The, The Buddhist Monastic Order

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The Sangha, the Buddhist monastic order, comprises Bhikku (monks), Bhikkuni (nuns), laymen, and laywomen. While the Bhikku and Bhikkuni depend upon the laywomen and men for economic support, the lay community depends on them for spiritual guidance and ritualistic practices. This well-rounded mutual relationship is clearly a division not only amongst religious status, but determined by gender as well. This is quite a contradiction with the Buddhist belief that your physical self is impermanent and ultimately attachment to your illusory self will cause you suffering. The second Noble Truth states that suffering originates from our ongoing desire, a clinging to possessions, attachments, and self. Why would a religion founded in the idea of shedding attachment focus so much on gender, which is an attachment? I feel that the Buddha’s hesitation in allowing women to be initially recognized in the Sangha originates from his early childhood convictions of women, fear of the Dharma becoming further compromised, and ultimately leading to the deterioration of Buddhism altogether. The Buddha’s hesitations regarding women becoming monastics seem to be questionable because of the way women have responded to this discrimination even during the Buddha’s lifetime. These women are evidently devoted to the ideals and teachings of Buddhism because of their ability to shed attachments and embody a fully monastic lifestyle. As they are shedding their attachments they give up their gender.
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