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Posted by Richard Ruquist on July 24, 2002 16:42:31 UTC

From the quotes below, it appears that perhaps the Buddha was not sexiest, but that Buddhism definitely was. I particularly point you to the remark that a religion is determined by the character of its adherents. And you amply point out that the adherents of Buddhism discriminated against women.

I do not recall that the dragon lady attained Buddhahood before transforming into a man. I will take your word on that one. But you also point out that all other Sutras require that transformation; so that except maybe for the Lotus Sutra, only men can become Buddhas, at least in the original form of Buddhism. Perhaps the more modern teachings differ in this regard.


***Therefore, it may be that by explaining that women would first become men and then
attain Buddhahood, Mahayana Buddhism sought to cushion the blow, as it were, and
make it easier for people to accept the idea of women attaining Buddhahood.

The character of a
religion is determined by the character of its adherents.

In any event, as in India, we see that in Japan, too, the original egalitarian spirit of
Buddhism proved extremely difficult to maintain.

Nichiren Daishonin says, "The attainment of Buddhahood by women is
not permitted except in this sutra" (GZ, 472)

Many other Mahayana texts similarly explain that women can attain Buddhahood after
first transforming into men.***

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