Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Nuns’ rules and their analysis

Nuns’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 37

… at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time nuns walked without a weapon on almstour within (their own) region (when this was) agreed upon as dangerous, frightening. Bad men assaulted them. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns … dangerous, frightening?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that nuns … dangerous, frightening?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can nuns … dangerous, frightening? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should walk without a weapon on alms-tour within (her own) region (when this is) agreed upon as dangerous, frightening, there is an offence of expiation.”

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

Within (her own) region means: in a region of that country in which she lives.

Dangerous means: if on this road a place where thieves are halting is seen, a place where they are eating is seen, a place where they are resting is seen, a place where they are sitting down is seen, a place where they are lying down is seen.

Frightening means: if on this road people injured by thieves are seen, (people) plundered are seen, (people) beaten down are seen.

Without a weapon means: without a weapon.

Should walk on almstour means: in a village close enough for a cock (to walk), among every (such) village, there is an offence of expiation. For every half yojana in what is not a village, in a jungle, there is an offence of expiation.

There is no offence if she goes with a weapon; if she goes in a place of security that is not frightening; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.