Women can be Buddha

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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby Yeshe » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:10 pm

Will wrote:
Ana wrote:There was a topic here somewhere about women being Buddhas or not.
Woman can be Buddha and if who you call "the buddha" has said that woman can not be buddha then he himself was not a buddha.

how can an enlightened spirit, man or woman, leave his wife and his son behind and still be considered a Buddha? :lol:
it is said that Gautama instructed his son but nowhere it is said that he also instructed his wife.
this is not a gentleman's attitude :rules: and much less an attitude of an enlightened spirit.

the thing is, just like the world and its creatures are evolving, so is Buddha-nature - an ongoing process, an ongoing nature, always evolving
and in this sense not all is known, not all is discovered
even Buddha nature goes on evolving, reaching new possibilities, new peaks

the times back then demanded the conditions and the circumstances but everything is changing (culturally/socially)
the so called Buddha said that he didn't see any woman in any of the aeons he visited, but this statement is highly material because it implies that what he saw were men, and well, in the spiritual world there are no genders so how come he saw penises? aren't penises part of the physical world and physical body?
as far as it makes sense the spiritual world of aeons is not about physical charateristics therefore what he saw were just beings of light, not man and not woman.

in the future there will be Buddha women
all it takes is the courage and the choice of that next enlightened being to come as a woman

this is it


Well, that settles it; guess there is nothing left to do but dump the Dharma and wait for the Divine Mother to appear. :roll:



Jainism holds the view that birth as a man is required to become fully enlightened.
I thought Buddhism had a less male-obsessed and archaic attitude. If Buddhism is to have worth today it needs to have relevance to now, not teachings given to suit men 2,500 years ago.
The Dhamma is not sexist, yet there is always an element which espouses consistently fundamentalist and literalist views - no rebirth , no women Buddhas etc etc.

The story of Khema is interesting in this light:

''Decked out in royal splendor with silk and sandalwood, she went to the monastery. The Exalted One spoke to her and explained the law of impermanence of all conditioned beauty to her. She penetrated this sermon fully and still dressed in royal garments, she attained to enlightenment. Just like the monk, Mahakappina — a former king — she likewise became liberated through the power of the Buddha's words while still dressed in the garments of the laity. With her husband's permission she joined the Order of Nuns. Such an attainment, almost like lightning, is only possible however where the seed of wisdom has long been ripening and virtue is fully matured.

An ordinary person, hearing Khema's story, only sees the wonder of the present happening. A Buddha can see beyond this and knows that this woman did not come to full liberation accidentally. It came about like this: In former times when a Buddha appeared in the world, then Khema in those past lives also appeared near him, or so it has been recounted. Due to her inner attraction towards the highest Truth, she always came to birth wherever the bearer and proclaimer of such Truth lived. It is said that already innumerable ages ago she had sold her beautiful hair to give alms to the Buddha Padumuttara. During the time of the Buddha Vipassi, ninety-one eons ago, she had been a teacher of Dhamma. Further it is told, that during the three Buddhas of our happy eon, which were previous to our Buddha Gautama, she was a lay disciple and gained happiness through building monasteries for the Sangha.''


Another nun, Uttara II, reported how Patacara spoke to the group of nuns about conduct and discipline:

Having established mind,
One-pointed, well-developed,
Investigate formations
As other, not as self.

(Thig 177)

Uttara took Patacara's words to heart and said:

When I heard these words —
Patacara's advice,
After washing my feet —
I sat down alone.

(Thig 178)

Thereby this nun, too, was able to attain to the three "True Knowledges" (vijja) and final liberation.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el292.html

No such problem in the Mahayana - Kwan Yin, Tara etc. LOL :)

Hmmm. ;)
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:12 pm

Upasaka wrote:Jainism holds the view that birth as a man is required to become fully enlightened.

Only in the Digambara sect. The Svetembara holds that women can attain release (moksha), roughly equivalent to Nibbana (but not exactly the same). And the Svetembara believes that one of the prior 24 Tirthankaras (roughly equivalent to samma-sam-buddha) was a woman.

But the Digambara is probably the oldest, original form of Jainism.
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:17 pm

Upasaka wrote:No such problem in the Mahayana - Kwan Yin, Tara etc. LOL :)

If you are referring to the history of misogyny in Buddhism, the Mahayana has not fared any better.

All of the Zen patriarchs from Bodhidharma through modern times were male.

All of the Dalai Lamas from the first to the current Tenzin Gyatso, were male. The search committee only looks for males for a high ranking lama's future rebirth.

The Theravada has a record of many fully enlightened bhikkhunis, recorded in the Pali Canon as shown in some of the quotes you provided.
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:38 pm

As I understand it, both women and men can become enlightened. But it is a male that becomes a sammasambuddha. So the OP is simply incorrect.

:anjali:
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby DhammaDan » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:04 am

I am curious as to why some members believe women cannot become Sammasambuddhas.
Is it because they're UNABLE?
Or because it's just not (yet?) said to happen?

