Can an Arahant be against bhikkhuni ordination?

Female rights is about equality ,
An arahant didn’t have the self view , ie, the view of “equality”, superiority or inferiority concept ; therefore ,
If they do against the ordination , what would be the explanation ?! Tradition , culture and society and ???

Dear Apeiron, I don’t know I am not an Arahant but what you are saying makes no sense to me. The Arahant disciples bowed to the Buddha and new that he was a self-awakened one, a wheel turning Buddha, a revealer of the liberating Dhamma, a knower of the worlds. The Buddha had a range of abilities they did not possess and it was through ‘hearing’ his teachings that they received from him the knowledge of the eightfold path that they had completed.

It is true that they were ‘nobodies’ just like the Buddha but they had perception as did the Buddha. The Arahant disciples of the Buddha did not see themselves as being on the same level as the Buddha even though they were equally not-selves - as we are!

The sage, and bhikkhu in seclusion does not have a conception of herself or himself as higher or lower in relation to any other being:

“He should put an entire stop
to the root of objectification-classifications:
‘I am the thinker.’
He should train, always mindful,
to subdue any craving inside him.
Whatever truth he may know,
within or without,
he shouldn’t, because of it,
make himself hardened,
for that isn’t called
unbinding by the good.
He shouldn’t, because of it, think himself
lower, or
Touched by contact in various ways,
he shouldn’t keep theorizing about self.
Stilled right within,
a monk shouldn’t seek peace from another,
from anything else.
For one stilled right within,
there’s nothing embraced,
so how rejected?"

  • Sutta Nipata 4.14

"For one unperturbed
—who knows—
there’s no accumulating.
Abstaining, unaroused,
he everywhere sees
The sage
doesn’t speak of himself
as among those who are higher,
or lower.
At peace, free of stinginess,
he doesn’t embrace, doesn’t
the Blessed One said.

Sutta Nipata 4.15

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Yes, but we are talking about social conventions - the Sangha observed the conventions of the order. They all bowed to the Buddha not the other way round. When we are talking about ordination procedures - who gets ordained and who doesn’t, we are not talking about the realisation of not-self and the equalising effect it has! :slightly_smiling_face:

SN 22.49

“Soṇa, when any ascetics and brahmins, on the basis of form—which is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change—regard themselves thus: ‘I am superior,’ or ‘I am equal,’ or ‘I am inferior,’ what is that due to apart from not seeing things as they really are?

“When any ascetics and brahmins, on the basis of feeling … on the basis of perception … on the basis of volitional formations … on the basis of consciousness—which is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change—regard themselves thus: ‘I am superior,’ or ‘I am equal,’ or ‘I am inferior,’ what is that due to apart from not seeing things as they really are ?

The Arahant regards the Buddha as student and teacher relationship .
do they have higher , lower , equally thinking ?

But we are the one with self view , when the Buddha didn’t allowed those of deformed person to get ordained , do you think that consider being “unfair” ?
Or is it biases ?
Do you think the samanera/i paying respect to bhikkhu/ni respectively , is that they are lower than them ? Do you think that is “ranking” system ?
Or perhaps when you grounded your childrens , they detested saying that you are dictator !

Anyway , forgive me , my knowledge is very little , just my half cent .

I see you are trying to make sense of these things - very good - and so am I. So to answer your question: do I think it has something to do with a ranking system? Answer: yes and no! When we go to a Theravada monastery there is a ranking system built into the conventions established in the monastic community.

At lunch the senior elder sits at the head of the line and according to the number of rains retreats they have completed - that happen annually - individual monastics sit in line from the eldest to the most recent initiate.

Ranking, deference to elders, various conventions are part of the organisation of the monastic Sangha. Who bows to who, who gets ordained and who does not, are all conventions within the Buddha-sassana.

It does not matter if you are an Aryan monastic you will still be ranked - within the order - according to how many rains retreats you have completed.

They would not put an Arahant bhikkuni/bhikku at the head of the line if they had only been in the order for 10 years and there were more senior monastics present. There most definitely is a ranking system in the monastic Sangha.

