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10510Garudhammas, the "eight heavy duties"

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  • Sumana
    May 30, 2006
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      I asked my teacher, Bhante Gunaratana, about the
      "eight heavy duties", the special restrictions on
      His answer was unequivocal. The rules were added to
      the Canon after the Parinibbana by some woman-hating
      What bothered him most was what he refered to as the
      "insult to the Buddha", the author(s) of the
      garudhammas make Ananda more compassionate than the
      Buddha himself.
      Furthermore, if the garudhammas were real they would
      be part of the Bhikkhuni training rules which of
      course they are not.
      What kind of strategy can we have to combat sexism in
      Theravada Buddhism?


      The Eight Heavy Duties are:

      1. A nun, even if she has been ordained for 100 years,
      must respect, greet and bow in reverence to the feet
      of a monk, even if he has just been ordained that day.
      (Monks pay respect to each other according to their
      seniority, or the number of years they have been

      2. A nun is not to stay in a residence where there is
      no monk. (A monk may take an independent residence.)

      3. A nun is to look forward to two duties: asking for
      the fortnightly Uposatha (meeting day), and receiving
      instructions by a monk every fortnight. (Monks do not
      depend on nuns for this obligatory rite, nor are they
      required to receive any instruction.)

      4. A nun who has completed her rains-retreat must
      offer herself for instruction to both the community of
      monks and to the community of nuns, based on what is
      seen, what is heard and what is doubted. (Monks only
      offer themselves to the community of monks.)

      5. A nun who is put on probation for violating a
      monastic rule of Sanghadisesa must serve a 15-day
      minimum probation, with reinstatement requiring
      approval from both the monk and nun communities. (The
      minimum for monks is a five-day probation with no
      approval by the nuns required for reinstatement.)

      6. A woman must be ordained by both monks and nuns and
      may be ordained only after a two-year postulancy, or
      training in six precepts. (Men have no mandatory
      postulancy and their ordination is performed by monks

      7. A nun may not reprimand a monk. (A monk may
      reprimand a monk, and any monk may reprimand a nun.)

      8. From today onwards, no nun shall ever teach a monk.
      However, monks may teach nuns. (There are no
      restrictions on whom a monk may teach.)

      rules summarized By METTANANDO BHIKKHU

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