Should Wives Be Obedient?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:26 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

The system the Buddha teaches doesn't look like one of sub-servience to me - it's a form of mutual duty and service, and to that extent I think it's a beautiful thing.

Metta,
Retro. :)
You would really expect your wife to get up before you and go to bed after you as part of her service to you?

Speaking for myself, my wife is not my servant in any shape. form, or manner; rather, she is an equal partner.

•he should respect her wishes as she his,
•both should give pleasure and be of sweet speech.
•the parents and elders and all those whom they hold in esteem, should be reverenced and honoured;
•they both should be skilful in all the duties of the household and child rearing;
(Since most average Westerners do not have servant and both partners work, the following two item can be altered:)
•they both should look after the house and its upkeep.
•they should safeguard each other's interests and look after their wealth; both should be of virtuous conduct in every way.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:39 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:You would really expect your wife to get up before you and go to bed after you as part of her service to you?

No, I wouldn't. It's the underlying notion of mutual duty and service itself that I find appealing, as opposed to specific possible prescriptive examples of it.

It seems there's all too many people nowadays who aren't willing to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return, and what might look like a modern enlightened "equal partner" concept can at times be little more than a transactional market-place of mutual exchange and territorial power-plays. That feels like a lot of effort to me.

As the Buddha taught, the merit associated with offerings is dependent upon the intention and state of mind in which it is offered. If someone can't give of themselves without it being part of a transactional bargain, then I think it's their loss.

The more selfless the intent, the greater the potential union, yet also the greater personal risk. Personally, I believe in courage and have faith in the efficacy of kamma...

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:45 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:I'm sorry, but does anybody else sense trolling?


Nah. Don't think so. Gender roles are very rigid in Asian Buddhist countries and the Buddha's words from the Suttas are often drawn up to support these ideas.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby SamKR » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:47 am

:goodpost: , Retro, as usual.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:
As the Buddha taught, the merit associated with offerings is dependent upon the intention and state of mind in which it is offered. If someone can't give of themselves without it being part of a transactional bargain, then I think it's their loss.
Giving of one's self without expectation of return, it goes without saying. Among other things, it is part of a mutual loving relationship that plays itself out over time through the hard times and good times a couple/family may have.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby wormhole » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:59 am

Ben wrote:
wormhole wrote:I think depending on the person it may be wise for their Dharma to be in a traditional, Bhudda-taught role.

It would be wise for them to practice the Noble Eightfold Path and not live as a doormat to a domineering husband.


Agreed. I didn't say otherwise. If one was to follow the Buddha-taught roles of the wife rigidly, then conversely the husband would have to practice his as they were taught, which would prevent abuse, in theory.

Personally, I find the Buddha's teachings wise-guidelines that can still help us today, but me must tailor them to our own individual and personally I could never have a subservient wife; just wouldn't give me the same happiness of having a COMPLETELY equal relationship. The purpose of this thread was to see if others thought a subservient wife role was still good for some women, which I've always gone back and forth on in opinion in regards to that.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby arijitmitter » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:16 am

At that time ( or even till 100 years back ) Asian men who were wealthy had several wives and mistresses. It would be necessary for them to be subservient or argument will break out in the household.

This is true even now in rigid Islamic countries ( harem ). You can still see a snapshot of society from 2,500 years back in India in any Islamic nation. Women are not allowed to drive, not allowed to speak to strangers, not allowed education and so on. It is a totally different universe from what all of us are used to.

Was the woman Buddha was instructing the only wife ? Probably not.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:20 am

arijitmitter wrote:At that time ( or even till 100 years back ) Asian men who were wealthy had several wives and mistresses. It would be necessary for them to be subservient or argument will break out in the household.

This is true even now in rigid Islamic countries ( harem ). You can still see a snapshot of society from 2,500 years back in India in any Islamic nation. Women are not allowed to drive, not allowed to speak to strangers, not allowed education and so on. It is totally a different Universe from what all of us are used to.

Was the woman Buddha was instructing the only wife ? Probably not.
And the point is that the Buddha's instructions, as literally read, need to be adapted to a very different time and cultural differences.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby SDC » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:57 am

tiltbillings wrote:
SDC wrote:Wow this thread is stupid.

Sorry to all for the negative post but I had to say it.
It probably is stupid, rather than pooping on the thread, why don't you try to add some insight and intelligence into it.


I did by saying it was stupid. :smile:

wormhole wrote:
SDC wrote:Wow this thread is stupid.

Sorry to all for the negative post but I had to say it.


How is discussing the Buddha's teachings stupid?