An Arahant bhikkuni/bhikku will also bow to an unawakened monastic who has seniority and not the other way round.

So, is this unfair ?

No - but treating women as second class whether they are monastics or lay people is not only unfair, it is also unethical. Just like it is unethical to discriminate on the bases of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc.

The Buddha’s prohibition regarding the disabled, may well have been a practical consideration. Monastics requesting ordination are required to have a requisite degree of autonomy - an ability to look after themselves.

I don’t buy your argument because it sounds like the attitude adopted in male chauvinism. I do not subscribe to that point of view. :slightly_smiling_face:

Can you elaborate ?

So, I am a chauvinist to you !
You had the impression huh !
On the contrary , FYI I supported a bhikkhuni ordination and many bhikkhunis requisite .
And I have had supported many of the Buddha disciples bhikkhunis bhikkhus whom I considered they followed the right path !

Very good - in that case, I simply don’t understand your point. But I can see that you do! :slightly_smiling_face:

Because you are saying , there are some things in buddhism seems unfair ,
Could you elaborate on that ?
Such as treating women second class and discrimination ? Is it that the number of precepts of bhikkhuni more than the bhikkhu or female only can become bhikkhuni once in a lifetime ? Put aside the aṭṭha garudhammas as many already disregard it .

Samsara is unfair, not the Dhamma. And our minds are buried in pride and conceit, unlike the Buddha who saw absolutely nothing demeaning in venerating a seven year old boy who had realized the same Nibbana that he had. From Thag 6.10 :

Hi all

I (a Bhikkhu) do not accept all the Vinaya rules.

best wishes


Hi Jose, thanks for the question.

I understand you mean ‘Bhikkhuni ordination’ in principle. I would think you accept that any person requesting ordination as a monk or nun, must undergo certain tests to see their suitability and some may be rejected.

I think an Arahant could not be against Bhikkhuni ordination on both Dhamma and Vinaya grounds. I agree with AnagarikaMichael’s first post in this thread.

best wishes


Hi all

Please let me disagree. I do not believe that more or stricter rules, or no or less women would shorten or lengthen the life of pure Dhamma, even though there are texts that might say just that. I think that is Wrong View and those texts are later additions.

There is a very clear piece of advice and example from the Buddha (and another) on this topic that does not seem to be followed by organised Buddhism, not the First, Second, Third… Sixth or whatever Council. It is the Buddha’s instruction to hold council:

Wherefore, Cunda, do ye, to whom I have made known the truths that I have perceived, come together in company and (1.) rehearse all of you together those doctrines and quarrel not over them, but (2.) compare meaning with meaning, and phrase with phrase, in order that this pure religion may last long and be perpetuated, in order that it may continue to be for the good and happiness of the great multitudes, out of love for the world, to the good and the gain and the weal of devas and men!

The story of the First Council does not give credit to the Buddha for the idea of holding council, but rather to Bh. Mahākasappa! That is disrespectful and not the practice of an Arahant or even Stream Enterer, imo.

As you see, there is no mention of preventing women’s ordination! Maybe a future version will add ‘and do not allow women’s ordination’.

The so called Councils, rehearse, but do not seem to compare in the way displayed in the EBTs, e.g.:

Instead they compare different versions of the texts to try to identify errors in transmission of particular words. This seems like, hearing two very similar words: exhibit, inhibit. The context usually makes the intended word clear.

If the story is true, the first three councils were oral, so spelling didn’t really matter and if the Dhamma was taught in the language of the common people, as the Buddha recommended, it would be in various dialects with different pronunciations or spellings. So there would be no need for conformity to one version in the letter (literally), but only the spirit. The conformity in the letter, this way, was a concern of the Brahmins for their scripture. Bh. Mahākassapa, was said to be Brahmin.

Best wishes

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Dear Venerable ,

Greetings to you .
Forgive me ,
I am puzzles , if everyone don’t accept all the vinaya , everyone follow their own believe , would not that bring doom to the dhamma at the end ?!

