By CHARLES W. ANDERSON, of New York [Note 24: An address delivered before the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Nashville, Tenn., June 5, 1897.] Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I sometimes feel that we, as a race, do not fully appre... Read more of The Limitless Possibilities Of The Negro Race at Martin Luther King.caInformational Site Network Informational
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Women Admitted To The Sangha









Yasodhara had three times requested of the Buddha that she might
be admitted to the Sangha, but her wish had not been granted. Now
Pajapati, the foster-mother of the Blessed One, in the company of
Yasodhara, and many other women, went to the Tathagata entreating
him earnestly to let them take the vows and be ordained as
disciples.

And the Blessed One, foreseeing the danger that lurked in
admitting women to the Sangha, protested that while the good
religion ought surely to last a thousand years it would, when
women joined it, likely decay after five hundred years; but
observing the zeal of Pajapati and Yasodhara for leading a
religious life he could no longer resist and assented to have
them admitted as his disciples.

Then the venerable Ananda addressed the Blessed One thus:

"Are women competent, Venerable Lord, if they retire from
household life to the homeless state, under the doctrine and
discipline announced by the Tathagata, to attain to the fruit of
conversion, to attain to a release from a wearisome repetition of
rebirths, to attain to saintship?"

And the Blessed One declared: "Women are competent, Ananda, if
they retire from household life to the homeless state, under the
doctrine and discipline announced by the Tathagata, to attain to
the fruit of conversion, to attain to a release from a wearisome
repetition of rebirths, to attain to saintship.

"Consider, Ananda, how great a benefactress Pajapati has been.
She is the sister of the mother of the Blessed One, and as
foster-mother and nurse, reared the Blessed One after the death
of his mother. So, Ananda, women may retire from household life
to the homeless state, under the doctrine and discipline
announced by the Tathagata."

Pajapati was the first woman to become a disciple of the Buddha
and to receive the ordination as a bhikkhuni.





Next: The Bhikkhus' Conduct Toward Women

Previous: The Buddha's Parents Attain Nirvana



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Buddha's Gospels