Women can't become Buddhas?

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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Element » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:33 am

Individual wrote:That doesn't seem to be relevant to my question, so I guess the answer is no. All love is conditional, except the love of Arahants and Buddhas.

My answer is relevent. Metta is not the final enlightened state. Brahmavihara are not the way to arahantship or Nibbana.
Last edited by Element on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:47 am

Element wrote:
Individual wrote:That doesn't seem to be relevant to my question, so I guess the answer is no. All love is conditional, except the love of Arahants and Buddhas.

My answer is relevent. Metta is not an enlightened state. Brahmavihara are not the way to arahantship or Nibbana.


Why is metta not an enlightened state? :shrug:

Wasn't the Buddha the embodiment of metta and that's why he taught the dhamma?

Ty.

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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:52 am

Element wrote:
Individual wrote:Can you cite suttas where the Buddha said that compassion was a "male" quality and neediness was a "female" quality?

Buddha said in the DN: A man serves his wife in five ways. Thus being served, a woman returns her love in five ways. Man is to support and serve. A woman's love should be conditional. Thus, a man has unconditional love and a woman conditional love. This is the optimal way of nature or dhamma. If one holds a woman serves and gives unconditionality, the world will be lost. A woman loves a man when he does right. :jedi:


Element, I find this post of yours fascinating, but could you please explain some more, perhaps where I can read this in the sutras. I would like to get a link from you, or an explanation for the bolded.
Thus, a man has unconditional love and a woman conditional love.


'Should have' you probably meant. Why so? I am neutrally curious to learn more.
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Element » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:30 am

Annabel wrote: ...perhaps where I can read this in the sutras. I would like to get a link from you, or an explanation for the bolded.

"In five ways, young householder, should a wife as the West be ministered to by a husband:

(i) by being courteous to her,
(ii) by not despising her,
(iii) by being faithful to her,
(iv) by handing over authority to her,
(v) by providing her with adornments.

"The wife thus ministered to as the West by her husband shows her compassion to her husband in five ways:

(i) she performs her duties well,
(ii) she is hospitable to relations and attendants10
(iii) she is faithful,
(iv) she protects what he brings,
(v) she is skilled and industrious in discharging her duties.

Sigalovada Sutta


Thus, a man has unconditional love and a woman conditional love.

'Should have' you probably meant. Why so? I am neutrally curious to learn more.

Hi Annabel

I am provoking some thought . Merely a personal interpretation. I do however believe in a woman's power to stimulate goodness in a man.

Kind regards

Element
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:35 am

Hi, Element, thank you for the sutta.

I share your belief a woman can (and should) stimulate the good in a man.
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Element » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:35 am

Annabel wrote:Why is metta not an enlightened state? :shrug:

Wasn't the Buddha the embodiment of metta and that's why he taught the dhamma?

Buddha had perfect metta due to his enlightenment as his mind due to his enlightenment was free from greed, hatred and delusion.

However, I was saying one does not need to be fully enlightened to practise some metta.

With unenlightened metta

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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:41 pm

Hi Dhammakid,

Dhammakid wrote:As do I. And if the statement "Theravada rejects the idea that females can become Buddhas because feminine dhammas are a result of inferior kammas in any age" is true, then I cannot agree with that either.


But as I mentioned earlier in the thread, the commentators do not draw any connection between the Abhidhamma teaching on kamma-originated materiality and the Sutta teaching on the impossibility of a Sammāsambuddha being female.

In fact the latter teaching is accounted for with reference to another Sutta doctrine: that of the Great Man (mahāpurisa) and his thirty-two marks.

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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:16 pm

Elohim wrote:One reason I disagree with Theravada on this point is that I have yet to see a compelling explanation why.

There is no compelling explanation why.
There is no compelling explanation why not, either.
So it would seem what you are really doing is valuing your own preferences over the teachings of the Buddha. Is that wise?

Annabel wrote:
Elohim wrote:...
Seconded.

Awesome! Let's vote on what is Dhamma and what isn't! The votes of a bunch of unawakened folks is sure to lead us all to awakening. :roll:
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Jason » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:38 pm

Peter wrote:So it would seem what you are really doing is valuing your own preferences over the teachings of the Buddha. Is that wise?


What I am doing, Peter, is being open to all the available evidence and using my critical thinking skills to make decisions for myself.

And yes, I think that is wise.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:43 pm

Elohim wrote:
Peter wrote:So it would seem what you are really doing is valuing your own preferences over the teachings of the Buddha. Is that wise?
What I am doing, Peter, is being open to all the available evidence and using my critical thinking skills to make decisions for myself.

And what evidence do you have that a woman can become a sammasambuddha? Have you met or heard of a female sammasambuddha?
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Jason » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:14 pm

Peter,

Peter wrote:And what evidence do you have that a woman can become a sammasambuddha? Have you met or heard of a female sammasambuddha?


