Gotamīsuttaṁ PTS, RTE lack any title or end-title on any of the discourses. 01
The Discourse concerning Gotamī (AN 8.51)

Requesting the Going-Forth

Ekaṁ samayaṁ Bhagavā Sakkesu viharati Kapilavatthusmiṁ Nigrodhārāme.
At one time the Fortunate One was dwelling amongst the Sakiyans, near to Kapilavatthu, in Nigrodha’s Monastery. Kapilavatthu was the Buddha’s home town. Nigrodha was a Sakyan who donated this park to the Saṅgha. For more information on this monastery see the long entry in DPPN.02

Chaṭṭhassa paṭhame, ‘Sakkesu viharatī’ ti
In the first (discourse) of the sixth (chapter), ‘Was dwelling amongst the Sakiyans’ means

paṭhamagamanena gantvā, viharati.
was dwelling, after going (there) on the first journey. The first journey back to his home city in the first year after his Awakening, see the Introduction for a discussion of the chronology.03

Atha kho Mahāpajāpatī RTE: Mahāpajāpati; similarly below.04 Gotamī yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami,
Then Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī approached the Fortunate One,

‘Mahāpajāpatī’ ti puttapajāya ceva dhītupajāya ca mahantattā evaṁladdhanāmā.
‘Mahāpajāpatī’ means (hoping she would be) having many male and female progeny, this was the name that was given. The name means: rich in progeny, although it appears she had just one daughter (the eldest), Nandā, and one son, Nanda. 05

‘Yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkamī’ ti Bhagavā Kapilapuraṁ gantvā,
‘Approached the Fortunate One’ means the Fortunate One, having gone to Kapila’s city,

paṭhamam-eva Nandaṁ pabbājesi, sattame divase Rāhulakumāraṁ.
first of all gave the going forth to Nanda, Mahāpajāpatī’s son, and the Buddha’s half-brother. Nanda’s story is told in the Exalted Utterances (3.2), see elsewhere on this website.06 and after seven days to prince Rāhula. His son through Yasodharā. Rāhula’s ordination is related at the beginning of the 9th section (bhāṇavāra) of the Great Chapter (Mahākhandhaka), Vin 3.1. 07

* * *

Cumbaṭakakalahe, SHB, PTS: Cumbaṭakalahe.08 pana RTE omits: pana.09 ubhayanagaravāsīsu ChS: ubhayanagaravāsikesu.10 yuddhatthāya nikkhantesu,
In the dispute about the head-roll, According to the commentaries this took place four years after the first return to Kapilavatthu. There are two stories which came down in the commentaries about the origin of this dispute, one of them records there was a dispute about head-rolls (cumbaṭaka) left by slaves on the bank of the river Rohiṇī, although this explanation is rejected by the commentator there. See my text and translation of a section from The Introduction to the Story of the Cuckoo (Kuṇālajātakanidānaṁ) elsewhere on this website. 11 residents from both cities came out in order to fight,

Satthā gantvā, te Rājāno saññāpetvā, Attadaṇḍasuttaṁ kathesi.
and the Teacher went (there), convinced those Kings, and taught the Discourse on Taking up a Stick. Attadaṇḍasuttaṁ, now found in the Discourse Collection (Suttanipāta), Sn 4.15. 12

Rājāno pasīditvā SHB, PTS: pasīditvā va.13 aḍḍhatiyasate aḍḍhatiyasate kumāre adaṁsu,
The Kings were pleased and each gave two hundred and fifty princes,

tāni pañca kumārasatāni Satthu santike pabbajiṁsu.
and those five hundred princes went forth in the presence of the Teacher.

Atha nesaṁ pajāpatiyo sāsanaṁ pesetvā anabhiratiṁ uppādayiṁsu.
Then their wives sent them messages and that made discontent arise (in their husbands).

Satthā tesaṁ anabhiratiyā uppannabhāvaṁ ñatvā,
The Teacher, knowing a state of discontent had arisen,

te pañcasate daharabhikkhū Kuṇāladahaṁ netvā,
led those five hundred young monks to the Kuṇāla Lake, In the Himālayas. 14

attano kuṇālakāle nisinnapubbe pāsāṇatale nisīditvā,
having sat on the stone slab, where formerly he himself had sat at the time of the cuckoo (story),

Kuṇālajātakakathāya tesaṁ anabhiratiṁ vinodetvā,
and having driven out their discontent with the Kuṇāla Birth Story, This is a misogynist story about the wiles of women, which has been attributed to the Buddha, but which appears to have been a folk story incorporated into the wider Buddhist tradition. 15

sabbe pi te Sotāpattiphale SHB, PTS: te sabbe Sotāpattiphale.16 patiṭṭhāpesi,
he established them all in the fruit of Stream-Entry, The first of four stages on the path to Awakening. 17

puna Mahāvanaṁ ānetvā, Arahattaphale ti.
and after bringing them to the Great Wood, in the fruit of Liberation. The final stage on the path. According to the traditional chronology, this took place just before the beginning of the fifth Rains Retreat at Vesālī. 18

Tesaṁ cittajānanatthaṁ SHB, PTS: cittaṁ jānanatthaṁ; similarly elsewhere.19 puna pi pajāpatiyo sāsanaṁ pahiṇiṁsu,
In order to know their minds their wives again sent messages,

te: “Abhabbā mayaṁ gharāvāsassā,” ti paṭisāsanaṁ pahiṇiṁsu.
and they sent a reply back, saying: “It is impossible for us to dwell in the home.” Having attained liberation all that was attractive about the home life had lost its attraction, and they were unable to live in that way any more.20

Tā: “Na dāni amhākaṁ gharaṁ gantuṁ yuttaṁ.
(The wives) said: “Now it is not suitable (for us) to go (back) to our homes.

Mahāpajāpatiyā santikaṁ gantvā,
Having gone into the presence of Mahāpajāpatī,

pabbajjaṁ anujānāpetvā pabbajissāmā.” ti
and having received allowance for the going forth, we will go forth.”

Pañcasatā pi Mahāpajāpatiṁ SHB, PTS: Pajāpatiṁ.21 upasaṅkamitvā,
The five hundred (wives) approached Mahāpajāpatī,

“Ayye, amhākaṁ pabbajjaṁ anujānāpethā,” ti āhaṁsu.
and said: “Noble Lady, you should get the allowance for us to go forth.”

Mahāpajāpatī tā itthiyo gahetvā, yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami.
Having taken those women, Mahāpajāpatī approached the Fortunate One.

