A Sacred Lotus

Check out the latest article on bhikkhunis in the Bangkok Post. This one’s by Nissara Horayangura, who is now a samaneri herself. The article is on Susan Pembroke, the founder of the Alliance for Bhikkhunis.

88 thoughts on “A Sacred Lotus

  1. A very good read. I am continually amazed at the number of wonderful people in the world who are making a difference and helping the world to be a better place.

    I read ABC on line this morning and every story was about negative subjects….In fact 99% of “news” is negative. The thought that crossed my mind as i read was “I wonder what positive things are happening today that are not being reported!

    I have a question for Bhante Sujato though and that is with respect to the following passage in the article

    “The Buddha’s goal was not to die until the bhikkhuni sangha was fully established,” she continues. “He wanted us to have the four-fold assembly [of bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, laymen, laywomen]. He said his teachings would not survive unless all four were there.

    Is this correct? as i have never heard of this being mentioned before which within itself means little as i dont know very much.

    • This is recorded in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, DN 16 as follows –

      “”There was a time, Ananda, when I dwelt at Uruvela, on the bank of the Nerañjara River, at the foot of the goatherds’ banyan-tree, soon after my supreme Enlightenment. And Mara, the Evil One, approached me, saying: ‘Now, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away! Let the Happy One utterly pass away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord.’

      “Then, Ananda, I answered Mara, the Evil One, saying: ‘I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until my bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have come to be true disciples — wise, well disciplined, apt and learned, preservers of the Dhamma, living according to the Dhamma, abiding by appropriate conduct and, having learned the Master’s word, are able to expound it, preach it, proclaim it, establish it, reveal it, explain it in detail, and make it clear; until, when adverse opinions arise, they shall be able to refute them thoroughly and well, and to preach this convincing and liberating Dhamma.”

      If we correlate this account with the Vinaya account of the first few weeks of the post-Enlightenment activities, this decision would have been made in the 2nd week after the Enlightenment.

    • If we correlate this account with the Vinaya account of the first few weeks of the post-Enlightenment activities, this decision would have been made in the 2nd week after the Enlightenment.

      yes, and in the appropriate sources for this period in various texts we actually find the passage there as well. For example, the Sarvastivadin tradition has a Catusparisat Sutra, which roughly corresponds with the first chapter of the Pali Vinaya Khandhakas, leaving out most of the technical Vinaya passages. That Sutra has the prediction that the Buddha would establish the fourfold assembly exactly where you say it is. It seems to me that this passage has been dropped from the corresponding Pali text for some reason; I haven’t researched the different versions thoroughly enough to say why.

      This text was translated from the Sanskrit by Ria kloppenborg in 1973 “The sutra on the foundation of the Buddhist order (Catusparisatsutra) : relating the events from the Bodhisattva’s enlightenment up to the conversion of Upatisya (Sariputra) and Kolita (Maudgalyayana)”(Brill, Leiden). Much of it is readable on google books here. This is a really important and inspiring text, and i’d urge everyone to read it.

      The relevant passage is on page 11. As you can see, this is much shorter and simpler than the equivalent Pali passage, which is one reason I think in this detail this text preserves the earlier reading and the Pali has been altered.

    • Wow, Bhante! The correspondence is uncanny! Just some minor difference from the Pali Commentaries in the sequencing of the visit of the brothers and Sakka’s offer of fruit and the 4-in-1 bowl.

      Even the “problem” of the Buddha’s hesitation to teach is found here, sequentially after the determination is made to firmly establish the 4-fold Parissa.

      Hee, hee. I think the nay-sayers on the antiquity of the Agamas and Nikayas will probably proclaim that this was another joint re-redaction of the Northern and Southern Canons held via psychic councils.

      Pls keep these goodies rolling in, Bhante!

    • I felt exactly the same excitement when I stumbled on this book in the U Sydney library several years ago – it’s a shame that it’s not better known, but fantastic that much of it is now on google books. The Sanskrit text on which this was based was one of the incomplete reconstructions by Waldschimdt. Since then major new manuscript findings have come to light, especially about 2/3s of the Sarv Dirgha Āgama. The german scholars are working on this, with their stereotypical thoroughness, and hopefully we’ll have some better texts and translations in years to come.

    • Dear Bhante

      I keep hearing about this Dirgha Agama of the Sarvastivadins, but there’s not a squeak about it on-line (save perhaps your note about the Jivaka Sutta, MN 55 parallel in the Dirgha). Granted that work is on-going, but can’t anyone leak out some previews and spoilers?

      Any idea if MN 111 Anupada Sutta is in there?

  2. Very rarely are we able to see our place in history. Pembroke is a wise and insightful woman. Thank you, Bhante, for this inspiring article.

  3. Dear Bhante,

    This was what Susan Pembroke said, NOT Buddha:-
    “The Buddha’s goal was not to die until the bhikkhuni sangha was fully established,” she continues. “He wanted us to have the four-fold assembly [of bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, laymen, laywomen]. He said his teachings would not survive unless all four were there.

    In the Sutta, Buddha said this to Ananda:-

    “But, Ānanda, if women had not obtained the Going-forth from the home life into homelessness in the doctrine and discipline made known by the Tathāgata, the holy life would have lasted long, the true Dhamma would have lasted 1,000 years. But now that they have gotten to go forth… this holy life will not last long, the true Dhamma will last only 500 years. Just as a clan in which there are many women and few men is easily plundered by robbers and thieves, in the same way, in whatever doctrine and discipline women get to go forth, the holy life does not last long… Just as a man might make an embankment in advance around a great reservoir to keep the waters from overflowing, in the same way I have set forth in advance the eight rules of respect for bhikkhunīs that they are not to transgress as long as they live.” — Cv.X.1

    Susan Pembroke should not misinterprete the Buddha’s original Sutta or Buddha’s words to Ananda to promote and influence Bhikkhuni Sangha in the Theravada Sangha in Thailand and other parts of the world. We should look at the overall Suttas and other Suttas and not just take a word or sentence to confirm Buddha’s vision.

    Don’t understand why such a big fuss. In fact, if the Perth Nuns think that they could be enlightened only after being ordained as Bhikkhunis (in fact, there were those who attained Arahants without being ordained, just mai chees), just go ahead with it but at the same time do not break or try to change the existing Rules of the Sangha.

    If the Nuns belong to the Thai forest tradition, then just too bad – they had to observe the Thai Forest Tradition Rules, unless they relinquish themselves to other traditions.