What has lead me to this opinion are the educated opinions of both monastics and scholars, as well as the inconsistency of this teaching in relation to others such as the fact that gender is not an issue in determining a person's ability to attain release. If women have the same ability to achieve enlightenment as men, what precludes them from being capable of rediscovering the Dhamma and teaching it to others? I have found women to be capable teachers and capable of being pioneers in any field.

Jason
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby thecap » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:47 pm

Peter wrote:
Elohim wrote:One reason I disagree with Theravada on this point is that I have yet to see a compelling explanation why.

There is no compelling explanation why.
There is no compelling explanation why not, either.


Everyone with a little sense of logic knows that one can't prove a negative.

So it would seem what you are really doing is valuing your own preferences over the teachings of the Buddha. Is that wise?


Do you think the teachings of the Buddha are based on preferences?
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby piotr » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:21 pm

Hi bhante,

Thank you for your previous answer.

Dhammanando wrote:In fact the latter teaching is accounted for with reference to another Sutta doctrine: that of the Great Man (mahāpurisa) and his thirty-two marks.


Isn't it also connected to the idea that one's vows can be fulfilled only when one has the same sex as when was making a vow? Commentary says that women don't fit to aspire for escape from the world, hence can not become buddhas.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:57 pm

Peter wrote:
Elohim wrote:One reason I disagree with Theravada on this point is that I have yet to see a compelling explanation why.

There is no compelling explanation why.
There is no compelling explanation why not, either.
So it would seem what you are really doing is valuing your own preferences over the teachings of the Buddha. Is that wise?

Annabel wrote:
Elohim wrote:...
Seconded.

Awesome! Let's vote on what is Dhamma and what isn't! The votes of a bunch of unawakened folks is sure to lead us all to awakening. :roll:


I see no reason for you to overinterpret my post in a hostile manner....

[Personal remarks unnecessary to the topic edited out via the moderator.]
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:27 pm

Elohim wrote:Peter,

Peter wrote:And what evidence do you have that a woman can become a sammasambuddha? Have you met or heard of a female sammasambuddha?


What has lead me to this opinion are the educated opinions of both monastics and scholars, as well as the inconsistency of this teaching in relation to others such as the fact that gender is not an issue in determining a person's ability to attain release. If women have the same ability to achieve enlightenment as men, what precludes them from being capable of rediscovering the Dhamma and teaching it to others? I have found women to be capable teachers and capable of being pioneers in any field.

Jason


Jason, I understand your argumentation perfectly, it seems a transcendental view of gender to me.

But I'm afraid it is lost to those men who will defend this argument because it feeds their ego.

You will also meet women who disagree, but don't dare to voice it, because they don''t want to appear adhamma or deluded or are the apple polishers of men and dogmas. . .

It is well possible that "women can't be SammasamBuddhas" was added later.

Anybody Prove me wrong if you can.

Can you?
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:08 pm

Annabel wrote:It is well possible that "women can't be SammasamBuddhas" was added later.

Anybody Prove me wrong if you can.

Can you?

It is well possible that "there can be an end to suffering" was added later.

Anybody prove me wrong if you can.

Can you?
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:34 pm

Its easier to say that "there can be an end to suffering" was not added later as it is the foundation of the whole teaching.

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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:42 pm

This is one of those situations where I'm grateful that I'm such a noob.

When Chris explained this passage to me a while back at a different forum, I understood it as the Buddha was telling people how things were going to go. And she reminded me how many births we have in different forms. We already know that Maitreya will come here in male form, so I just said, "okay, cool." One thing I considered is, a logical reason that a female can't become a sammasambuddha is because of the condition of outer society, not a female's inner condition. From everything I've read in this thread it doesn't seem that the Buddha gave a lot of detail to explain what he said.

Like I said, being a noob sometimes makes it easier I think :toast:
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:16 pm

Drolma wrote:One thing I considered is, a logical reason that a female can't become a sammasambuddha is because of the condition of outer society, not a female's inner condition.

That is my supposition as well. Frankly I'm stumped as to why so many people in this thread assume it must have something to do with a person's inner condition. :shrug: Perhaps people get some sort of thrill being offended. :guns:

From everything I've read in this thread it doesn't seem that the Buddha gave a lot of detail to explain what he said.

Nor does it seem to have any impact whatsoever on how we are to develop our practice. It seems to me one can assume there's a good reason behind this teaching and move on with their lives, or one can assume there's a bad reason behind it and let it knock their practice off track. It's our choice. We're never going to know for sure either way.
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Re: Women can't be enlightened?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:33 pm

Indeed. It's probably better to consider how we do or do not perpetuate a culture that leans towards male-domination (gosh I don't like that phrase) now and in the future, rather than focusing too much on the awesomeness of women. Certainly nobody disagrees about the awesomeness of females! :mrgreen:

Seriously though, if the Buddha said this is how it's going to go, I have to consider how I personally am adding to the situation. That sort of investigation might be fruitful for practice, insofar as insight, mindfulness and outer conduct. After all I am raising a little girl. This is good householder stuff.

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