Setacchattassa heṭṭhā Rañño parinibbutakāle upasaṅkamī, ti pi vadanti yeva.
They say: after the King (Suddhodana) had attained Complete Emancipation under the white umbrella The implication is that King Suddhodana was still reigning as King when he died. He was one of the only people who attained Liberation and never ordained, having died on the same day. 22 (Mahāpajāpatī) approached (the Buddha).

upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā, ekam-antaṁ aṭṭhāsi.
and after approaching and worshipping the Fortunate One, she stood on one side.

Ekam-antaṁ ṭhitā kho Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
While standing on one side Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī said this to the Fortunate One:

“Sādhu, Bhante, labheyya mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
“It is good, reverend Sir, if women could receive, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan.”-ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

“Alaṁ, Gotamī! Thai, ChS: Gotami; similarly below.23
“Enough, Gotamī!

Mā te rucci mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
Please do not wish for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

‘Alaṁ, Gotamī! Mā te ruccī.’ ti
‘Enough, Gotamī! Please do not wish,’ is said.

Kasmā paṭikkhipi?
Why did he refuse?

Na nu sabbesam-pi Buddhānaṁ catasso parisā hontī ti?
Do not all the Buddhas have four assemblies?

Kāmaṁ honti.
Certainly they do.

Kilametvā pana anekavāraṁ yācite RTE: yācitena.24 anuññātaṁ pabbajjaṁ,
But he allowed the going forth (only) after making many requests,

dukkhena laddhā. ti
and it was received with (much) trouble.

‘Sammā paripālessantī,’ ti garuṁ katvā, anuññātukāmo paṭikkhipi.
He thought: ‘(Later) they will guard it well,’ and have respect, and wishing to grant the allowance (later), he refused (at this time). The sentence is convoluted in the Pāḷi, and I am unsure whether the interpretation is correct here. 25

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjā.” ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

Dutiyam-pi kho Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
For a second time Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī said this to the Fortunate One:

“Sādhu, Bhante, labheyya mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
“It is good, reverend Sir, if women could receive, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan.”-ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

“Alaṁ, Gotamī!
“Enough, Gotamī!

Mā te rucci mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
Please do not wish for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjā.” ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

Tatiyam-pi kho Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
For a third time Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī said this to the Fortunate One:

“Sādhu, Bhante, labheyya mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
“It is good, reverend Sir, if women could receive, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan.”-ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

“Alaṁ, Gotamī!
“Enough, Gotamī!

Mā te rucci mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
Please do not wish for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjā.” ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

Atha kho Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī:
Then Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī,

‘Na Bhagavā anujānāti mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
thinking: ‘The Fortunate One does not allow for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan,’-ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life,’

dukkhī dummanā, assumukhī, rudamānā,
pained and depressed, crying, with tears on her face,

Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā padakkhiṇaṁ katvā, pakkāmi.
having worshipped and circumambulated the Fortunate One, went away.

‘Pakkāmī’ ti puna Kapilapuram-eva pāvisi.
‘Went away’ means she entered Kapila’s city again.

Atha kho Bhagavā Kapilavatthusmiṁ yathābhirantaṁ viharitvā,
Then the Fortunate One, having dwelt in Kapilavatthu for as long as he liked,

‘Yathābhirantaṁ viharitvā’ ti
‘Dwelt for as long as he liked’ means

bodhaneyyasattānaṁ SHB, PTS: sattānaṁ.26 upanissayaṁ olokento, yathājjhāsayane viharitvā.
looking around at those beings that have the right conditions for being led to Awakening, he dwelt for as long as he had the intention to.

yena Vesālī tena cārikaṁ pakkāmi,
went on walking tour towards Vesālī,

‘Cārikaṁ pakkāmī’ ti mahājanasaṅgahaṁ karonto
‘Went on walking tour’ means favouring the populace

uttamāya SHB, PTS: anupamāya.27 Buddhasiriyā anopamena Buddhavilāsena aturitacārikaṁ pakkāmi.
he went on an unhurried walking tour, with his supreme Buddha glory and his matchless Buddha beauty (shining forth).

anupubbena cārikaṁ caramāno yena Vesālī tad-avasari.
and while walking gradually on walking tour he arrived at Vesālī.

Tatra sudaṁ RTE: suradaṁ; probably transcription mistake.28 Bhagavā Vesāliyaṁ viharati,
There the Fortunate One dwelt near Vesālī,

Mahāvane Kūṭāgārasālāyaṁ.
in the Great Wood, at the Gabled Hall.

Atha kho Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī,
Then Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī,

kese chedāpetvā, kāsāyāni vatthāni acchādetvā,
after having her hair cut off, and donning ochre clothes,

sambahulāhi Sākiyānīhi RTE: Sākiyāhi; similarly below.29 saddhiṁ yena Vesālī tena pakkāmi,
together with a great many Sakiyan ladies, went towards Vesālī,

‘Sambahulāhi Sākiyānīhi saddhin’-ti
‘Together with a great many Sakiyan ladies’ means

antonivesanamhi RTE: antonivesanasmiṁ.30 yeva Dasabalaṁ uddissa pabbajjāvesaṁ gahetvā,
having taken the appearance of one gone forth in the inner chambers based on that (worn by the) One of Ten Powers,

pañcasatā RTE: tā pi pañcasatā.31 Sākiyāniyo PTS: pañcasata-Sākiyāniyo.32 pabbajjāvesaṁ yeva PTS omits: yeva.33 gāhāpetvā,
and having the five hundred Sakiyan ladies (also) take the appearance of those gone forth,

sabbāhi pi tāhi sambahulāhi Sākiyānīhi saddhiṁ.
together with a great many Sakiyan ladies, (she went towards Vesālī).

‘Cārikaṁ RTE omits: Cārikaṁ.34 pakkāmī’ ti gamanaṁ abhinīhari.
‘Went on walking tour’ means she left on her journey.

