Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Nuns’ rules and their analysis

Nuns’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 18

… at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time the nun who was the pupil of Bhaddā Kāpilānī attended on Bhaddā Kāpilānī respectfully. Bhaddā Kāpilānī spoke thus to the nuns: “Ladies, this nun attends on me respectfully, I will give her this robe.” Then that nun, because of a misapprehension, because of a misunderstanding, saying: “Ladies, they say that I do not attend respectfully upon the lady, they do not say that she will give me a robe,” made (someone) look down upon another. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can this nun because of a misapprehension, because of a misunderstanding, make (someone) look down upon another?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that a nun … made (someone) look down upon another?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can a nun, because of a misapprehension, because of a misunderstanding, make (someone) look down upon another? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun, because of a misapprehension, because of a misunderstanding, should make (someone) look down upon another, there is an offence of expiation.”


Whatever means: … nun is to be understood in this case.

Because of a misapprehension means: because it was apprehended in a different manner.

Because of a misunderstanding means: because it was understood in a different manner.

Another means: one who is ordained. If she makes (someone) look down upon (her), there is an offence of expiation.


If she thinks that she is ordained when she is ordained (and) makes (someone) look down upon (her), there is an offence of expiation. If she is in doubt as to whether she is ordained … If she thinks that she is not ordained when she is ordained … offence of expiation. If she makes (someone) look down upon one who is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that she is ordained when she is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she is in doubt as to whether she is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that she is not ordained when she is not ordained, there is an offence of wrong-doing.


There is no offence if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.