How whole meaning of Kamboja sutta is corrupted

Does “motherkind” also work in plural? “Motherkinds”?—No, there are no different kinds of mothers, at least that’s not what is meant … :thinking:


Oof, it’s extremely grating to have to read this kind of bigotry on this forum. Can you please keep these opinions to yourself?

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AN 4.80 does seem a bit misogynistic.

How are we to understand the seemingly categorical statement that:

“Females are irritable, jealous, stingy, and unintelligent. This is the cause, this is the reason why females don’t attend council meetings, work for a living, or travel.”

This seems to fly counter to many of the more progressive teachings found in the suttas. Is this a late addition?

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I find your above statement problematic in the following ways:

  1. Perhaps you are assuming that what exactly you find grating is extremely obvious to me - but I am rather totally in the dark (and with no mind-reading abilities of any sort) and expect you to quote/say explicitly what (in your opinion) is bigoted and why.
  2. I see a high horse judgemental and confrontational attitude (not attempting to engage in discussion, ask for specific corrections or offer constructive advice on specific points).
  3. I see you assuming bad faith right off the bat.
  4. If it was a sincere comment or criticism, it could have been made privately, and I am ready to explain or fix potentially problematic statements (I have done so in the past and am happy to do in future).
  5. Attempting to publicly shame people (calling people bigoted etc) or by making other such personal attacks i.e. not attempting to engage respectfully.
  6. Attempting to silence people by character assassination (“keep these opinions to yourself”)

I sincerely hope I’ve not misread your intent, but if I have, I apologize in advance.

In a discussion about social attitudes that once prevailed, there are bound to be differences of opinion of an academic nature - Not sure if you have learned to distinguish my ‘readings/understanding’ and ‘explanations’ of what the Pali canon states – from my own personal social attitudes. I have not stated anything here about my personal attitudes, so I have no clue how you find anything about me in what I said about the worldview in which the word mātṛgrāma/mātugāma is used.


You don’t have to post about which presently existing minorities you think the Buddha wouldn’t have approved of. So don’t! :slight_smile:

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Sorry but it’s looking like you are ranting - that too about an already retracted statement. I retracted my original statement as I didn’t want to argue about it or offend anyone (after discussing about it with other moderators) not because I couldn’t defend or substantiate that statement.

If there is still an active moderation issue I am happy to discuss it again with the moderator team and/or make further changes.

I don’t see your personal rant (accusing my academic opinion of being bigotry) as having a moderating effect unfortunately, so I wonder what your intention is.

I’m sorry, but what have Yin and Yang have to do with philosophy and religions of Ancient India?..

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It can describe and explain what we are stuck and cannot understand. The Buddha may know about this “Yin/Yang” or positive/negative principles because they belong to nature, not Chinese’s.

This is a point of view of certain religions. And none of this religions is Buddhism.
As a woman I can say (my opinion only) that this view is inherently sexist and degrading to women. So I can’t say that Buddha didn’t believe in Yin and Yang, but I doubt it because Buddha was not sexist.

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We can see it that way because of our own view. However, that’s how nature works. Negative and positive force are actually just the same force, but in different aspect. They have their different functions. They are against each other, but also support each other.

Nature is dualism. We have day and night, good and bad, male and female… Day will eventually become night, good will change to bad…That’s how nature is.

Please stop.

This has nothing to do with the topic, or with Buddhism, or with the “East”, or despite what you say, with “nature”. It is a philosophy invented by men in order to assign women a subordinate position in their patriarchal society.

The Buddha never endorsed this nonsense. Nor, to be clear, did any of the classical Chinese philosophers, for whom this simplistic dualism was unknown.

How anyone can say this stuff with a straight face is beyond me. Seen any good wars started by women lately?

This is the problem with these kinds of faux-eastern “wisdoms”. They start with an apparently obvious basic principle, then proceed to apply it in a way that suits the preconceptions of the person making it, despite the overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary. They explain nothing and hide everything. And they appropriate the genuine insights of Chinese philosophers in a reductive way that makes them seem small and bigoted.

I want to make myself perfectly clear here. I set up this forum to be a place where all people, including women and non-binary folk, can come and participate as equals with friendliness and respect without having to battle the wearying and degrading insistence on their inferiority that characterizes the worst of all cultures, especially in “spiritual” circles. We support and encourage women here.

If you are not in alignment with this, leave.


A perennially controversial stance, as this thread’s predictable derailment has shown :laughing:


Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu!
Thank you, Bhante.

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I feel as if my question was lost, but I believe that it’s one that bears some merit.

This is my effort to respectfully “bump” it :wink:

Many thanks :slight_smile:


Just my own opinion, females have their own power that is tremendous over males. It’s not the kind of “hard power” that is overwhelmed but another type of power as “soft power” that is nearly can not be resisted for males.

So maybe this Kamboja sutta was in the period where the bhikkhuni has not been formed yet and the Buddha was prioritizing in helping the bhikkhu to overcome their attachment to the sensual. Well, it’s only a “maybe” anyway.