    They must respect the Thai Forest Tradition Rules that have been preserved and inherited for many generations and it was their wishes, choice and rights to uphold the legacy and do not wish to break the Rules just for the sake of the few Nuns in Perth or for modernization or for the revival. Rules are rules.

    All those Nuns who wish to be ordained can do so in 10,000 Buddhas who do perform Bhikkhunis ordination. No need to upset or harm any party.

    Buddha did not encourage his aunt to “go forth” however Buddha said women could attain same level as men spiritually. Imo, we cannot misinterpret Buddha’ four- fold assembly to mean Buddha wanted a Bhikkhuni Sangha. Bhikkhunis could mean the Nuns with the 8 Rules that were existing during Buddha’s time and can be seen in most monasteries around the world today. No one deprived Nuns to attain according to their capabilities. In fact, monks are supportive of women in their spiritual quest of attainment.

    It is the Nuns who want to divide themselves and break off from the Bhikkhu Sangha thinking that they could do much more and more capable and needed in the society than the Bhikkhus and have their own identity. Are they not trying to divide and rule?

    Imagine, if there were two Sanghas i.e male and female Sangha, there would be more conflicts with each competing with the other and outdoing each other. Moreover, these Nuns just like the Monks, are still in training (not yet Arahants) and there are possibilities of sexual attractions and being women, Nuns are vulnerable to pregnancies. If this happened, it would bring Buddhism downhill (could that be the reason why Buddha said the lifespan would be shortened if women “go forth”?). The other valid reason could be, women by nature have stronger jealousy and envy and this could cause an internal problem itself within the Bhikkhuni Sangha! Sorry to say this but do you agree that woman’s jealousy of another woman is stronger?. Just an opinion, no heart feelings.

    Please also stop fanning the “fire” of cultural differences. Buddhism has nothing to do with cultures and it can fit into any culture or tradition, the very reason that Buddhism could survive today in any culture,tradition and any country. No problem, all of us could still maintain our culture and traditions or rules with Buddhism.

    Buddhism is a liberal spirituality science with no commandmants but only Truth of our existence. All others are our choice and freedom (no one to condemn us to Hell) – Food for thoughts.

    • Dear Mathew,

      You are wrong. Mention is made, especially in the Mahā Parinibbāna Sutta, of several occasions on which Māra approached the Buddha, requesting him to die; the first of these occasions was under the Ajapala Banyan tree at Uruvelā, soon after the Enlightenment, but the Buddha refused to die until the his sāsana was firmly established with the fourfold Assembly, bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen.

    • Visakha

      So….are you saying that Sutta that Buddha said to Ananda was wrong?

      What makes you think you are always right and others are always wrong?

      If you still have bias views like this, the best thing to do is to be more responsible by keeping quiet and investigate the truth first before taking sides and said the 2,600 year old sutta is wrong. Be more mindful. Do not destroy the original Buddha’s Teachings. There are already enough of synthetic dhamma nowadays and with wrong views of the suttas there will be more synthetic dhamma in the future!

      There will be more trouble in Buddhism now with now more Bhikkhunis having their own versions of the Buddha’s original Suttas/Scriptures to speak out their rights as women. More “war” will ensue.

      All Buddhists must be aware that there are 2 types of dhamma in the market nowadays i.e authentic dhamma and synthetic dhamma. Beware of fake dhamma! Always refer to the original Suttas/Scriptures of the Buddha’s Teachings, the original Teachings in Pali and those direct translations in English by Bhikkhu Thanissaro & Bhikkhu Bodhi (trusthworthy translators).

    • Hi Mathew

      If i understand you correctly you are saying that The Thai Forest Sangha should be a Male only Sangha with women excluded as this has always been the Forest Tradition.

      You then go on to say that “Buddhism is a liberal spirituality science with no commandants but only Truth of our existence”.

      Aren’t you contradicting yourself? if Buddhism is as you say a “liberal spirituality science” and free of cultural influence, a monks sex must be immaterial.

      In any event if the Buddha accepted women as monks, then the Thai Forest Tradition is not in accordance with the Buddhas teachings as he accepted both Male and Female monks.

      Finally can you explain to me why, aside from sex you see a difference between men and women. Does your mother for example exhibit greater Jealousy and Envy than you do ????

    • Wilc,

      In my comment, i simply quoted from the Sutta, don’t mean to get personal and don’t draw a conclusion that I am anti-bhikkhuni. I said those women who think by becoming Bhikkhunis will help their attainment, to go ahead as no one is stopping as long as it is done without hurting others and breaking any known rules.

      I was not contradicting myself. Buddhism and culture are 2 separate entities. Do not mix them. While practising Buddhism we are still able to respect each other’s culture and rules. We are still in the conventional world where we have Laws and Order.

      To the WPP, this Sangha Rules have been successful in making many Arahants eg. Aj.Mun,Aj.Soa,Aj.Chah etc. Imo, just like the Christians, they have YMCA all men association and YWCA all women. If the scenario is the other way around (i.e WPP breaking Perth Sangha Rules), what would be the reaction from Perth?

      Anyway, what’s the problem now? AB & BSWA got what they wanted and the Bhikkhunis got what they wanted. They now have a free hand in doing what they like without having to report to their Elders Sangha. Only they would know their intentions in their minds whether wholesome or not. No one could know other’s intention.

      As for jealousy in women,this is my personal view from my own experiences and observation both in the office,temple and family life.Unless one has awareness, one cannot see one’s own difilements eg jealousy. -The End-

    • Sorry Wilc, i see this as their culture and tradition that comes with their In-House Elders Sangha Rules that has been passed down for many generations.

      Glad that both the Elders Sangha did not give in to the so called modern times demand or democracy for gender equality.Not against Bhikkhunis but this is about having one’s choice and rights.

      Don’t see any valid reason why the Elders Sangha should dismantle their long-standing Elders Sangha Rules on non-Bhikkunis ordination when they were doing impeccably well, especially in producing so many wonderful Noble Ones and Arahants (including female Nuns/Mai Chees) both locally and internationally, and benefited so many lay communities with their Dhamma propagation resulted from their stringent practice and pure formula of training or Code of Discipline.

      They had been successful in their spiritual attainments/quests by practicing faithfully with devotion according to the Buddha’s Way of life, Method and Training.

