The Ruination of a Dead Nun's Stupa

The Journal of Buddhist Ethics has this interesting article by Ven. Pandita (Burma) on the interpretation of the origin story to the rule Bhikkhuni Pacittiya 52, including a few quotes from Bhante @sujato’s writings:


It is firstly Horner, and later Schopen, who have expressed negative opinions on a story in the Vinaya. I argue, however, that the aforesaid story, at least its Pāli version, is not so bad as it sounds if we interpret it properly.


Many thanks, very interesting! I picked this up on the sly in a spare moment and was only intending to have a quick glance so haven’t read it all.

I nevertheless thought I’d quickly note that alas my confidence in Ven. Pandita’s argument building was strained a lot sooner than I was hoping. He writes:

I argue, first of all, that the stupa was not religiously appropriate. The evidence is in the story itself. If this stupa had been a proper one, the furious nuns would have reported to the Buddha to get proper action against the Ven. Kappitaka.

Okay, fair dos, but by this logic, the proper course of action Ven. Kappitaka should have followed would have been to report the nuns to the Buddha for their stupa rather than smash it up.

Maybe I should actually read the whole thing to see if he does, in fact, address this inconsistency, but as I said, I’m only butting in on the sly and am now off again. :smiling_imp:


Yup…me too…

I did do a quick scan though and settled on some of the closing remarks, in particular:

Therefore, the real question we should ask is: why was the Buddha silent on those side issues? I can give only a tentative answer to this. I argue that the Buddha might not have been actually silent on those issues, but that whatever he did say on those issues in this case has not made it into records. The whole purpose of this story is to show the circumstances leading to the rule that prohibits nuns from abusing monks, with everything else expendable.


Hi @Aminah & @anon29387788,

yes, I basically had the same reaction as you when reading these passages. That’s the reason why I posted it here, hoping that the folks here would give their opinions. I’m not really a scholar, so would like to hear how other people see this.