Some enjoy answering loaded questions, but I don't. Enjoy feeling like your agenda has something to do with the teachings of the Buddha.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Aloof » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:09 am

wormhole wrote:Like Buddha said several times, should we still uphold things like this:

http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... gaha_s.htm



Every word of this Sutta is absolutely right.
This sutta applies to 100% pure women and 100 % pure men.
Present men and women after many centuries of start of men and women and intermixing
are not pure.
Men have more than 50% male qualities but much below 100%,
and women vice versa.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:11 am

Aloof wrote:
wormhole wrote:Like Buddha said several times, should we still uphold things like this:

http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... gaha_s.htm



Every word of this Sutta is absolutely right.
This sutta applies to 100% pure women and 100 % pure men.
Present men and women after many centuries of start of men and women and intermixing
are not pure.
Men have more than 50% male qualities but much below 100%,
and women vice versa.


I have no idea what you are talking about.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby PeterB » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:14 am

wormhole wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is response of the fundamentalist, literalist Christian to not taking the Bible as being true in every word that is written in the Bible.


Any Christians who don't take all words of the Bible as true are contradicting their own religion. They believe an omniscient supreme deity inspired their word, meaning every word should be correct.

Really ? I am a member of the Orthodox church and I think that the Bible is a ragbag of genuine insights, true record, sublime poetry, myths, and politics...and so do most non- Evangelical Christians that I know.
Your judgement is like assuming that all Buddhists are Soka-Gakkai.

After centuries of working through gender politics it is astonishing to a Christian to see western and western educated Buddhists having to INITIATE that dialogue...
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:41 am

Ben wrote:
Aloof wrote:
wormhole wrote:Like Buddha said several times, should we still uphold things like this:

http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... gaha_s.htm



Every word of this Sutta is absolutely right.
This sutta applies to 100% pure women and 100 % pure men.
Present men and women after many centuries of start of men and women and intermixing
are not pure.
Men have more than 50% male qualities but much below 100%,
and women vice versa.


I have no idea what you are talking about.
Bilge water.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:42 am

BlackBird wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:I'm sorry, but does anybody else sense trolling?


Nah. Don't think so. Gender roles are very rigid in Asian Buddhist countries and the Buddha's words from the Suttas are often drawn up to support these ideas.

I'm with you, Modus.Ponens, and with SDC. Very smelly right for the start: a question asked by a newbie and neatly framed to generate controversy between those who respect the spirit of the teachings and those who respect its scriptures ... making it unresolvable. :toilet:

:namaste:
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Aloof » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:27 am

Ben wrote:
Aloof wrote:
wormhole wrote:
I have no idea what you are talking about.



All the time cosmic energy coming down splits.

Pure Cosmic energy male was action oriented and dictative.
Pure Cosmic energy female was emotional and subjective.

Today males have emotional energies to some extent and
females have also been forced to become action oriented to survive.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:34 am

I think the internet has become a little bit overly-suspicious when it comes to the motives of posters. I suppose it's the boy-who-cried-wolf effect. But I for one tend to take people at face value. What's the motive in coming to some obscure Buddhist forum simply to sow discord? The OP wants an obedient wife and Aloof think's he's a "Buddha-son" and has mastered the Dhamma of the Mahayana. No ulterior motives from where I stand.

But I have to say Aloof, your cosmic deepities are not my cup of tea :P
Last edited by BlackBird on Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:24 pm

Greetings Aloof,

I think you might enjoy this...

The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire
By David Deida
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1591792576

I can't say it's Theravadin in origin, but neither is anything else you're saying.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby chownah » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:14 pm

Marriage is a worldly thing...the Buddha knew that...in the world in the buddha's lifetime the marriage contract was that a woman would be subservient to her husband....so it seems obvious that the Buddha would describe a good wife as he did. Today marriage is still a worldly thing and I'm sure that he would give advice about a good spouse quite in line with the worldly expectations for marriage in the present.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Aloka » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:16 pm

tiltbillings wrote:And the point is that the Buddha's instructions, as literally read, need to be adapted to a very different time and cultural differences.


Absolutely. Women in the modern western world have equal job opportunities, there is child care, pre-school, formal education from ages 5 till 18 for children and couples often share the family finances and responsibilities. ...and so on.

Women don't stay at home being obedient co-wives like they did 2,500 years ago in India.

However this doesn't mean that there can't be respectful and loving relationships between couples and in families in general which is in harmony with Dhamma practice.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:52 pm

I wouldn't be so sure women in the Buddha's time were at home taking care of the house, they were probably out in the fields taking care of the crops too, as well as buying and selling in the market.

According to some Tibetan commentators, the mens job was to sit around looking pretty while women did almost all the work, that's what is know as a matriachal society!!! I don't think Indian culture was matriarchal, but I would be surprised if womens responsibilities didn't extend well outside house keeping.........
Last edited by lyndon taylor on Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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