      Definitely, a monk will progress faster with the right condition, pure condusive & favourable environment with minimum distractions and temptations to support their training of minds and body.

      The lay people supported all Monks/Nuns with the hope that they would attain Nibbana/Arahants in the earliest possible time, if not, at least a Sotapana. Our hearts will rejoice tremendously and will be proud of their achievements by virtue of their practices.

      As such, hope that the Elders Sangha will continue with their legacy by protecting and preserving their successful Formula and Training Rules, for many more generations to come. May the original Dhamma be in safe hands and be protected by the Triple Gem. Bowing to them with Triple Sadhus!

    • Hi Matthew,
      What do you want us to say to you? That the Buddha hated women? That the Theravadan Buddhist Religion hates women?
      Because that’s all I see in your message. Hate. Hatred of women.
      I ask you “Why do you hate women Matthew?. What are you so afraid of? What happened to you? What is your pain? Where is your pain? Why is your heart so closed?”

    • I personally don’t agree with Ajahn Liem and Wat Pa Pong’s actions, but I also think that they are Venerable monks of many years standing and deserve more respect than being portrayed as a bunch of Nazis, regardless of the humorous intent.

    • Dear guys,

      Oh good Lord! I thought we have deliberated on this issue long ago. You guys seem to find pleasure in it & enjoy reviving *old wounds*.

      It is sad. Is this how we practice Buddhism in our modern world? That was not funny for me (we are slapping our own faces) and in my holy opinion,it was distasteful, as in any dispute, there should be a more civilized buddhistic manner to go about solving disputes.What a *good example* we showed.

      Instead of putting off the *fire*, you guys are now adding more coal into the dying fire to start a bush fire. Is that what you people want to see? Would this cool the heat that has died off? It was definitely not helping the tense & sensitive situation but make matter worse! Absolutely dissapointed with all these arguments heading no where. Buddhism is doomed (Buddha was right, when He said Buddhism would be short-lived if women obtained going forth.) This is IT! Sorry guys. Good luck with your quest.Peace remains.

    • Ling, I like your logic…if not for the issue about Bhikkhunis this video would not have been made, so therefore, the doom of Buddhism is directly related to women wanting to go forth!!

      Perhaps the truth may be that the doom of Buddhism is more related to preventing people, both men and women, undertaking genuine practice of the dhamma??

    • Friends, the self springs from desire of the Lord, the self isn’t limited by this realm of duality, and is termed sadchidananda. The self includes the totality of the 24 elements of prakrti thought the self is not of the 24 elements of prakrti. The self in the conditioned stage mistakingly identifies with ego-mind, which then catalyses the need to post in this forum, though paradoxically, this post is not bound by that rule, as it is from one who has attained moksha. The deluded incorrectly think that such a liberated soul is bound by the same as rules as them.
      om tat sat
      Anyone further interested in the vedanta ie the end of knowledge, please write!
      om shanti
      Shakshi

    • Dear Thomas

      Is this how Ozzie embrace Buddhism? You are one of the new breed of Buddhists from Perth. Others are always wrong.A little knowledge of Buddhism is dangerous. Becomes big headed and big pride.

      Hypotatically, if the situation was the other way wrong.If Bodhiyana had a certain Sangha Rules for generations and then WPP or others try to condemn and try to abolish or overturn or ridicule or belittle this Rule, how would AB & Bodhiyana react or the Aust Buddhists would react? I think you people would sent a troop of armies to “blast” them off!

      If you want others to respect you, firstly you must be worthy of respect by respecting others and others cultures and traditions. If the Ozzies want to change Buddhism, fine, but don’t try to change others Law and Order, Tradition,Cultures and Conventions.

      What if other people change your Rules, Law & Order, Traditions,Cultures and Conventions, how would you people feel? Some people think they know all, they thought they are smarter and can dictate others by criticising and condemning others.

      You people are not practising Buddhism but Criticism. You have gone overboard with that video – a misrepresentation in portrayal of facts & views and a direct assasination of reputation.

      Hope stern action is taken for this kind of slandering as a deterrant and to prevent this kind of unprecedented behaviour in Buddhism. In the commercial law, this is under libel case.

      Shameful, ruthless, crude, coarse, uncivilized , unrefined, uncultured behaviour! Feel sorry for you.

    • Have you read the Kalama sutta?

      How about the Dhammapada:
      “Grey hair does not make one a thera”. -verse 260

    • Thomas,

      That was a barbaric portrayal of others whom you hate and not agreeable to you. It was baseless and unjust. Please apologize for your self-made video, out of ignorance,anger and hatred. You have been blindly led to Mara’s domain. You will not progress with this remorse as your hindrance in your meditation.You better regret it and be awakened with wholeshome mindfulness.

    • Regardless of who made it. Anyone who thinks this kind of thing is funny and agreeable has lost their moral high ground, that’s for sure.

    • Yes Disgusted, that would be true if it was an inaccurate depiction, but unfortunately and very, very sadly it is quite close to the truth (bar the Nazi uniforms of course).
      And for your information, it was the Nazis who were guilty of hate crimes, not the victims.
      Yeah and I’m disgusted too, disgusted by the hatred of women.

    • To be honest, I haven’t seen any anger or hatred from Thomas but I can see a lot of anger and hatred in comments published by ‘Disgusted’. Just an observation…..

    • Just FYI, this video is part of a meme that has been circulating the interwebs for months now. This same stock clip from the movie Downfall has been used repeatedly for everything from reviewers at academic journals to the tv show American Idol. It’s doubtful Thomas made this version himself.

    • Thomas,

      The truth is, whoever made that up had carved for themselves unwholesome kammas (that’s for sure)just to lash out at those they despised to gain their own mileage and satisfaction. A very irresponsible action with evil thoughts.

      Your understanding of the Dhamma did not help you. Perhaps, you should think whether you are learning the dhamma from the right groups. Obviously, you did not progress in dhamma, but regress instead. You have a lot to work out. Meditate more to check your unwholesome thoughts arising. Feel sorry for you. May your heart be peaceful.

  4. Thanks Visakha for correcting Mathew’s wrong view. Yes one of the most important teachings the Maha-parinibbana D16

    “43. “Then, Ananda, I answered Mara, the Evil One, saying: ‘I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until my bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have come to be true disciples — wise, well disciplined, apt and learned, preservers of the Dhamma, living according to the Dhamma, abiding by appropriate conduct and, having learned the Master’s word, are able to expound it, preach it, proclaim it, establish it, reveal it, explain it in detail, and make it clear; until, when adverse opinions arise, they shall be able to refute them thoroughly and well, and to preach this convincing and liberating Dhamma.”