I'm not really favoring either way. I just want to know where the support for the negative view comes from.

And what of Paccekabuddhas?...
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:24 am

Hi DhammaDan,

People say it because it's what the Buddha is quoted as saying in MN115
http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/M ... mn-115.htm

Metta
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby pink_trike » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:43 am

TheDhamma wrote:
Upasaka wrote:No such problem in the Mahayana - Kwan Yin, Tara etc. LOL :)

All of the Dalai Lamas from the first to the current Tenzin Gyatso, were male. The search committee only looks for males for a high ranking lama's future rebirth.

The current Dalai Lama has said that the next Dalai Lama may be a women.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby SeerObserver » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:11 am

Adding value to what Tex said, you must understand anatta and try to apply it as best you can. Our gender does not reflect the true nature of what we are. In samsara, we have undergone infinite rebirths as many forms of sentient life, be they female, male, human, animal, insect. Gender is a mere external appearance in your latest birth and you must not attach and engage in this self-identification. It will not bring you closer to arahathip, but rather fuels a fetter that hinders you on that path.

Ana wrote:how can an enlightened spirit, man or woman, leave his wife and his son behind and still be considered a Buddha? :lol:
it is said that Gautama instructed his son but nowhere it is said that he also instructed his wife.
this is not a gentleman's attitude and much less an attitude of an enlightened spirit.

Not a gentleman's attitude? It is the ultimate compassionate attitude. The former, your gentleman knight in shining armor, would "take care" of his family in this lifetime, but allow them to remain in the same cycle of samsara destined for birth, aging, decay, sickness, suffering, and death. The latter, a Tathagata, would find a way to lift this curse and return to teach them this way.

Ana wrote:So I think it's better we wait for the next Buddha, or someone enlightened enough to clarify this issue for us.

There are more important matters to tend to for reasons already stated. Best to make use of whatever exposure one has to a Buddha, if they should be so fortunate, by learning of matters that will actually be conducive to arahatship.

Ana wrote:you will ALL be women in the next reincarnation
so I don't really see the point in your defensive attitude

Who's the one being sexist? Is this a condemnation (saying that they'll be born as women as punishment) or a seeming ill wish? Look at the context in which this is stated. In either case, you could not possibly know this to be remotely true.

With you having said this, is a lifetime (a mere lifetime is nothing in the grand scheme of things) as a woman a punishment for past misdeeds? Being born with other conditions are seen as such. There are some conditions that some are born with that prevent them from certain attainments in that particular lifetime. In your example, these people will be born as women and therefore possibly unable to make that attainment in their next particular lifetime as a result of what you would consider an oppressive attitude towards women.
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:16 am

i took some online test that said i'll be reborn as a woman in favorable circumstances in my next life... maybe i should start complaining about all this now :thinking: :tongue:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Women cannot be Buddha etc.

Postby Will » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:55 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi DhammaDan,

People say it because it's what the Buddha is quoted as saying in MN115
http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/M ... mn-115.htm

Metta
Mike


Buddha also knew that a woman could not be Yama, Brahmaa, Chakravartin etc.

It is impossible that a woman should be the perfect rightfully Enlightened One. It is possible that a man should be the perfect rightfully Enlightened One. It is impossible that a woman should be the Universal Monarch It is possible that a man should be the Universal Monarch. It is impossible that a woman should be the King of Gods. It is possible that a man should be the King of Gods. It is impossible that a woman should be the King of Death. It is possible that a man should be the King of Death. It is impossible that a woman should be Brahma. It is possible that a man should be Brahma.
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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Re: Women cannot be Buddha etc.

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:02 pm

Will wrote:Buddha also knew that a woman could not be Yama, Brahmaa, Chakravartin etc.

Also a woman cannot be Mara. As some women I know would say, 'it is true, only a man can be Mara.' :twisted:

In the Buddhist cosmology, Mara, like the other 'deva' positions is like an 'office-holder' subject to rebirth and 'someone else' takes his position, another male.
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby Yeshe » Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:20 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
Upasaka wrote:No such problem in the Mahayana - Kwan Yin, Tara etc. LOL :)

If you are referring to the history of misogyny in Buddhism, the Mahayana has not fared any better.

All of the Zen patriarchs from Bodhidharma through modern times were male.

All of the Dalai Lamas from the first to the current Tenzin Gyatso, were male. The search committee only looks for males for a high ranking lama's future rebirth.

The Theravada has a record of many fully enlightened bhikkhunis, recorded in the Pali Canon as shown in some of the quotes you provided.


Nope. I agree with you. :)

I was simply stating that the Mahayana has some very high profile female Buddhas and so appears to have no obvious problem acknowledging them as such.

As for the Mahayana having its share of bad clerics, I know of no monastic community free from corruption, be it the sodomy of boy monk 'consorts', political oppression or mysogeny.

