Jotiya dhirasekera

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The seventeen Saṅghādisesa rules of the Bhikkhunī Pātimokkha consist of seven which the Bhkkkhunis hold in common with the Bhikkhus (sādhāraa paññatti), and ten additional rules which apply to the Bhikkhunis alone. The Saṅghādisesa rules 1-4 of the Bhikkhus deal with sex abuses or minor sex relations of a Bhikkhu with a woman and therefore have no relevance to the Bhikkhunis. On the other hand, we have already noted that cosiderations regarding the sex relations of Bhikkhunis with the male members of the lay society were relatively enhanced in gravity and included under the Bhikkhunī Pārājikas 1 and 4. The other two rules of the Bhikkhu Saṅghādisesas (Nos. 6 and 7) which are left out of the Bhikkhunī Pātimokkha refer to the construction of dwelling places (kui and vihāra). Nevertheless, Pācittiya 19 of the Bhikkhus which also happens to deal with dwelling places of monks (vihāra) finds its parallel in the following Pācittiya rule of the Bhikkhunis: Mahallaka pana bhikkhuniyā vihāra kārayamānāya yāva dvārakosā aggalaṭṭhapanāya ālokasandhiparikammāya dvatticchadanassa pariyāyam appaharite hitāya adhiṭṭhātabba. Tato ce uttarim appaharite pi hitā adhiṭṭhaheyya pācittiya.' 1 With the omission of these six rules of the Bhikkhu Saṅghādisesa the Bhikkhunis are still left with seven sādhāraa paññatti or rules which they hold in common with the Bhikkhus under the category of Saṅghādisesa. The ten new rules which take their place under the Bhikkhunī Saṅghādisesas deal with a variety of themes.

No.1 forbids nuns from entering into hostilities with the laymen. (Yā pana bhikkhunī ussayavādikā vihareyya gahapatinā vā gahapatiputtena vā dāsena vā kammakārena vā antamaso samaaparibbājakenā'pi ayampi bhikkhunī pahamāpattikka dhamma āpannā nissāraṅīya saghādisesa. Vin.IV.224).

Nos. 2 and 4 provide against the indiscreet admission of doubtful characters into the Bhikkhunī Order without proper investigation and the illegal reinstatement of a properly expelled nun.1

Nos. 3. 5 and 6 safeguard the nuns from the dangers of lustful men.2

Nos. 7-10 attempt to curb the rebellious and disruptive elements of the Bhikkhunī Order who operate either singly or in groups.3 These four new rules of the Bhikkhunis seem, more or less, to reinforce the Bhikkhu Saṅghādisesa 9-13 which are also applicable to the Bhikkhunis and which deal with similar situations.Thus we see that with the establishment of the new Order for Bhikkhunis the code of monastic discipline is being made more and more comprehensive.

Nissaggiya Pācittiya

Both the Bhikkhus and the Bhikkhunis have the same number of thirty Nissaggiya Pācittiya rules. But only the following 18 rules of the Bhikkhus are held in common by the Bhikkhunis as well. They are 1-3, 6-10, 18-20, 22, 23, 25-28, 30. The 12 rules of the Bhikkhus which do not apply to the Bhikkhunis are as follows:

Nos. 4 and 5 deal with engaging the services of a Bhikkhuni to wash or dye a robe and receiving a robe from a Bhikkhuni respectively.1

Nos. 11-17 are a set of very specific and circumscribed rules which deal with the making of rugs and coverlets out of silk and wool and their use.2

No. 21 forbids the retention of an extra bowl beyond ten days.3 This rule, however, finds a place among the Bhikkhunī Nissaggiyas in a stricter form.4 The new rule requires that no Bhikkhuni shall make a collection of bowls. This, in its context, is taken to mean that she shall not possess an extra bowl even for a single day. Buddhaghosa points out this difference between the two versions of the rule (Ayam eva hi viseso. Tattha dasā'ha parihāro ettha ekā'ham pi natthi. VinA.IV.916). Commenting on the Bhikkhunīvibhaṅga Buddhaghosa looks upon this rule of the Bhikkhunis as a new one which replaces the former.5

No. 24 specifies the time when a Bhikkhu should make a quest for a rain garment and the time when he should start wearing it.6 This together with the rule which deals with life in forest residences (No.29) were apparently considered as having no relevance to the life of the Bhikkhunis.

No.29 indicates a concession granted to the forest-dwelling monks regarding cīvaravippavāsa.7

The Bhikkhunīvibhaṅga, on the other hand, has the following rules added to the rest of the Bhikkhu Nissaggiya rules:

No.1. The Nissaggiya Pācittiya group of the Bhikkhunis begins with this revised rule regarding the possession of bowls1 to which we have referred earlier under Bhikkhu Nissaggiya 21.

Nos. 2 and 3 deal with faulty practices in the acceptance and distribution of robes.2

Nos. 4-10. This section details the abuse of offers made by laymen to provide the Bhikkhunis with their needs either individually or collectively to the congregation as a whole. The indiscreet behaviour of the Bhikkhunis in this direction had proved both irksome and embarrassing to the public.3

Nos. 11 and 12 which deal with the choice and acceptance of robes are closely allied to Nos. 2 and 3.4

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