There are four-fold assembly of disciples in Buddhism: bhik.su and bhik.su.nii, (fully ordained men and women) upaasaka and upaasikaa (lay men and women). In Tibetan Buddhism the assembly of bhik.su.nii is non-existent. As Tibetan Buddhism becomes more and more popular in the world, it faces more and more criticism of its non-existence of a bhik.su.nii order, as it indicates more or less a sex discrimination.
Recently two seminars on the bhik.su.nii ordination and the possible establishment of a Tibetan Bhik.su.nii lineage were held in Taiwan and Dharamsala. In response to this movement, this paper deals with the issues concerning the bhik.su.nii ordination in different vinaya traditions, the Chinese Bhik.su.nii ordination and how a Tibetan Bhik.su.nii lineage can be established. Specifically, the paper includes three parts.
The first part compares bhik.su.nii ordination in different vinaya traditions, including Dharmagupta, Muularsarvaastivaada, Theravaada, Mahaasaa^nghiika, etc.
The second part discusses as how the Chinese Bhik.su.nii order was established, the procedures of the ordination and the validity of the Chinese Bhik.su.nii lineage.
The last part deals with the issues concerning the establishment of a Tibetan Bhik.su.nii order, including the difference of the praatimok.sa between Dharmagupta and Muulasarvaastivaada, the single
and dual ordinations, the possibility of the combination of two different vinaya lineages. Finally, the ways for the establishment of a Tibetan Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha are suggested.
Key words: 1. Bhik.su.nii 2. Full Ordination 3. Tibetan Buddhism 4. Dharmagupta Vinaya
5. Muulasarvaastivaada Vinaya 6. Buddhist Women
Since the Chinese Communists unintentionally 'opened' Tibet's doors to the western world, Tibetan Buddhism has become more and more popular in the international community. As a result, the Tibetan tradition has attracted quite a few western women to join the Buddhist Sa^ngha. In Buddhism there is a four-fold assembly of disciples, namely, upaasaka and upaasikaa (layman and laywoman), bhik.su and bhik.su.nii (fully ordained man and woman). However, Tibetan Buddhism has never had a bhik.su.nii sa^ngha in its history. The lack of a bhik.su.nii sa^ngha in Tibet has led some Buddhist scholars to argue both that Tibet is not a 'central' land of the Dharma and that Tibetan Buddhism harbors sexual discrimination.
In recent years, Tibetan Buddhism in the West has faced more and more pressure from its Western followers in general and Western nuns and female devotees in particular, to establish a bhik.su.nii lineage. The Dalai Lama, who has been very open-minded concerning this issue, has assigned Tibetan monks familiar with vinaya to do research on various vinaya traditions and the bhik.su.nii lineage in Chinese Buddhism in order to investigate the possibility of establishing a Tibetan Bhik.su.nii lineage.
Recently two conferences were held specially to discuss the bhik.su.nii lineage. Vinaya masters from various Buddhist traditions gathered together to discuss the issues that the Tibetan tradition is
most concerned with, namely, the validity and continuity of the Chinese Bhik.su.nii lineage, the procedures of the bhik.su.nii ordination, the difference between Dharmagupta and Muulasarvaastivaada Vinayas, and the actual procedures to be followed if a Tibetan Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha is to be established, etc.
This paper, which tries to discuss these issues, includes four sections. Section one describes the early ordination tradition according to the textual record to determine what constitutes correct ordination for bhik.su.nii. Section two examines the historical record in the Chinese tradition to show that a genuine bhik.su.nii ordination was established in China and has been continuously maintained to the present. This finding is important since there have been recent claims to the contrary. Section three compares the Dharmagupta vinaya followed by the Chinese sa^ngha and the Muulasarvaastivaadin vinaya followed by the Tibetan sa^ngha and finds that the difference are not so great as to prevent members of the Tibetan nuns from receiving ordination from the Chinese sa^ngha. Based on the discussion and findings in the first three sections, section four makes suggestions for the possible establishment of a Tibetan Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha.
It is a well-known fact that the first Buddhist nun was Mahaaprajaapatii, the aunt and stepmother of the Buddha. It was
recorded that one time when the Buddha was staying at Kapilavastu, Mahaaprajaapatii together with five hundred `Saakya women came to ask for the Buddha's permission to renounce the world and 'go forth from home into homelessness in the dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Truth-finder.'  They were refused three times by the Buddha. Finally, on behalf of the women, Aananda asked the Buddha if a woman, having left the household and taken ordination, could realize the fruit of arhatship. The Buddha responded positively to the question, but he also made a condition that women follow the 'eight chief rules' (gurudharmas) before allowing them to be ordained.
The eight chief rules vary slightly in different vinaya texts. According to the Dharmagupta Vinaya, the eight rules are:
(1) A bhik.su.nii, even if she has been ordained for one hundred years, should bow down before even a newly ordained bhik.su.
(2) A bhik.su.nii is not to revile or abuse a bhik.su.
(3) A bhik.su.nii should not admonish a bhik.su whereas a bhik.su can admonish a bhik.su.nii.
(4) A bhik.su.nii should receive the upasa.mpadaa ordination from both bhik.su and bhik.su.nii sa^nghas after two years of studying the precepts.
(5) A bhik.su.nii who has committed a serious offence should undergo the maanatta discipline towards both bhik.su and bhik.su.nii sa^nghas.
(6) Every half month the bhik.su.niis should ask the bhik.su sa^ngha to give exhortation.
(7) A bhik.su.nii should not spend the rainy season in a district where there is no bhik.su.
(8) After keeping the rainy season, the bhik.su.niis should hold the
ceremony of repentance of their offences (pravaara.naa) before the bhik.su and bhik.su.nii sa^nghas.
The practice of these eight rules thus became a necessary condition for any woman wishing to become a Buddhist nun and guidelines of governing the relationship between the bhik.su and bhik.su.nii sa^nghas. The fourth rule specifies that the upasa.mpadaa (full bhik.shu.nii ordination) has to be confirmed by the bhik.su sa^ngha. Although it appears that the final authority of the full ordination lies on the bhik.su sa^ngha, the supervision of the whole process of a woman's ordination, beginning with the pravrajya ordination, leading to the `sik.samaa.nika ordination (for two years' study of the six dharmas) and culminating in the upasa.mpadaa ordination (except the final step), lies with the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha. In order words, the Buddha gave the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha the right and full responsibility to train its novices. The following are the steps and procedures in becoming a bhik.su.nii.
Any woman who resolves to become a bhik.su.nii needs to go through three ordinations, namely, `sraama.nerikaa, `sik.samaa.naa and bhik.su.nii (including two separated ordinations from the bhik.su and bhik.su.nii sa^ngha──this is usually called 'dual ordination' ).
The first step in the ordination process for women is to ask permission to leave the household life and to request pravrajyaa ordination from the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha. Before doing this, a lay woman (or layman) has to obtain the consent of both parents. One of the questions put at the pravrajyaa and upasa.mpadaa ceremonies of the candidate for ordination is 'Have your parents given their consent?'  In the case of a married women, she has to obtain the consent of her husband before she can be ordained.
After the woman gets permission from her parents or husband, the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha is also required to give its permission. The Preceptor Bhik.su.nii (karmakaarikaa), who asks for the permission from the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha, says, 'May the Noble Sa^ngha listen! The girl so-and-so desires to receive the pravrajyaa ordination from the upaadhyaayinii so-and-so. Now is the proper time for the Sa^ngha to grant so-and-so the pravrajyaa ordination.'  This request ought to
be repeated once more. After the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha gives its consent by remaining silent, the upaadhyayinii master then shaves her head and confers the pravrajyaa ordination.
After taking the pravrajyaa ordination, the woman may take the ten precepts from her upaadhyayinii and becomes a `sraama.nerikaa. According to the Dharmagupta Vinaya, a `sraama.nerikaa must: (1) be at least twelve years of age, or old enough to be able 'to chase crows' ; (2) keep the ten precepts of a `sraama.nerikaa; and (3) eat only one meal a day.
A `sraama.nerikaa who is at least 18 years old may take the `sik.samaa.naa ordination with her upaadhyaayinii before the Bhik.su.nii Sa^ngha. She then lives as a `sik.samaa.naa for a two-year period. There are two reasons for the requirement of two years of `sik.samaa.naa training: (1) to ascertain that she is mature enough to become a bhik.su.nii, and (2) to ensure that she is not pregnant.
According to the Dharmagupta Vinaya, the reason for the two-year training is that after joining the Sa^ngha some young women did not know the precepts and therefore misbehaved. The Buddha therefore made the two-year training a requirement prior to the upasa.mpadaa ordination.
The Da`sabhaa.navaara Vinaya (Shih-sung lu) gives another reason. At one time some bhik.su.niis unknowingly ordained a pregnant woman. Later, when they found out about her pregnancy, they accused her of sexual misconduct and wanted to expel her from the Sa^ngha. She defended herself by explaining that she was pregnant
before she became ordained. The bhik.su.niis reported this to the Buddha, who proclaimed, 'From this day hence, a `sraama.nerikaa ought to study the six dharmas (six precepts) for two years to determine whether or not she is pregnant.' 
Only women eighteen and older are to be given `sik.samaa.naa ordination, but there is one exception: a girl who is ten years old and has been married is allowed to take `sik.samaa.naa ordination. There are four rules concerning the `sik.samaa.naa ordination in the Dharmagupta Vinaya, namely,
(1) If a bhik.su.nii does not give the `sik.samaa.naa precepts to a woman who is over eighteen, or the full precepts to a woman who is over twenty, she commits a paayantika;
(2) If a bhik.su.nii gives the two-year training in the precepts to a woman over eighteen but does not give her the six precepts, then when she is twenty years old gives her the full precepts, she commits a paayantika;
(3) If a ten-year-old girl who has been married has had two years of training in the precepts, a bhik.su.nii can give her the full ordination when she is twelve years old. If she gives her the precepts when she is younger than twelve, she commits a paayantika;
(4) If a bhik.su.nii ordains many disciples, yet does not teach them for two years nor provide them with two things (i.e., Dharma and the requisites), she commits a paayantika.
