Tag Archives: Translations

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.

The First Chinese Bhikkhunis

Fifteen hun­dred years ago, Buddhist nuns from Sri Lanka braved the long sea voy­age to China in or­der to in­tro­duce the au­then­tic bhikkhuni or­di­na­tion lin­eage. Here are their sto­ries, trans­lated from the an­cient Chinese his­to­ries.

How Nuns May Scold Monks

It is of­ten held that a fully or­dained Buddhist nun, or bhikkhuni, may not crit­i­cize or ad­mon­ish a monk. The tra­di­tional tales tell a dif­fer­ent story, one where nuns are cheeky and in­ven­tive in the ways they prick the pride of stub­born or fool­ish monks – all for the sake of teach­ing them Dhamma, of course.