Is the Buddha sexist

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby SarathW » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:07 pm

Hi Bluelotus
To my understanding, the only requirement for enlightenment is eliminating ten fetters. It does not matter who you are. I think Vinaya rules are mere code of conduct. Professionals such as doctors and accountants also got certain rules, if they need to belong to a professional body. There are accountants and doctors who are not belong to a professional society. Even in Modern society, we still have seperate toilets for men and women. We have road rules so we can drive safely. Royal family has to obey the protocols. These rules may change over time.
I hope this may some assistance to you.
Metta
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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:50 pm

Bhikkhu Bodhi argues in the introduction to the AN that there appears to be corruption of the suttas by the compilers. Those suttas where the Buddha allegedly dispariages women are in stark contrast with others where he receives lay women, his ordination of women, his chief female disciples and the role of female lay benefactors.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:17 pm

Dear members,
Please remain on-topic.
Off-topic posts are routinely removed without notice.
Thanks for your cooperation.

Ben
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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby dreamov » Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:20 pm

But about saying women
can never be the self enlighten one
-- it is something he could not have
said right?


No religious doctrine is expounded by a woman, dhamma should be no exception.
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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:21 pm

dreamov wrote:No religious doctrine is expounded by a woman, dhamma should be no exception.


The Buddha disagrees with you.

The bhikkhuni Dhammadinna taught the Dhamma to the lay follower Visakha.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Visakha went to the Buddha for confirmation.
The Buddha's response:

the Blessed One said to him, "Dhammadinna the nun is wise, Visakha, a woman of great discernment. If you had asked me those things, I would have answered you in the same way she did. That is the meaning of those things. That is how you should remember it."
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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby Mr Man » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:48 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
dreamov wrote:No religious doctrine is expounded by a woman, dhamma should be no exception.


The Buddha disagrees with you.

The bhikkhuni Dhammadinna taught the Dhamma to the lay follower Visakha.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Visakha went to the Buddha for confirmation.
The Buddha's response:

the Blessed One said to him, "Dhammadinna the nun is wise, Visakha, a woman of great discernment. If you had asked me those things, I would have answered you in the same way she did. That is the meaning of those things. That is how you should remember it."


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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby dreamov » Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:40 am

The Buddha disagrees with you.
The bhikkhuni Dhammadinna
taught the Dhamma to the lay
follower Visakha.


What i meant was that women can not become self-enlightened (Buddha), teach self-discovered dhamma and establish a sangha. There's a reason why not a single woman is known to have founded any religion.
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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby Ben » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:03 am

dreamov wrote:There's a reason why not a single woman is known to have founded any religion.

Which is beyond the scope of this thread.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby Reductor » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:08 am

dreamov wrote:
The Buddha disagrees with you.
The bhikkhuni Dhammadinna
taught the Dhamma to the lay
follower Visakha.


What i meant was that women can not become self-enlightened (Buddha), teach self-discovered dhamma and establish a sangha. There's a reason why not a single woman is known to have founded any religion.


You suggest that a lack of woman founders necessitates an inability on their part to be self-enlightened?

Instead, perhaps, the historical ordering of human society has suppressed some self-enlightened woman of the past. That is, if men, who have historically been in power, disregard the teachings of a woman whom they see as inferior, how would that woman be able establish any religion at all?
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby Cassandra » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:23 am

dreamov wrote:What i meant was that women can not become self-enlightened (Buddha), teach self-discovered dhamma and establish a sangha. There's a reason why not a single woman is known to have founded any religion.


The reason is because women were not even educated until much later in the evolution of civilizations. They were confined to limited social roles as bearers of offspring and did not have sufficient recognition in society to actually be able to put forth a religious doctrine. Even today, I notice a general resistance to women in leading/holy positions.
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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby Mal » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:47 am

dreamov wrote:... women can not become self-enlightened (Buddha), teach self-discovered dhamma and establish a sangha.


Is there a quote in the suttas that supports this position?
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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:51 am

Mal wrote:
dreamov wrote:... women can not become self-enlightened (Buddha), teach self-discovered dhamma and establish a sangha.


Is there a quote in the suttas that supports this position?

Yes. The relevant passage is in the Aṅguttaranikaya, Aṭṭhānapāḷi, Dutiyavaggo
279. “Aṭṭhānametaṃ, bhikkhave, anavakāso yaṃ itthī arahaṃ assa sammāsambuddho. Netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati. Ṭhānañca kho, etaṃ, bhikkhave, vijjati yaṃ puriso arahaṃ assa sammāsambuddho. Ṭhānametaṃ vijjatī”ti.