Gamanābhinīharaṇakāle SHB, PTS: Gamanābhiharaṇakāle. 35 pana
But at the time of leaving on the journey

‘Tā SHB, PTS omits: .36 sukhumālā Rājitthiyo padasā gantuṁ na sakkhissantī,’ ti
thinking: ‘Those delicate princesses will not be able to go by foot,’

Sākiya-Koliyarājāno SHB: Koḷiya-.37 sovaṇṇasivikāyo SHB, PTS: suvaṇṇa-.38 upaṭṭhāpayiṁsu, RTE: uṭṭhāpayiṁsu.39
the Sakiyan and Koliyan kings arranged golden palanquins,

‘Tā pana yāne āruyha gacchantī,’ ti RTE: gacchantīhi.40
thinking: ‘Having mounted the vehicles they will go,’

‘Satthari agāravo kato hotī,’ ti
(But the women thought): ‘That is disrespectful to the Teacher,’

ekapaṇṇāsayojanikaṁ RTE adds: maggaṁ.41 padasā va paṭipajjiṁsu.
and they followed the path on foot for fifty-one leagues. It appears that one of the things the ladies were trying to prove to the Buddha is that they were capable of living an ascetic life, traveling large distances by foot as the mons regularly did. 42

Rājāno pi purato ca pacchato ca ārakkhaṁ saṁvidahāpetvā,
The Kings, after arranging protection at the front and the rear,

taṇḍulasappitelādīnaṁ sakaṭāni pūrāpetvā: RTE: pūretvā.43
and filling carts with the finest rice, ghee, oil and so forth,

“Gataṭṭhāne gataṭṭhāne, RTE: gatagataṭṭhāne PTS omits second: gataṭṭhāne.44 āhāraṁ paṭiyādethā,” ti purise pesayiṁsu.
sent men, saying: “Whatever place they go to, prepare the food.”

anupubbena yena Vesālī Mahāvanaṁ BJT: Mahāvane.45 Kūṭāgārasālā tenupasaṅkami.
and gradually approached the Great Wood, and the Gabled Hall at Vesālī.

Atha kho Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī sūnehi PTS: sunehi; similarly below.46 pādehi rajokiṇṇena gattena,
Then Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī, with swollen feet, and dust on her limbs,

‘Sūnehi pādehī’ ti
‘With swollen feet’ means

tāsañ-hi sukhumālattā pādesu: eko phoṭo uṭṭheti, SHB, PTS: udeti.47 eko bhijjati.
for those with delicate feet: some had blisters arise, some had split open.

Ubho pādā katakaṭṭhiparikiṇṇā RTE: kaṭaka-; ChS: katakaṭṭhisamparikiṇṇā.48 viya hutvā, uddhumātā jātā. SHB, PTS omits: jātā.49
Both feet having become as though covered all round with the clearing nut seed, Strychnos Potatorum, presumably the seed is dry and hardened.50 became swollen.

Tena vuttaṁ: ‘Sūnehi pādehī.’ ti
Therefore it was said: ‘With swollen feet.’

dukkhī dummanā, assumukhī, rudamānā, bahidvārakoṭṭhake aṭṭhāsi.
pained and depressed, crying, with tears on her face, stood outside the doorway.

Addasā kho āyasmā Ānando Mahāpajāpatiṁ Gotamiṁ
Venerable Ānanda saw Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī,

sūnehi pādehi rajokiṇṇena gattena,
with swollen feet, and dust on her limbs,

dukkhiṁ dummanaṁ, assumukhiṁ, rudamānaṁ, bahidvārakoṭṭhake ṭhitaṁ.
pained and depressed, crying, with tears on her face, stood outside the doorway.

‘Bahidvārakoṭṭhake’ ti dvārakoṭṭhakato bahi.
‘Outside the doorway’ means outside the doorway. The commentator is parsing the compound.51

Kasmā panevaṁ ṭhitā ti? RTE: sanṭhitā ti.52
But why stand there?

Evaṁ kirassā ahosi:
This occurred to her:

‘Ahaṁ Tathāgatena ananuññātā sayam-eva pabbajjāvesaṁ aggahesiṁ,
‘Without the permission of the Realised One, I took the appearance of one gone forth,

evaṁ gahitabhāvo ca pana me sakala-Jambudīpe pākaṭo jāto.
but the fact that (the appearance) was taken by me has become famous throughout the whole of the Rose-Apple Isle.

Sace Satthā pabbajjaṁ anujānāti, iccetaṁ kusalaṁ,
If the Teacher allows the going forth, that is good,

sace pana nānujānissati, mahatī garahā bhavissatī.’ ti
but if he does not allow, there will be great reproach (for me),’

vihāraṁ pavisituṁ asakkontī rodamānā va SHB, PTS omits: va.53 aṭṭhāsi.
and being unable to enter the monastery she stood there crying.

Disvāna, PTS: Disvā.54 Mahāpajāpatiṁ Gotamiṁ etad-avoca:
And after seeing (her), he said this to Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī:

“Kiṁ nu tvaṁ, Gotamī, ChS: Gotami; similarly below.55 sūnehi pādehi rajokiṇṇena gattena,
“Why are you, Gotamī, with swollen feet, and dust on your limbs,

‘Kiṁ nu tvaṁ Gotamī?’ ti
‘Why are you, Gotamī?’ means (he was asking):

kiṁ nu Rājakulānaṁ vipatti uppannā,
has any misfortune arisen in the families of Kings,

kena tvaṁ RTE: kena nu tvaṁ.56 kāraṇena, evaṁ vivaṇṇabhāvaṁ pattā,
(or) for what reason are you, having become weakened like this,

sūnehi pādehi, ṭhitā? ti RTE, ChS: sūnehi pādehi .pe. ṭhitā ti.57
with swollen feet, standing (there)?

dukkhī dummanā, assumukhī, rudamānā, bahidvārakoṭṭhake ṭhitā?” ti
pained and depressed, crying, with tears on your face, standing outside the doorway?”

“Tathā hi pana, bhante Ānanda, na Bhagavā anujānāti PTS: Bhagavā na anujānāti.58
“Because, venerable Ānanda, the Fortunate One does not allow

mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan”-ti.
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

“Tena hi, Gotamī, ChS: Tena hi tvaṁ, Gotamī, muhuttaṁ.59 idheva tāva hohi, yāvāhaṁ Bhagavantaṁ yācāmi

“Then, Gotamī, just wait here, while I request the Fortunate One

mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan.”-ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

Atha kho āyasmā Ānando yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami,
Then venerable Ānanda approached the Fortunate One,

upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā ekam-antaṁ nisīdi.
and after approaching and worshipping the Fortunate One, he sat down on one side.

Ekam-antaṁ nisinno kho āyasmā Ānando Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
While sitting on one side venerable Ānanda said this to the Fortunate One:

“Esā, Bhante, Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī sūnehi pādehi rajokiṇṇena gattena,
“This Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī, reverend Sir, with swollen feet, and dust on her limbs,

dukkhī dummanā, assumukhī, rudamānā, bahidvārakoṭṭhake ṭhitā:
pained and depressed, crying, with tears on her face, is standing outside the doorway,

‘Na Bhagavā anujānāti mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
thinking: ‘The Fortunate One does not allow for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan.’-ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.’

Sādhu, Bhante, labheyya mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,

It is good, reverend Sir, if women could receive, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan.”-ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

“Alaṁ, Ānanda!
“Enough, Ānanda!

