Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Nuns’ rules and their analysis

Nuns’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 61

… at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time nuns ordained a pregnant woman. She walked for alms. People spoke thus: “Give almsfood to the lady, the lady is heavy with child.” The people … spread it about, saying: “How can the nuns ordain a pregnant woman?” Nuns heard these people who … spread it about. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying, “How can these nuns ordain a pregnant woman?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that nuns ordained a pregnant woman?”

“It is true, lord.”

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

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

Whatever nun should ordain a pregnant woman, there is an offence of expiation.”


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

Pregnant woman means: she is called entered by beings.

Should ordain means: should confer the upasampada ordination.

If she thinks: “I will ordain (her)” and looks about for a group or for a woman teacher or for a bowl or for a robe or if she determines a boundary, there is an offence of wrong-doing. As a result of the motion there is an offence of wrong-doing. As a result of two proclamations, there are offences of wrong-doing. At the end of the proclamations, there is an offence of expiation for the woman preceptor, and an offence of wrong-doing for the group and for the woman teacher.


If she thinks that she is pregnant when she is pregnant (and) ordains her, there is an offence of expiation. If she is in doubt … offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that she is not pregnant when she is pregnant, (and) ordains her, there is no offence. If she thinks that she is pregnant when she is not pregnant, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she is in doubt as to whether she is not pregnant, there is an offence of wrong-doing. If she thinks that she is not pregnant when she is not pregnant, there is no offence.


There is no offence if she ordains a pregnant woman thinking that she is not pregnant; if she ordains a woman who is not pregnant thinking that she is not pregnant; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.