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A young Buddhist nun in Thailand
Buddhist nuns in Ban Pha Cuk, Thailand

A śrāmaṇerī (Sanskrit; Pāli: sāmaṇerī; traditional Chinese: 沙彌尼; ; pinyin: Shāmíní) is a novice nun in the Buddhist tradition. Male novice monks are called śrāmaṇeras.


  • Etymology 1
  • Overview 2
  • See also 3
  • External links 4


The word śrāmaṇerī is the feminine form of śrāmaṇera, which literally means "lesser śramaṇa".


A woman is to be ordained, according to the traditional vinayas, by both a monk and a nun, first as a śrāmaṇerī. Śrāmaṇeras and śrāmaṇerīs keep the Ten Precepts as their code of behaviour, and are devoted to the Buddhist religious life during a break from secular schooling, or in conjunction with it if devoted to formal ordination.

The Ten Precepts upheld by śrāmaṇerīs are:

  1. Refrain from killing living things.
  2. Refrain from stealing.
  3. Refrain from unchastity (sensuality, sexuality, lust).
  4. Refrain from lying.
  5. Refrain from taking intoxicants.
  6. Refrain from taking food at inappropriate times (after noon).
  7. Refrain from singing, dancing, playing music or attending entertainment programs (performances).
  8. Refrain from wearing perfume, cosmetics and garlands (decorative accessories).
  9. Refrain from sitting on high chairs and sleeping on luxurious, soft beds.
  10. Refrain from accepting money.

After a year or at the age of 20, she will be ordained as a full bhikṣuṇī (Pali: bhikkhuni).

See also

External links

  • ) Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro BhikkhuBhikkhuni PatimokkhaThe Bhikkhunis' Code of Discipline (
  • Buddhist Monastic Code II: Bhikkhunis
  • the website of Bhante Sujato's Writings contains several (ancient and modern) texts on the role and ordination of women in Buddhism.
  • Bhikkhuni committee of the ASA includes a large resource of articles regarding Bhikkhunis
  • Monastic Resources - Training
  • "Female Monks In Buddhism", by Dhammacaro (07/23/2005).
  • "Vinaya Pitaka", brief description includes "Order of ordination for men and women...."

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