    About the apparent saying that women will have a detrimental impact on the longevity of the Dhamma. This was probably not said by the Buddha because:
    1) The Dhamma is still available and we are well over 500 years.
    2) The Buddha does not make predictions so this prediction was probably added in later into the texts.

    Bhante Sujato, is that specific prediction also in the Chinese agamas?

    Also teachings that are repeated often have more weight than suttas that are mentioned once and that don’t fit into the rest of the teachings. The Buddha mainly taught about the training to realize Nibbana, end of suffering and rebirth, so such a prediction is inconsistent.

    • Bhante Sujato, is that specific prediction also in the Chinese agamas?

      Yes it is. It’s also in the relevant Sanskrit and Tibetan texts.

      Also teachings that are repeated often have more weight than suttas that are mentioned once and that don’t fit into the rest of the teachings.

      Absolutely. In his comment, Matthew was relying on his textual knowledge as transmitted through traditional Theravadin sources. Hence he was aware of the one and only passage that casts aspersions on bhikkhunis, and assumed that other references, since they disagreed with the one he knew, must be false. This is a good example of how we should study the texts carefully and critically, and not simply rely on a particular interpretation as promoted by one school.

    • Hi Dania
      (Hard to restraint my perception):
      It seemed that if that sutta was not agreeable to you , then you claimed that it was false and accused someone along the line had added it but when it was agreeable to you then you claimed that it was what the Buddha said. The Truth has become doubtful by our unenlightened opinions and views.

      If that longevity was not uttered by Buddha as you claimed, then all the other Suttas were very questionable and some false. We could also argue that someone along the line had added the 4 fold assembly and that Buddha did not address O’Monks in all his suttas (someone deleted O’Nuns?)LOL.

      If we doubt like that, then which Sutta is authentic and which is not? The trust factor is under scrutiny and the intellectual factor takes precedence.

      I guess we need to strive to be an Arahant to realsize who is right and who is wrong and the Ultimate Truth and not based on texts and scripts.

    • I don’t think she was as capricious in rejecting an utterance as Buddhavacana purely on personal preference alone. Her 2nd objection was founded on the implausibility of prescience. This line of reasoning, I feel, is in line with the 4 Great References of DN 16. Is the notion of a Buddha’s prescience traceable to the Suttas? Prescience is certainly not part of the Tevijja, so can it be found elsewhere as an Abhinna?

      I recall a Sutta, but I don’t currently have the reference, where the Buddha was specifically questioned if he was prescient. The Buddha expressly denied any form of prescience, save that He would knew when a person would no longer find rebirth.

      We don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, just because we are allowed to apply the 4 Great References in scrutinising a statement attributed to the Buddha.

    • Dear Edgar,

      I notice that in your criticism of Dania, you avoid the basic point made by her and others, that Mathew’s criticism of Susan’s scriptural quote is wrong and should be retracted. The fact is that there are different statements made in different parts of the scritpures about bhikkhunis. There is one passage that speaks of bhikkhunis as a danger to the sasana; this passage is repeated again and again in every Buddha biography and is constantly dragged out to hammer bhikkhunis, with no thought at all for the psychological and spiritual damage this does. There are, on the other hand, many dozens or hundreds of passages in the Suttas that depict bhikkhunis positively – such as the entire Therigatha – and these are routinely ignored, and their very existence is virtually unknown to the Buddhist community. Susan does just a little to correct this systematic prejudice, and gets wrongly criticized for her efforts. The gracious thing to do would be for Mathew to admit his mistake and withdraw his criticism.

      The fact that these different, and apparently contradictory, passages exist can be explained in many ways. One explanation is that they actually are contradictory, because they were added to the scriptures by different people at different times for different motives. This is not an arbitrary speculation, but a thesis that can be supported by strong reasons.

      In response to Dania, you say:

      If that longevity was not uttered by Buddha as you claimed, then all the other Suttas were very questionable and some false. We could also argue that someone along the line had added the 4 fold assembly and that Buddha did not address O’Monks in all his suttas (someone deleted O’Nuns?)LOL.

      Yes, exactly. All the suttas are suspect, and we need to carefully examine each in context. This is how the suttas themselves say that we should proceed. We can argue, as you say, that the Buddha added the 4-fold assembly. The point is, this would be an argument, i.e. a thesis supported by evidence and reasoning. The evidence, the reasoning, and the conclusions are open and can be scrutinized by anyone to see whether they accept them or not. That’s all. Dania has given, in my opinion, good reasons for her conclusions, and it is unreasonable to just reject what she said without considering her reasons.

      And yes, there is good reason to think that in many cases when the Buddha is quoted as saying “o monks”, he was actually speaking to bhikkhunis as well.

      The trust factor is under scrutiny and the intellectual factor takes precedence.

      Yes, again, exactly as the Buddha wanted. It is out of faith in the Buddha that we take an interest in the suttas and think them worth spending time over; and it is with discernment that we recognize the difference between authentic and false teachings. These two must always be in balance; but if they conflict, reason wins.

      I guess we need to strive to be an Arahant to realsize who is right and who is wrong and the Ultimate Truth and not based on texts and scripts.

      Sorry, but this is a very confused statement. An arahant is one who can see to the truth of the Dhamma. But she may well not know anything about Buddhist history, ordination lineages, the methods of vinaya redaction, and so on. The problem of bhikkhuni ordination is not one of “ultimate truth” (which is, by the way, an inauthentic notion not found in the Suttas) but quite precisely one of conventions.

    • Dania,you said:-

      — About the apparent saying that women will have a detrimental impact on the longevity of the Dhamma. This was probably not said by the Buddha because:
      1) The Dhamma is still available and we are well over 500 years.
      2) The Buddha does not make predictions so this prediction was probably added in later into the texts.–

      Points:
      1. Are you saying Buddha made a wrong prediction?

      2. Buddha made many “predictions” (the Truth) according to the Dhamma eg. the big bang, the lifespan of the universe which later scientist proof what Buddha “predicted” (expounded) was immacultely precise and the Truth.

      3. In the Sutta, Buddha mentioned he gave 84,000 kind of offerings, it was just an indication that it was a lot (scale used during Buddha’s time to indicate the amount)but obviously did not mean in our convention measurement of 84,000.