In addition to the ten precepts of the `sraama.nerikaa, a `sik.samaa.naa must observe six dharmas. However, the six `sik.samaa.naa precepts given in the various Vinaya texts do not agree. In Dharmagupta
Vinaya the six dharmas are to abstain from : (1)unchastity and from touching a man, (2) stealing, (3) killing, (4) false speech, (5) eating at improper times, and (6) intoxicants. The Muulasarvaastivaada Vinaya gives six dharmas and six anudharma (incidental dharmas). The six dharmas are to abstain from: (1) going along a road alone; (2) crossing a river alone; (3) touching a man's body; (4) sleeping in the same room with a man; (5) acting as a go-between for marriage arrangements; (6) concealing a bhik.su.nii's paaraajika offense. The six anudharmas are to abstain from: (1) touching silver or gold (2) cutting the pubic hair; (3) digging in the ground; (4) cutting trees or grass; (5) eating that which are not received from another; (6) eating leftover food.
Regardless of the number of `sik.samaa.naa precepts there are, the purpose is to train in the observance of the precepts strictly and to prepare the `sik.samaa.naas for bhik.su.nii ordination. The Dharmagupta Vinaya specifies that in case of any violation of the `sik.samaa.naa precepts, the precepts must be retaken and the `sik.samaa.naa has to begin the two-year training all over again.
Before a `sraama.nerikaa may take a `sik.samaa.naa ordination, the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha must give its permission. The procedure for `sik.samaa.naa ordination involves the candidate, her upaadhyayinii, and the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha. First, the `sraama.nerikaa herself requests permission from the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha by saying,
May the Noble Sa^ngha listen! This `sraama.nerikaa so-and-so is requesting the two-year study of the `sik.samaa.naa precepts. My upaadhyaayinii is so-and-so. May the Sa^ngha, out of compassion, grant me the two-year study of the precepts.
After she repeats this request three times, the bhik.su.nii karma
master recites the so called 'one-statement and four-karma'  on her behalf. This procedure consists of stating the motion once, asking for agreement three times, and stating the decision. The Karma Master introduces the four-fold karma with this motion:
May the Noble Sa^ngha of Bhik.su.niis listen! This `sraama.nerikaa, so-and-so, has asked the Sa^ngha for two-year study of the precepts. Her upaadhyaayinii is such-and-such. Now is the proper time for the Sa^ngha to grant her the two-year study of the precepts. This is the motion.
After making this statement, the Karma Master Bhik.su.nii begins the first karma:
May the Noble Sa^ngha of Bhik.su.niis listen! This `sraama.nerikaa so-and-so has asked the Sa^ngha for two-year study of the [`sik.samaa.naa] precepts. Her upaadhyaayinii is such-and-such. The Sangha is to grant her the two-year study of the precepts. If you sanction [this karma], please remain silent. If you don't sanction [this karma], please voice your objection.
The second and the third karmas follow in the same general format. If there is no objection, the Karma Master announces the sa^ngha's decision of assent. The upaadhyayinii then states the `sik.samaa.naa precepts one by one and asks the `sraama.nerikaa if she will be able to keep them. After the `sraama.nerikaa answers in the affirmative to each precept, the `sik.samaa.naa ordination ceremony is complete.
(1) Full Bhik.su.nii Ordination from the Bhik.su.nii Sa^ngha
After a `sik.samaa.naa has completed two-year training and been twenty years old, she is eligible to take the upasa.mpadaa ordination to become a bhik.su.nii. First, the `sik.samaa.naa should go to a qualified bhik.su.nii and request that she become her Preceptor (upaadhyaayinii). To do this, she says,
I, so-and-so, request your reverence to become my Preceptor. By following your reverence, I will be able to receive the upasa.mpadaa ordination.
After this request has been repeated three times, the upaadhyayinii replies, 'Your request is granted.' Then two other precept masters should be chosen. They are the Karmakaarikaa Bhik.su.nii and the Instructor Bhik.su.nii. According to the Dharmagupta Vinaya, in addition to the three preceptors, another seven 'Witness Bhik.su.nii Masters' should be present at the upasa.mpadaa ceremony. The Karmakarika is responsible for carrying out the karmas, while the Instructor Bhik.su.nii, responsible for determining whether she is qualified to receive the upasa.mpadaa ordination, instructs and asks the candidate various questions (antaraayika-dharmas) to determine her qualifications. The Instructor Bhik.su.nii asks her the questions in a secluded place, because some of the questions are very personal. The number of questions varies in different versions of the Vinaya. There are twenty-four questions in the Pali Vinaya, thirty-two in the Mahaasa^nghika Vinaya, twenty-three in the Dharmagupta
Vinaya, and thirty in the Muulasarvaastivaada Vinaya.
After the candidate is found to be pure and free of obstacles to ordination, she can formally receive the full ordination. The Instructor Bhik.su.nii should inform the Sa^ngha by saying, 'I have now finished questioning so-and-so, and she is pure. There would be no obstacles to her upasa.mpadaa ordination.' Then the Karma Master Bhik.su.nii recites the three karmas:
May the Noble Sa^ngha of Bhik.su.niis listen! So-and-so shall receive the upasa.mpadaa ordination from such-and-such Upaadhyaayinii Bhik.sunii. She is pure and has no obstructing dharmas. She has reached the required age (of twenty) and is equipped with a bowl and (five) robes. Now is the proper time for the Sa^ngha to grant her upasa.mpadaa ordination. If you sanction [this karma], please keep silent. If you do not sanction it, please voice your objections.
This is the first karma. The second and the third follow the same pattern. If there are no objections, the Karma Master Bhik.su.nii then states the sa^ngha decision of assent and the upasa.mpadaa before the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha is completed. The `sraama.nerikaa who has completed this ordination is referred to as a 'basic dharma Bhik.su.nii.'
(2) Full Bhik.su.nii Ordination from the Bhik.su Sa^ngha
Next is the final step of the bhik.su.nii ordination, that is, the ordination from the bhik.su sa^ngha. On the same day that the
upasa.mpadaa ordination is given by the Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha, the bhik.su.nii precept masters and the candidates ( 'basic-dharma bhik.su.niis' ) should go to the bhik.su sa^ngha, composed of ten bhik.su precept masters. First, the Preceptor Bhik.su.nii asks the bhik.su sa^ngha to grant the upasa.mpadaa to the candidate. She makes the request as follows:
May the Noble Sa^ngha of Bhik.sus listen! So-and-so has received the upasa.mpadaa ordination from Bhik.sunii such-and-such. She has been found to be pure and without obstructing dharmas. She has reached the age (of twenty) and is equipped with [five] robes and a bowl. She has studied and kept the [`sik.samaa.naa] precepts purely. Now is the proper time for the Sa^ngha to grant her the upasa.mpadaa.
The bhik.su sa^ngha expresses its consent by keeping silent. Then the candidate herself must ask the bhik.su sa^ngha to grant her the upasa.mpadaa, repeating the request three times. After the request is granted, the Karma Master Bhik.su asks the candidate about the obstructing dharmas (exactly the same questions already asked by the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha). After the candidate is found to be pure, the Bhik.su karma master performs the final karmas to grant the upasa.mpadaa. These consist of stating the motion once and reciting the three Karmas and stating the final decision. These karmas are the same as recited in the presence of the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha.
In the Dharmagupta Vinaya, after the four karmas are performed the Karma Master Bhik.su states each of the eight paaraajika precepts and asks the candidate if she can keep these eight precepts. He also asks whether she can accept and abide by the four ni`sraya dharmas (requisites): using robes made of rugs,
begging for food, lodging under trees and using urine as medicine. After she responds in the affirmative to all these questions, the upasa.mpadaa ordination ceremony is complete, and the candidate becomes a fully ordained bhik.su.nii.
The ordinations for `sraama.nerikaa, `sik.samaa.naa, and bhik.su.nii are basically the same in various Vinayas, with slight differences. All the Vinaya traditions agree that for a woman to become a fully ordained bhik.su.nii, she has to go through these three stages. The ordinations of `sraama.nerikaa and `sik.samaa.naa have to be given by the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha and the ordination of bhik.su.nii by both bhik.su and bhik.su.nii sa^nghas. This signifies that the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha has the right and responsibility for screening, accepting, and training its new members. Thus, although the upasa.mpadaa ordination has to be taken from both sa^nghas, as I.B. Horner said,
If the final decision of allowing a candidate to become a senior rested with the almsmen, the preliminary and formative stages were entrusted to the almswomen. Theirs was the power of acceptance or rejection, and in them was vested, equally with the men, the knowledge of the qualifications necessary for following the higher path.
In Taiwan many of the bhik.su vinaya masters who have presided over many of the so-called 'triple platform' ordinations fail to see
the significance of the role played by the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha in a woman's spiritual process from laywoman to bhik.su.nii. Therefore, they take women as their disciples, ordain them as `sraama.nerkaa and `sik.samaa.naa.na, and allow nuns to receive the upasa.mpadaa ordination from the bhik.su sa^ngha alone, erroneously according the bhik.su sa^ngha full authority for the ordination of women, while in actuality the Buddha entrusted the right and responsibility for training novice nuns to the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha.
According to the Ta-sung Seng-shih Lueh (The Brief History of Buddhism in the Sung Dynasty), the first Chinese woman to become a Buddhist nun was named A-pan. No record of the date or details about her life can be found. Strictly speaking, she cannot be called a bhik.su.nii because she only took refuge with the Triple Jewels and did not take any other precepts, simply because the Vinaya was not available at the time. The earliest translation of the Vinaya was completed by the Vinaya Master Dharmakaala of Central Asia during the Chen-pin period (249~253 A.D.) in Luo-yang. He translated the Seng-chih chieh-hsin, the Essentials of the Mahaasa^nghika Vinaya. In 254 A.D. another Vinaya master Dharmasatya translated the Dharmagupta Karman. This marked the beginning of the bhik.su.nii ordination strictly following the procedures of the Vinaya. However, the first full ordination of bhik.su.niis did not take place until almost two centuries later in 434 A.D.