Mā te rucci mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
Please do not wish for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjā.” ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

Dutiyam-pi kho ...pe...āyasmā Ānando Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
For a second time ...pe...venerable Ānanda said this to the Fortunate One:

“Sādhu, Bhante, labheyya mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
“It is good, reverend Sir, if women could receive, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan.”-ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

“Alaṁ, Ānanda!
“Enough, Ānanda!

Mā te rucci mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
Please do not wish for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjā.” ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

Tatiyam-pi kho āyasmā Ānando Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
For a third time venerable Ānanda said this to the Fortunate One:

“Sādhu, Bhante, labheyya mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
“It is good, reverend Sir, if women could receive, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan.”-ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

“Alaṁ, Ānanda!
“Enough, Ānanda!

Mā te rucci mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
Please do not wish for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjā.” ti BJT: pabbajjan-ti, but pabbajjā ti above.60
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

Atha kho āyasmato Ānandassa etad-ahosi:
Then it occurred to venerable Ānanda:

‘Na Bhagavā anujānāti mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
‘The Fortunate One does not allow for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjaṁ.
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.

Yaṁ nūnāhaṁ aññena pi pariyāyena Bhagavantaṁ yāceyyaṁ

What if I were to ask the Fortunate One in a different way

‘Aññena pi pariyāyenā’ ti aññena pi kāraṇena.
‘In a different way’ means with a different reason.

mātugāmassa Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan’?-ti
the going forth from the home to the homeless life?’

Atha kho āyasmā Ānando Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
Then venerable Ānanda said this to the Fortunate One:

“Bhabbo nu kho, Bhante, mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
“Is it possible, reverend Sir, for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajitvā,
having gone forth from the home to the homeless life,

Sotāpattiphalaṁ vā, Sakadāgāmiphalaṁ vā,
° to directly experience the fruit of Stream Entry, or the fruit of Once-Returning,

Anāgāmiphalaṁ vā Arahattaphalaṁ vā sacchikātun?”-ti
or the fruit of Non-Returning, or the fruit of Liberation?”

“Bhabbo, Ānanda, mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
“It is possible, Ānanda, that women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajitvā,
having gone forth from the home to the homeless life,

Sotāpattiphalam-pi Sakadāgāmiphalam-pi
° to directly experience the fruit of Stream Entry, and the fruit of Once-Returning,

Anāgāmiphalam-pi Arahattaphalam-pi sacchikātun.”-ti
and the fruit of Non-Returning, and the fruit of Liberation.”

“Sace, Bhante, bhabbo mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
“If it is possible, reverend Sir, for women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajitvā,
having gone forth from the home to the homeless life,

Sotāpattiphalam-pi ...pe...Sakadāgāmiphalam-pi
° to directly experience the fruit of Stream Entry...pe..., and the fruit of Once-Returning,

Anāgāmiphalam-pi Arahattaphalam-pi sacchikātun,-ti
and the fruit of Non-Returning, and the fruit of Liberation,

bahukārā, PTS: bahupakārā.61 Bhante, Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī,
and Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī was a great help, reverend Sir,

‘Bahukārā, Bhante’ ti-ādinā,
‘A great help, reverend Sir,’ and so forth,

tassā guṇaṁ kathetvā, puna pabbajjaṁ yācanto evam-āha.
after speaking about her virtue, again he spoke requesting the going forth.

Bhagavato mātucchā āpādikā posikā khīrassa dāyikā, BJT, PTS omit: khīrassa dāyikā.62
she is the Fortunate One’s maternal aunt, his wet-nurse, who looked after him and gave him milk,

Bhagavantaṁ janettiyā kālaṅkatāya, thaññaṁ pāyesi.
and after the Fortunate One’s Mother had died, she gave him suck at the breast.

Sādhu, Bhante, labheyya mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
It would be good, reverend Sir, if women could receive, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjan”-ti.
the going forth from the home to the homeless life.”

The Eight Serious Rules

“Sace, Ānanda, Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī aṭṭha garudhamme paṭigaṇhāti, BJT: pati-; RTE, ChS: -gg-; similarly elsewhere.63
“If, Ānanda, Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī accepts these eight serious rules,

sā vassā hotu upasampadā:
this will be the higher ordination for her:

Satthā pi: ‘Itthiyo nāma parittapaññā,
The Teacher also thought: ‘Women are known to have little wisdom, Remember this is the Commentator fostering thoughts on the Buddha. 64

ekayācitamattena RTE: ekāyācitamatteneva.65 pabbajjāya anuññātāya,
by gaining permission for the going forth through one request only,

na mama SHB, PTS: me.66 Sāsanaṁ garuṁ katvā gaṇhissantī,’ ti SHB, PTS: gaṇhantī ti.67
they will not accept my Dispensation with respect,’

tikkhattuṁ paṭikkhipitvā, idāni garuṁ katvā, gāhāpetukāmatāya:
now, after being refused three times, they have respect, and have a (deep) desire to take (ordination, and so), Earlier and again here it is stated that the Buddha only refused women ordination to make them try and try again, so they would eventually have great respect for the ordination. If that were so though, it is difficult to understand why the Buddha would also initially refuse Ānanda’s request three times, and only (apparently) change his mind when further arguments about their abilities, which he must surely have known without needing prompting, had been adduced.68

‘Sace, Ānanda, Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī aṭṭha garudhamme paṭigaṇhāti, RTE: -gg-.69
‘If, Ānanda, Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī accepts these eight serious rules,

sā vassā hotu upasampadā’ ti-ādim-āha.
this will be the higher ordination for her,’ and so forth was said.

Tattha ‘Sā vassā’ ti sā eva SHB, PTS: ev’.70 assā pabbajjā pi upasampadā pi hotu.
Herein ‘Sā vassā’ is parsed as sā eva assā, This is incorrect, as according to the rules of Pāḷi grammar, it would parse as sā va assā, not eva, which would give sevassā. 71 for her this is the going forth and the higher ordination.