      4. Buddha was in an era where there were many spiritual beings and many poets like in Shakespears’s era, by the robes (very Roman) and the culture of language i.e poetic (as in the Suttas), therefore when Buddha said 1,000 years and 500 years lifespan, undoubtedly He meant literaturely by half or 500 years shorter.

      An analatical person like scientist or technical person will take it as the conventional calendar, however a poetic or literature person would take it as half or 500 years shorter ( a kind of figure of speech like metaphors).

      Those that accused Buddha was wrong as Buddhism had survived more than the 500 years with Bhikkunis, need to re-ascertain their accusation, otherwise you are making a wrong view that Buddha was wrong in his “prediction”. Buddha did not predict, He only told the Truth. Buddha was not capable of “predicting” something that was not certain or not the Truth.

      In conclusion, now that Buddhism had survived more than 500 years, it clearly confirmed that Buddha meant either by half or 500 years shorter, and definitely not the 500 years as in conventional calendar of years!

  5. Bhante

    On the mystery of why the Pali Vinaya may be missing the Catuparissa resolution from DN 16, here’s a theory-

    The Ajapala Tree was the setting for 2 important events. According to DN 16, the Catuparissa resolution was made there. According to the Pali Vinaya, the Ajapala Tree saw (i) the Buddha confront a brahmin in the 2nd week; and (ii) the Buddha’s hesitation to teach at the start of the 5th week.

    Perhaps the Vinaya reciters were aware of the Digha account under the Ajapala tree, but found it so inconsistent with the 5th week account that they simply omitted it. After all, the Brahma Sahampati incident is found in so many more suttas (Vinaya, Majjhima, Digha and Samyutta), that it would have been impossible to sweep under the carpet.

    Admittedly, it’s a rather tenuous theory. I would have imagined that a stronger hagiographic bias may have inclined the Vinaya redactors to expunge the 5th week account instead of the 2nd week account, but the hagiographic bias is put to a rather ingenious use by the Commentaries to explain the Buddha’s hesitation as theatrical.

    • Interesting theory. I’ve wanted to look closer at this text for some time, but it would require close study of the chinese version as well, remembering that the text is found in many Vinayas, so there’s a lot of textual material to work with.

  6. So Matthew, given there is even an ounce of truth in your assertion: that the entire Theravadan Buddhist Religion allows or disallows the spiritual progress of a human being based on whether they have an XY or XX chromosome.

    Then, I ask you, what do we do in the case of someone with a XXY chromosome? (see Klinefelter’s syndrome in the Wikipedia). Are they a male and allowed to be ordained because they have a XY chromosome? Or do we disallow them because they have a XX chromosome? Or do we delve to the depths of stripping prospective monastics naked and inspecting their genitalia?

    And then again, what do we do if someone has a XYY chromosome? (see XYY syndrome in the Wikipedia). Do they get fast-tracked because they have TWO Y chromosomes??? After all, they hit the chromosomal jackpot!

    Are you beginning to see the absolute absurdity of all of this?

  7. I thought these paragraphs utterly utterly beautiful. Thank you sooo much Ajahn S for posting the link to this good news article.🙂

    ‘In her interviews, Pembroke asked the bhikkhunis what they thought was necessary for the revival of the Thai bhikkhuni sangha to succeed. “Many disclosed it was the purity of their practice that would protect them. Maintaining the highest level of conduct is essential if they are to gain the trust of the laity and monks.”

    Pembroke concurs that this is where the real power for change lies – not with her or the AFB, nor with the bhikkhus, but with “women of integrity consistently doing the right thing. Their behaviour – their good-heartedness and total commitment – will change and transform people.”

    She truly believes there is a place for the unique contributions of spiritual women, for their understanding, insights, and gentle, loving leadership. “It’s important for their voices to be heard,” she says.’

    • Yes Kanchana that is all well and good, but can you really say the highest level of conduct is currently occurring within the male dominated sangha? The treatment of Ven. Ajahn Brahm as one case and point.

      I agree that women’s good-heartedness and total committment will change and transform people, but also women must really start supporting other women. And maybe it’s time to get a little bit angry….

      After all, what stands between a woman and the dhamma is evil. Now I’m starting to sound like a fundamentalist!
      Maybe we need to start fighting fire with fire….you see the kind of mentality we are dealing with here….

  8. Dania,

    Quoted by you –
    “mAbout the apparent saying that women will have a detrimental impact on the longevity of the Dhamma. This was probably not said by the Buddha because:
    1) The Dhamma is still available and we are well over 500 years.
    2) The Buddha does not make predictions so this prediction was probably added in later into the texts”.

    Buddhism had survived passed the 500 years, this proof that Buddha did not say 1,000 years/500 years according to our conventional calendar, BUT obviously Buddha meant by half or 500 years shorter in the total lifespan (in future).

    Your above view was a claim that Buddha was wrong. Buddha was not capable of predicting (predicting sounds uncertain). Buddha only told the Truth.

    This Truth is now a reality with this Bhikkunis revival. Because of this revival, we are now all debating the Buddha’s sciptures and doubting Buddha’s original Dhamma. The Buddha also ‘predicted” that there would be counterfeit of the original Buddha, as many in the West now doubt the originality of the Dhamma-Vinaya. Buddha also “predicted” that when materialism goes uphill, spirituality goes downhill (it is happening now) and we would be heading to “darkness” again and ignorance becomes prevalent and Buddhism will diminish until the next Buddha appears. Buddha told the Truth and the Truth is unveiling itself now. Whether we deny or not, it is the Truth “predicted” by Buddha 2,600 years ago.Let’s see how it ended.

  9. Sorry,typo error:
    The Buddha also ‘predicted” that there would be counterfeit of the original Buddha,

    Amend:

    ..counterfeit of the original Dhamma,

  10. Sorry, typo error –
    The Buddha also ‘predicted” that there would be counterfeit of the original Buddha,

    Amend to –

    The Buddha also “predicted” that there would be counterfeit of the original Dhamma (not Buddha).