The Biographies of Bhik.su.niis (Pi-ch'iu-ni-chuan) records the
biography of the first Chinese Bhik.su.nii. Her name was Ching-chien and she was born as the daughter of a magistrate in 291 A.D. She was diligent in learning in her childhood and became widowed at an early age. She taught music, writing and reading to the children of the wealthy and nobility. Although she took delight in learning Buddhism, she found no teacher to give her instruction. At last she met the monk Fa-shih, who was versed in Buddhist scriptures, and studied Buddhist teaching under his guidance. One day she said to Fa-shih, 'Since the scriptures mention that there are bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis, I wish to be ordained as a bhik.su.nii.'  Fa-shih told her that although there were bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis in the Western Land (India), in China the precepts were incomplete. Ching-chien asked, 'What is the difference between the precepts of bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis?' Fa-shih replied, 'The foreign monk said that there are five hundred precepts for bhik.su.nii.' Fa-shih agreed to make inquiries about the bhik.su.nii precepts and ordination for her. He asked the Monk J~naanagira from the kingdom of Kashmir, who explained, 'The precepts for bhik.su.niis are basically the same as those for the bhik.sus with only minor differences. But without the proper procedures, nobody can confer the precepts. The nuns can take the ten precepts from the bhik.su sa^ngha, however, they will have no bhik.su.nii preceptors to depend on for their studies.'  Nevertheless, Ching-chien, together with twenty-four other women
was ordained by J~naanagira and took the ten precepts of a `sraama.nerikaa.
During the Hsien-kang period (335~342 A.D.) of the Chin Dynasty, the monk Seng-chien brought back from the Central Asian kingdom of Yueh-chih the Mahaasa^nghika Bhik.su.nii Karman and the Bhik.su.nii-praatimok.saa. In the first year of Sheng-ping (357 A.D.), the Indian monk Dharmagupta was invited to Luo-yang to setup a precept platform to confer bhik.su.nii ordination, but the Chinese Monk Tao-ch'ang objected on the basis of the Chieh-yin-yuan-ching (Suutra of the origin of the Rules). The reason for his objection was probably that aside from the bhik.sus, there were no bhik.su.niis in China to confer the ordination. The ordination ceremony went ahead despite his objections and was performed on a ship in the middle of a river. Ching-chien together with three other women became the first bhik.su.nii in China. More precisely speaking, Ching-chien was the first Chinese bhik.su.nii to take the upasa.mpadaa only from the bhik.su sa^ngha. However, as all Vinaya systems specify, the upasa.mpadaa should not be given by bhik.sus alone, but by both bhik.su and bhik.su.nii sa^nghas. This 'incomplete ordination' was not remedied until more than half a century later.
The earliest records of the dual ordination of bhik.su.niis can be found in the biographies of Gu.navarman and Sa^nghavarman, and the Biographies of Bhik.su.niis (Pi-ch'iu-ni chuan). Gu.navarman, a Vinaya master from Kashmir, came to Yang-chou in 430 A.D. and translated many Vinaya texts. Sa^nghavarnam, a Vinaya Master from India, came to Yang-chou four years later in 434. Both of their biographies found in the Kao-seng Chuan (Biographies of
Eminent Monks) mention their involvement in the dual ordination of the Chinese bhik.su.niis. Nevertheless, the most thorough account of the dual ordination is found in the biography of the nun Seng-kuo from the Pi-ch'iu-ni Chuan, one of the first group of Chinese nuns to be fully ordained by both sa^nghas.
Seng-kuo had unusually strong faith and devotion, as she had presumably established affinity with the Dharma in her former lives. It was said that 'even as a baby at breast, she did not transgress the monastic rule of not eating after mid-day.' She did not get permission to leave the household life until she was twenty-seven. Seng-kuo diligently pursued Buddhist practice and strictly observed the precepts. Her meditation practice was at such a high level that she could meditate from dusk to dawn and 'stretching in spirit to the pure realm of the divine, her body stayed behind looking as lifeless as dry wood.'  Her biography continues to record how she was involved in the first dual ordination in China.
In the sixth year of the Yuan-chia (429 A.D.), a foreign boat captain named Nan-t'i brought eight Buddhist bhik.su.nii from Sri Lanka to the capital of the Sung dynasty. The Sri La^nkaan nuns stayed at Ching-fu Ssu (Luminous Blessings Monastery). Not long after, they asked Seng-kuo, 'Have foreign nuns ever been here before us?'  Seng-kuo answered that there have been none. The
Sri Lankan bhik.su.niis then asked if that was the case, how had Chinese nuns taken full ordination from both bhik.su and bhik.su.nii sa^nghas? Seng-kuo replied,
They took the ordination from the bhik.su sa^ngha only. Those women who went through the ritual of entering the monastic life began the reception of monastic obligations. This reception was an expedient to cause people to have great respect for the monastic life. Our eminent model for this expedient is the Buddha's own step-mother, Mahaaprajaapatii, who was deemed to have accepted the full monastic obligation by taking on herself, and therefore for all women for all the time, the eight special prohibitions incumbent on women wanting to lead the monastic life. [These she accepted from the Buddha only.] The five hundred women of the Buddha's clan who also left the household life at the same time as Mahaaprajaapatii considered her as their instructor.
Although Seng-kuo justified the validity of the single-ordination observed by the Chinese bhik.su.niis, taking the case of Mahaaprajaapatii as a good example and precedent, she herself still had some doubts. So she consulted with Vinaya Master Gu.navarman about whether it was permissible to retake the ordination. Gu.navarman replied,
[The Buddhist threefold action of] morality, meditation, and wisdom progresses from the subtle to the obvious. Therefore, receiving the monastic obligations a second time is of greater benefit than receiving them only once.
Answering the question of the validity of the single-ordination taken by the Chinese bhik.su.niis, Gu.navarman said,
As the bhik.su.nii ordination is finalized by the bhik.su sanghga, even if the 'basic dharma' (i.e. the ordination taken from the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha) is not conferred, the bhik.su.nii ordination still results in pure vows, just as in the case of Mahaaprajaapatii.
Responding to Seng-kuo's question of the possibility of re-ordination, Gu.navarman replied,
Very good! If you wish to increase your wisdom [by retaking the ordination], I will certainly offer my help with joy. However, since the Sri Lankan bhik.su.niis [who are in China] have not reached their 'precept age,'  and their number is less than ten, they should first start learning the Chinese language.
Four years later in the tenth year of Yuanchia (433 A.D.), the ship captain, Nan-t'i, brought back eleven more bhik.su.niis from Sri Lanka, including one named Tessara. By this time those bhik.su.niis who had arrived earlier had become fluent in Chinese, and Gu.navarman had passed away. Thus, Seng-kuo and the other Chinese bhik.su.niis requested the Indian Vinaya Master Sa^nghavarman to preside over the dual ordination at the ceremonial platform in Nan-lin Monastery. Altogether more than three hundred women were ordained by both sa^nghas. This marked the beginning of the proper transmission of dual ordination for women in China, that is, of receiving the precepts from both bhik.su and
According to the brief history of the dual ordination in China related above, two things are clear:
(1) The single-ordination conferred since Ching-chien in 357 A.D. was valid and pure. As Tao-hsuan (596~667 A.D.), the Patriarch of the Chinese Dharmagupta Vinaya School, stated in the Ssu-fen-lu Che-mo Shu Chi-yen Chi:
Even if a bhik.su.nii ordination is transmitted directly from a bhik.su sa^ngha without first conferring the 'basic dharma,' it is still valid, as nowhere in the Vinaya indicates otherwise. However, the precept masters commit an offence.
All the Vinayas of the different Buddhist schools specify the requirement of dual ordination. Although it is true that, strictly speaking, a single-ordination from either the bhik.su or bhik.su.nii sa^ngha alone is not in accord with the Vinaya, still nowhere does the Vinaya indicate that single-ordination is invalid. Tao-hsuan did not explain why the precept masters commit an offence, but it presumably had to do with not following the procedures strictly. When asked the same question, Gu.navarman answered,
'Wherever bhik.su.niis are available, if a bhik.su preceptor confers a bhik.su.nii ordination to a woman without having first trained her in the precepts for two years, he commits an offence.'  This means that a bhik.su commits an offence if he knowingly gives bhik.su.nii ordination to a woman who has not gone through all the necessary stages (`sraama.nerikaa, `sik.samaa.naa, and bhik.su.nii ordination) from a bhik.su.nii sa^ngha. As discussed previously, before a bhik.su gives the bhik.su.nii ordination, he has to ask the woman whether she has been trained in the `sik.samaa.naa vows for two years, and whether she has already received ordination from the bhik.su.nii sa^nghas. If he does not ask these questions or knowingly ordains a woman without `sik.samaa.naa or 'basic-dharma bhik.su.nii' status, he, not the woman, commits an offense. The general rule for the outcome of this improper conferring of the ordination is that 'the precept receiver obtains the precepts, whereas the precept giver commits an offense.' Here the main issue is not what offense a bhik.su commits for giving the upasa.mpadaa to a woman who has not received ordination from the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha first. The important point is that an ordination by the bhik.su sa^ngha only, even technically flawed with respect to prescribed procedures, is still valid and a woman taking such an ordination obtains 'uncorrupted' and pure vows.
