Author Topic: The Buddha's Attitude to Women  (Read 2514 times)

DarkNightOfNoSoul

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The Buddha's Attitude to Women
« on: March 17, 2013, 06:52:52 AM »
I've read in a couple of places (e.g., "The Life of the Buddha: According to the Pali Cannon" by Bikkhu Nanamoli) that the Buddha was initially very reluctant to allow women to become nuns, and had to be convinced by his attendant Ananda. One passage goes along these lines:

"We are told that after the Buddha left Kapilavatthu he went to Vesali, a distance of 200 or 300 miles. Meanwhile Mahapajapati had her hair cut off and put on the yellow cloth. With a number of Sakiyan women she set out for Vesali. On arrival there she went to the Peaked Gable Hall in the Great Wood, and she stood there outside the porch. Her feet were swollen, her limbs covered with dust, and she was sad and unhappy with tears on her face and sobbing. Sakiyan ladies of rank were not accustomed to travel in this manner for they usually journeyed by palanquin or upon elephants. Then venerable Ananda, who was especially compassionate with the troubles of women, saw her and asked what she did there. She told him that the Exalted One had not allowed her to become a Bhikkhuni, so he offered to ask the Buddha again. The answer was still the same but venerable Ananda was not deterred by this for he thought, 'But suppose I asked the Exalted One in another way?' So he asked if it was possible for women to attain to the noble Paths and Fruits after Going forth? Could they attain Arahantship? The Buddha replied that it was possible for them to do so..."

Then there is a lot of back-and-forth between the Buddha and Ananda, and eventually the Buddha (seemingly reluctantly) finally allowed women to become bhikkhunis - but with a whole bunch of restrictions that didn't apply to men.

All this kind of bugs me, as the Buddha was supposed to be an enlightened being, yet seemed to be burdened by the bias against women that was common in his time.

Any thoughts?

Vivek

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Re: The Buddha's Attitude to Women
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2013, 07:43:16 AM »
I don't think the Buddha had any issue with laywoman following the path and practicing Dhamma. Maybe, his reluctance was specific to them joining the monastic order?
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Matthew

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Re: The Buddha's Attitude to Women
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2013, 05:02:14 PM »
The history was passed orally for 200+ years. It will have inaccuracies.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Re: The Buddha's Attitude to Women
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2013, 06:01:07 PM »
here is how it goes in the book " the great disciples of buddha"

the decision made by a fully enlighten being is without doubt has considered all possible options and is the best. An enlightened being cannot make mistakes.

so if buddha thought it was a bad option from the start he would never have changed this mind.
but what he wanted to really see was the bukkunis will to renounce and follow the hard ship of a bukku. As stated the mahapajapathi and others were bleeding in their feet when they reached buddha.

also everything needs to be done properly, even buddha had to wait few years to accept untouchables to sangha. if he had done that first then people would have beaten him to death and all would be over.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 06:17:57 PM by siddharthgode »

Re: The Buddha's Attitude to Women
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2013, 06:16:15 PM »
here is how i do it after listening to any story of buddha.

there is a true buddha character in all of us. i see if that buddha would say the same. if he wouldnt then the story has some flaws.  ;D

Matthew

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Re: The Buddha's Attitude to Women
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2013, 09:04:13 AM »
here is how i do it after listening to any story of buddha.

there is a true buddha character in all of us. i see if that buddha would say the same. if he wouldnt then the story has some flaws.  ;D

Yaha +1
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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