Translation of the five Chinese Bhikkhuni Patimokkhas


I am not a native speaker of English but I reckon that ‘vague expectation’ would work better than ‘weak expectation’.

If that makes sense to a native speaker, would there be value if having bhante @brahmali to reconsider using vague here instead of weak?



Thanks, Gabriel. Yes, “weak expectation of robe-cloth” is a bit weak. :roll_eyes: It’s an over-literal translation of dubbalacīvarapaccāsāya. The context makes it clear that it means an uncertain expectation, and I have changed the translation accordingly.


The point of the Pali is that robe-cloth given in the robe season must be distributed before the end of that season. This is related to the kathina ceremony. Any monastic who has taken part in the kathina ceremony is due a share of the robe-cloth given within the four months of the cold season (= robe season). If a nun, such as Thullanandā in this case, holds up the distribution of cloth until after the robe season, then some of the nuns may have left before the distribution takes place and thus not get the share they were entitled to. Also, it seems that any robe cloth given within the robe season loses it’s status as robe-season cloth once the robe season is over, in which case all the nuns who spent the rains there are likely to lose out.


Are you then suggesting that these rules are not actually parallels, since the point of the Pali rule is different from the others? Or parallels that have evolved into quite different directions?
It seems that they should be parallels because they all have the common theme of a “vague expectation”.

If the Pali rule were actually about blocking a robe cloth distribution, the rule would be redundant because Pali Pc 27 and the parallels already cover that case:

Yā pana bhikkhunī dhammikaṃ cīvaravibhaṅgaṃ paṭibāheyya, pācittiyaṃ.
Should any bhikkhuni block a robe-cloth distribution that is in accordance with the rule, it is to be confessed.

I still feel the rule might have lost its original meaning in the Pali. Not only is it now redundant, but the origin story also doesn’t make much sense. The other nuns actually agree to wait and send Thullananda to find out more about this robe material. So they made the decision together, and afterwards blame Thullananda.

In fact, the Pali rule itself could be interpreted in line with the other schools. It is only the origin story that introduces the “robe-cloth distribution” theme, which is not found in the others school.


Either one is possible. I just wanted to make the point that the Pali, too, is indirectly concerned with the kathina. Whether it is enough to make them parallels I don’t know. I will leave that to your learned judgement, since you are much closer to this material than I.

I agree with you that the “vague expectation” idea is likely to make them parallels. This particular phrase only seems to be found in this rule in the entire Pali Vinaya.