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A Wreath of Blue Lotuses

by Sangharakshita

The Buddha's foster-mother asked him to let her go forth into homelessness like the existing monks, and she became the first Buddhist bhikkhuni (nun). In considering the eight special rules which she accepted, Sangharakshita discusses the nature of what William Blake called the 'Female Will'.

Talk given in 1983.

This talk is part of the series Incidents from the Pali Canon.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. The importance of gathering in large numbers; Ordination, now and in the Buddha's day (10:47) 
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2. Mahaprajapati's request for ordination and the Buddha's refusal; Ananda's intervention (9:14) 
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3. The Buddha's conditional acquiescence: the Eight Important Rules; Mahaprajapati's response (5:26) 
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4. Mahaprajapati's behaviour as 'fait accompli' (5:41) 
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5. The controversial nature of the Eight Rules (2:54) 
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6. The purpose of the Eight Rules; the subordination of the Order of Nuns to the Order of Monks (2:55) 
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7. The organic development of the Vinaya; seeking ordination for social reasons (6:07) 
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8. Mahaprajapati as the embodiment of Blake's 'Female Will' (3:36) 
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9. Mahaprajapati's success in Going Forth and gaining Enlightenment as recorded in the 'Therigatha' (4:43) 
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10. The Diamond Sutra: the annulment of past impure deeds through humility (1:51) 
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11. The Eight Important Rules for everyone; maintaining purity of desire for ordination; positive critical feedback (9:01) 


Total running time: 1:02:15

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