Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
nathan
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby nathan » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:26 pm

What I reflect on in this regard is not primarily the conduct of well trained and accomplished Bhikkhus and Bhukkhunis but the nature of the world. If I consider the ways that patriarchal societies have behaved over the past two and a half thousand years then the Buddha's concern seems to accord well with what is known of the worlds history since his time. In his day, the surrounding culture honored and respected its wandering truth seekers and supported them with the necessities. Even so the surrounding culture was a patriarchal society which held men in higher regard. As the centuries since the Buddha's day passed the successive domination of ever more intolerant and patriarchal societies seems to have become an ever stronger characteristic of the world.

In light of that, it is not the inclusion of Bhikkhunis that is a threat to the true Dhamma, it is the intolerance of the surrounding societies in the world which would rather do away with the Sangha than see women elevated to positions of highest respect. To have to bow to and serve such women was and still often is a challenge to what is for many the alleged natural order of society. Although I cannot fathom the depth of his insights into the world I feel that it is primarily his concern for the preservation of the Dhamma and the Sangha within a hostile and intolerant world which was foremost in the Buddhas mind, not any of the natural qualities or characteristics that distinguish men from women, any of which would likely have been only remotely secondary concerns.

:anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

fabianfred
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby fabianfred » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:22 pm

Since women in all ages and societies are in a position where they can be easily overwhelmed, being at the mercy of their sex, a Boddhisattva is never born as a woman. Their long struggle to perfect themselves is difficult enough without that disadvantage. Thence Buddhas are also only born as males because they are still boddhisattvas right up until the moment when they attain enlightenment.

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Rui Sousa
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby Rui Sousa » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:25 pm

With Metta

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manas
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby manas » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:58 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Cittasanto
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:10 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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manas
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby manas » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:45 am

I think I see your point. If we look at the human realm across time, men have always tended to be socially dominant (not due to more worthiness, or intellect, but as, quite bluntly, the more physically strong and generally more aggressive of the two sexes (testosterone plays a role in the latter). So I can see how there is a disadvantage in terms of what one's options are with regards to renunciation / wandering around as an ascetic if one has a female body. There would be a greater risk of being pursued, assaulted, etc. Is that kind of what you were getting at, that women are limited by their social role and function? :thinking:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Cittasanto
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:36 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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manas
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby manas » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:04 am

Anyway, for the record, this male would happily bow down to, and respectfully serve, anyone who had attained one of the Ariyan Paths, ie the Noble Disciples of the Buddha, whether they be male, female or anywhere inbetween. Gender is not important; realization is. :anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Cittasanto
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:40 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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manas
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby manas » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:47 am

...So hermaphrodites cannot join the Bhikkhu Sangha? (It's a trivial detail, but I'm wondering if that's what you meant. I can certainly see how it would create a problem for living communally with members of the same gender)... :thinking:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Cittasanto
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:33 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Ytrog
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby Ytrog » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:32 pm

What I know is that in Australia they ordained bhikkunis at Bodinyana monastery and the monastery got excommunicated from the Thai Forest Sangha for that. They (the monks and abbot at Bodinyana) say it's perfectly legal according to the vinaya to ordain bhikkunis.

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Indrajala
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Re: Bhikkuni Prophecy?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:59 am

The aforementioned prophecy where allowing bhikkunis into the community is said to shorten the lifespan of the dhamma in the world is only found in the canons of Sthaviravāda schools (Sarvāstivādins, Mahīśāsaka, Dharmaguptaka, Theravādins and Haimavātas). There is no mention of it in any extant literature from the Mahāsāṃghika branch of early Nikāya Buddhism.

This suggests that this idea of women being responsible for the premature demise of the dhamma was introduced after the schism in 340 BCE at Pāṭaliputra, which resulted in the two main branches of Nikāya Buddhism, Mahāsāṃghika and Sthaviravāda, coming to exist.

It is a canonical teaching in Theravāda, but not all early Buddhist schools had such a teaching.






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