Re: Itthi & Matugama
- Dear Rahula,
those who studies the founding history of Buddhism would have come to
know that Ananda is kind of a champion for women, a rare example of
its kind at a time centuries before the modern Woman's Rights
movement, a result of The Enlightenment (or Modernism) movement.
It was Rahula who persuaded the Buddha into allowing women to enter
the Sangha, on the very basis that women have equal potential as men
to obtain Nibbana.
Your doubts is about the answer Buddha gave to Ananda. At times, when
we read the suttas, we have to understand that the Buddha is saying
the "conventional truth", i.e. what is acceptable at his time, _not_
the "ultimate truth", i.e. women can do equally well if given equal
opportunities as men.
The reason for this is a multi-faceted issue, which requires
professional research and deserves a book in its own right.
You may have noted that Ananda was not able to take the issue further
with the Buddha, as he did with the bhikkhuni issue. The Buddha, as
the head of the Sangha, was able to agree on admitting women to the
order. However, the Buddha has no say about allowing women to be a
professional, judge or foreign diplomat.
If a woman is given the same opportunity in education and work, I am
sure she has equal chances of excelling, and henceforth dismisses the
misconceptions a male-dominated society has about its womenfolk.
--- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, rahula_80 wrote:
ânanda, a woman is given to anger. ânanda, woman is envious. ânanda, a
woman is greedy. ânanda, woman is poor in wisdom. This is the reason,
ânanda, this is the cause, why women-folk do not preside in a court of
justice, nor engage in an occupation, nor go to a foreign country."
- Dear friends,
I must be thinking of the movie's title "An Inconvenient Truth".
What I meant is that the Buddha's teachings can be either
/conventional/ teachings or /ultimate/ teachings. This is widely
recognised in all Buddhist schools. It is a non-dogmatic
characteristic of the Buddha's teachings, which can be difficult for
people from a non-Buddhist background to comprehend.
On the other hand, there may be some others who think this is not
/conventional/, but unauthentic, and probably a later addition. This
is possible, and Buddhists have no problem if it can be shown this
passage is really not authentic. Until then, it shall not be used to
avoid a meaningful discussion.
A good example is the case of bhikkhuni ordination. Buddhism is the
first religion in the world to endorse and give official recognition
to women taking up religious oaths. We may extend this discussion if
someone like to deliberate on this case, or cite other examples.
--- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Ong Yong Peng wrote:
At times, when we read the suttas, we have to understand that the
Buddha is saying the "conventional truth", i.e. what is acceptable at
his time, _not_ the "ultimate truth", i.e. women can do equally well
if given equal opportunities as men.