  11. Continue…

    Besides the proof, we must also look at the era during Buddha’s existence. During that era, there were many spiritual human beings (those days many of them easily became Arahants with proof in the suttas that many of them after hearing one or two verses of the Buddhas became Arahants, whereas we after reading the whole Scripture are still ignorant and doubting, this showed that our era was in darkness whereas Buddha era was in enlightening/brightness – my views only) and their style of language was poetic (like in literature/poems)and another feature was the robe (very Roman) exactly the type of robes/attire that Shakespeare wore (Roman/European) and therefore proof that the 1000years and 500 years was also poetic and not numeric. You may disagree with me (check with your literature teacher/master on this).

    • Edgar,

      The Buddha denied that he was omniscient. Read about it here:

      http://books.google.com/books?id=SlDArya3YvcC&pg=PA43&dq=inauthor:Kalupahana+omniscience#v=onepage&q=inauthor%3AKalupahana%20omniscience&f=false

      He said that he only possessed the three higher knowledges. And your claim that he was being poetic is obviously not in keeping with his personality that comes out in the suttas as a whole. He was clear and truthful. If you are right, and he meant something other than that the Sasana would die out in 500 years, he would have said that so that people wouldn’t have to wait 500 years to get the idea that he meant something else.

    • Californian

      Do not take books written by all kinds of people including monks/nuns as the truth as they are not omniscient. Refer to the original Sutta in the theravada tradition.

      Dont downgrade Buddha and Buddhism. In the Suttas, undoubtedly, Buddha was the Omniscient One, the Blessed One.

      There are now many others (some may be ex-Christians) who are out to destroy Buddhism by their own intellectual versions and understanding. Only an Arahant would know whether Buddha was an Omniscient One. All others need to investigate first and not put down the Buddha’s Omniscent quality. Very sad to see that people believe intellectuals more than the wise ones. IQ is not wisdom.

    • Californian

      Please do not put words into my mouth.
      Reiterate:
      I DID NOT say Buddha was poetic! I said during Buddha’s era, the style of language used was poetic.

      BTW, please go to the Suttas (AccesstoInsight)to know for yourself and don’t simply shoot me down without any basis.

  12. From the International Buddhist College, Thailand:

    http://ibc.ac.th/en/node/216

    In particular, some words to ponder:
    “It appears that some monks saw women as the greatest threat to their practice, rather than their own polluted perception of female form. Perhaps it was easier to remove the outer source of temptation rather than the true source”.

    • Anne, I really like your quote:

      “…it was easier to remove the outer source of temptation rather than the true source…”

      This statement is also true in our secular existence. From my limited experience, I’ve found that that is what most people do. For example, after losing a loved one, instead of investigating the source of their suffering and trying to understand this ‘dhamma’ and let go, many people tend to remove the ‘reminders’ of their loss and beg Time to heal the pain.

    • I like how you’ve used the quote offered by Anne in your example about losing loved ones. Thanks for sharing that.🙂

  13. MN 71 and 76 are relevant here, though I do not have English translations of them myself.

    Edgar, no matter what you come up with, you will be slandering the Buddha. It is better to just admit that the sutta is inauthentic. And in case you didn’t know, so are the Jataka tales.

    • Californian :
      And in case you didn’t know, so are the Jataka tales.

      While I happen to share your opinion, perhaps we should be mindful that we have no conclusive proof that a certain sutta or vagga is inauthentic. Furthermore the necessity of Buddhavacana as the literal spoken word of the Buddha is something of a modern, occidental phenomena. Not necessarily the view that everyone holds to.

      Pains me to be cliche, but the only way to know for sure is to… Well you know the rest.

      metta
      Jack

    • I’m not so certain the the insistence of Buddhavaccana provenance is a modern thingy.

      In Buddhaghosa’s commentary (5th C) to the Dhammasangani, he goes to great lengths to establish the provenance of the Abhidhamma as Buddhavaccana. This is highly suggestive that the debate was alive and not yet settled in the 5th century. It seems that he outlined the detractor’s objections to that thesis and attempted to refute that by reference of his “province of the Buddhas” appeal. He also noted in the commentary to the Digha Nikaya that the Digha reciters preferred slotting the Khuddaka material into the Abhidhamma. This throws into question just how much regard the Digha reciters had for the provenance of the Abhidhamma…

      The Sarvas/Mula-Sarvas had the same debates about provenance. A few objections were captured by Vasubandhu in his Abhidharmakosa, where he paints his detractors as rejecting a Sarvastivadin thesis as not having been spoken by the Buddha.

    • Yes, and even in the Suttas we find several references to distinguishing between what was spoken by the Buddha and what was spoken by disciples. Similarly, the first schism is described in the Dipavamsa as having been caused by the Mahasanghika who rejected several of the Theravadin texts, such as the Abhidhamma, some of the Jatakas, and so on. The list of disputed texts are precisely those that have been determined by modern text studies to have been later.

      The discussion of what was and was not the word of the Buddha has been going on for as long as Buddhism has been around. The modern era has seen a re-formulating of that question, with new methods and new interests being applied to an old topic.

  14. Buddhist view of motherhood
    by S.M. Wijayaratne Kurunegala daily news corr.

    The Buddha raised the status of women in India despite criticism levelled against Him. Generally speaking, during the time of the Buddha, due to brahminical influence, women were not given much recognition. Sometimes, they were held in contempt, although there were solitary cases of their showing erudition in matters of philosophy, and so on.

    There will be no Fully Awakened. One on this earth without a mother. There will be no sons and daughters on this earth without mothers. Motherhood was greatly admired and honoured by the Buddha. The most Enlightened One admonished His followers to treat their mothers similar to that of the Fully – Awakened One. So, we can understand how respectfully and nobly. He treated motherhood.

    Queen Maha Maya, the mother of Prince Siddhartha passed away when the prince was only seven days old.
    After passing away of Queen Maha Maya King Suddhodana married the princess Prajapathi, the sister of Queen Maya to look after and foster the motherless Prince Siddhartha. After passing away of King Suddhodana, Queen Prajapathi decided to be a Buddhist nun. With much effort and determination, she was able to become a nun at last.

    Prince Siddhartha left the royal palace at the age of 29 and strove immensely to attain the Enlightenment for six years. Ultimately, he was able to be the Fully-Awakened One.

    After attaining the Buddhahood, He visited His mother reborn in the heaven known as Thusitha as Mother God. The Buddha preached the profound Dhamma known as “Abhidarma” to her and made her realize the noble doctrine. She ultimately became an heir to the supreme bliss of Nibbana.

    That is how He paid His gratitude to His mother who helped Him to be born into this world for His final birth.

