When Buddha Was A Woman

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Self-Paced Course: Changing Your Karma

With Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig'dzin and Satya Shiva

Open Dates
Cleanse & Clear Your Body & Mind in this Guided Online Course. By donation [...]
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Dakini Mountain and Ngakpa International have been severely affected by the pandemic which has caused a major loss of income. Every contribution at this time makes a difference...
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Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

June 3, 2020
In web-classes, meeting twice a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism[…]

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

June 10, 2020
In web-classes, meeting twice a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism[…]

Fear as a Path to Liberation: Dakini Day Chod – Online

With Pema Khandro

June 16, 2020
Practice the Laughter of the Dakinis on Dakini Day, a practice of healing through meeting fear and neurosis with compassion and skill. Donations Welcome ~ No one turned away [...]
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Ngakpa Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

June 17, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Ngakpa Live – Online

With Pema Khandro

June 24, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

June 24, 2020
This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the challenge of integrating meditation into a full, dynamic life […]
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Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

July 1, 2020
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 […]

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

July 8, 2020
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 […]

The Five Wisdom Dakinis: Dakini Day Chod – Online

With Pema Khandro

July 15, 2020
Practice the Laughter of the Dakinis on Dakini Day, a practice of healing through ultimate compassion. In Chod the Five Wisdom Dakinis designate the path to the transforming confusion into insight [...]
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Ngakpa Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

July 15, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Dzogchen Meditation Retreat

With Pema Khandro

July 21 - 26, 2020
Join Pema Khandro Rinpoche for a five-day meditation retreat in the lush meadows and scenic rolling hills of Northern California’s Tahoe National Forest. This retreat is an immersion in Tibetan Buddhism’s restorative practices to awaken [...]
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Ngakpa Live – Online

With Pema Khandro

July 22, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

July 22, 2020
This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the challenge of integrating meditation into a full, dynamic life […]
Register Now

Free Intro to Meditation Instructor Training – Online

With Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig'dzin and Satya Shiva

August 3, 2020
Join Pema Khandro Rinpoche, Aruna Rig’zin and Satya Shiva for a free introduction to the upcoming Meditation Instructor Training.  The training details will be covered along with time for Q&A. For full details and curriculum, visit: https://ngakpa.org/meditation-teacher-training/
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Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

August 5, 2020
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 […]

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

August 12, 2020
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 […]

Ngakpa Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

August 19, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Ngakpa Live – Online

With Pema Khandro

August 26, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

August 26, 2020
This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the challenge of integrating meditation into a full, dynamic life […]
Register Now

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

September 2, 2020
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 […]

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

September 9, 2020
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 […]

Ngakpa Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

September 16, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Ngakpa Live – Online

With Pema Khandro

September 23, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

September 23, 2020
This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the challenge of integrating meditation into a full, dynamic life […]
Register Now

Vajra Sangha Retreat

With Pema Khandro

October 1 - 6, 2020
Closed Retreat, for the Vajra Sangha only.
Closed

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

October 7, 2020
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 […]

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

October 14, 2020
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 […]

Ngakpa Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

October 21, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Ngakpa Live – Online

With Pema Khandro

October 28, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

October 28, 2020
This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the challenge of integrating meditation into a full, dynamic life […]
Register Now

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

November 4, 2020
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 […]

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

November 11, 2020
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 […]

Ngakpa Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

November 18, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Ngakpa Live – Online

With Pema Khandro

November 25, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

November 25, 2020
This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the challenge of integrating meditation into a full, dynamic life […]
Register Now

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

December 2, 2020
In web-classes, meeting twice a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism[…]

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

December 9, 2020
In web-classes, meeting twice a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism[…]

Ngakpa Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

December 16, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Ngakpa Live – Online

With Pema Khandro

December 23, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

December 23, 2020
This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the challenge of integrating meditation into a full, dynamic life […]
Register Now

Buddhist Women Who Made History

In the Past Lives of the Buddha

In the Buddha’s past life he was a woman, according to several medieval Pali texts.[1] These texts, containing collections of the Buddha’s past life stories, portray how enlightened intention can develop through lifetimes. The stories are known as Jataka tales. They illustrate how altruistic aspiration and heroic conduct led the Buddha, through successive lifetimes, to fully awaken and finally become the person who was the father of Buddhism – and the Buddha of this aeon- Siddhartha Gautama (For his life story see my video series). Containing pithy lessons, these Jataka tales account for the activities of the Buddha, before he was a Buddha, and what it was that led him to become the Buddha over trillions of years and a hundred thousand aeons. In this way they serve as models for ideal attitudes and conduct that lead the individual to awaken and relieve others from suffering. In one of these tales, the Buddha first formulated his aspiration to be fully awakened when he was a female.

When Buddha Was A Woman

Early on in his succession of lives, in the third lifetime, the Buddha was a born a princess who was also the sister of the Buddha of previous aeons, Buddha Former Dipankara. During that life this princess made an offering of white mustard oil to an old monk. She gave this to this monk so that the oil could be used to light butter lamps as an offering for the Buddha of that time. When she made this offering, she also declared an aspiration. She wished that in a future life, for the sake of all sentient beings, that she would become a Buddha. When the monk told the Buddha of that aeon of the princess’s aspiration, he responded with a prediction. He foretold that in the future, she would be told that she would be the Buddha of the next aeon (our present age), the Buddha Gotama, aka Siddhartha Gautama, the founding figure of Buddhism.

The Birth of Enlightened Intentionality

In Buddhism, one’s intention is the defining factor of one’s karma, one’s quality of life and one’s rebirths. Even when the actions we take do not turn out the way we intend them to, if the intention is altruistic, then it is a beneficial action. The cultivation of the highest intention possible is a deliberate practice featured in most Buddhist prayers and rituals. The wish is made not just to be happy, or have a better life, but that oneself and others would reach their highest potential, to be fully awake and to be free from suffering, to actualize buddha-nature. This wish is also known as Bodhichitta, enlightened intentionality and it is the motivation that drives a Buddhist’s life. This story of the Buddha’s lifetime as a female is an important pivotal story in the succession of lives because this it feature’s a woman making the enlightened intention that lays the foundation for the future attainment of Buddhahood.

For a full translation of this story and its commentary, see the fascinating essay by Karen Derris, “My Sister’s Future Buddhahood; A Jataka of the Buddha’s Lifetime As A Woman,” chapter one in Eminent Buddhist Women Edited by Karma Lekshe Tsomo.

[1] This story comes from Karen Derris’s translation and commentary based on the stories appearance in the Sotathakimahanidana (Bangkok: Privately printed, 2526/1983); Mahasampindanidana, unpublished transcription by Venerable Nanavasa; S.P. Buddhadatta, ed., Jinakalamali (London: Pali Text Society, 1962); The Sheaf Garland of the Epochs of the Conqueror, trans. N.A. Jayawickrama (London: Pali Text Society, 1968); P.S. Jaini, ed., Pannasa, 2 vols. (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1981-1983), and P.S. Jaini, trans., Apocryphal Birth Stories, vol. 2 (London: Pali Text Society, 1986), pp. 396-402).


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/