(2) From the brief history of the dual ordination in China, it is clear that the first dual ordination which took place in 434 followed the proper procedures, and the bhik.su.nii lineage thus established was pure and flawless. However, during the Conference held in Dharamsala in August, 1998, Dao-hai, a conservative vinaya master from Taiwan argued otherwise. For two reasons, he argued that the Chinese Bhik.su.nii lineage could not be considered 'perfect and flawless.' The first reason is that Seng-kuo and other nuns had previously received bhik.su.nii ordination from bhik.sus alone and thus
'not a new one.' Dao-hai contends that such an ordination would invalidate subsequent ordinations, though there is nothing in the Vinaya to substantiate his claim. The second reason is that Hui-kuo and other nuns were not trained in the precepts for two years prior to their dual ordination, although there is no evidence to support this contention.
As the history of the initial dual ordination indicates, after the arrival of the second group of Sri Lankan bhik.su.niis, which made up the necessary quorum of ten, Seng-kuo and many other nuns took the upasa.mpadaa first from the Sri Lankan Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha and then from the bhik.su sa^ngha headed by Sa^nghavarman as the Preceptor in the very first dual ordination in China. How can this first dual ordination be considered 'not a new one,' and thus 'incomplete' ? Even if it were a re-ordination, nowhere does the Vinaya indicate that re-ordination is invalid. On the contrary, re-ordination was considered a re-affirmation. This can be attested to by the affirmation given in the Sarvaastivaada `Saastra (Sa-po-lo Lun), which says, 'To re-ordain enhances the quality of a previous ordination. One who is re-ordained does not lose one's previous precept age. '  Therefore, Tao-hai's theory which dismisses the Chinese Bhik.su.nii lineage on these grounds is not credible.
Dao-hai also strongly asserted that Seng-kuo and the other nuns had not taken the `sik.samaa.naa ordination and thus had not trained in the precepts for two years, but he did not provide any textual proof for this claim. In fact it can be argued that the nuns had trained for two years. The first group of Sri Lankan bhik.su.niis
stayed at Ching-fu-ssu, the monastery where Seng-kuo and other nuns lived, for four years before the arrival of the second group. During these four years, it is quite likely that the Sri Lankan bhik.su.niis conferred the `sik.samaa.naa ordination on the Chinese nuns to prepare them for the dual ordination. They must have been very keen to make sure that complete and proper ordination procedures for the nuns' ordinations were observed; otherwise they would not have raised the question concerning the validity of the previous single-ordination. Even if the Chinese nuns did not formally train in the precepts for two years, their dual ordination was still valid and pure, because, as mentioned before, the fault for conferring the ordination improperly falls on the bhik.su precept masters, not on the bhik.su.nii precept candidates.
We can conclude that an authentic bhik.su.nii lineage in China was properly established according to the Vinaya in the fifth century. This lineage continues without interruption up to the present day. There is no record that indicates otherwise.
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The most detailed record of eminent bhik.su.niis is the Pi-ch'iu-ni chuan compiled by Pao-ch'ang in the early sixth century. From the sixty-five biographies included there, we get a picture of a bhik.su.nii sa^nghas with a remarkably high level of learning and spiritual attainment. Pao-ch'ang praised them,
For several hundred years' nuns of great virtue appeared in China one after the other. Of these nuns, Shan-miao and Ching-kuei achieved the epitome of the ascetic life; Fa-pien and Seng-kuo consummately excelled in meditation and contemplation. Individuals such as Seng-tuan and Seng-chi, who were steadfast in their resolution to maintain chastity, and Miao-hsing and Fa-chuan, who were teachers of great influence, appeared very frequently. Such virtue as theirs is like the deep ocean or the lofty peak──like the
harmonious music of bronze and jade bells.
It is evident from the biographies that the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha was very strong from the fourth to the sixth centuries. Although two persecutions of Buddhism took place in 446 and 574 C.E., they did not cause lasting destruction to Buddhism. Actually, Buddhism flourished during the Six Dynasties (265~589 A.D.), especially during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386~534 A.D.). According to the Fo-tsu t'ung-chi (A Chronicle on the Buddha and patriarchs), there were four million monks and nuns in the Northern Wei during the sixth Century. In the south Buddhism flourished and was influential as well, especially during the Liang Dynasty at which time Emperor Wu-ti was renowned for his earnest support of Buddhism.
Buddhism flourished even more during the Sui and T'ang Dynasties (581~907), a period referred to as the golden age of Buddhism in China. The bhik.su.nii sa^ngha developed extensively throughout these periods. The bhik.su.niis came from all walks of life and social classes, and they included queens, princesses, court ladies, etc. Regrettably, after the Pi-ch'iu-ni chuan was compiled in the sixth century, no biographies of bhik.su.niis were again compiled. Still scattered biographies of bhik.su.niis can be found in various historical records, such as dynastic histories, epitaphs, bronze and stone inscriptions, etc. Many of the bhik.su.niis were outstanding in teaching, meditation, and moral discipline. In the Ch'an School some bhik.su.niis also became teachers of Ch'an monks.
Although Buddhism suffered a great setback and lost much of its vitality due to T'ang Emperor Wu-tsung's persecution that lasted from 841 to 845 C.E., it survived intact. In fact, the census taken during the reign of Emperor Cheng-tsung of the Sung Dynasty (997~1021 C.E.) reveals that there were more than 397,000 bhik.sus and 61,000 bhik.su.niis at the time. As for the lineage of dual ordination, there is no record of any break. On the contrary, there are two records in the Ta-sung seng shih lueh that clearly indicate that dual ordination was conferred during the eighth and ninth centuries. This document records that in 765 C.E. Emperor Tai-tsung of T'ang decreed that an ordination platform be established in the capital city and that ten bhik.sus and ten bhik.su.niis of great virtue and well versed in the Vinaya be selected to confer the ordination. It also records that this 'became the standard practice forever.'  The Ta-sung seng-shih lueh also documents that Emperor Yi-tsung of T'ang (859~873 C.E.) had an ordination platform built in the Hsien-tai Palace where the nuns of Fu-shou Nunnery received an ordination conferred by ten bhik.sus and ten bhik.su.niis. This indicates that the dual ordination was a standard practice.
It is well documented that the dual ordination was carried out from the fifth to the ten centuries. However, in the fifth year of the Kai-pao year (972 C.E.) the Northern Sung Emperor T'ai-tsu issued a decree that bhik.su.niis be prohibited from going to bhik.su
monasteries for ordination. This means that nuns would have to take the upasa.mpadaa from the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha only. Vinaya master Dao-hai from Taiwan, drawing on this record, concludes:
In a word, the lineage of bhik.su.nii ordination in China has clearly been broken (to receive base rules from a sa^ngha consisting of bhik.su.niis only, not to mention receiving one-group ordination from bhik.sus) during Sung Dynasty (around C.E. 972). Following the resolution of the prohibition, most of the ordinations were one-group from a sa^ngha of bhik.su. There is no historical documentation that proved that the lineage of two-group ordination were pure and complete.
This speculative and incorrect conclusion is drawn without any textual proof. Actually, there are textual references that indicate otherwise. The earliest record of prohibition is found in the Ta-sung seng-shih lueh written by Tsan-ning:
After the years of Chien-wu (335~348 C.E.), the nuns had been going to the monasteries of monks to take ordination without interruption throughout all the previous dynasties. Recently Emperor T'ai-tsu (972 C.E.) issued an edict forbidding nuns from going to the monasteries of monks to take ordination. After that, the nuns obtained the 'basic dharma' from the sa^ngha of bhik.su.niis alone. The ordination was not complete. Now the present Emperor [T'ai-tsung, the successor of T'ai-tsu] is sagacious and makes intelligent decisions. Those who are protective to the Dharma should make a request to the Emperor to restore the old practice [of dual ordination] lest the Dharma should perish.
Four years after the decree of prohibition issued in 976,
Emperor T'ai-tsu died and his son T'ai-tsung succeeded him. In the same year Tsan-ling compiled the Ta-sung seng-shih lueh (The Brief History of the Buddhist Sa^ngha in the Great Sung) by order of Emperor T'ai-tsung. Taking into consideration that Tsan-ling was an eminent and learned monk respected and trusted by Emperor T'ai-tsung, and was ordered by him to compile the history of the sa^ngha and biographies of eminent monks, and also considering that Tsan-ling was very concerned with the effect that the edict might have upon Buddhism, it is possible that he himself made the request to the Emperor to abolish the edict. There is also evidence indicating that the edict lasted for only a few years, certainly not long enough to disrupt the bhik.su.nii lineage.
The first evidence that the edict was short-lived is Emperor Chen-tsung's (997~1021 A.D.) edict of 1010 C.E., which states:
The edict ordered that in the T'ai-pien Hsing-kuo Monastery in the imperial city, the official Kan-lu Precept-platform be established [to give ordination] and the other official precept-platforms be established all over the country, totally seventy-two.
The precept platforms were built by the court and thus naturally regarded as official. That means that all monks and nuns went to the official precept platforms to take ordination; therefore nuns were able to get dual ordination as usual. Since only thirty-eight years elapsed between the edict of prohibition and the edict of re-establishing the official precept platforms, this would not be long enough for the lineage to totally die out, even in the worst case scenario.
The second source of evidence comes from Chih-p'an's Fo-tsu T'ung-chi (compiled between 1258~1269). Chih-p'an comments
on the edict of prohibition:
The intention [of the edict] was to keep distance between monks and nuns [not to forbid nuns from taking ordination]. However, [Emperor T'ai-tsu] did not know that nuns must take the final ordination from the Bhik.su sa^ngha. There is no rule [in the Vinaya] that allows nuns to take ordination from their own sa^ngha only. This [edict] was only a temporary remedy for impropriety and should not be taken as a normal practice. Nowadays the edict is no longer in effect.
It is obvious that by the time of Chih-p'an, the prohibition had already been lifted and the dual ordination was restored. This passage lends credence to the theory that dual ordination was the norm during this period.
There are not many historical documents that indicate how the dual ordination was implemented after the thirteenth century, however, it is clear that the lineage of dual ordination for bhik.su.niis continued, for at least two historical records of the practice can be found. The first is from Hung-tsan's Pi-ch'iu-ni Shou-chieh Lu (The Record of the bhik.su.nii Ordination) and the second is from Shu-yu's Erh-pu-seng Shou-chieh Yi-shih (The Ritual for the Dual Ordination).
