Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberation

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberation

Postby starter » Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:57 am

DN 16 Mahāparinibbāna Sutta - The Great Passing, The Buddha's Last Days

"For the Blessed One, O Lord, spoke these words to me: 'I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until my bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have come to be true disciples — wise, well disciplined, apt and learned, (knowers and) preservers of the Dhamma, living according to the Dhamma, abiding by the appropriate conduct, and having learned the Master's word, are able to expound it, preach it, proclaim it, establish it, reveal it, explain it in detail, and make it clear; until, when false teachings arise, they shall be able to refute them thoroughly and well, and to preach this convincing and liberating Dhamma.'

"And now, O Lord, bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have become the Blessed One's disciples in just this way. So, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord."

This sutta shows that the Buddha had determined to have his Four-fold Sangha (noble disciples), including bhikkunis, fully established in the world even before he started his teaching career, and this Four-fold Sangha, including the bhikkuni order, shall be continued and developed to preserve and preach the Dhamma.

The Buddha created the bhikkuni order to better facilitate women's Dhamma practice and liberation, just as he created the bhikkhu order to facilitate men's practice. This led me to believe that bhikkuni should be the best vehicle for women's liberation, instead of 8- or 10-precept nun and etc. As followers of the Buddha, we should put faith in him and try to revive the bhikkuni order so that his Four-fold Sangha will be fully established again and continue to thrive in the world.

Metta to all!
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Re: Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberat

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:16 am

starter wrote:As followers of the Buddha, we should put faith in him and try to revive the bhikkuni order so that his Four-fold Sangha will be fully established again and continue to thrive in the world.


Revive? It has already been done. There are just some that don't accept them. I don't know the percentages, haven't seen any polls, but I see and hear a lot of people, monastic and lay that do accept the bhikkhunis and their ordinations.

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Re: Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberat

Postby reflection » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:38 am

In my eyes the bhikkhuni order has never been really gone. But I would like to see it grow more and I think that's what starter means with 'revive'.

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Re: Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberat

Postby Mr Man » Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:22 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
starter wrote:As followers of the Buddha, we should put faith in him and try to revive the bhikkuni order so that his Four-fold Sangha will be fully established again and continue to thrive in the world.


Revive? It has already been done. There are just some that don't accept them. I don't know the percentages, haven't seen any polls, but I see and hear a lot of people, monastic and lay that do accept the bhikkhunis and their ordinations.

Image


I don't think there has been much acceptance of bhikkunis in the traditional Theravada countries and no official recognition or consensus amongst the bhikku sangha. Have any senior monks in Thailand or Myanmar acknowledged the reestablishments of a (Theravada) bhikkhuni order?

http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2013/03/03/sri-lankas-bhikkhuni-order-in-deadlock/
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Re: Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberat

Postby melancholy » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:47 am

very interesting but very controversial topic. found this on google when i searched for something: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/cqtwo/2011/12/15/bhikkhuni-revival-of-the-womens-order/

Jake on 11 July 2012 at 12:33 am said:

Heard a lot about the bhikkhuni ordination, seems like lot of hatred. One ex-monk informed me about this document, it can be downloaded from http://www.scribd.com/doc/64780914/The- ... ning-Robes

In this document a Sri Lankan senior monk called Ariyadhamma says (on page 99), “starting a bhikkhuni dispensation means ‘grabbing the key to hell’s gate.” I was shocked how a Buddhist monk can hold such a narrow minded view, but then after reading the whole document it became clear, knowing lot of Dhamma superficially doesn’t mean that one has Dhamma within.

Truth is fascinating than fiction, one can learn a lot about modern Theravada Buddhism.

With METTA,
Jake
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Re: Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberat

Postby manas » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:09 am

Hi starter

I have not much comment, just wanted to say how much I loved the way you coined that title. I've not heard it put that way before. That's a clever play on words and meaning!

kind regards
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Re: Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberat

Postby plwk » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:47 am

By the way, if I may add a question here: how are Samaneris & Bhikkhunis addressed as?
I remember reading from Bhante Sujato that Bhikkhunis are addressed as 'ayya' or in a more formal teaching setting, an 'acarini'? Are there any other references used? Sorry if this has been highlighted before and missed by myself
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Re: Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberat

Postby starter » Sat May 03, 2014 1:55 am

Hello plwk,

To my limited knowledge, Bhikkunis are addressed as "ayya", the other female monastics are addressed as "sister". But some senior bhikkuni told me that "ayya" should be only used for the senior bhikkunis.

Can someone else clarify more?

Thanks and metta,

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Re: Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberat

Postby cooran » Sat May 03, 2014 5:49 am

This might be of interest:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayya_(Pali_word)

With metta,
Chris
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Re: Bhikkuni order, the Buddha's vehicle for Women's liberat

Postby waterchan » Sat May 03, 2014 5:03 pm

Mr Man wrote:Have any senior monks in Thailand or Myanmar acknowledged the reestablishments of a (Theravada) bhikkhuni order?


Not in Myanmar. I've heard of bhikkhunis living at monasteries in Thaiiland and one of them even posts here on occasion, but you won't see even a single bhikkhuni in Myanmar. That would be heresy.

One Burmese bhikkhuni who was ordained abroad was thrown into jail upon returning to Myanmar, and went through a torturous experience. Her traumatic experiences led her to contemplate suicide and eventually she disrobed. Read the full story here.
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