Women in Buddhism religion

In ancient India the position of women does not appear to have been a very happy one. Generally women seem to have been looked upon as being inferior to men. And, at times they were considered as being on the same level as the Sudras, the lowest of the four castes. Their freedom was extremely limited. The general view appears to be that they had to be under the care of parents in their childhood, under the protection of husbands in their youth; and in their old age they had to be under the control of their sons. Therefore, it was thought that they do not deserve any freedom. Their main role was considered to be that of housewives, managing the affairs in the house according to the wishes of their husbands.

Even as a wife the life of a woman was often miserable. This was specially so when she had the misfortune of being a co-wife. Jealousies and conflicts between co-wives were a common feature in ancient Indian society. The widow's plight was still worse. Normally, a widow was not allowed to remarry. It is said that a widow had to kill herself by jumping into the funeral pyre of her husband.

Women did not have educational freedom. Education was not considered as being of any importance to women. Their religious freedom, too, was restricted. As they had only little freedom, their chances of performing meritorious religious rites, too, were very limited.

Generally a woman was considered a burden on the family because the males had to bear the responsibility of looking after her. Besides, she was incapable of performing religious rites for the well-being of the departed parents, and therefore, she was considered as being of little use. This is why the birth of a female child was considered as a sign of misfortune in a family. Parents prayed for the birth of sons, both to carry on the family name and traditions and also to perform the necessary religious rites for their benefit when they are dead and gone. How miserable the father felt at the birth of a daughter is seen from the event connected with King Pasenadi of Kosala. When this King was informed that his queen gave birth to a daughter he came to the Buddha and lamented. The Buddha had to pacify him saying that good daughters are as good as good sons.

Buddhism does not consider women as being inferior to men. Buddhism, while accepting the biological and physical differences between the two sexes, does consider men and women to be equally useful to the...

You might also like
BCDT 2/5/13 : Women in Buddhism
BCDT 2/5/13 : Women in Buddhism
Women in Tibetan Buddhism
Women in Tibetan Buddhism

Study: Science and Religion Really Are Enemies After All  —
They are Atheists, though not “Materialists”. In fact many people question if Buddhism is a religion at all. (It is.

New Support Group Offers Buddhist-Based Addiction Recovery  — The Daily Planet
Buddhism is a religion born in ancient India in which meditation is a central tenet.

Popular Q&A

Are women treated fairly in the religion Buddhism?

Yes, Buddhism believes in sexual equality.

Related Posts