Vassasatūpasampannāya bhikkhuniyā, tad-ahūpasampannassa RTE: ahu-; similarly elsewhere.72 bhikkhuno,
A nun having a hundred years (seniority), in regard to a monk ordained that day,

‘Tad-ahūpasampannassā’ RTE: ahu-.73 ti taṁ divasaṁ RTE: divasam-pi.74 upasampannassa.
‘In regard to a monk ordained that day’ means to one ordained on that day. The commentator is clarifying what was said by paraphrasing.75

abhivādanaṁ paccuṭṭhānaṁ añjalikammaṁ sāmīcikammaṁ BJT: Abhivādana-paccuṭṭhāna-añjalikamma-sāmīcikamman-ti.76 kattabbaṁ.[1]
should worship, rise from the seat, salute and pay homage. Ayyā Tathālokā, in a private communication, points out that this is the only one of the serious rules that doesn’t appear in the Bhikkhunī Pātimokkha. It is found in the Cullavagga, directly after this story, raising the likelihood that it was instituted after the Vibhaṅga texts were closed, but while the Cullavagga was still open to modification. 77

‘Abhivādanaṁ paccuṭṭhānaṁ añjalikammaṁ sāmīcikammaṁ kattabban’-ti SHB, PTS: Abhivādana-paccuṭṭhāna-añjalikamma-sāmīcikamman-ti.78
‘Should worship, rise from the seat, salute and pay homage’ means

māne RTE, ChS: omānātimāne.79 akatvā, pañcapatiṭṭhitena abhivādanaṁ,
after putting aside conceit, worshipping with the prostration touching in five places, The five places are the two feet, the two forearms and the forehead, all of which would be touching the floor at the same time. 80

āsanā paccuṭṭhāya, SHB, PTS: uṭṭhāya.81 paccuggamanavasena paccuṭṭhānaṁ,
rising from the sitting place, rising from the seat in order to go and greet (the monk),

dasanakhaṁ RTE, ChS: dasanakhe.82 samodhānetvā, añjalikammaṁ,
having placed the ten fingernails together, saluting, This is the common greeting of holding the palms together and raised, which is still often seen to this day in Eastern countries. 83

āsanapaññāpanabījanādikaṁ anucchavikakammasaṅkhātaṁ,
and everything agreed upon as duties that are suitable, such as preparing the seat, fan and so on,

sāmīcikammañ-ca kātabbaṁ. RTE: kattabbaṁ; ChS: katabbaṁ.84
(in this way) she should pay homage.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā ChS: garuṁ katvā; similarly elsewhere. 85 mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Na bhikkhuniyā abhikkhuke āvāse vassaṁ upagantabbaṁ.[2]
A nun should not enter the Rains Retreat in a dwelling place without monks. This corresponds to Bhikkhuni Pācittaya, 56. Three other rules (3, 4, and 7) also correspond to pācittiya (confession) rules in the Bhikkhunī Pātimokkha, and have their own origin stories, which portray the Bhikkhunīsaṅgha as already established. This surely indicates either that they were not established at the beginning, and that the eight serious rules are anachronistic. 86

‘Abhikkhuke āvāse’ ti
‘A dwelling place without monks’ means

yattha vasantiyā anantarāyena,
wherever (nuns) are dwelling must be without danger,

ovādatthāya upasaṅkamanaṭṭhāne RTE: upasaṅkamanārahe ṭhāne.87 ovādadāyako ācariyo natthi,
(but if) after approaching that place in order to get advice, (it is found) there is no teacher (monk) to give the advice,

ayaṁ abhikkhuko āvāso nāma.
this is called a dwelling place without monks. See the following discourse for the requirements a monk must fulfil before he can qualify as being fit to teach the nuns, including having at least twenty years seniority. As these rules were apparently given to Gotamī in the fifth year of the Dispensation it would have been impossible for any monk to fulfil that requirement. 88

Evarūpe āvāse Vassaṁ na upagantabbaṁ.
In such a dwelling place they should not undertake the Rains Retreat.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Anvaḍḍhamāsaṁ SHB: Anvaddha-.89 bhikkhuniyā Bhikkhusaṅghato dve dhammā paccāsīsitabbā: BJT, RTE: paccāsiṁsitabbā; PTS omits: dve dhammā paccāsīsitabbā.90
Every fortnight the nuns are to expect two things from the Community of monks:

‘Anvaḍḍhamāsan’-ti SHB: Anvaddha-.91 Anuposathikaṁ.
‘Every fortnight’ means every Observance day.

Uposathapucchakañ-ca, ovādūpasaṅkamanañ-ca. BJT: ovad-; printer’s error; PTS adds: pariyesitabbaṁ.92[3]
asking about the Observance day, and approaching (the monks) for (getting) advice. This corresponds to Bhikkhuni Pācittaya, 59.93

‘Ovādūpasaṅkamanan’-ti ovādatthāya upasaṅkamanaṁ.
‘Approaching (the monks) for (getting) advice’ means approaching (the monks) in order to (get) advice. Parsing the compound to make it clear what is said.94

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Vassaṁ vuṭṭhāya BJT: vutthāya.95 bhikkhuniyā ubhato Saṅghe tīhi ṭhānehi pavāretabbaṁ:
A nun emerging from the Rains Retreat should invite both Communities in regard to three reasons:

diṭṭhena vā sutena vā parisaṅkāya vā. BJT, PTS: diṭṭhena sutena parisaṅkāya.96[4]
with what was seen, or what was heard or what was suspected. This corresponds to Bhikkhuni Pācittaya, 57, and refers to the invitation (pavāraṇa) for correction held at the end of the Rains, when the monastics have been living together long enough to make a balanced appraisal of someone’s behaviour. The monks also invite correction, but only from the Community of monks. 97

‘Diṭṭhenā’ ti cakkhunā diṭṭhena.
‘With what was seen’ means with what was seen by the eye.

‘Sutenā’ ti sotena sutena.
‘What was heard’ means what was heard by the ear.

‘Parisaṅkāyā’ ti diṭṭhasutavasena BJT, PTS: diṭṭhasutamutavasena; on account of seeing, hearing or cognising.98 parisaṅkitena.
‘What was suspected’ means what was suspected on account of seeing or hearing.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Garudhammaṁ ajjhāpannāya bhikkhuniyā
A nun who is guilty of a serious offence Here we see the word garudhamma used as a synonym for a Saṅghādisesa offence, the most serious class of offenses that can be repaired. The same word is used with the same meaning in the next discourse too. It is curious that the same term should be used for these rules for the nuns, when none of the rules are, in fact, Saṅghādisesa, and a number are rather confession (pācittiya) offenses in the bhikkhunī Pātimokkha.99

‘Garudhamman’-ti garukaṁ saṅghādisesāpattiṁ. BJT, PTS: garukasaṅghādisesāpattiṁ.100
‘Serious offence’ means a serious offence entailing the Community at the beginning and for the rest (of the procedure).

ubhato Saṅghe pakkhamānattaṁ caritabbaṁ.[5]
should observe reparation for a fortnight before both Communities. The monks only do reparation for one week, and only before their own Community. 101

‘Pakkhamānattan’-ti anūnāni pannarasa divasāni mānattaṁ.
‘Reparation for a fortnight’ means reparation for not less that fifteen days. A fortnight means fourteen nights, and therefore fifteen days. 102

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Dve vassāni chasu dhammesu sikkhitasikkhāya sikkhamānāya
(Only) a trainee who has trained in the six training rules for two years