It is impossible, monks, that a woman can become a Fully Enlightened Buddha, It is possible, monks, that a man can become a Fully Enlightened Buddha.

It is entirely possible that a man can become a woman in the next existence, and that a woman can become a man in the next existence. This life is just a temporary condition. There are also some who are of indeterminate sex, and cases of sex change in this very life are not unheard of, so what about the next existence? Its your kamma — in which direction does your mind incline?

In a recent interview, Pink said that she believed in reincarnation, and wanted to be reborn as a dog, a pet of someone like herself — be careful what you wish for.
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Re: Is the Buddhs sexist

Postby Cassandra » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:00 pm

Mal wrote:
dreamov wrote:... women can not become self-enlightened (Buddha), teach self-discovered dhamma and establish a sangha.


Is there a quote in the suttas that supports this position?

There is one sutta but I don't think the sutta phase is Buddha-spoken. It is irrational to think all words in the suttas are completely fool-proof and have not faced any deterioration whatsoever during the course of transmission over many centuries.

I don't think a Buddha, with all his wisdom and compassion, would speak any words which could be discriminating to a certain group of the population merely based on their biological differences. It is unlikely an enlightened being, a wise one would just speak if the words do not serve any worthy cause or purpose.
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Re: Is the Buddha sexist

Postby steve19800 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:12 am

In my opinion there is a difference between the effort and the nature.
We all want equality in every aspect of life, job, justice, etc. the same thing with gender equality, but that will never happen because the nature of things are different. They are different because they are different, not necessarily has to be gender differences.

Due to the nature of different organs between men and women, the body functions in the different way. Women have menstrual cycle, have to give birth, etc. and these make women become more emotional being compare to men. While in Buddhism jealousy, etc are part of defilements and sometimes delusion as well. So from this point of view, these can become hindrances for those who are seeking of enlightenment.
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Re: Is the Buddha sexist

Postby Cassandra » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:17 pm

steve19800 wrote:In my opinion there is a difference between the effort and the nature.
We all want equality in every aspect of life, job, justice, etc. the same thing with gender equality, but that will never happen because the nature of things are different. They are different because they are different, not necessarily has to be gender differences.


That's ok. But when a person is deprived of his or her rights to engage in some activity purely bases on his/her gender, then it becomes gender discrimination. For example, it is nature that a man doesn't have menstruation. But if a man is deprived of his rights to paint his nails and wear high heels if he so wishes, that is discrimination.

steve19800 wrote:So from this point of view, these can become hindrances for those who are seeking of enlightenment.


I think the pali canon has more than enough evidence that biological differences between men and women have nothing much to do with mental development.
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Re: Is the Buddha sexist

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:24 pm

steve19800 wrote:Due to the nature of different organs between men and women, the body functions in the different way. Women have menstrual cycle, have to give birth, etc. and these make women become more emotional being compare to men. While in Buddhism jealousy, etc are part of defilements and sometimes delusion as well. So from this point of view, these can become hindrances for those who are seeking of enlightenment.

This is incorrect.

Soma Sutta wrote:Setting at Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Soma dressed and, taking bowl and robe, entered Savatthi for alms. When she had walked for alms in Savatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal she went to the Blind Men's Grove for the day's abiding. Having plunged into the Blind Men's Grove, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day's abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the bhikkhuni Soma, desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:
That state so hard to achieve Which is to be attained by the seers, Can't be attained by a woman With her two-fingered wisdom.

Then it occurred to the bhikkhuni Soma: "Now who is this that recited the verse — a human being or a non-human being?" Then it occurred to her: "This is Mara the Evil One, who has recited the verse desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in me, desiring to make me fall away from concentration."

Then the bhikkhuni Soma, having understood, "This is Mara the Evil One," replied to him in verses:

What does womanhood matter at all When the mind is concentrated well,
When knowledge flows on steadily
As one sees correctly into Dhamma.
One to whom it might occur,
'I'm a woman' or 'I'm a man'
Or 'I'm anything at all' —
Is fit for Mara to address.

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, "The bhikkhuni Soma knows me," sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.


Clearly, womanhood has no bearing on the ability to practice Dhamma. Whether or not a woman can become self-enlightened, and whether or not that is due to any innate function of the universe or simply because the Buddha knew that no women would be allowed to spiritually progress in an age without wisdom, is irrelevant because we have a Buddha right now, and his teachings are equally open to men and women. To argue differently is to slander the Dhamma.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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