Hung-tsan (1611~1685), a Vinaya Master of the Ch'ing Dynasty (1644~1912), mentions in his Pi-ch'iu-ni Shou-chieh Lu in 1657 C.E., when he was in Kuang-chou, many nuns coming from different counties asked him to give them the upasa.mpadaa ordination. Hung-tsan thus got together ten bhik.sus and ten bhik.su.niis to confer the dual ordination. Shu-yu (1645~1721 C.E.) was also a Vinaya Master. In the preface of his Erh-pu-seng Shou-chieh Yi-shih, he recorded a dual ordination:
In the spring of 1667 C.E., the Venerable Bhik.sunii Mi-chau from
Kun-shan and Madame Hsu came to our monastery to make offerings. The accompanying `sik.samaa.naas made a request to my late Master to give a dual ordination. They stayed at the monastery to study for half a month and were able to know the proper deportments. My late master then asked Bhik.sunii Mi-chau to be the Upaadhyaayinii, Bhik.sunii Chau-tseng from Yang-chou to be the Karma Master, and bhik.su.nii Yuan-cheng from Chen-chou to be the Instructor Master. He also chose seven other virtuous bhik.su.niis as Witness Masters to preside over the ordination.
From the above two records, it is very clear that during the seventeenth century the dual ordination was still being carefully implemented, and the proper procedures were being observed. However, Hung-tsan also says that 'the dual ordination had been long lost.'  Probably what he meant was that the nuns only took the ordination from the bhik.su sa^ngha alone. However, so far no historical record can be found to verify his statement. Even if Hung-tsan was right, the ordination from bhik.su sa^ngha only, as discussed early in this paper, is still valid, although the precept master conferring it commits an offense.
There is another record that indicates the dual ordination had been discontinued. In his Essence of the Vinaya, Vinaya Master Hung-yi (1880~1942) wrote,
According to the rules set by the Buddha, bhik.su.niis must take their ordination twice. First, they take the 'basic dharma' from the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha, and then the vows are taken formally from the bhik.su sa^ngha. The ordination actually takes effect during the ceremony with the bhik.su sa^ngha. However, the dual ordination rule has not been implemented since the Southern Sung Dynasty (1128~1276).' 
Although Hung-yi was a respectable Vinaya master, his statement is obviously incorrect. This can be proved by the fact that dual ordinations were given to nuns during the seventeenth century, as Hung-tsan and Shu-yu's writings show.
After Hung-tsan and Shu-yu, the tradition of bhik.su.nii ordination continued until today. Although it is true that in some cases the dual ordination procedure has not been strictly observed, still the bhik.su.nii ordination and the lineage of Chinese Bhik.su.niis continue. In other words, in the historical records there is no evidence indicating that there is any time in Chinese Buddhist history when there were no bhik.su.niis.
Aside from a concern for the validity of the Chinese Bhik.su.nii lineage, Tibetan Buddhist scholars have also been very concerned with the differences between the Dharmagupta Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.sa Suutra followed by the Chinese Bhik.su and Bhik.su.nii sa^nghas and the Muulasarvaastivaada followed by the Tibetan Bhik.su sa^ngha. The Dharmagupta Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.sa Suutra was translated into Chinese in the Later Chin Dynasty (383~418 C.E.) by Buddhaya`sas. This text has been exclusively followed by the Chinese bhik.su.nii since the T'ang Dynasty when the Dharmagupta Vinaya School was established. There are two Chinese translations of the Muulasarvaastivaadin Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.saa and Vinaya: one is the Ken-pen Shou-yi-ch'ieh-you-pu Pi-ch'iu-ni Chieh-ching (T.24, no.1455) and the other Ken-pen Shou-yi-chieh-you-pu Pi-chi'iu-ni Pi-na-yeh. (T.23, no.1443) Both of these texts were translated by Yi-ching during the T'ang Dynasty. There are also two Tibetan translations of the
Mulasarvativadin Bhik.su.nii Vinaya: the Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.saa Suutra (Dge slon mahi so sor thar pahi mdo) and the Bhik.su.nii Vinaya-vibha^nga (Dge slon mahi hdul ba rnam par hbyed pa), although the texts exist, no Tibetan bhik.su.nii lineage has ever been established based on these texts.
Much important research on Bhik.su.nii Vinaya and Praatimok.saa Suutras translated from Sanskrit have been done by scholars. For example, Akira Hirakawa's Ritsuzo no Kenkyo (Studies on the Vinaya Scriptures) has a section on the Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.saa Suutra from various vinaya traditions, Karma Lekshe Tsomo's Sisters in Solitude contains English translations of the Chinese Dharmagupta and the Tibetan Muulasarvaastivaada Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.saa as well as a comparative study on these two traditions, and Chatsumarn Kabilsingh's A comparative Study of Bhikkhunii Paatimokkha. This section of the paper is based on their research.
Despite minor variation in the number of the precepts, the categories of precepts cited in the Dharmagupta and the Muulasarvaastivaada Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.saa Suutras are identical, namely, the paaraajika-dharma, sa^nghaava`se.sa-d, ni.hsargika-d, paayantika-d, pratide`saniiya-d, `saik.sa-d, and adhikara.na-`samatha-d. The number of precepts in each category is given as follows:
The eight paaraajika offenses for bhik.su.niis are basically the same
not only in the Dharmagupta and Muulasarvaastivaada versions, but in all extant versions of Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.saa. The eight paaraajikas include prohibitions against (1) sexual conduct, (2) stealing, (3) taking life, (4) falsely claiming the attainment of supernatural powers, (5) touching a male's body or being touched with desire, (6) touching a man's clothes or entering a covered place with a man, (7) concealing the wrongdoing of a bhik.su.nii guilty of a serious offence, and (8) persistently following a suspended monk, after the third admonishment. They are identical in the two versions however, the Muulasarvaastivaadin Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.saa includes the prohibition against taking the life of a human fetus (in other words, abortion), while the Chinese Dharmagupta text makes no mention of a fetus.
The category of sa^nghaava`sesa has 17 precepts in the Dharmagupta and 20 in the Muulasarvaastivaada. Of the seventeen sa^nghaava`sesa in the Dharmagupta, only one has no equivalent among those in the Muulasarvaastivaada, namely, accusing a layperson before a government official. The Muulasarvaastivaada has one sa^nghaava`sesa which has no equivalent in the Dharmagupta, namely, pursuing the wealth of the deceased. The reason that there is a difference in the number of sa^nghaava`sesas between the two versions, 17 versus 20, is because the seventh sa^nghaava`sesa of the Dharmagupta combines the four 'alone precepts,' into one, while the Muulasarvaastivaada takes them separately. These precepts include crossing water alone, entering a village alone, staying overnight in a village alone, and staying behind the group alone.
According to Karma Lekshe Tsomo, only two out of the seventeen sa^nghaava`sesas in the Chinese version have no equivalent among the sa^nghaava`sesas in the Tibetan translation: accusing a lay-person before a government official and ordaining a woman known to be a thief. On the other hand, six sa^nghaava`sesas in the Tibetan translation have no equivalent in the Chinese, though some occur elsewhere: (1) ordaining a woman without permission from her guardian, (2) pursuing the wealth of the deceased, (3) forsaking the
Dharma, (4) digging up faults of bhik.su.niis, (5) misbehaving with women, (6) and enjoining bhik.su.niis who are misbehaving together not to live separately.
In the category of the ni.hsargika-paayantika, all Vinayas list thirty precepts, except the Muulasarvaastivaada, which has thirty-three precepts. Among the thirty, sixteen precepts concern robes and the proper time and manner to obtain them; two concern the begging bowl; one concern medication; eight concerning business exchange; and three concern gold and silver. There is one ni.hsargika- paayaantika in the Dharmagupta that has no equivalent in the Muulasarvaastivaada: accepting a robe in an emergency and keeping it beyond the proper time. There are four rules in the Muulasarvaastivaada that have no equivalent in the Dharmagupta: washing clothes and cooking for an unrelated bhik.su, taking a robe from an unrelated bhik.su, having one's upper robe blessed on a new moon, and openly begging for oneself.
In the category of the paayantika, the Dharmagupta has 178 precepts, while the Muulasarvaastivaada has 180. Among these precepts, there are three which occur only in the Dharmagupta, while there are thirty precepts that occur only in the Muulasarvaastivaada.
A number of paayantikas deal with offenses related to ordination. For example, there are twelve precepts common to both the Dharmagupta and Muulasarvaastivaada, including ordaining (1) a pregnant woman, (2) a `sraama.nerikaa not trained for two years in the six rules, (3) a married girl less than 12 years, (4) a married girl of 12 years but not agreed upon by the sa^ngha, (5) a prostitute, (6) a woman with a husband, (7) a woman less than twenty years old, and (8) an emotionally disturbed woman; the other precepts
include: (9) after giving ordination, not taking care of one's trainee; (10) not ordaining a well-qualified `sik.samaa.naa; (11) not going before the bhik.su sa^ngha on the same day as the ordination with the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha; (12) giving full ordination before one has been a bhik.su.nii for twelve years.
There are several paayantika precepts that are not found in the Muulasarvaastivaada, namely, ordaining a woman with both male and female organs, ordaining a woman who discharges urine and excrement from one's orifice, and ordaining a woman who is nursing. The rule that a bhik.su.nii cannot give ordination every year (that is, a bhik.su.nii can only ordain disciples every other year) is found only in the Muulasarvaastivaada. It is worth mentioning that although the eight gurudharmas specify that a woman should take full ordination from both sa^nghas, among all the Vinaya traditions, only the Mahii`sasaka Vinaya contains a precept against ordaining a woman by one sa^ngha only.