‘Chasu dhammesū’ ti vikālabhojanacchaṭṭhesu sikkhāpadesu.
‘In six rules‘ means in the training rules including the sixth one of the wrong time for food. The wrong time for food is after the sun has passed the meridian, and before dawnrise in the morning; the other five rules are: not to kill, steal, break celibacy, lie or take intoxicants. 103

‘Sikkhitasikkhāyā’ ti ekasikkham-pi akhaṇḍaṁ katvā pūritasikkhāya. PTS: akhaṇḍaṁ katvā tāya sikkhitasikkhāya.104
‘Trained in’ means not having broken even one training rule the training is fulfilled. If a rule has been broken, she would need to request the training rules again, and start back at the beginning of the two year period. 105

ubhato Saṅghe upasampadā pariyesitabbā.[6]
should seek for higher ordination before both Communities. Another anachronism, as the original ordination procedure entailed being ordained by the monks only. 106

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Na kenaci pariyāyena bhikkhuniyā bhikkhu RTE: Na bhikkhuniyā kenaci pariyāyena bhikkhu.107 akkositabbo paribhāsitabbo.[7]
A nun should not abuse or censure a monk by any means. This corresponds to Bhikkhuni Pācittaya, 52.108

‘Akkositabbo paribhāsitabbo’ ti
‘Should not abuse or censure’ means

dasannaṁ akkosavatthūnaṁ aññatarena akkosavatthunā na akkositabbo,
should not abuse with any of the ten types of abuse Named in Vis. as contempt, reproof, sneering, jeering, mocking, slandering, censuring, castigating, blaming and backbiting.109 or any other type of abuse,

bhayūpadaṁsanāya SHB: bhayaparamparāya.110 yāya kāyaci paribhāsāya na paribhāsitabbo.
should not censure with any kind of censure which brings on fear.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Ajjatagge BJT, PTS adds: Ānanda.111 ovaṭo bhikkhunīnaṁ bhikkhūsu vacanapatho,
From today forward nuns are prohibited from speaking (advice) to monks,

‘Ovaṭo bhikkhunīnaṁ bhikkhūsu vacanapatho’ ti
‘Nuns are prohibited from speaking (advice) to monks’ means

ovādānusāsanadhammakathāsaṅkhāto, RTE: ovādānusāsanī-.112
(anything) reckoned as advice, instruction or talk about ethics,

vacanapatho bhikkhunīnaṁ bhikkhūsu ovarito RTE: vārito.113 pihito,
the nuns are barred and prevented from speaking to monks,

na bhikkhuniyā koci bhikkhu ovaditabbo RTE: ovaditabbo vā.114 anusāsitabbo vā: PTS: nānusāsitabbo.115
or, no nun should advise or instruct any monk,

“Bhante, Porāṇakattherā idaṁ cīvaravattaṁ RTE: idañ-cidañ-ca vattaṁ.116 pūrayiṁsū,” ti
saying: “Reverend Sir, former Elders fulfilled the robe duties thus,”

evaṁ pana paveṇivasena kathetuṁ vaṭṭati.
even though it is suitable to speak regarding tradition. An important caveat, as it appears to allow for the nuns to advise the monks on matters of Dhamma, even if not on matters on Vinaya. 117

anovaṭo bhikkhūnaṁ bhikkhunīsu vacanapatho.[8]
(but) monks are not prohibited from speaking (advice) to nuns.

‘Anovaṭo bhikkhūnaṁ bhikkhunīsu vacanapatho’ ti
‘Monks are not prohibited from speaking (advice) to nuns’ means

bhikkhūnaṁ pana bhikkhunīsu vacanapatho anivārito
monks are not barred from speaking to nuns

yathāruci RTE: yathāruciṁ.118 ovadituṁ anusāsituṁ Dhammakathaṁ kathetun.-ti
and to advise, instruct and talk on ethics (to them) as they wish.

Ayam-ettha saṅkhepo, vitthārato panesā garu-Dhammakathā,
This here is in brief, but the detailed, serious talk about ethics,

Samantapāsādikāya Vinayasaṁvaṇṇanāya vuttanayeneva veditabbā.
should be understood as in the method explained in the Commentary on the Discipline, Pleasing on all Sides. Samantapāsādika is the name of the commentary on the canonical Vinaya texts.119

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Sace, Ānanda, Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī ime aṭṭha garudhamme paṭigaṇhāti,
If, Ānanda, Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī accepts these eight serious rules,

sāvassā hotu upasampadā.” ti
that will be her higher ordination.”

Accepting the Rules

Atha kho āyasmā Ānando Bhagavato santike ime aṭṭha garudhamme uggahetvā,
Then venerable Ānanda, having learned these eight serious rules in the presence of the Fortunate One,

yena Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī tenupasaṅkami,
approached Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī,

upasaṅkamitvā Mahāpajāpatiṁ Gotamiṁ etad-avoca:
and after approaching he said this to Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī:

“Sace kho tvaṁ, Gotamī, aṭṭha garudhamme paṭigaṇheyyāsi,
“If you, Gotamī, could accept these eight serious rules,

sā va te bhavissati upasampadā:
this will be for you your higher ordination:

Vassasatūpasampannāya bhikkhuniyā, tad-ahūpasampannassa bhikkhuno,
A nun having a hundred years (seniority), in regard to a monk ordained that day,

abhivādanaṁ paccuṭṭhānaṁ añjalikammaṁ sāmīcikammaṁ kattabbaṁ. [1]
should worship, rise from the seat, salute and pay homage.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

...pe...
...pe...

Na bhikkhuniyā abhikkhuke āvāse vassaṁ upagantabbaṁ. [2]
A nun should not enter the Rains Retreat in a dwelling place without monks.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Anvaḍḍhamāsaṁ bhikkhuniyā Bhikkhusaṅghato dve dhammā paccāsīsitabbā:
Every fortnight the nuns are to expect two things from the Community of monks:

Uposathapucchakañ-ca, ovādūpasaṅkamanañ-ca. [3]
asking about the Observance day, and approaching for (giving) advice.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Vassaṁ vuṭṭhāya bhikkhuniyā ubhato Saṅghe tīhi ṭhānehi pavāretabbaṁ:
A nun emerging from the Rains Retreat should invite both Communities in regard to three reasons:

diṭṭhena vā sutena vā parisaṅkāya vā. [4]
with what was seen, or what was heard or what was suspected.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Garudhammaṁ ajjhāpannāya bhikkhuniyā
A nun who is guilty of a serious offence

ubhato Saṅghe pakkhamānattaṁ caritabbaṁ. [5]
should observe reparation for a fortnight before both Communities.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Dve vassāni chasu dhammesu sikkhitasikkhāya sikkhamānāya
(Only) a trainee who has trained in the six training rules for two years

ubhato Saṅghe upasampadā pariyesitabbā. [6]
should seek for higher ordination before both Communities.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Na kenaci pariyāyena bhikkhuniyā bhikkhu akkositabbo paribhāsitabbo. [7]
A nun should not abuse or censure a monk by any means.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Ajjatagge ovaṭo bhikkhunīnaṁ bhikkhūsu vacanapatho,
From today forward nuns are prohibited from speaking (advice) to monks,

anovaṭo bhikkhūnaṁ bhikkhunīsu vacanapatho. BJT: vacanatho; printer’s error.120 [8]
(but) monks are not prohibited from speaking (advice) to nuns.

