Vinaya Research

In collaboration with the Ven. Jampa Tsedroen (Carola Roloff), a Buddhist nun from Germany, for some time we have supported work on the Vinaya, the Buddhist monastic canon of rules and discipline.

Preliminary comment

As the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism have become known in the Western world, especially since the 1970s, Western women Buddhists have been astonished to note that access to full ordination remains debarred for Buddhist women in many Buddhist countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Sri Lanka - all Theravada countries - but actually also in Tibetan Buddhism, for which His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the monks' Sangha (order) of Tibetans in exile in India is nowadays responsible.

Founded in 1987, Sakyadhita, the International Association of Buddhist Women, thereupon set itself the goals of clarifying this discrimination against women and of promoting access for women both to Buddhist education and the opportunity of full ordination as a nun. In Sri Lanka at least, this led to success. For further details, see the websites:

http://www.sakyadhita.org

http://www.sakyadhita-srilanka.org

http://www.buddhistwomen.eu

His Holiness the Dalai Lama not only supported the foundation of Sakyadhita but has also for many years called on the order (Sangha) of monks in Tibetan Buddhism to investigate the fundamentals for the full ordination of Buddhist nuns.

Furthermore, he also supported the establishment of various study nunneries for novice nuns in India, some of whom have already been pursuing the traditional Geshe course of studies for monks very successfully since the 1980's. Yet the investigation of the fundamentals that His Holiness called for has repeatedly been deferred or else the findings presented have been incomplete.

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