There is a very important principle behind all these rules concerning bhik.su.nii ordination. That is, no offense is incurred by women who receive ordination in violation of these rules; instead, an offence is entailed on the part of bhik.sus or bhik.su.niis who gave ordination (i.e., precept masters). For example, during the Buddha's time, it happened that a woman was ordained and found herself pregnant later. Although such a physical condition would be a hindrance to her religious life, the Buddha did not invalidate her ordination. Instead, he allowed her to give birth to her child and raised it among the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha. Therefore, ordaining a pregnant woman was prohibited, but in case of an infraction of this precept, rather than on the woman herself, the fault is on the bhik.su or bhik.su.nii who knowingly gives ordination to a pregnant woman. The principle that the precept masters take the blame in
case of a violation against the ordination rules applies similarly to the dual ordination. That is to say, if bhik.su precept masters give full ordination to women who have not taken full ordination from the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha first, the women commit no offence; rather, the bhik.su precept masters commit an offense. The rationale for this principle is that the precept masters should know the rules better than the precept receivers; therefore, the fault falls on them rather than the precept receivers should any violation of the ordination rules occur. As a result, even if such an infraction should occur, the bhik.su.niis who receive ordination from bhik.su sa^ngha alone still obtain a pure and flawless ordination.
In the pratide`saniiya category, all Vinaya traditions have eight rules, except the Muulasarvaastivaada that has eleven. In the Dharmagupta , the eight rules are asking for the following foods when a bhik.su.nii is not sick: cheese, oil, honey, sugar, milk, cream, fish, and meat. In the Muulasarvaastivaada we find milk, yogurt, butter, ghee, oil, honey, sugar, fish, meat, dried meat, and partaking of food in a learner's house without being invited.
Finally, in the `saik.sa category, the Dharmagupta has 100 rules while the Muulasarvaastivaada has 99, however, the contents of the rules differ considerably. Here is a list of the number of rules in different `saik.sa categories:
l. Manner of wearing robes
2. Manners of entering a devotees house
3. Manners of accepting and eating food
4. Manners of exhortation
5. Manner of urinating and passing excrement
6. Climbing a tree higher than the height of a human being
|7. Behavior related to cetiya||
The most apparent difference between the two renditions is that the Dharmagupta has 26 rules related to cetiya. This difference reflects the great importance the Dharmagupta School places on the worship of cetiya.
The last category of bhik.su.nii precepts includes the seven adhikara.na-`samatha rules which are the same in both Vinaya traditions. These rules deal with legal questions regarding to the settling of disputes about the Dharma and the Vinaya.
The above brief comparison shows how the precepts in the Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.saa Suutras of these two Vinaya traditions agree and differ from each other. They do not differ much regarding the more important precepts in the paaraajika, sa^nghaava`sesa and ni.hsargika-paayantika categories. Most of the differences are found in the `saik.sa rules: the manner of accepting and eating food, behavior related to cetiyas, etc. These rules are basically the guidelines for daily conduct and decorum for the bhik.su.niis, and do not have much to do with fundamental ethics and morality. Inasmuch as they do not come under any penal section, there is no punishment for violating any of them; a transgression is not considered a criminal act, but simply bad manners. Some of the rules seem unrealistic and archaic and can therefore be considered 'lesser and minor precepts' that can legitimately be abolished. For example, one `saik.sa rule
requires a bhik.su.nii 'not to give teachings while standing to one who is sitting, unless the person is sick.' Obviously this reflects modes of behavior current at the time, but the application of this rule is somewhat irrelevant in the present day.
In sum, if Tibetan Buddhism were to establish a bhik.su.nii lineage based on both the Dharmagupta and Muulasarvaastivaada Vinayas, it would not cause any serious problem in terms of keeping precepts, because even though there are differences between the Dharmagupta and Muulasarvaastivaada Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.saas, the differences are minor and their essence is the same.
In light of the discussion above, there are two possible ways to establish a Tibetan Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha. One is through dual ordination by both bhik.su and bhik.su.nii sa^nghas, and the other is through single ordination from the bhik.su sa^ngha only. Ordination by bhik.su.niis alone can be ruled out because it is specifically prohibited in the eight gurudharmas, the Bhik.su.nii karman, and the commentaries of all Vinaya traditions.
l. Ordination from both Bhik.su and Bhik.su.nii Sa^nghas
As the eight gurudharmas specify, a bhik.su.nii should receive a full ordination from both bhik.su and bhik.su.nii sa^nghas. If the Tibetan Buddhist tradition is to establish a bhik.su.nii lineage through dual ordination strictly according the Vinaya, it has to depend on a Buddhist tradition that has a living bhik.su.nii sa^ngha. At present, the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha exists only in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Vietnam. Since the Korean and Vietnamese Bhik.su.nii lineages were both received from China, it is better that Tibetan Buddhism seek the help of the Chinese Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha.
Although Tibetan Buddhism has `sraama.nerikaas, they are ordained by Tibetan bhik.sus, not by bhik.su.niis. Strictly speaking, this is not in accord with the Vinaya, which specifies that women should be
ordained at each and every stage (i.e., `sraama.nerikaa, `sik.samaa.naa, and 'basic dharma bhik.su.nii' ) by the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha. Therefore, to establish a bhik.su.nii lineage, Tibetan Buddhists can ask elder, respected Chinese bhik.su.niis to ordain lay women in the Tibetan tradition as `sraama.nerikaas. When the `sraama.nerikaas become eighteen years old, the Chinese bhik.su.nii masters can give them `sik.samaa.naa ordination and train them for two years in the six `sik.samaa.naa precepts. The two years' training is very important in that the novices are tested to see whether they can keep the precepts, and whether they are determined enough to lead a vigorously religious life. After two years of training, the Chinese bhik.su.nii precept masters should give them the full ordination (upasa.mpadaa). Ten bhik.su.nii precept masters, who must have been bhik.su.niis for at least twelve years, are needed to give the ordination. After taking this ordination from the Chinese Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha, the Tibetan nuns become 'basic-dharma bhik.su.niis.'
The final stage of the full ordination is taking the ordination from the bhik.su sa^ngha. The Tibetan 'basic-dharma' bhik.su.niis have two choices, that is, they can take the full ordination either from the Chinese Bhik.su sa^ngha or Tibetan Bhik.su sa^ngha. Taking the matter of Vinaya lineage into consideration, it is probably better that the Tibetan 'basic-dharma bhik.su.niis' take the ordination from the Tibetan Bhik.su sa^ngha. This way, when the Tibetan bhik.su precept masters give the ordination, they can transmit the Muulasarvaastivaadin bhik.su.nii praatimok.sa to the Tibetan 'basic-dharma bhik.su.niis,' and no problem will arise as a result of the bhik.sus and bhik.su.niis following different Vinaya lineages. As for the `sraama.nerikaa and `sik.samaa.naa ordinations previously taken from the Chinese Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha, there would be no problem, since the ten `sraama.nerikaa precepts and the six `sik.samaa.naa precepts are basically the same in the Dharmagupta and Muulasarvaastivaadin Vinayas.
In other words, the first Tibetan bhik.su.nii dual ordination is to be conferred by a Chinese Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha in conjunction with
Tibetan bhik.sus. Tibetan Buddhists can take the first dual ordination of Bhik.su.niis in China as a precedent. As discussed above, the Chinese nuns received the dual ordination from the Sri Lankan Bhik.su.nii Sa^ngha and the Chinese Bhik.su Sa^ngha. Although it is not known precisely which Vinaya tradition was transmitted to the Chinese bhik.su.niis, it apparently was not the Theravaada Vinaya followed by the Sri Lankan bhik.su.niis. In other words, it is likely that the initial dual ordination of Bhik.su.nii in China itself was a combination of two different Vinaya traditions. This is significant in that no question has ever been raised concerning the validity of this lineage.
A dual ordination conferred by the Chinese Bhik.su.nii sa^ngha and the Tibetan Bhik.su sa^ngha could be given continuously for twelve years until finally there would be a group of Tibetan bhik.su.niis who have been ordained for the required twelve years and would therefore be qualified to conduct the ordination themselves. According to the Muulasarvaativaada tradition, the Tibetan bhik.su.niis would need to be at least twelve in number. After maintaining the bhik.su.nii precepts for 12 years, they would be qualified to serve as precept masters to Tibetan nuns. After that, Tibetan Buddhism would no longer have to depend on Chinese bhik.su.niis for conducting the dual ordination.
2. Ordination by the Tibetan Bhik.su Sa^ngha Alone
If the Tibetan Buddhist tradition wants to avoid combining two different Vinaya traditions in establishing its bhik.su.nii sa^ngha, it can do it by depending on its own bhik.su sa^ngha without help from Chinese bhik.su.niis. As discussed above, the Indian Vinaya Master
Gu.navarman as well as Chinese Vinaya Master Tao-hsuan asserted that a single ordination from the bhik.su sa^ngha alone and a dual ordination from both sa^nghas are not different in terms of the validity of the ordination. In other words, regardless of the procedure used, both types of full bhik.su.nii ordination result in pure and flawless vows for the bhik.su.nii ordination candidate. The only difference is that the bhik.sus who give the single ordination commit an offense of paayantika. What the Tibetan tradition could do is have ten Tibetan bhik.su precept masters give the bhik.su.nii ordination according to the Muulasarvaastivaadin Vinaya to a group of Tibetan nuns. As a result, the Tibetan nuns would become bhik.su.niis, while the bhik.sus would commit a paayantika. Since these Tibetan precept masters commit a paayantika and would have to confess their transgression, it would be better not to have the same group of precept masters give the bhik.su.nii ordination every time, so that they will not commit the same offense again and again.
