TheDhamma wrote:It probably was a result of the status of women at the time in northern India. I believe some of the commentaries state that the extra rules were to allow for the Dispensation to last longer. It may have been to please the male dominated society. Or it could have been a test of the resolve and determination of Maha Pajapati Gotami and the other future nuns (bhikkhunis).
An alternative, perhaps more controversial explanation is that the written account is wrong or added later: Bhikkhu Dr. Analayo, a scholar monk has been a strong advocate for bhikkhuni ordination and in his research feels that the Buddha was misrepresented in the texts about being reluctant to ordain women. Ven. Dr. Analayo pointed out an obvious timeline discrepancy that amazingly has gone undetected until now. It involves the deeply held belief that Ananda played an instrumental role in the founding of the bhikkhuni sangha. He was credited, and later chastised by the First Council, for advocating for the ordination of the Buddha's maternal aunt and stepmother, Mahapajapati. In a paper presented at the University of Marburg, Germany, Ven. Dr. Analayo writes, "There are many problems chronologically, however, in the traditional account of Mahaprajapati (from the Commentaries). She first requested ordination five years after Buddha's enlightenment; but Ananda, who requested Buddha on her behalf, first ordained only twenty years after Buddha's enlightenment. Considering that Mahaprajapati, as Buddha's maternal aunt, raised him after his mother's death, she would have been about eighty years old when Ananda was senior enough to make the request."
I added in "from the Commentaries" because I learned from another monk that that is where Ven. Analayo acquired the information.
have you read ajahn sujato? he talks about how Pajapati was not the first nun, and the extra rules were only given to her, that they were never meant for all nuns