Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Why didn't Buddhist allow women to be monks for some time?

Why weren't Buddhist monks allowed to touch women?


Even in the Bible you can touch someone.

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Buddha had formed a community of nuns. Just as the monks have Sariputta and Moggalana as the chief deciples, the nuns have Uppalavanna and Khema. So, yes the Buddha had formed a community of nuns and allowed women to join the holy order. Women are capable of attaining enlightment.

    As for why women are not allowed to be nuns (bhikkhuni) under strict Theravada traditions, I believe it has to do with the Vinaya. The Buddhist Monastic code. Under the code, an ordination can only take place with 5 bhikkhunis. I think the linearage of bhikkhuni have become extinct in Sri Lanka after a war. And therefore, strictly following the code, there were no 5 Theravada bhikkhunis to ordain women who wants to ordain as theravada nuns. (I am not sure on the numbers of bhikkhunis needed for the ceremony. Correct me if I am wrong.)

    Can women still ordain as Theravada nuns ? There are groups who invite nuns from other traditions like Mahayana for the ordination ceremony. I will not debate if the ordination is legitimate or not. But the path declared by the Buddha to enlightment have not changed. The Four Noble Truths and the 8 Fold Noble Path. (according to Theravada Tradition)

    As for why a monk cannot touch a woman, it is in the Vinaya. The reason Buddha established this rule is :

    The rule was first set down by the Buddha after a brahman and his wife had gone to inspect Ven. Udaayin's fine dwelling. As Ven. Udaayin was showing them around, he came up behind the lady and "rubbed up against her limb by limb." After they had left, the husband praised Ven. Udaayin but the wife was critical and explained what had happened. The brahman then complained, "Isn't it even possible to take one's wife to a monastery without her being molested?" This rule was then set down:

    "Should any bhikkhu, overcome by lust, with altered mind, engage in bodily contact with a woman, or in holding her hand, holding a lock of her hair, or caressing any of her limbs, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community."(Sa"ngh. 2; BMC p.100)

  • 1 decade ago

    Buddhists did allow women to be nuns. It's no longer practiced in Theravada Buddhism because male sexism put an end to it. There are plenty of nuns in Mahayana places like Taiwan.

    Monks can't touch women because it was considered improper conduct of a monk. Monks can't even be in a secluded area alone with a women even if nothing went on. It's largely to protect the reputation of the sangha.

  • Mia
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Same problems Christianity had with allowing and respecting slavery. Religions are human constructs and although they may contain some good ideas they also contain a lot of chaff that is the product of the mentality of the times and culture. Some branches of Christianity still don't allow women clergy and require celibacy for their leaders.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I asked a buddhist leader i know that once and he joked and said that the people were so used to a culture of denial that when he said they didnt have to deny themselves anything they freaked out so he said "ok, women, you can't have any women." I'd also think it was cultural, i mean, it was in india and women still arent anywhere near equal there, much less thousands of years ago.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Women had more important things to do with their time.

    Seriously though...all religions are based on the, supposed, superiority of the male.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What does the Bible have to do with Buddhism?


    There is no relevance to your statement.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    gothic ideas are repressive.

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