Ayam-pi dhammo sakkatvā garukatvā mānetvā pūjetvā,
This is a rule that should be respected, treated seriously, be honoured, worshipped,

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyo.
and should not be transgressed for as long as her life lasts.

Sace kho tvaṁ, Gotamī, ime aṭṭha garudhamme paṭigaṇheyyāsi,
If you, Gotamī, could accept these eight serious rules,

sā va te bhavissati upasampadā.” ti
that will be for you your higher ordination.”

Ime pana aṭṭha garudhamme Satthu santike uggahetvā,
Having learned these eight serious rules in the Teacher’s presence,

Therena attano ārociyamāne sutvā va,
having heard for herself the Elder (Ānanda)’s announcement,

Mahāpajāpatiyā tāva mahantaṁ domanassaṁ khaṇena paṭippassambhi,
Mahāpajāpatī in a moment was eased of her great sorrow,

Anotattadahato ābhatena sītūdakassa ChS: sītudakassa.121 ghaṭasatena matthake parisittā viya,
and it was like being sprinkled on the head with a hundred pots of cool water brought from lake Anotatta, Anottata is situated in the Himālaya, and was later identified with Lake Manasarovar, which is found at the foot of Mount Kailash. 122

vigatapariḷāhā attamanā hutvā,
and being free from fever, she was delighted,

garudhammapaṭiggahaṇena uppannapītipāmojjaṁ RTE: uppannaṁ pītipāmujjaṁ; PTS: -pāmujjaṁ.123 āvikarontī
and explaining the joy and gladness that had arisen because of the acceptance of these serious rules

‘Seyyathā pi, Bhante,’ ti-ādikaṁ udānaṁ udānesi.
she uttered this exalted utterance: ‘It is as though,’ and so on.

“Seyyathā pi, bhante Ānanda,
“It is as though, venerable Ānanda,

itthī vā puriso vā daharo yuvā maṇḍanakajātiko sīsaṁ nhāto, PTS: sīsaṁ nahāto; Thai: sīsanhāto, and similarly elsewhere.124
a woman or a man, young, youthful, having ornaments, with head washed,

uppalamālaṁ vā vassikamālaṁ vā atimuttakamālaṁ PTS, Thai, ChS: adhimuttaka-.125 vā labhitvā,
had been given a garland of waterlilies, or a garland of jasmine, or a garland of whirlybird flowers,

ubhohi hatthehi paṭiggahetvā uttamaṅge sirasmiṁ patiṭṭhāpeyya,
and having accepted it with both hands, were to place it on top of the most important limb, on the head,

evam-evaṁ kho ahaṁ, bhante Ānanda, BJT, PTS omit: Ānanda; RTE places it in brackets.126
just so, venerable Ānanda,

ime aṭṭha garudhamme paṭigaṇhāmi BJT: paṭigaṇhāmi.127 yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīye.” ti
I accept these eight serious rules which should not be transgressed for as long as life lasts.”

The Warnings

Atha kho āyasmā Ānando yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami,
Then venerable Ānanda approached the Fortunate One,

upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā ekam-antaṁ nisīdi.
and after approaching and worshipping the Fortunate One, he sat down on one side.

Ekam-antaṁ nisinno kho āyasmā Ānando Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
While sitting on one side venerable Ānanda said this to the Fortunate One:

“Paṭiggahitā, Bhante, Mahāpajāpatiyā Gotamiyā
“Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī, reverend Sir, has accepted

aṭṭha garudhammā yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyā.” ti
the eight serious rules which should not be transgressed for as long as life lasts.”

“Sace, Ānanda, nālabhissa mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
“If, Ānanda, women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One, had not obtained

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjaṁ,
the going forth from the home to the homeless life,

ciraṭṭhitikaṁ, Ānanda, brahmacariyaṁ abhavissa,
Ānanda, the spiritual life would have been long-lasting,

vassasahassam-eva Saddhammo tiṭṭheyya. BJT: patiṭṭheyya.128
the Good Dhamma would have endured for a thousand years.

Yato ca kho, Ānanda, mātugāmo Tathāgatappavedite Dhammavinaye,
But because, Ānanda, women, in this Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One,

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajito,
have gone forth from the home to the homeless life,

na dāni, Ānanda, brahmacariyaṁ ciraṭṭhitikaṁ bhavissati,
now, Ānanda, the spiritual life will not be long-lasting,

pañceva dāni, Ānanda, vassasatāni Saddhammo ṭhassati.
the Good Dhamma, Ānanda, will now endure for (only) five hundred years. See the discussion in the Introduction. 129

Seyyathā pi, Ānanda, yāni kānici kulāni bahutthikāni BJT: bahukitthikāni.130 appapurisakāni,
Just as, Ānanda, those families having lots of women and few men,

tāni suppadhaṁsiyāni honti corehi kumbhatthenakehi,
are easily plundered by thieves and night-time robbers,

‘Kumbhatthenakehī’ ti kumbhe dīpaṁ jāletvā,
‘By night-time robbers’ means having lit lights in a pot,

tena ālokena paraghare bhaṇḍaṁ vicinitvā thenakacorehi.
and discerned valuables in another’s house by their light, (they are plundered) by burglars and thieves.

evam-evaṁ kho, Ānanda, yasmiṁ Dhammavinaye labhati mātugāmo
just so, Ānanda, wherever in this Dhamma and Disciple women receive

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjaṁ,
the going forth from the home to the homeless life,

na taṁ brahmacariyaṁ ciraṭṭhitikaṁ hoti.
the spiritual life will not be long-lasting. The whole tone of this end section is so out of keeping with the Buddha’s other sayings, that it seems it must be an interpolation. 131

Seyyathā pi, Ānanda, sampanne sālikkhette
Just as, Ānanda, in ripe rice fields

Setaṭṭhikā nāma rogajāti nipatati,
which go down with the disease called Deadheart,

‘Setaṭṭhikā nāma rogajātī’ ti
‘The disease called Deadheart’ means

eko pāṇako nāḷamajjhagataṁ RTE: nāḷimajjhe gataṁ.132 kaṇḍaṁ vijjhati.
some worms pierce the stem and enter the middle of the stalk.