I think my answer to the original question is:

What does it matter?

The Arahant’s nature is something she may try and point out to us. And then it’s our business to learn that. That’s it.

As for Bhikkhuni ordination, it shouldn’t matter if supporters of it are Arahants or not. Primarily it should matter whether it’s Compassionate; secondarily it matters whether it is in line with Vinaya and based in genuine, Early Buddhist Texts.

Forgive me, those of you who have been playing “Mara’s Advocate”…there are plenty of voices who express such things and they’re not playing games. We don’t need to hear more of this. We need to stay focused on the positives. Don’t bring us down with such things. Raise us up. So on that note, I have to say that I love this comment further up by @vimalanyani! And then there’s this whole thread. And this; and let me tell you, I know for a fact, that these nuns are learning Pali so they can do the best they can at keeping their rules.

Plenty has been already said elsewhere about how the Vinaya is a thing that ought to be “lived” with Compassionate flexibility - as opposed to inflexible rigidity - because so often this is what the Buddha clearly displayed when formulating some of the rules; so I’m not going to bother to go into this now. But if you really care enough about this matter and are truly interested in prolonging the Sasana (please…the 500 year thing’s already passed…and if you try and say it’s metaphorical, I just won’t bother replying to you because you’re clearly ill-informed) then let’s give more people the chance to be guardians of the Dhamma and become these Arahants. The more contemporary female Arahants there are, the less chance there will be that their “old” worldly conditioning will have any bearing on how they view female ordination.

Anyone seeing this as a “modernist” revival is clearly unaware that they have made the Dhamma-Vinaya something only for the past. But if it’s True, then it should be true today as well. And if it’s True, then it’s also True that’s it’s impermanent and that social forces aren’t just going to shape it today, they shaped it 2600 years ago and they shaped it 1200 years ago and 500 years ago. Our job is to work out what is an EBT and what is not. Our job is see and understand the external social forces throughout history and see them clearly so that it becomes really obvious what we need to separate from what is True.

Chances are that EBTs will hold up and point to something True…otherwise our faith is founded on nothing solid. Because if you can’t trust an EBT to find what the Buddha really meant, then you can’t trust anything much and why be Buddhist at all… This is how you destroy the Sasana. By not investigating these texts, by not understanding, by not being flexible or compassionate. Not by admitting women…I mean what a gross, disgusting notion to even put forward! This is how you destroy Buddhism, by repeating this kind of stuff; if I thought for a moment that a Compassionate Arahant Buddha really thought women would destroy Buddhism, I would stop being a Buddhist. This is not my Buddhism.

But I suspect, it’s not the Arahants who are actively unsupportive of Bhikkhuni ordination. I bet they’ve got better things to occupy themselves with.

However, as to those monks who are actively supportive of Bhikkuni ordination, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an arahant or two in their ranks.

But why should we care? Take personal responsibility for why you do or don’t support Bhikkunis. And don’t play games with words for the sake of some academic argument…it’s not academic…it’s painful and impacts real people and it’s putting into writing and bringing to notice some stupid, deluded views that don’t deserve this sort of attention: which is why I mostly don’t bother with these sorts of threads so much anymore.


Other than academic minutiae, there are also those who are Buddhist Bible-thumpers; in this latter case, teaching opportunities are …very infrequent, to put it gently.

Misogyny as religious injunction? Sign them up.


Sadhu! A real lioness’s roar! :sparkling_heart:
:lion: :dharmawheel:

(Buddha to Māra:) “Evil One, I will not take final Nibbāna till I have female disciples who are accomplished, trained, skilled, learned, knowers of the Dhamma, trained in conformity with the Dhamma, correctly trained and walking in the path of the Dhamma, who will pass on what they have gained from their Teacher, teach it, declare it, establish it, expound it, analyse it, make it clear; till they shall be able by means of the Dhamma to refute false teachings that have arisen, and teach the Dhamma of wondrous effect

DN 16