|It's a mystery how anyone looked including the Buddha. That was not preserved. But Greco-Buddhist art gave us the fist and best images we have Wisdom Quarterly/sodahead.com).|
|I want to be like her, daddy. - That's the Buddha, dear. - Oh yeah. (Eighteen for Life/flickr)|
Sadly, sexism spread all over the planet, and humanity has been deprived of some of the greatest innovators that might have been. This is not limited to the secular world. Modern religion is much to blame. There was a time in the past when sexism was not rampant -- when "God" (Yahweh) had a wife (Asherah).
|Females can be fully enlightened, too.|
Because the Buddha was supremely enlightened (meaning he was not just enlightened but capable of effectively teaching others the path to enlightenment) and progressive, he taught, ordained, and raised females up, treating people as individuals in spite of gender, socioeconomic status, appearance, caste, or other superficial considerations.
But the current tradition suffers from male domination and a lapsed nuns' tradition that has only recently been revived, thanks in great part to Westerners and a groundswell of support in Buddhist countries.
|Shakespeares Sister Irish singer, the beautiful Siobhan Fahey (Kate Booker/Getty.co.uk)|
|The Buddha Shakyamuni, gilded alabaster, Sukhothai, Thailand (slowboat.teamworkz.asia)|
He had no sister, no female counterpart that we know of. But rest assured that if she had written all that is credited to him, it would have been discounted, dismissed, stolen, and credited to someone else. Such is the power of sexism, the belief that people are better or worse due to their biological sex rather than their social conditioning.
|Sacred feminine in Buddhism: Kwan Yin, Taras...|
The Buddha's mother, Queen Maya, passed away a week after Siddhartha's birth, and her sister (the king's wife and Maya's sister) stepped up to raise the prince, the future leader of the Shakyians (called "Scythians" from Central Asia by the ancient Greeks). The king and his new head wife (new chief consort) had a son and daughter, Nanda and Sundari Nanda, the Buddha's brother and sister.
Like everyone from the Buddha's time, she is not spoken of by her actual name, Bimba, but by various epithets, such as Yasodhara (and Bhaddakaccānā, Bhaddakaccā, Bhaddākaccā, Subhaddakaccānā, Kacchana, Subhaddakā, and Rahulamata, "mother of Rahula," her son and heir to the throne as the son of Siddhartha, who ordained at age 7 and became an enlightened disciple under his father the Buddha and his cousin, Ven. Ananda.
The Buddha's sister
|The beautiful Central Asian Shakyian Nanda|
|Reborn in Kapilavast (Bamiyan, Afghanistan)|
This likely means that Sundari Nanda was greatly skilled in her mastery of the meditative absorptions, entering them at will and without difficulty and emerging as predetermined by her own volition. TO BE CONTINUED