Legend has it that the first Buddhistof nuns (Skt. bhikshuni) was already created during the ’s lifetime. Initially he is said to have been reluctant to accept nuns, but when his wet nurse and stepmother, Mahaprajapati, asked to be ordained and his disciple spoke up in her favour, the Buddha yielded.
To become a Buddhistor nun, one ‘takes refuge’ in the , is ordained, and agrees to accept strict monastic discipline. As with monks, the process of ordination occurs in two stages: a probationary period followed by acceptance into an order. The probationary period for nuns is longer, and they are obliged to follow more rules than monks.