Any rule, law or even tradition are discussed in terms of the "letter" and the "spirit". This discussion appears to be exclusively about the letter, but if one may bring the spirit back to it, taking up robertk's quote above, it is naturally preferable when new bhikkhunis are initiated (and indeed, guided) by older experienced bhikkhunis. Hence the rule, whose spirit is clear. The situation where no such bhikkhunis are in existence is something else entirely. Would it have been the Buddha's intention to stop women from embarking on the holy life altogether? What would the possible reason ("spirit") behind such a restriction be? Or are we, like Deist fundamentalists, to follow rules blindly, because they are given to us by our omniscient creator?robertk wrote: ↑Wed May 24, 2023 4:12 amIn the Mahavamsa an ancient text, although not part of sutta, it states about the time when Mahinda first brought the Dhamma to Sri Lanka:santa100 wrote: ↑Wed May 24, 2023 3:44 amAnd was this "traditional position" that states: "once the bhikkhuni order went extinct it cannot be reinstated" written down anywhere in the Suttas and/or Vinaya?robertk wrote: ↑Wed May 24, 2023 3:37 am This link has many details:
https://classicaltheravada.org/t/garuka ... tion/535/9
as Dan74 noted the traditional position is that once the bhikkhuni order went extinct it cannot be reinistated.But the Queen Anulā, who had come with five hundred women to greet the theras, attained to the second stage of salvation. And the queen Anulā with her five hundred women said to the king: “We would fain receive the pabbajjā-ordination, your Majesty.”
The king said to a thera, “Bestow on them the pabbajja!” But the thera made answer to the king: “It is not allowed to us. O great king, to bestow the pabbajjā on women. But in Pataliputta there lives a bhikkhunī, my younger sister, known by the name Saṅghamittā. She, who is ripe in experience, shall come hither bringing with her the southern branch of the great Bodhi-tree of the king of samaṇas, O king of men, and (bringing) also bhikkhunīs renowned (for holiness); to this end send a message to the king my father. When this therī is here she will confer the pabbajjā upon these women.”
(Mahāvaṃsa ch. XV
Of course, David has mentioned that Mahayana bhikkhunis who are ordained under an equally ancient Vinaya and for all we know, do indeed trace their lineage to the Buddha, have been ordaining new bhikkhunis who choose to follow Theravada. Which rule, whether in letter or in spirit, makes that invalid?