Yena viddhā kaṇḍā nikkhantam-pi
At the place where it departs from the pierced stem

sālisīsaṁ khīraṁ gahetuṁ na sakkoti.
the sap is not able to get to the rice head.

evaṁ taṁ sālikkhettaṁ na ciraṭṭhitikaṁ hoti,
that rice field is not long-lasting,

evam-evaṁ kho, Ānanda, yasmiṁ Dhammavinaye labhati mātugāmo
just so, Ānanda, wherever in this Dhamma and Disciple women receive

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjaṁ,
the going forth from the home to the homeless life,

na taṁ brahmacariyaṁ ciraṭṭhitikaṁ hoti.
the spiritual life will not be long-lasting.

Seyyathā pi, Ānanda, sampanne ucchukkhette PTS: ucchukhette; similarly below.133
Just as, Ānanda, in ripe sugar-cane fields

Mañjiṭṭhikā RTE: Mañjeṭṭhikā; and in the Commentary on the following line.134 nāma rogajāti nipatati,
which go down with the disease called Red Rot,

‘Mañjiṭṭhikā nāma rogajātī’ ti ucchūnaṁ antorattabhāvo.
‘The disease called Red Rot’ means being reddened on the inside of the sugar cane.

evaṁ taṁ ucchukkhettaṁ na ciraṭṭhitikaṁ hoti,
that sugar-cane field is not long-lasting,

evam-evaṁ kho, Ānanda, yasmiṁ Dhammavinaye labhati mātugāmo
just so, Ānanda, wherever in this Dhamma and Disciple women receive

agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajjaṁ,
the going forth from the home to the homeless life,

na taṁ brahmacariyaṁ ciraṭṭhitikaṁ hoti.
the spiritual life will not be long-lasting.

Seyyathā pi, Ānanda, puriso mahato taḷākassa paṭigacceva RTE, ChS: paṭikacceva; similarly below.135 āḷiṁ PTS: āliṁ; RTE: pāḷiṁ.136 bandheyya
Just as, Ānanda, a man might prepare an embankment as a precaution round a large lake

yāvad-eva udakassa anatikkamanāya,
so that the water does not overflow,

evam-evaṁ kho, Ānanda, mayā
just so, Ānanda,

paṭigacceva bhikkhunīnaṁ aṭṭha garudhammā paññattā
the eight serious rules were laid down by me as a precaution

yāvajīvaṁ anatikkamanīyā.” ti
which should not be transgressed for as long as life lasts.”

‘Mahato taḷākassa paṭigacceva RTE, ChS: paṭigacceva.137 āḷin,’-ti RTE: pāḷin-ti.138
‘An embankment as a precaution round a large lake,’

iminā pana etam-atthaṁ dasseti:
this is the meaning that is shown in this:

yathā mahato taḷākassa pāḷiyā abaddhāya pi,
just as with a large tank that has no embankment,

kiñci RTE: na kiñci.139 udakaṁ tiṭṭhateva paṭhamam-eva baddhāya,
whatever water could have stayed there had there been a embankment at the beginning,

pana RTE, ChS add: yaṁ.140 abaddhapaccayā SHB, PTS: -pp-.141 na tiṭṭheyya, na patiṭṭheyya, RTE, ChS: tam-pi tiṭṭheyya.142
cannot stay there, cannot remain, because there is no embankment,

evam-eva SHB, PTS: evam-evaṁ.143 ye ime anuppanne vatthusmiṁ,
in the same way, although these grounds (for offense) have not arisen, The Buddha only normally laid down rules after a transgression of an offense, and nowhere else is he seen laying down disciplinary rules in advance, which also casts doubt over their historicity. 144

paṭigacceva anatikkamanāya RTE: avītikkamanatthāya; ChS: anatikkamanatthāya.145 garudhammā paññattā,
the precaution is (taken that) the serious rules that are not to be transgressed are laid down,

tesu hi ChS omits: hi.146 apaññattesu mātugāmassa pabbajitattā,
because if for women these (rules) about going forth were not laid down,

pañca vassasatāni Saddhammo tiṭṭheyya.
the Good Dhamma can endure (only) for five hundred years.

Paṭigacceva paññattattā RTE: paññattā.147 pana aparāni pi pañca vassasatāni ṭhassatī. ti
But with the precaution regarding the going forth being laid down they will endure for another five hundred years.

Evaṁ paṭhamaṁ vuttavassasahassam-eva ṭhassati.
Thus at first it was said it will endure for one thousand years.

‘Vassasahassan’-ti
‘One thousand years,’ The commentator, writing a thousand years after the passing of Lord Buddha, now has to explain how it is that the Good Dhamma is still flourishing in his own time, despite the dire warnings given to Ānanda. Instead of rejecting the predication as spurious as it was not fulfilled, he uses a sophistical argument to change the meaning of the plain sense of the words. 148

cetaṁ paṭisambhidāpabhedappattakhīṇāsavānaṁ RTE: paṭisambhidāppattakhīṇāsavavaseneva.149 vaseneva vuttaṁ,
this was said in regard to those who have attained destruction of the pollutants together with the analytic knowledges,

tato pana uttarim-pi RTE, ChS: uttari pi.150 sukkhavipassakakhīṇāsavavasena vassasahassaṁ,
but a further thousand years beyond that for those who have attained destruction of the pollutants through dry insight,

Anāgāmivasena vassasahassaṁ,
a thousand years in regard to those who are Non-Returners,

Sakadāgāmivasena vassasahassaṁ,
a thousand years in regard to those who are Once-Returners,

Sotāpannavasena vassasahassan-ti
a thousand years in regard to those who are Stream Enterers,

evaṁ pañcavassasahassāni paṭivedha-Saddhammo ṭhassati.
thus the Good Dhamma of penetration (to Awakening) will endure for five thousand years (in all).

Pariyattidhammo pi tāni yeva.
Then there will be only the Dhamma of learning.

Na hi pariyattiyā asati, paṭivedho atthi,
For there being no learning, there will be no penetration,

nāpi pariyattiyā sati, paṭivedho na hoti.
but there being learning there will (also) be penetration.

Liṅgaṁ pana pariyattiyā antarahitāya pi ciraṁ pavattissatī. ti
But the signs of the disappearance of learning will last for a long time.

Paṭhamaṁ BJT, Thai omit: Paṭhamaṁ.151
The First

Discourse
Translation

Repetition
Translation

Commentary
Translation