Theravāda Vinayapiṭaka

Nuns’ rules and their analysis

Nuns’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 69

… at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time nuns for two years did not wait upon an ordained woman instructor. These were ignorant, inexperienced, they did not know what was allowable or what was not allowable. Those who were modest nuns … spread it about, saying: “How can these nuns for two years not wait upon an ordained woman instructor?” …

“Is it true, as is said, monks, that nuns … woman instructor

“It is true, lord.”

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

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

Whatever nun for two years should not wait upon an ordained woman instructor, there is an offence of expiation.”

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

Ordained means: the upasampadā, ordination conferred.

Woman instructor means: she is called a woman preceptor.

Two years means: two years.

Should not wait upon means: should not herself attend upon.

If she thinks: “I will not wait upon her for two years,” in throwing off the responsibility, there is an offence of expiation.

There is no offence if the woman preceptor is ignorant or shameless; if he is ill; if there are accidents; if she is mad, if she is the first wrong-doer.