Sikkhamana: The Two Years Training for Buddhist Nuns

The Buddhist monas­tic codes (Vinayas) in­clude a pro­vi­sion for a train­ing pe­riod of two years for can­di­dates for bhikkhuni or­di­na­tion. This is one of the few as­pects of bhikkhuni or­di­na­tion that has no par­al­lel in the or­di­na­tion for monks. The sikkhamana train­ing pe­riod is con­tro­ver­sial, and is of­ten not fol­lowed in mod­ern prac­tice. Santipada un­der­took a re­search project to bring to­gether, trans­late, and an­a­lyze the ma­jor pas­sages from all Vinayas that deal with the sikkhamana. While in­com­plete, this project still com­prises the largest re­source avail­able on this topic.

This project con­sists of two in­ter­con­nected web­sites. Sikkhamana con­tains mainly com­par­a­tive ta­bles and analy­sis, while Bhikkhuni Patimokkha con­tains trans­la­tions. Despite its name, the Bhikkhuni Patimokkha site does not in­clude all the Vinaya rules, just the ones re­lat­ing to the Sikkhamana train­ing.

These sites con­tain some analy­sis, but are mostly text and trans­la­tion. Given the large quan­tity of ma­te­r­ial found in all Vinayas, we have pre­sented that ma­te­r­ial through a va­ri­ety of com­par­a­tive ta­bles. The re­search con­tained here was fun­da­men­tal to the work pre­sented in Bhikkhuni Vinaya Studies, es­pe­cially chap­ters 6 & 7.

Sikkhamana

Bhikkhuni Patimokkha

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