. I. B. Horner, Women Under Primitive Buddhism, p. 251. Return to Text
149. S. B. B. Vol. XX, p. 385. Return to Text
150. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 361 or T. Vol. XXII, pp. 754-5. Return to Text
151. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 363, or T. Vol. XXII, pp. 754-5. Return to Text
152. Karma Lekshe Tsomo, "Prospects for an International Bhik.su.nii Sa"ngha," in Sakyadhiitaa: Daughters of the Buddha, ed. Karma Lekshe Tsomo (Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications, 1988), pp. 237-8. Return to Text
153. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 371. Return to Text
154. I. B. Horner, Women Under Primitive Buddhism, p. 141. Return to Text
155. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 377 or T. Vol. XXII, p. 760. Return to Text
156. S. B. B. Vol. p. 384 or T. Vol. XXII, pp. 761-2. Return to Text
157. See this paper pp. 89-90. Return to Text
158. Kabilsingh, p. 103. The eight qualities (S. B. B. Vol. XI, pp. 265-6 or T. Vol. XXII, p. 646.): one who is virtuous, one who lives restrained by the restraint of the Praatimok.sa, one who is possessed of good behavior and lawful resort, one who sees danger in the slightest faults, one who trains himself according to the rules of training, one who has become very learned, one who knows the learning by heart, one who is a store of learning. Return to Text
159. I. B. Horner, Women Under Primitive Buddhism, p. 127. Return to Text
160. Nancy Auer Falk, "The Case of Vanishing Nuns: The Fruits of Ambivalence in Ancient Indian Buddhism," in Unspoken Worlds, ed. Nancy Auer Falk and Rita M. Gross (Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1989), 159. Return to Text
161. Wijayaratna, pp. 161-2. Return to Text
162. Jampa Tsedroen, "The Significance of the Conference," in Sakyadhiitaa: Daughters of the Buddha (Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications, 1988), p. 48. Return to Text
163. S. B. B. Vol. XI, p. 45. Return to Text
164. Ibid., p. 323. Return to Text
165. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 317 Return to Text
166. Ibid., p. 319. Return to Text
167. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 647-95, 1018-20. Return to Text
168. This rule is the same rule as the eight Bhik.su.nii Pratide"sanniiya Dharmas in next category. The Pali Vinaya (S. B. B. Vol. XI, p. 341) specifies the eight kinds of foods: ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, molasses, fish, meat, milk, and curds. Return to Text
169. The Buddha. Return to Text
170. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 678-9. Return to Text
171. Ibid., pp. 716-7. Return to Text
172. Prebish, p. 17. Return to Text
173. Kabilsingh, pp. 152-4. Return to Text
174. S. B. B. Vol. XX, pp. 378-9. Return to Text
175. Hirakawa, p. 375. Return to Text
176. T. Vol. XXII, p. 695. Return to Text
177. Ibid., p. 696. Return to Text
178. Ibid. Return to Text
179. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 778, 1038-9. Return to Text
180. Ibid., pp. 695-8, 1020. Return to Text
181. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, pp. 103-4. Return to Text
182. Ibid., p. 104. Return to Text
183. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 121. Return to Text
184. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 120. Return to Text
185. T. Vol. XXII, p. 698. Return to Text
186. Ibid. Return to Text
187. T. Vol. XXIII, pp. 561-2. Return to Text
188. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 698-713, 1020-2. Return to Text
189. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 698-713, 778, 1039-40. Return to Text
190. The commentary of this rule in the Ssu fen lu explains that "The neck covered" is an improper manner or a disrespectful manner.(T. Vol. XXII, pp. 699) Return to Text
191. Literally the term "jumping" denotes acting undignified in people's houses. Return to Text
192. Literally "not covering up soup with boiled rice," implies acting as though one does not already have soup; donors will, on not seeing soup, presume that the bhik.su.nii or bhik.su has not received any, and thus donate more. This is a question of gluttony on the part of the bhik.su.nii or bhik.su. Return to Text
193. Horner (S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p. 133) explains: In India food is made up into balls with the fingers and eaten with the fingers. To make a large ball, that is a large mouthful, is bad manners. Return to Text
