Celebrating Equal Opportunities for Women in Buddhism

Celebrating Equal opportunities For Women In Buddhism

The full moon day of September is of great significance to the female disciples of the great sage, The Buddha Gautama. It is on such a day more than 2500 years ago that Gautama Buddha granted an ardent wish from his female disciples: to practice the Buddhist philosophy in search of liberation (Nirvana or full Enlightenment) as higher ordained nuns. The significance of this event is immense. 

This is perhaps one of the earliest known recorded instances of democracy or equal rights for women.

In a highly patriarchal cultural background, where women had little to no access to higher education or professional careers, lived under the shadows of their fathers, brothers, husbands and/or sons, and were not heard on equal terms with their male counterparts, the Buddha with boundless compassion for humankind opened the doors to a more equitable world: equal opportunity to learn if one so desired, regardless of one’s gender.

 On the full moon day of September, the Buddhist disciples celebrate this extraordinary win for women, recorded 2500+ years ago, and venerate the great Bhikkhunis who reached the bliss of liberation (Nirvana) in the Gautama Buddha’s dispensation.

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