The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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In Buddhism, a sikkhamānā is a female novice (Pali: Samaneri) training to become a nun (Pali: Bhikkhuni). In the Vinaya Pitaka's Cullavagga X.1.4, the Buddha prescribed that this training period is to be two years long, supervised by both a Monk and a nun.
A young woman should be ordained, according to Theravada tradition, by both a Monk and a nun, first as a Samaneri. Then, after a year or at the age of 20, she will be ordained as a full Bhikkhuni. The Theravada Vinaya has 311 rules of discipline for bhikkhunis. Within Chinese society, as an example, members of The Sangha are expected to renounce family connections and accept The Sangha as their family.