In my opinion this statement as it is, without any context, is problematic and untrue in many ways.

First of all, it’s very conclusive. If taken literally, it implies that every female have this bad qualities, which can’t possible be true.
If it is not taken literally, it implies that women are more irritable, jealous, stingy, and unintelligent than men, which doesn’t hold very well either.
Since I don’t want to throw around biased opinions, I’ll summarise what I found after a quick google search about the differences between the sexes:

Irritable: Men are more outwardly aggressive than women but study shows that women experience anger as frequently and as intensely as men. Also women seemed better able to control immediate impulsive responses to anger while it’s harder for men to contain their anger.

Jealous: Different studies show that women are more jealous about romantic infidielities while men are more jealous about sexual infidelities. According to more recent study, women are more jealous in both categories. (the articles I found are about jelousy in a relationship, not jealousy in general)

Stinginess: Different studies show that women are more jenerouse than men.

Intelligence: (from wiki)“It is now recognized that there are no significant sex differences in general intelligence, though particular subtypes of intelligence vary somewhat between sexes.”

Of course everyone is welcome to double check and research this topics more in depth. The bottom line is that if there are any differences between men and women, thay are way more insignificant than alot of people might think.

The second part of the sutta also arouse some questions.
About “attending council meetings”, I find it hard to believe that all and every woman decides not to attend on their own accord, because thay are uninteligent and so on. To me it seems that that practice(of only men attending) is imposed to women either by the law, or by cultural norms of a patriarchal society.
E.g. Men see women in general as irritable, jealous, stingy, and unintelligent and that’s why thay don’t allow them to attend meetings or impose other limitations.

About ‘working for a living’ and ‘traveling’, it is not clear what is it referring to. I can’t imagine that women were not working, growing crops or rising livestock together with the men, in agrarial society. Even cooking or making textile is a form of working for a living, and very important at that. Certenly you can’t eat row rice and meat and go naked.
Probably the sutta is refering to specific crafts or trade that only men were socially accepted to do. The “travel” I assume also refers to trade between towns/cities. In my opinion the reason that women would not travel as freely as men is because it is not safe for them to do that. In a bandit attack, or in general, thay can be victim to sexual assault and are more likely to be kidnaped/enslaved
than men. This is the reason why in modern days ,even in developed countries with proper laws, women still have to be alot more careful when traveling alone at night or in desolate places.

As we know, one of the qualities of Dhamma is that it is timeless. If the statement of the sutta were true then, it would be true in present day as well. However now, women not only can attend in any form of governance but thay can be head of a government themselves, and be very successful. Thay can also engage in wide variety of jobs including crafts and trade and be as skilled as men.
Thay can also travel all around the world, although thay still have to be alot more cautious than men.

There are some things in scripture that are both wrong and harmful. Not many, thankfully, but this is one of them.


In your opinion, Bhante, why it is so?
Is it a later addition?

The principles are a foundational concept in the suttas for those wanting to enter the higher path. In Samyutta Nikaya 46.53 ( Samyutta Nikaya 46 deals with the seven factors of awakening) insight and serenity are described respectively as active and passive, likened to the elements fire and water. Applying this mode of the seven factors of awakening enables ascent from the verbal to the actual dynamics of the path. By that is meant the second factor ‘investigation’ requires effort, and when it is successful joy results with consequent concentration. If samsara has birth (active) and death (passive), then all its subsequent cycles operate that way, including the awakening factors.

Samyutta Nikaya 14.11 instructs factors of the path can only be discerned by employing contrast of opposites:

“Monk, the property of light is discerned in dependence on darkness.”

The path is conditioned, governed by the polarities of samsara, which must be known & used skilfully by the adept.

Bikkhu bodhi discusses this between 15.06 and 18.19, and also 40.12- 44.24 :

Probably, yes. Typically such statements are only found in the Anguttara and lack parallels. But I haven’t researched this specific point.

The mention of Kamboja is also quite unusual. Normally it is listed together with a conventional reckoning of sixteen nations. Now I think Kamboja is Persia or at least, somewhere to the west of Gandhara (= Pakistan/Afghanistan). It is mentioned in the early texts, but no mention is made of travel there.

In mn93:6.6 it is said that Yona (= Greece) and Kamboja have only two classes, masters and slaves. So it was clearly seen as a foreign culture, one that was not Indian.

Why does this passage specify Kamboja alone? By implication it suggests that women do travel elsewhere within the 16 nations.

As a more general observation, about 100 years after the Buddha there was a conflict between the “rigorist” and “laxist” wings of the Sangha at the Second Council. I believe that these misogynist texts can be traced to that “rigorist” wing, who were pushing back at what they perceived to be a decline in discipline in the Sangha. Again, I haven’t researched whether this specific text is associated with that. But the mention of Kamboja suggests this was added at a time when the boundaries of the sasana had expanded.

This was around the time when Alexander invaded India and established trade routes, so contacts with Greece and Persia were normalized.

This is not definitive of course, but it does agree with the idea that this text was added a century or so after the Buddha.