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Eight Garudhammas

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The eight Garudhammas - Gurudharmas of the Bhikshuni Vinaya

The basic difference between Bhikshuni Vinaya and Bhikshu Vinaya (= discipline) are the eight rules of respect, known as The Eight Garudhammas.

According to scripture and legend they have come from Buddha Shakyamuni himself.

Buddha: Ananda, if Mahapajapati Gotami accepts eight vows of respect, that will be her full ordination (upasampada).



"(1) A bhikkhuni who has been fully ordained even for more than a century must bow down, rise up from her seat, salute with hands palm-to-palm over her heart, and perform the duties of respect to a bhikkhu even if he has been fully ordained only a day.

This rule is to be honored, respected, revered, venerated, never to be transgressed as long as she lives."


"(2)A bhikkhuni must not spend the rains in a residence where there is no bhikkhu...

"(3) Every half-month a bhikkhuni should request two things from the Bhikkhu Sangha: she should ask for the date of the uposatha day and come for an exhortation...

"(4) At the end of the Rains-residence, a bhikkhuni should invite (criticism both from) the Bhikkhu Sangha and the Bhikkhuni Sangha on any of three grounds: what they have seen, what they have heard, what they have suspected...

"(5) A bhikkhuni who has broken any of the vows of respect must undergo penance for half a month under both Sanghas...

"(6) Only after a probationer has trained in the six precepts for two years should she request ordination from both Sanghas...

"(7) A bhikkhu must not in any way be insulted or reviled by a bhikkhuni...

"(8) From this day forward, the admonition of a bhikkhu by a bhikkhuni is forbidden, but the admonition of a bhikkhuni by a bhikkhu is not forbidden.

This rule, too, is to be honored, respected, revered, venerated, never to be transgressed as long as she lives.

Buddha: "If Mahapajapati Gotami accepts these eight vows of respect, that will be her full ordination.".