Theoretically, the establishment of a Tibetan Bhik.su.nii lineage by the Tibetan Bhik.su sa^ngha is feasible. The Tibetan tradition could initiate a dual ordination of bhik.su.niis as soon as the first group of at least twelve Tibetan bhik.su.niis, ordained by the Tibetan Bhik.su sa^ngha, had been ordained for twelve years. The feasibility and validity of such an ordination is based on the assumption that the bhik.su sa^ngha has the final authority in the bhik.su.nii ordination process. The initial ordination process by Tibetan bhik.sus alone would be justified, because no Tibetan bhik.su.niis are currently available to give the bhik.su.nii ordination. If all schools of Tibetan Buddhism come to a consensus and agree that a bhik.su.nii ordination conducted by the Tibetan Bhik.su sa^ngha alone is valid, under these circumstances, most of the problems concerning the
establishment of a bhik.su.nii lineage will be solved. However, the Tibetan Buddhists who choose this solution may be challenged, when a valid lineage exists, as to why they do not seek the help of the Chinese bhik.su.niis. If the Chinese nuns could seek help from Sri Lankan bhik.su.niis in the fifth century, how much more easily Tibetan Buddhists could get the help of the Chinese bhik.su.niis today. Not to seek the help of a recognized extant bhik.su.nii lineage when the Chinese bhik.su.niis are ready and willing to help and to continue questioning the purity of their lineage could be taken as an affront.
Although either way of establishing a Tibetan Buddhist Bhik.su.nii lineage suggested here are slightly flawed, both ways are feasible because neither is against the principles or spirit of the Muulasarvaastivaadin and Dharmagupta Vinayas. Tibetan Buddhism is known for putting great importance on unbroken lineages. Since a Muulasarvaastivaadin bhik.su.nii lineage cannot be found anywhere in the world today, the Tibetans will have to choose between either a dual ordination with the help of the bhik.su.nii lineage of other traditions or a single-ordination from their own bhik.su sa^ngha. To choose the first way, Tibetan Buddhism would have to accept the fact that the Chinese Bhik.su.nii lineage has continued unbroken since its establishment in the fifth century, and that the conjunction of two different lineages poses no problem because all Vinaya lineages derive from the Buddha. If they choose the second way, the Tibetans have to accept the premise that an ordination from the bhik.su sa^ngha alone is valid when a bhik.su.nii sa^ngha is not available. Tibetan bhik.sus have been giving `sraama.nerikaa ordination to women for centuries and consider this practice valid because of the unavailability of bhik.su.niis. Using the same logic, they can legitimize giving Tibetan nuns bhik.su.nii ordination. Besides,
nowhere does any Vinaya specify that a bhik.su.nii ordination by bhik.su sa^ngha only, even though incomplete, is invalid. All that is required is that certain Tibetan bhik.sus be willing to take the lead in initiating the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha in the Tibetan tradition.
To establish a Tibetan Bhik.su.niis lineage involves large and complex issues. The issues include the doctrinal, the social (the passivity of the uneducated Tibetan nuns themselves and the activism of Western nuns), cultural (conservatism of the bhik.sus), the political (Chinese government resistance to any kind of Buddhist activity), etc. This paper only deals with the doctrinal issues of what constitutes an authentic ordination, the validity of the Chinese Bhik.su.nii lineage, and the compatibility of the Dharmagupta and Muulasarvaastivaadin Vinayas. In the light of these arguments, it can be concluded that all traditional Buddhist criteria for the establishment of a Bhik.su.nii lineage in Tibet are fulfilled. Hesitancy to find a way to initiate Bhik.su.nii ordination by Tibetan Institution could be viewed as sexism of patriarchal culture, whose only function is to prevent the fulfillment of the Dharma, of the world's need for the Dharma, and of the practice needs of Tibetan Buddhist women.
Although Tibetan nuns (`sraama.nerikaas) have been in existence for many centuries, they have never enjoyed the same level of support as monks have and have always faced more obstacles. Bhik.su.nii ordination is the right and obligation of a nun. Any decision regarding the establishment of a Tibetan bhik.su.nii lineage should be taken from a stance of compassion for the benefit of Tibetan women, the Dharma and the world. Rather than stand on a technicality and take a position that will be viewed as sexist from a modern standpoint, Tibetan bhik.sus should be able to see the great benefit that nuns can accomplish. As Ven. M. Wimalasara said to the Tibetan monks, when he attended the First Seminar of Vinaya
Scholars Concerning the Lineage of Bhik.su.nii Ordination in Dharamsala in 1998, 'If you have good intentions, you will find a way.' Many women in the Tibetan tradition are waiting to assess the intentions of their bhik.su sa^ngha. They expect the Tibetan monks to find a way and make a favorable decision to fulfil their wishes.
關鍵詞： 1. 比丘尼 2. 具足戒 3. 受戒 4. 西藏佛教 5.《四分律》 6.《根本說一切有部律》
 The first conference was held in November, 1997 in Taipei, Taiwan. It was sponsored by the Center for Buddhist Studies at National Taiwan University. The Dalai Lama sent Geshe Tashi Tsering to attend the conference. The other participants included Chinese bhik.su.niis, bhik.sus, and scholars. The discussions concentrated mainly on two topics: (1) the formation and development of the Chinese Bhik.su.nii lineage and (2) the difference between the vinaya systems of Dharmagupta and Muulasarvaastivaada. The second conference was held in August, 1998 in Dharamsala. It was sponsored by the Department of Religious and Cultural Affairs of the Tibetan Government in exile and included Vinaya masters from Taiwan, the Theravaada tradition and the Tibetan tradition. Among the invited speakers, there was only one bhik.su.nii representative, apparently a very uneven ratio.
 The story of how Mahaaprajaapatii became a nun can be found in the following sources:
(1) Pali Cullavagga X (I.B. Horner, The Books of the Discipline, Pali Text Society, London, 1975, vol.5, pp.352-356).
(2) Madhyamaagama (T.1, pp.605a-607b).
(3) Gautamii-vyaakara.na-suutra (T.1, pp.856a-858a).
(4) Dharmagupta Vinaya (T.22, pp.922c-923c).
(5) Mahaasa.mghika Vinaya (T.22, pp.471a-471b).
(6) Mahii`saasaka Vinaya (T.22, pp.185b-186b).
(7) Muulasarvaastivaada Vinaya (T.24, pp.350b-351a).
(8) Mahaaprajaapatii Gautamii Bhik.su.nii Suutra (T.24, pp.945b-947a).
 I. B. Horner, The Book of the Discipline, vol.5, p.352.
 Maanatta means joy to the penitent resulted from confession and absolution; it is also a term for penance,or punishment.
 The Ssu-fen Lu, T.22, p.923a-b.
 There is some debate about whether or not the eight chief rules are an accurate representation of the words of the Buddha. First, the formation of the eight rules goes against the Buddha's general procedure for establishing precepts, which is, whenever a monk or nun did or said something improper, accordingly a precept was set up to prevent future occurrence. Second, there is evidence that at least some of the eight rules did not exist at the time that the bhik.su.nii lineage was established. For example, the paacittiya rule 52 in the Pali Bhik.su.nii Vibha^ngha says that 'Whichever nuns were to verbally abuse or revile a monk--this is an offence involving expiation.' (For the background of the formation of this rule, see Gregory Schopen, 'The Suppression of Nuns and the Ritual Murder of their Special Dead in Two Buddhist Monastic Texts,' Journal of Indian Philosophy, vol.24, 1996, pp.563-592.) This rule is equivalent to the second rule of the eight chief rules. If the eight rules were proclaimed before the establishment of the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha, this paacittya rule would not have to be proclaimed again.
 Ssu-fen Lu (Dharmagupta Vinaya), T.22, p.925a.
 For a detailed discussion of the need for consent of parents or husband, see I.B. Horner, Women in Primitive Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, pp.174-184. The Pali Vinaya states, 'Let no son, almsman, receive the pabbajjaa ordination without his father's and his mother's consent. He who confers the pabbajjaa ordination [on a son without that permission] is guilty of a dukkata offence.' (I. B. Horner, Women in Primitive Buddhism, p.149). The Ssu-fen Lu also states, 'If a bhik.su.nii ordains a woman without first receiving the permission of her guardian, at that instant, her act is to be considered a sa^nghaava`se.sa offense.' (T.22, p.519b.) The 'guardian' refers to the parents, husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law or uncles. According to the Theriigaathaa, it seems that this rule was closely followed during the Buddha's time. However, nowadays in Taiwan, where there is a large number of bhik.su.niis, this rule is not very strictly observed. In the case of a woman who cannot get consent from her parents or husband, it is argued that an adult woman has a legal right to act on her own behalf and make her own decision without anybody's consent.
 Tan-wu-te lu-pu tza che-mo (The Karma of the Dharmagupta Vinaya), T.22, pp.1047c- 1048a.
 Ssu-fen Lu, T.22, pp.810c-p.811a. The Mahaasa^nghika Vinaya specifies that a 'crow-chasing `sraama.nera' is between the age of seven to thirteen (T.22, p.461b).
 Akira Hirakawa, Monastic Discipline for Buddhist Nuns, Kashhi Prasad Jayasawal Research Institute: Patna, 1982, p.299.
 Ssu-fen Lu, T.22, p.756a-b.
 Shih-sung Lu, T.23, p.326a.
 T.22, p.1037c. Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Sisters in Solitude, Sri Satguru Publication: Delhi, 1997, p.54.
 For a discussion of the `sik.samaa.naa precepts in the various Vinaya traditions, see Hirakawa, Monastic Discipline for the Buddhist Nuns, pp.53-54.
 T.22, p.924b-c.
 T.23, p.1005a.
 T.22, p.1048a.
 Karma means religious action, service or performance; it refers to the meeting of the monks or nuns for the purpose of ordination, confession, or expulsion of the unrepentant. (A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms, compiled by William Soothill, Buddhist Culture Service, Fukuangshan, Taiwan, p.442.)
 T.22, p.1048b.
 T.22, p.1048c.
 According to the Muulasarvaastivaada Vinaya, there should be twelve Bhik.su.nii precept masters.
 I.B. Horner, The Book of the Discipline, vol.5, p.375.
 Hirakawa, p.60-62.
