Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Nuns’ rules and their analysis

Nuns’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 58

… among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan monastery. Now at that time the group of six monks, having approached a nunnery, exhorted the group of six nuns. Nuns spoke thus to the group of six nuns: “Come, ladies, we will go for exhortation.”

“Well, ladies, we would go for the sake of exhortation, (but) the group of the six masters exhort us, having come to this place itself.” Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can this group of six nuns not go for exhortation?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that the group of six nuns do not go for exhortation?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

“How, monks, can the group of six nuns not go for exhortation? It is not, monks, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … this rule of training:

Whatever nun should not go for exhortation or for communion, there is an offence of expiation.”

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

Exhortation means: the eight important rules.

Communion means: one (formal) act, one recitation, an equal training. If she thinks, “I will not go for exhortation or for communion,” in throwing off the responsibility, there is an offence of expiation.

There is no offence if there is an obstacle; if, having looked about for a nun as a companion, she does not get the chance; if she is ill; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.