Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2012 | 14 | 147-168

Article title

Nuns involving in the affairs of the world. The depiction of Buddhist nuns in Bhavabhūti’s Mālatīmādhava


Title variants

Languages of publication



In Bhavabhūti’s play, the Mālatīmādhava, we find the characters of three Buddhist nuns. Though by no means negative or disreputable characters, these nuns nevertheless display a behaviour that contravenes some explicitly stated precepts of the Buddhist dharma, such as lying, acting as go-betweens and encouraging others to commit suicide. This paper examines in detail the nuns’ behaviour, trying to assess what merely belongs to the realm of dramatic fiction, and what might correspond – at least to some extent – to reality.






Physical description


  • University of Lausanne


  • Balogh, D., Somogyi E. (2009). Transl. Mālavikā and Agnimitra by Kālidāsa. The Clay Sanskrit Library: New York University Press, JJC Foundation
  • Berglie, P., Suneson, C. (1986). Arhatschaft und Selbstmord – zur buddhistischen Interpretation von cetanābhabba / cetanādharman und attasaṃcetanā / ātmasaṃcetanā. In: Kalyāṇamitrārāgaṇam. Essays in Honour of Nils Simonsson, pp. 13-47. Ed. Eivind Kahrs. Oslo: Norwegian University Press
  • Delhey, M. (2006). Views on Suicide in Buddhism: Some Remarks. In: Buddhism and Violence, pp. 25-63. Ed. Michael Zimmermann, with the assistance of Chiew Hui Ho and Philip Pierce. Lumbini: Lumbini International Research Institute
  • Doniger, W., Kakar S. (2002). Vatsyayana Mallanaga. Kamasutra. A new, complete English translation of the Sanskrit text. Oxford: Oxford UniversityDoniger, W. (2006). Transl. The Lady of the Jewel Necklace and The Lady who Shows her Love by Harṣa. The Clay Sanskrit Library: New York University Press, JJC Foundation Press
  • Hirakawa, A. (1982). Monastic Discipline for the Buddhist Nuns. An English Translation of the Chinese Text of the Mahāsāṃghika-Bhikṣuṇī-Vinaya. Patna: Kashi Prasad Jayaswal Research Institute
  • Jyväsjärvi, M. (2007). Parivrājikā and Pravrajitā: Categories of Ascetic Women in Dharmaśāstra and Vinaya Commentaries. In: Indologica Taurinensia XXXIII: 73-92
  • Kāle, M. R. (ed. 1967). Bhavabhūti’s Mālatīmādhava. With the Commentary of Jagaddhara. Ed. with a literal English Translation, Notes, and Introduction. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass
  • Mirashi, V. V. (1974). Bhavabhūti. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass
  • Norman, K. R. (1969-1971). The Elders’ Verses. Translated with an introduction and notes. 2 Vols. Pali Text Society. Translation series, 38, 40. London: Luzac
  • Roth, G. (1970). Bhikṣuṇī-Vinaya. Manual of Discipline for Buddhist Nuns. Patna: Jayaswal Research Institute
  • Schopen, G. (2010). Indian Monastic Buddhism. Collected Papers on Textual, Inscriptional and Archaeological Evidence. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. First published by the University of Hawai’i Press in two volumes: (Vol. 1) Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks: Collected Papers on the Archaeology, Epigraphy and Texts of Monastic Buddhism in India. 1997. (Vol 2) Buddhist Monks and Business Matters: Still More Papers on Monastic Buddhism in India. 2004
  • Schopen, G. (2012). The Buddhist Nun as an Urban Landlord and a “Legal Person” in Early India. In: Devadattīyam. Johannes Bronkhorst Felicitation Volume, pp. 595-609. Ed. François Voegeli, Vincent Eltschinger, Danielle Feller, Maria Piera Candotti, Bogdan Diaconescu and Malhar Kulkarni. Bern: Peter Lang
  • Silk, J. A. (2008). Managing Monks: Administrators and Administrative Roles in Indian Buddhist Monasticism. New York: Oxford University Press
  • Srī Devdatta Sāstrī. (ed. 1982). The Kāmasūtram of Srī Vātsyāyana Muni. Ed. with Hindi Commentary. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.