 T. 22, p.1048c.
 T.24, p.461c-462a. The questions include: (1) whether the candidate has received permission from her parents or husband; (2) whether she has completed the two year study of the precepts; (3) whether she has committed a serious offense (such as killing her parents); (4) whether she has a upaadhyayinii; (5) whether she is a woman; (6) and whether she has diseases such as leprosy, scabies, tuberculosis, mental disease, etc.
 A bhik.su.nii should have three robes (ka.saaya): 1. Sa^nghaa.tii (assembly robe), 2. Uttaraasa^ngha (upper robe), and 3. Antaravaasaka (vest or shirt).
 T.22, p.1049a.
 T.22, p.1049b.
 In the Mahii`saasakaa and Dharmgupta Vinayas, four ni`srayas are mentioned, the other Vinayas mention only three.
 In the Maahasa^nghika, Sarvaastivaada and Muulasarvaastivaada Vinayas, the three ni`srayas are explained before taking the upasa^mpadaa to make sure that the candidate understands the austere life she will have to lead. However, in the Dharmagupta and the Pali Vinaya, the ni`srayas are explained after the upasa.mpadaa.
 Nowadays in both Chinese and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, it is a common practice for the bhik.sus to ordain laywomen and confer the `sraama.nerikaa vows. However, this practice is not in accord with the Vinaya.
 Horner, p. 144.
 The so-called 'three-platform ordination' includes the `sraama.nerkaa and `sik.samaa.naa.na, upasa^mpadaa (bhik.su and bhik.su.nii), and bodhisattva ordinations. Usually it takes one month for all the procedures.
 According to all the Vinaya traditions, women should take the pravrajyaa, `sraama.nerikaa, `sik.samaa.naa, and bhik.su.nii ordinations from the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha. Therefore, strictly speaking, a bhik.su should not ordain a woman as his disciple. However, the ordination of female disciples by bhik.sus is a very common practice in Taiwanese and Tibetan Buddhism.
 The Biographies of Bhik.su.niis (Pi-ch'iu-ni chuan), compiled in 516 A.D. by the monk Pao-ch'ang, record the lives of sixty-five eminent bhik.su.niis. For the English translation of this text, see Kathryn Ann Tsai, Lives of the Nuns, University of Hawaii Press, 1994.
 T.50, p.934c.
 During Ching-chien's time, the Dharmagupta Karman, which describes the karma procedures for the ordination of bhik.su.niis, had already been translated, but it was probably not available in south China. The Sarvaastivaada Vinaya was the first complete version of the Vinaya to be translated and it was not completed until 404 A.D. This is why Fa-shih said that the 'precepts' were incomplete.
 T.50, p.934c.
 An other name for the Chieh-yin-yuan-ching is Pi-na-yeh (Vinaya), T.24. pp.851b-899c.
 The Vinaya texts that Gu.navarman translated include the Hsa-hsin, the Karman of the Dharmagupta Vinaya, the Brief Treatise on the Five Precepts of the Upaasaka, and the Twenty-two Precepts of the Upaasaka, etc. (T.50, p.340a).
43] T.50, p.341b and T.50, pp.342b.
 Kathryn A. Tsai, tr., Lives of the Nuns, p. 53.
 There is another record of the arrival of the bhik.su.niis from India in the Pi-ch'iu-ni Shou-chieh Lu (The Record of the Bhik.su.niis' Taking Precepts). This text says, 'During the end of Han Dynasty and the beginning of Wei Dynasty (around 220 A.D.) two bhik.su.niis from eastern India came to [the Capital] Chang-an. They asked the Chinese nuns from whom they had received the precepts. They replied that they had only taken the five and ten precepts from the bhik.su sa^ngha. These two Indian bhik.su.niis sighed and said that the nuns of the borderland (i.e., Chinese nuns) were not fully ordained. They then returned to their country and solicited fifteen bhik.su.niis to come to China to administer the bhik.su.nii ordination; of these bhik.su.niis three died in the snow mountains and two died from falling into dark gorges. Only ten of them survived and reached China. Thereupon many Chinese nuns went to the capital city to receive the full ordination. Later these Indian bhik.su.niis went to the area of Wu (south of Yangtze River) and gave ordination to Chinese nuns there, too.' (Hsu Tsang Ching, vol.60, p.708b.) This account is not found anywhere except the Pi-ch'iu-ni Shou-chieh Lu by Hung-tsang. Since this text was not written until the seventeen century, its authenticity is dubious.
 Kathryn A. Tsai, p.54; T.50, p.939c.
 T.50, p.341b.
 For a bhik.su.nii to be qualified to act as a preceptor she must have been a fully ordained as a bhik.su.nii for more than twelve years.
 There should be ten bhik.su.niis (the three preceptors and three witnesses) to confer bhik.su.nii ordination.
 T.50, p.341b.
 In the biography of the nun Pao-hsien, the year given for this ordination is 434 C.E.
 Manji Zokuzo Kyo (Hsu Tsang Ching), Pai-ma Publisher, Taipei, vol.64, p.454.
 The nun Hui-kuo asked Gu.navarman, 'All the Buddhist nuns here in China who earlier received the obligation to keep the rules did not receive according to the fundamentals of the rituals. They had as their eminent precedent the Buddha's step-mother, Mahaaprajaapatii. But those first Chinese nuns did not know, and neither do I, whether there is any difference [between Mahaaprajaapatii's situation and that of the nuns who came after her].' Gu.navarman replied, 'There is no difference.' Hui-kuo continued, 'According to the literature of the monastic regulations that I have read, the teacher who administers the rules and the obligation to follow them has committed an offense by permitting women to receive the rules from the Assembly of Monks only. [Therefore, how can there be no difference?' ] (Kathryn A. Tsai, Lives of the Nuns, p.37; T.50, p.937b.)
 T.50, p. 937b.
 Dao-hai, 'Discussion of Bhik.su.nii Ordination and its Lineage in China: Based on Scriptures of Chinese Vinaya and Historical facts,' paper delivered in the 1st Seminar of Vinaya Scholars Concerning the Lineage of Bhik.su.nii Ordination, Dharamsala, 3-5 August, 1998, p.18
 The 'precept age' refers to the number of years a monk or nun has been fully ordained as a bhik.su or bhik.su.nii.
 T.49, p.344c.
 Kathryn A. Tsai, Lives of the Nuns, p.17.
 For a detailed study of bhik.su.niis in T'ang Dynasty, see Yu-chen Lee, T'ang-Tai Te Pi-chiu-ni (Bhik.su.niis in the T'ang), Hsieh-shen Publisher, 1989.
 In almost every important dynasty, the biographies of eminent monks were compiled, but this was not the case with regard to bhik.su.niis.
 Heng-ching Shih, 'Chinese Bhik.su.niis in the Ch'an Tradition,' Philosopher's Review, vol.15, 1992, pp.181-207.
 This persecution did not last very long. Although hundreds of thousands of monks and nuns were forced to return to lay life, still many escaped from the persecution. After Emperor Hsuan-Tsang (846~859 A.D.), Wu-tsung's successor, ascended the throne he ordered that state ordination platforms be built to re-ordain the monks and nuns forced to return to lay status. Therefore, despite this devastating persecution, neither the bhik.su nor the bhik.su.nii lineage was broken.
 T.49. p.465c.
 T.54, p.252a.
 T.54, p.238c.
 Dao-hai, 'Discussion of Bhik.su.nii Ordination and Its Lineage in China: Based on Scriptures of Chinese Vinaya and Historical Facts,' p.5.
 T.49, p.463a.
 T.49, p.404a.
 For a partial translation of the Fo-tsu tung-chi, see Jan Yun-hua, A Chronicle of Buddhism in China 581~960 A.D., Vi`sva-Bharati:Calcutta, 1966.
 T.49, p.396b.
 Hsu-tsan Ching, vol.107, p.94.
 Ibid., p.115.
 Ibid., p.93.
 Hung-yi, Lu-hsueh Yao-lueh, in Hung-yi Ta-shih Fa-chi, vol.3, p.1531.
 Among the Bhik.su.nii ordinations held in Taiwan in recent years, a few of them were conferred by both sa^nghas, while the others were by the bhik.su sa^ngha only.
 Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Sisters in Solitude, p.136.
 Ibid., p.140.
 Kabilsingh, p.74.
 Kabilsingh, pp.94-96.
 T.22, pp.1037b-1038a; T.24, p.514-515a.
 T.22, pp.754c-755a; Sacred Books of the Buddhists, vol.20, p.385.
 In the Tibetan translation of the Muulasarvaastivaadin Bhik.su.nii Praatimok.saa, there are 113 `saik.sa rules. (Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Sisters in Solitude, pp.120-127.)
 Shih Hui-min, 'chung-tu Pi-ch'iu-ni chuan-ch'eng yu Tsi-tsang pi-ch'iu-ni seng-tuan chih ch'ung-chien,' the Journal of the Center for Buddhist Studies, National Taiwan University, vol. 3, 1998, p.l2.
 W. Pachow, 'A Comparative Study of the Praatimok.sa,' In Sino-Indian Studies, Vol. IV, part 2, ed., P.C. Bagchi, Shantiniketan, India, 1955, p.69.
 Before the Buddha entered parinirva^na, he told Aananda that 'the lesser and minor rules may be abolished.' (I.B. Horner, the Book of the Discipline, vol.5, p.398.)
 Due to political tensions between Communist China and Tibet, it is unlikely, though not impossible that both sides will consider cooperating on this religious issue. Thus, the bhik.su.niis in Taiwan are probably the best choice for the Tibetan tradition. Besides, the bhik.su.nii sa^ngha in Taiwan is now very strong and vital.
 Tibetan bhik.sus can also choose to confer the full ordination only once, and wait for twelve years until the Tibetan bhik.su.niis become qualified to conduct the dual ordination in conjunction with Tibetan bhik.sus.
 The same logic can apply to the `sraama.nerikaa and `sik.samaa.naa ordinations. Until Tibetan bhik.su.niis are available, the bhik.su sa^ngha can legitimately give the ordinations to Tibetan nuns.