you have posed a question of great importance here Sumana:
"What kind of strategy can we have to combat sexism in Theravada Buddhism?"
I think it is important to show two things:
1. Sexism does not have much support in the canoical texts.
I can't myself refer to any sources right now but I have as well several
times realized that many of the rules are post-parinibbana.
2. Sexism does not have a place to fulfill in modern times.
Some claim that some of the extra-rules and duties for nuns were impossed by
Buddha as an understanding
and compassionate human. Nuns should for instance be more aware of the
sexual side of life. They can't sleep by themselfes,
they shouldn't go alone in the dark etc.
At the time and place of the Buddha women were easy targets. Much easier
than they are today in many countries. Today
women do have more rights in many parts of the world.
With this knowledge I guess modern teachers full of wisdom and insight
should be able to abolish as many of the different trainings
as possible. If they do not have the same relevance anymore. And if there
are training rules that should be imposed on women out of
neccesity; then let's work toghether as much as possible to able to take
them away as well.
This is of course my personal view based on my experinces as a yogi rather
than as a bhikku.
I read somewhere, can't remember though, that in the time of Gotama
meditators were refered to as "Bhikkuni" no matter the gender;
someone else who can remember such a thing?
May all of you be well,
] För Sumana
Skickat: den 31 maj 2006 00:14
Ämne: [Pali] Garudhammas, the "eight heavy duties"
I asked my teacher, Bhante Gunaratana, about the "eight heavy duties", the
special restrictions on Bhikkhunis.
His answer was unequivocal. The rules were added to the Canon after the
Parinibbana by some woman-hating person.
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
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
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
rules summarized By METTANANDO BHIKKHU
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