Bhikkhuni - History

History

According to Theravada tradition, the bhikkhuni order of nuns came to be five years after the bhikkhu order of monks.

Buddhism is unique among Indian Religions in that Buddha, as founder of a spiritual tradition, explicitly states in canonical literature that a woman is as capable of nirvana (enlightenment) as a man, and can fully attain all four stages of enlightenment in the Dhamma and Vinaya of the Buddha Sasana. There is no equivalent, in other traditions, of the Therigatha or Apadanas which record the high levels of spiritual attainment by women.

In a similar vein, major canonical Mahayana sutras such as the Lotus Sutra, chapter 12, records 6000 bhikkhuni Arahants as receiving predictions of Bodhisatvahood and future Buddhahood by Sakyamuni Buddha. In Buddhism, women can openly aspire to and practice for the highest level of spiritual attainment.

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