As for the Dalai Lama, who knows what is going on :shrug: :

I have heard that he will identify his successor before he dies.
I have heard that he says he will not seek rebirth.
Both statements make a nonsense of any search for a DL or Tulku.

But then, I have also heard that he used to travel with his female consort who has borne him a child and is now no longer seen in public with him. Maybe the son is his 'successor' and he fancies a royal dynasty. LOL :)
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby green » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:59 pm

Upasaka wrote:
TheDhamma wrote:
Upasaka wrote:No such problem in the Mahayana - Kwan Yin, Tara etc. LOL :)

If you are referring to the history of misogyny in Buddhism, the Mahayana has not fared any better.

All of the Zen patriarchs from Bodhidharma through modern times were male.

All of the Dalai Lamas from the first to the current Tenzin Gyatso, were male. The search committee only looks for males for a high ranking lama's future rebirth.

The Theravada has a record of many fully enlightened bhikkhunis, recorded in the Pali Canon as shown in some of the quotes you provided.


Nope. I agree with you. :)

I was simply stating that the Mahayana has some very high profile female Buddhas and so appears to have no obvious problem acknowledging them as such.

As for the Mahayana having its share of bad clerics, I know of no monastic community free from corruption, be it the sodomy of boy monk 'consorts', political oppression or mysogeny.

As for the Dalai Lama, who knows what is going on :shrug: :

I have heard that he will identify his successor before he dies.
I have heard that he says he will not seek rebirth.
Both statements make a nonsense of any search for a DL or Tulku.

But then, I have also heard that he used to travel with his female consort who has borne him a child and is now no longer seen in public with him. Maybe the son is his 'successor' and he fancies a royal dynasty. LOL :)


I have read all the major Mahayana suttas. Which one says that a woman can become a sammasambuddho?
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:04 am

in what language? the mahayana canon isnt even completly into english yet....

also even in the lotus sutra the dragon girl turns into a man, so she can be a buddha but as a man...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby Fede » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:43 am

Who knows?
Who cares?
Why care?

Does it affect your practice now?

probably not.

If you're a man in this life, why worry?

if you're a woman in this life, why worry?

Just practice.

The rest will unfold as it unfolds.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:09 pm

Fede wrote:Why care?

Agreed.
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:51 pm

pink_trike wrote:The current Dalai Lama has said that the next Dalai Lama may be a woman.

:thumbsup:

Cool, but I'd almost bet money that it will still be a male that they "find" to be the rebirth of Tenzin Gyatso.
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:54 pm

green wrote:I have read all the major Mahayana suttas. Which one says that a woman can become a sammasambuddho?

I don't know which one or if there is one, but Kwan Yin, Tara, and others are not samma-sam-buddhas. A samma-sam-buddha rediscovers the teachings after they have died out.

In that sense, from a Theravada perspective, Kwan Yin and Tara (if they "exist") would be Arahants, no higher (or lower) than the hundreds, perhaps thousands of bhikkhunis who attained enlightenment during the life of the Buddha.
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby Yeshe » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:16 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
green wrote:I have read all the major Mahayana suttas. Which one says that a woman can become a sammasambuddho?

I don't know which one or if there is one, but Kwan Yin, Tara, and others are not samma-sam-buddhas. A samma-sam-buddha rediscovers the teachings after they have died out.

In that sense, from a Theravada perspective, Kwan Yin and Tara (if they "exist") would be Arahants, no higher (or lower) than the hundreds, perhaps thousands of bhikkhunis who attained enlightenment during the life of the Buddha.


In Tantra, there are many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, both male and female. There are tantric texts supporting their status, but I don't know if 'green' has read any of them. Kwan Yin of course is simply a female version (rather than an emanation) of the male Buddha Avalokiteshvara, so has exactly the same status. Tantric practices contain such descriptions, but it would not be proper to elaborate.

Of course, all sutras and all histories are open to question, so it would be wrong to disown any, as we have no way of judging their provenance.

The historical figure called the 'Buddha' is quoted as a source both in Theravada and Mahayana scriptures - I have no reason to believe that his biographers and 'scribes' did not transmit an interpetation of the teachings which favoured themselves, as happens with many other religions.

The point is well made that it depends upon our own mind and the 'reality' it accepts. The Madhyamika Prasangika view, repeated in the scriptures, is that Buddhas all lack inherent existence, male or female or other. ;)

Berzin explains: http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... ra_04.html
Last edited by Yeshe on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Women can be Buddha

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:24 pm

there is good reason to doubt some sutras, in fact any sutra that mentions it being wrten down and copied would be a fraud as the buddha lived in an oral culture so the process being talked about would come from a later time. also some of the mahayana sutras mention debates going on within the sangha that happened hindreds of years after the buddha, so again a good indicator that the sutra is a fraud. if i found a sutra that said "at that time the buddha had just got back from 7-11 and had blue lips from the slushie he had just eaten" i should know it can't really have come from the time of the buddha right? same with these sutras that mention things that are also historically inacurate.
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สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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