Thus have I heard: At one time the Blessed One was staying at Vesāli, in the hall with the gabled roof in the Great Forest. Then Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī approached the Blessed One; paid homage, and stood on one side. Standing there she said to him: “It would be good, venerable sir, if the Blessed One would teach me Dhamma in brief so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, and resolute.”
“Those things, Gotamī, regarding which you know, ‘These things lead to passion (sarāgāya), not to dispassion (virāgāya); to bondage (saṃyogāya), not to freedom from bondage (visaṃyogāya); to accumulation (ācayāya), not to relinquishment (apacayāya); to having many wishes (mahicchatāya), not to having few wishes (appicchatāya); to discontent (asantuṭṭhiyā), not to contentment (santuṭthiyā); to association (saṅgaṇikāya), not to seclusion (pavivekāya); to laziness (kosajjāya), not to arousing energy (vīriyārambhāya); to being easy to support (subharatāya), not to being hard to support (dubbharatāyā),’ definitely, Gotamī, you can decide, ‘This is not Dhamma, this is not Vinaya, this is not the Teacher’s instruction.’
“Those things, Gotamī, regarding which you know, ‘These things lead to dispassion, not to passion; to freedom from bondage, not to bondage; to relinquishment, not to accumulation; to having few wishes, not to having many wishes; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to association; to arousing energy, not to laziness; to being easy to support, not to being hard to support,’ definitely, Gotamī, you can decide, ‘This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher’s instruction.’”
Evaṃ me sutaṃ:
“Ekaṃ samayaṃ Bhagavā Vesāliyaṃ viharati mahāvane kūṭāgārasālāyaṃ. Atha kho mahāpajāpatī Gotamī yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ aṭṭhāsi. Ekamantaṃ ṭhitā kho sā mahāpajāpatī Gotamī Bhagavantaṃ etadavoca:–
“Sādhu me, bhante, Bhagavā saṃkhittena dhammaṃ desetu, yamahaṃ Bhagavato dhammaṃ sutvā ekā vūpakaṭṭhā appamattā ātāpinī pahitattā vihareyya”nti.
“Ye kho tvaṃ, Gotami, dhamme jāneyyāsi — ‘Ime dhammā sarāgāya saṃvattanti, no virāgāya; saṃyogāya saṃvattanti, no visaṃyogāya; ācayāya saṃvattanti, no apacayāya; mahicchatāya saṃvattanti, no appicchatāya; asantuṭṭhiyā saṃvattanti, no santuṭṭhiyā; saṅgaṇikāya saṃvattanti, no pavivekāya; kosajjāya saṃvattanti, no vīriyārambhāya; dubbharatāya saṃvattanti, no subharatāyā’ti, ekaṃsena, Gotami, dhāreyyāsi — ‘Neso dhammo, neso vinayo, netaṃ satthusāsana”’nti.
“Ye ca kho tvaṃ, Gotami, dhamme jāneyyāsi — ‘Ime dhammā virāgāya saṃvattanti, no sarāgāya; visaṃyogāya saṃvattanti, no saṃyogāya; apacayāya saṃvattanti, no ācayāya; appicchatāya saṃvattanti, no mahicchatāya; santuṭṭhiyā saṃvattanti, no asantuṭṭhiyā; pavivekāya saṃvattanti, no saṅgaṇikāya: vīriyārambhāya saṃvattanti, no kosajjāya; subharatāya saṃvattanti, no dubbharatāyā’ti, ekaṃsena, Gotami, dhāreyyāsi — ‘Eso dhammo, eso vinayo, etaṃ satthusāsana”’nti.
1. When nuns approach the Blessed One or monks, they remain standing as sitting alone with a man is an offence to be confessed for nuns, and sitting alone with women is an offence to be confessed for monks.
2. If a nun or a woman does not ask a question, a monk can teach Dhamma in five or six words (or sentences?). However, if she asks a question he can teach her in brief or in detail. If it’s not about Dhamma, but some other matter, such as giving instructions for a journey, or how to repair a hut, there is no limit. He can explain in as much detail as required, even if not asked.