194. ~Naa.namoli (p. 117) explains that "[i]n ancient India there were very definite customs observed by those who went to visit religious teachers to obtain their instructions. These customs were not (and are not) empty formalities but aim at creating the correct mental attitude in the person wishing to be instructed. Thus a king would put aside his regalia, sword, etc., before approaching a teacher. An ordinary man would remove his shoes and head-covering when going to visit recluses. When worldly decorations and signs of power and office were set aside, the mind is more likely to abandon pride and haughtiness and adopt a humble and receptive attitude." Return to Text
195. Disrespectful manner, see more details, ~Naa.namoli, p. 117. Return to Text
196. Disrespectful manner, see more details, ~Naa.namoli , pp. 117-8. Return to Text
197. Disrespectful manner, see more details, ~Naa.namoli , pp. 117-8. Return to Text
198. Lee, pp. 456-7. Return to Text
199. W. Pachow, p. 49. Return to Text
TABLE NO. 14
201. The stories in the Ssu fen lu explain that a group of six monks committed some offenses, so the Buddha set forth the rules in this category. See Ji-kwan Lee, p. 457. Return to Text
202. The Chinese
and Bhik.su.nii-vibha"ngha has a fourfold structure:
203. Kabilsingh, p. 188, see also comparative table of wrongdoings in footnote 200 above,. Return to Text
204. S. B. B. Vol. XIII, p.120 Return to Text
205. Ibid., p.121. Return to Text
206. Ibid., pp. 121-2. Return to Text
207. S. B. B. Vol XIII, p. 153. Return to Text
208. T. Vol. XXII, p. 713. Return to Text
209. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 713-4, 1022. Return to Text
210. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 778, 1040. Return to Text
211. Lee, p. 543. Return to Text
212. Jotiya Dhirasekera, Buddhist Monastic Discipline (Colombo: M. D. Gunasena & Co. Ltd., 1982), pp. 121-7. Return to Text
213. Buddhist scholars translate gurudharmas in many different ways: the eight special rules, the Eight Extra Rules, Eight Important Conditions, Eight Great Rules, eight cardinal rules, eight special regulations, the Eight Chief Rules, eight rules. I prefer the translation "Eight Rules." Return to Text
214. The Book of the Gradual Sayings (A"nguttara-Nikaaya), Vol. IV (London: P. T. S.), pp. 181-5. Return to Text
215. S. B. B. Vol. XX, pp. 352-6, or T. Vol. XXII, pp. 922-3. Return to Text
216. The story of Mahaapajaapatii's ordination is in several different versions but is the same basic story except for a few significant details. Return to Text
217. Horner, Women Under Primitive Buddhism, p. xxii. Return to Text
218. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 922-3. Return to Text
219. Ibid., p. 923. Return to Text
220. Ryokan Nagasaki, "A Study on the Ordination of Mahaapajaapatii Gotamii Bhik.su.nii," in Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies. Vol. 52 (Tokyo: University of Tokyo, 1978), p. 656. Nagasaki compared the Eight Rules of the Pali Vinaya with those of other vinayas. However, my table comparing the Eight Rules with the paayantika dharmas is based on the Chinese Ssu fen lu. Return to Text
221. T. Vol. XXII, pp. 646, 649, 923, 1045 and T. XXIII, p. 345. Return to Text
222. See footnote 72 in Part II. Return to Text
223. Anne Bancroft, "Women in Buddhism," Women in the World's Religions, ed. Ursula King (New York: Paragon House Publishers, 1987), p. 83. Return to Text
224. Nancy Schuster Barnes, "Buddhism," in Women in World Religions, ed. Arvind Sharma (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987), p. 107. Return to Text
225. Gross, p. 9. Return to Text
226. Ibid., p. 33. Return to Text
227. Murcott, p. 17. Return to Text
228. Dharmacharini Sanghadevi, "The History of the Ordination of Women in Buddhism," in Dakini Issue 7 Summer 1991 (Glasgow: Ink Print and Design, 1991), p. 4. Return to Text
229. Heidi Singh, "The Value of Precepts," in Sakyadhiitaa: International Association of Buddhist Women Vol. 4, No. 1 (Honolulu: Sakyadhita, 1993), p. 7. Return to Text
230. Nagasaki, p. 656. Return to Text
231. Hae-ju Chun, "A View of Women in Buddhism" in The Dharma Newspaper (Pubpo Sinmun) Nov. 16, 1992, p. 8. Return to Text
232. See footnote 158 in Part V above. Return to Text
233. The holy one, who has attained Arhatship, the final stage of sainthood in Early Buddhism. In the Theriigaathaa, which contains seventy-three verses or psalms of elder enlightened nuns, we see that there were many bhik.su.niis who became Arhats during the time of the Buddha. Return to Text
234. Falk, p. 162. Return to Text
235. Hirakawa, p. 37. Return to Text
Source: Journal of Buddhist Ethics, http://jbe.la.psu.edu
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last updated: 01-04-2008