The Vinaya is the second part of the Tipitaka, the sacred scriptures of Buddhism, the other parts being the Sutta Pitaka and the Abhidhamma Pitaka.
The word vinaya means ‘discipline’ and refers to the rules Buddhist monks and nuns must abide by. The Vinaya Pitaka contains three divisions – the Suttavibhanga, the Khandhaka and the Parivàra. The first of these contains the Patimokkha, the 227 rules for monks and the 311 rules for nuns, and a commentary on them. The Khandhaka contains various monastic procedures such as ordination and monastic administration. The last part of the Vinaya is an appendix dealing with monastic law. The earliest part of the Vinaya Pitaka is the Patimokkha, while the rest evolved over a long period of time in the centuries after the Buddha.