    The Buddha raised the status of women in India despite criticism levelled against Him. Generally speaking, during the time of the Buddha, due to brahminical influence, women were not given much recognition. Sometimes, they were held in contempt, although there were solitary cases of their showing erudition in matters of philosophy, and so on.

    In his large-heartedness and magnanimity, the Buddha treated women with consideration and civility, and paved the way to them, too, for peace, purity and sanctity. The Buddha established the Order of Nuns (Bhikkuni Sasana) for the first time in history; for never before this had been there.

    Women from all walks of life joined the Order. The lives of quite a number of these noble nuns, their strenuous endeavours to win the goal of freedom, and their paeans of joy at Deliverance of mind are graphically described in the “psalms of sisters” (Theri-Gatha).

    While the dead body of Theri Prajapathi Gotami was being taken to the cemetery in a procession, it is said that the Buddha too followed (went behind) the cortege to pay His last respects to His foster mother who breast fed Him. That is how The Buddha showed his gratitude to the motherhood. The Buddha never belittled the motherhood and women’s wisdom. He guided women to develop their insight and to put an end to this samsaric journey (the process of births and deaths) Kisa Gotamee and Patacara went mad due to unbearable sorrow of losing their beloved children.

    But ultimately, they became Bhikkunis of perfect wisdom and virtues. We should not forget that the sacred Bo-tree planted in Maha Meuna Park in Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka was brought to this island by a woman. She was Theri Sangamittha, the daughter of Emperor Asoka of India. The Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha which is now enshrined in the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, too was brought here by a woman. She was princess Hemamala from India. Queen Visakha was the chief laywoman disciple (devotee) of the Buddha during those days of the Buddha Theri Patacara became the chief female disciple of discipline in the Order of Buddhist nuns during the time of the Buddha.

    Queen Vihara Maha Devi, the beloved mother of King Dutugemunu in Sri Lanka pioneered in protecting Buddhism in Sri Lanka when Buddhism and Buddhists were at the risk of destruction due to misguided non-Buddhist rulers.

    The first lesson that the Buddha gave to the world was gratitude. He showed that lesson by example. He honoured the Sacred – Bo tree which supported Him to meditate by glancing at it with open eyes for a week. The Buddha always practised what he preached.

    So, all of us should start practising the perfect way shown by the Buddha without further delay to enjoy the bliss of deliverance. Perfect wisdom will never come to us without dedicated efforts. Since we are presently blessed with the noble humanity, we should attempt to reap the maximum benefits of it. How can we believe that we would be blessed with the form of humanity in our next birth? Who gives us that guarantee? The power of kammic energy is unimaginable and incomprehensible.

    Although our beloved parents can provide us with almost all our material requirements for the welfare of this very life here on earth, they are unable to open the doors of the next world that is filled with joy and delight. It is our well-directed mind that brings us eternal bliss of Nibbana. We should honour and respect our parents through day and night as they have brought us up with sound physical fitness. It is the sole benefit that we are presently capable of performing meritorious deeds.

    Let’s pay our highest homage to the motherhood as long as we live on this earth. Under these circumstances, we should be humble enough to pay our great honour to the womenkind. Not only that, we should also protect and foster them with loving-kindness.

    To re-pay for the breast-milk of our mothers that we have sucked from them to survive, we must use our all possible strength to make our mothers to tread on the path of purification as shown by the Buddha. Then only we can be satisfied that we have paid fully for the debt of her blood that she turned into white milk to feed us.

    මැදින් පුර අටවක පෝය

    මැදින් පුර අටවක පෝය පෙබරවාරි 21 වනදා ඉරිදා අපර භාග

  15. The intensity of some of these blog exchanges on gender poses a contrast with my non-intense life as a Theravada bhikkhuni. There’s nothing remarkable about my gender. I go about my daily business of meditating, teaching Dhamma to visitors, doing daily devotions, leading traditional rituals, studying scriptures, writing essays, counseling people who are troubled, giving supporters an opportunity to make merit through daily food dana, creatively teaching Buddhism to kids, responding to emails, occasionally presenting Buddhism to college classes, and so on.

    Here, in a small city in the USA’s South, running a Vihara originally founded by Sri Lankan bhikkhus, it is my religion (non-Christian!) that often draws attention among local people; it is my ethnicity (Western!) that occasionally draws attention from Asian supporters if they feel some cultural dissonance. My gender doesn’t draw much attention. No one around here seems to care that this person in robes is female; or that a female is leading the Buddha-puja, or that it is a female whose Dhamma talk is opening their eyes to the Dhamma. Yet what a hold the abstract idea of fully ordained women can have on peoples’ minds!

    Gender becomes relevant in terms of needing a female companion to prevent being alone with guys, rather than the reverse; and women specially appreciate being able to confide womanly problems to someone in robes who understands; but that is all. Gender remains so essentially irrelevant to the holy life, that I feel puzzled by the continued opposition expressed by some readers.

    What can be the problem?

    • Namakkara Venerable Sudhamma,

      Great appreciation for your wise reminder:

      “Gender remains so essentially irrelevant to the holy life”

      Deep down we all have been just streams of consciousness in various shells until we attain Nibbana.

      Yours in dhamma,

      Dheerayupa

  16. They had been successful in their spiritual attainments/quests by practicing faithfully with devotion according to the Buddha’s Way of life, Method and Training.
    Definitely, a monk will progress faster with the right condition, pure condusive & favourable environment with minimum distractions and temptations to support their training of minds and body.

    How can one be successful in their spiritual attainment when a veil has been placed between them and 50% of the population (females). You admit that females are disadvantaged in their spiritual quest, while men have every advantage: “a monk will progess faster with the right condition”. Yes, that is the point!
    And you are forgetting to mention the grave injustice done by excommunicating Ven Ajahn Brahm from his forest sangha, an injustice that has been recognised world-wide.
    Metta.

  17. I keep seeing the words “Rules” and “Traditions” . There seems to be a presumption from many of those who write in supporting the conservative side of things that rules and traditions are all wholesome and good and therefore can never be changed!!! and yet change is the only constant in our universe.

    Failure to review and change “rule” and “traditions” in light of contemporary knowledge results in ossification of religions and cultures and you end up with a religion and culture like India and Hinduism incapable of change and the arising of extreme and terrible “Rules” & “Traditions” such as the caste system….

    • Wilc :
      …change is the only constant in our universe.
      …a religion and culture like India and Hinduism incapable of change

      Uh… come again?

