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The Dalai Lama on full ordination for women | Wisdom Publi

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The Dalai Lama on full ordination for women

The Dalai Lama on full ordination for women by The Dalai Lama February 4, 2015 0

by The Dalai Lama

February 4, 2015

ordination for women by The Dalai Lama February 4, 2015 0 AddThis AddThis RELATED TITLES Thea

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ordination for women by The Dalai Lama February 4, 2015 0 AddThis AddThis RELATED TITLES Thea
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Lama February 4, 2015 0 AddThis AddThis RELATED TITLES Thea Mohr Buddhism One Teacher, Many Traditions
Lama February 4, 2015 0 AddThis AddThis RELATED TITLES Thea Mohr Buddhism One Teacher, Many Traditions

Thea Mohr

Buddhism

One Teacher, Many Traditions

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Dignity &

Discipline

Reviving Full

Ordination for

Buddhist Nuns

RELATED AUTHORS

His Holiness the Dalai

The Dalai Lama on full ordination for women | Wisdom Publi

http://wisdompubs.org/blog/201502/dalai-lama-full-ordinatio

From Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions by the Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron.

Many Traditions by the Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron. Lama Over the years I have spoken

Lama

Over the years I have spoken many times about bhikuṇī ordination and expressed my wish and hope that this ordination will be given in our Mūlasarvā stivā da vinaya tradition. When Śā ntarakita brought the bhiku ordination lineage to Tibet in the eighth century, he unfortunately did not bring bhikuṇīs too, and thus the bhikuṇī ordination never took root in Tibet. However, our Teacher, the Buddha himself, established the bhikuṇī order during his lifetime, and at the same time he a irmed women’s ability to attain both liberation and full awakening. He also expressed his wish for the fourfold assembly to exist and said that these four groups harmoniously practicing the Buddhadharma will make his teachings last a long time in this world. For all these reasons, it is important that bhikuṇīs exist in our Tibetan community. This is especially true now, when the quality of the nuns’ education has vastly improved. We now see many nuns becoming good scholars; some nuns are now receiving their geshema degrees, signifying their mastery of Buddhist philosophy.

Wherever I go in the world, I see multitudes of women devotees; in many places they outnumber the men. Therefore it is only right that women have access to the responsibilities and privileges that full ordination brings. As one individual, I do not have the authority to institute bhikuṇī ordination in the Tibetan community. This is an issue that the sa gha as a group must decide. For many years now I have suggested there be an international meeting of the sa gha to decide this issue. In preparation for that, it would be good if Tibetan bhikus could agree on a way to give the Mūlasarvā stivā da bhikuṇī ordination. I am pleased to see the support for this from many of heads

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The Dalai Lama on full ordination for women | Wisdom Publi

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of Tibetan lineages. I have also shared some vinaya material with Laotian and Burmese Buddhist leaders. We will have a serious discussion, and I am quite sure some agreement will be achieved eventually.

We Tibetans were very fortunate that a fer persecution by King Langdarma in the ninth century, we were able to restore the bhiku lineage, which was on the verge of extinction in Tibet. As a result, so many men have been able to listen, reflect, and meditate on the Dharma as fully ordained monks, and this has benefited Tibetan society as well as the world. Therefore, let us do our best to research this issue and find a way to establish the bhikuṇī sa gha as well. In countries that currently have bhikuṇī ordination, such as Taiwan, Korea, and Vietnam, bhikuṇīs benefit the Dharma and society in many ways. Recently Theravā da bhikkhun ī ordination has been restored in Sri Lanka—there were about one thousand bhikkhun īs as of 2012—and there are now even some bhikkhun īs in Thailand.

Equal opportunity regarding ordination is important. Citing passages in the vinaya, some Tibetan vinaya masters suggest that under special circumstances, a bhikuṇī ordination performed by the bhiku sa gha alone is valid. These special circumstances include a place where bhikuṇīs are not available to give the ordination because no bhikuṇīs reside in that area or because it is too dangerous for bhikuṇīs to travel to that place. Previous and contemporary vinaya masters in the Chinese community agree with this.

In the meantime, several women who practice Tibetan Buddhism have received bhikuṇī ordination in the Dharmaguptaka vinaya from Chinese, Vietnamese, or Korean sa ghas. We recognize them as bhikuṇīs. I

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The Dalai Lama on full ordination for women | Wisdom Publi

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encourage them to do the three main sa gha activities together.

In addition to introducing bhikuṇī ordination, bhikuṇīs must also become objects of reverence. Therefore, we must examine passages in Buddhist texts as well as attitudes and practices in our communities that are biased against women. The Buddha wanted his sa gha to conform with many of the cultural attitudes of the time. As the sa gha, we must do this in the twenty-first century as well. Since modern societies, as well as the United Nations, stress the importance of gender equality and respect for women, we Buddhists must do so as well.

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