A Buddhist Women’s Rights March

Upcoming Events

Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

September 26, 2018
Join Pema Khandro to study Buddhist Philosophy and Meditation in this free monthly class. The Open Teaching is a thirty-minute webinar, open to the public. The class starts with the […]

LA Teaching: Love in Times of Hate

With Pema Khandro

September 28, 2018
Explore a Buddhist perspective on love and compassion during the era of the mainstreaming of hate-speech. Taught by Tibetan Buddhist teacher and scholar, Lama Pema Khandro Rinpoche, this evening will be a lecture and discussion on Tibetan Buddhist principles for transforming aggression and discovering decisive clarity which is loving and powerful at the same time. This teaching is open to the public […]

LA Teaching: Tibetan Dream Yoga

With Pema Khandro

September 29, 2018
Considered the practice most similar to our experience at death, Dream Yoga is about navigating in the real and unreal aspects of our experience without falling asleep to awareness. It is a practice of recognizing the nature of our minds. This Teaching focuses on the Tibetan Buddhist methods for navigating Dream, Waking Life, and Sleep. Waking, dreaming, and deep sleep present transformations of perception and they highlight the continuity and discontinuity of experience. Through recognizing the opportunities for meditative awareness in these states, we can understand our own minds and face all our experiences with greater presence. A teaching based…

San Diego Teaching: Awakening Fierce Compassion

With Pema Khandro

September 30, 2018
White Tara Empowerment and Teaching with Pema Khandro Rinpoche. Open to the public. White Tara is the the female Buddha of compassion who strengthens the life force and protects beings. The White Tara meditation is a Tibetan Buddhist practice for awakening intrinsic wisdom.
Register Now

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

October 3, 2018
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Dzogchen Day Webcast

With Pema Khandro

October 10, 2018
Guided meditation and discussion with Pema Khandro. This 30 minute online class is free and open to Buddhist Yogis Sangha Members only. Click Here to become a Member Join online for this monthly class to practice meditation and discuss esoteric Buddhism with Pema Khandro. This class is a joyful opportunity to connect with the Buddhist Yogis […]
Closed

Ngakpa Training

With Pema Khandro

October 17, 2018
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study of Vajrayana Buddhism. The five year curriculum focuses on a study of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen. These studies alternate with one on one dialogues with the Lama in phone classes, private […]
Closed

Virginia – Vajra Sangha Retreat

With Pema Khandro

October 19 - 21, 2018
Closed Retreat. Vajra Sangha Participants must be able to attend from beginning to end. Vajra Sangha are the long-term personal students of Pema Khandro who are eligible for private teachings and advanced training. The Vajra Sangha functions in a warm, closely connected community, based on long-term friendships, mutual respect, and appreciation. It is an association of serious practitioners who do in-depth study and service, who are also able to be light-hearted and celebrate life. It is a community of leaders rather than a community of followers since advanced Buddhist study requires a willingness to take responsibility for one’s life and be willing…
Register Now

Group Leader Training

With Pema Khandro

October 22 - 25, 2018
The Group Leader Training Program serves the need for training leaders who will serve their local communities, to connect them with the tools for meditation practices and for studying fundamental Buddhist views. Such group leaders will require a firm grounding in the methods of daily meditation practice a clear curriculum for studying foundational Buddhist perspectives and ongoing mentorship with Pema Khandro Therefore this training sets out an authorized curriculum which covers the key meditations for regular practice as well as three sets of extended discussion group formats. The training offered will be focused on Group Leaders who understand Buddhist practice…
Contact Register@BuddhistYogis.org for More Information

Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

October 24 - 25, 2018
Join Pema Khandro to study Buddhist Philosophy and Meditation in this free monthly class. The Open Teaching is a thirty-minute webinar, open to the public. The class starts with the […]

Virginia: Chod Intensive

With Pema Khandro

October 26 - 28, 2018
This meditation retreat focuses on Buddhism’s esoteric practice for transforming the most difficult experiences into opportunities for awakening. It is a method which harnesses the heroic energy of enlightened intent to change neurotic mind patterns and heal from traumas.….[…]
Register Now

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

November 7, 2018
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Dzogchen Day Webcast

With Pema Khandro

November 14, 2018
Guided meditation and discussion with Pema Khandro. This 30 minute online class is free and open to Buddhist Yogis Sangha Members only. Click Here to become a Member Join online for this monthly class to practice meditation and discuss esoteric Buddhism with Pema Khandro. This class is a joyful opportunity to connect with the Buddhist Yogis […]
Closed

Ngakpa Training

With Pema Khandro

November 21, 2018
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study of Vajrayana Buddhism. The five year curriculum focuses on a study of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen. These studies alternate with one on one dialogues with the Lama in phone classes, private […]
Closed

Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

November 28, 2018
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

December 5, 2018
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Dzogchen Day Webcast

With Pema Khandro

December 12, 2018
Guided meditation and discussion with Pema Khandro. This 30 minute online class is free and open to Buddhist Yogis Sangha Members only. Click Here to become a Member Join online for this monthly class to practice meditation and discuss esoteric Buddhism with Pema Khandro. This class is a joyful opportunity to connect with the Buddhist Yogis […]
Closed

Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

December 26, 2018
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Important Buddhist Women Who Made Women’s Rights History Part 2

The Story of Mahapajapati Gotami

The story of the first women’s rights march recorded in history is the march led by Buddhist women for inclusion and equality.

During the early years of the Buddha’s teachings, although he had female students, there was not a monastic order for women. In India at this time, women were not allowed to participate as religious leaders in the dominant religious framework of Brahmanism, whose religious specialists were all men. However, five years after his enlightenment, one of the Buddha’s female followers led a group of women requesting that the nuns order would be created.

This brave woman was a student of the Buddha, and also his close relative. The Buddha’s mother had died in childbirth and he was raised by his aunt, Mahapajapati Gotami. With a motivation to develop spiritually to her fullest capacity, she repeatedly requested that the Buddha create a nun’s order and asked that the nuns be equal to monks. She marched with five hundred women to make this request, in an action called by Karma Lekshe Tsomo, the first women’s right march recorded in history.

The nuns were also supported by a monk, the well-respected disciple and attendant of the Buddha, Ananda. Ananda also advocated on their behalf and the order of the first female monastics was born, the bhikkunis.

The Buddha agreed, and the order of nuns was formed. He acknowledged that women were fully capable of fulfilling the path of awakening. This bold act was radical for the time. It was one of many brave actions of the founder of Buddhism. He also had rejected of the caste system, which was the organizing principle of Indian society at the time but prevented anyone who was not born Brahmin from spiritual training. But the Buddha said it was not one’s birth that determined if one was a Brahmin, it was one’s conduct, meaning that what gave one spiritual energy was based entirely on one’s own action. Thus, the Buddha created a stance for social equality and access to religious practice that was unprecedented for many men and women at that time.

Not only did several of those early female monastics achieve the level of the arhat, texts also record accounts of laywomen, non-monastics who achieved the highest states of awakening.

Sources

Tsomo, Karma Lekshe, ed. Eminent Buddhist Women. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2014. Print.

Havnevik, Hanna. Tibetan Buddhist Nuns: History, Cultural Norms and Social Reality. Oslo: Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. Print.

Pema Khandro
Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, humanitarian, and teacher in the rare lineage of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis. Raised in the west, ordained in the Nyingma lineage, enthroned as a tulku and trained as an academic, Pema Khandro presents both a traditional perspective and a modern voice. Read more at: https://www.pemakhandro.org/pema-khandro-extended-biography/