    • David

      Hinduism and Indian culture has pretty much remained unchanged for thousands of years especially since the time Patanjali.

      The point am trying to make is that slavish obedience to ritual and tradition leads to teachings like the caste system……

      The same can be said for Buddhism..as it practiced in Thailand, hundreds if not thousands of years of tradition leads to what….a teaching that a woman is an inferior being????

    • Wilc/David Mead,

      When Buddhism talks about “change”, according to my understanding, it is talking about change according to the Law of Nature and not the “change” that you are talking about i.e change of policy, change of rules etc. The change according to Nature is, for instance, old age, sickness, death, impermanence, uncertainties of life etc and not the worldly or conventional change.

      Please do not misunderstood the change as in the Teachings of the Buddha according to the needs of individuals or society. This modern society should change their lifestyles to fit into the mould of the 8-fold Noble Path, and not change the 8-fold Noble Path to fit into the mould of the lifestyles of the modern society.

      Today our society has strayed further away from the Path and Buddhism should be the force to pull us back nearer to the Path. Look at the world today,it is so artificial and we are “trapped” literally, in a burning smoky furnace and living oblivious of the dangers by pursuing our desire to please the insatiable pleasures of the modern society.

      We are living in a conventional world. Imagine there was no rules and order, what would become of our society? If you apply un-natural change and our boundless compassion for everyone, unwisely, in the society without any law and order, then there will be havoc in the world and society.

      Wilc, are you saying that what AB/Sujato had done by his/their unilateral decision to break the Elders Rules on non-Bhikkhunis was ethically right?

    • Yes, many of us are saying that “what Ajahn Brahm ad Ven. Sujato had done by his/their unilaterial (sic) decision was to break the Elders Rules on non-Bhikkhunis (sic) was ethically right?”
      Yes, indeed!

      And for the record, the gathas of the Jatakas, some tens of thousands of them are Canonical. It’s the stories that are comentarial. And in the cases of the longer Jatakas, such as the last ten, the verses suffice.

    • Yes dear Edgar, compassion and taking care of the spiritual welfare of others does have a ethically higher precedence than blindly following rules.

    • Dear Edgar

      While I can appreciate your earnestness in trying to preserve the purity of the Teachings, you fail to acknowledge that the disagreement is not a farcical modernity versus purity debate. There are genuine disagreements about how the purity of the Teachings is to be obtained in this day and age. Respectfully, the appeal to tradition is irrelevant to where the weight of Dhamma lies.

      Incidentally, I can’t help but feel that you have a reified conception of the Noble Eightfold Path as being somewhat transcendental and unconnected to this world. If I remember correctly, the Cula-Vedalla Sutta, MN 44 expressly identifies the Noble Eightfold Path as being “conditioned”. We criticise those who are creating obstacles for the appearance and flowering of the conditions that support the Path.

  18. Bill Cuneo:
    Hinduism and Indian culture has pretty much remained unchanged for thousands of years especially since the time Patanjali.

    This is simply false, as any history of the subcontinent will plainly show. I’m not sure how it is you believe such a thing.

    Bill Cuneo:
    The point am trying to make is that slavish obedience to ritual and tradition leads to teachings like the caste system……

    Actually, the caste system had to develop as a creative and new thing, and then persist, before its rituals and traditions could even start to be ‘slavishly obeyed’. You’re putting the cart before the horse, here.

    Bill Cuneo:
    The same can be said for Buddhism..as it practiced in Thailand, hundreds if not thousands of years of tradition leads to what….a teaching that a woman is an inferior being????

    This is a stark oversimplification of history, and a straw man fallacy besides.

    Listen, the equality of bhikkhunis in the Sangha is an essential and important part of the fourfold assembly created by the Buddha, and surely this is not in dispute here.

    However, I think it is important to be precise in how that conviction is portrayed, lest someone dismiss what you say per mere technicality; such is the stuff of political rhetoric, and that can only be an obstacle.

  19. In Hinduism, the worship of the Feminine Goddess “Shakti” is the balance to the Masculine force….the Yin and the Yang. Both are devotional aspects of the Divine. Shakti is the Divine force, manifesting to destroy demonic forces and restore balance. Shakti is the Mother Goddess, the source of all, the universal principle of energy, power or creativity. Shakti is also named Devi, Parvati, Durga, Lakshmi, Kali, and exists in many other forms. Some examples are.

    The Hindu Goddess Durga manifested when evil forces threatened the very existance of the Gods and Durga means invincible.

    Lakshmi is the Goddess of light, beauty, good fortune, love, grace, and wealth.

    Kali is the ferocious form of the Divine Mother, the Goddess of time and of the transformation that is death.
    The Kundalini energy that paralyses the attachments produced by the solar and lunar currents.

    Thus, Shakti should be worshipped as an aspect of the Divine.

    Where in this Thai forest sangha tradition is the worship of the Feminine Energy? It this missing? Is She being ignored and disparaged? That can only end in imbalance and suffering for humans.

    Om Shanti.

    • There is no Masculine force either. There is no “the Divine” in Buddhism. Except the forms which developed some concept of it, and in those there are female forces to be worshiped.

    • Dear Anne

      Thanks for posting this link. Sanitsuda Ekachai always writes well on this subject, but there’s one point in this article where I disagree with her. She finishes by writing “That is why we need bhikkhuni as dhamma teachers for one half of humanity.” We don’t. We need them for the whole of humanity.

      David

  20. Edgar,

    According to the Vinaya, decisions are made at the local level.
    The Elders’ Council is a modern invention. Knowing this, what is your opinion of the Elders’ Council?

  21. Californian

    Sorry, i cannot give my opinion or speak on behalf of the Elders’ Council. It is advisable for you to get a direct opinion from them.

    Usually, the younger ones are more aggressive, energetic, restless, intimidating and ambitious and regards the Elders as “outdated” and “redundant”. However, the Elders in the Sangha are no ordinary old sinile people, they may be old,unattractive and frail in form but their minds are wise and matured and they have “conquered” “many battles” within. The younger ones have a lot to gain from their experiences and wisdom and consider a fortune to have the Elders around to guide and advise. It is consider a blessing to have enlightened Elders around in the Sangha.

    Due to Law of Change, this younger ones would one day be Elders to their younger ones in the Sangha in the future.Are they not an asset to the younger ones in future? Or a liability? What do you think?

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