Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day (sutra) edited by Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly
WARNING: There is implicit sexist bias in this discourse, so take it with a grain of salt.
With Nakula’s Mother on the "Lovable Gods"
The Buddha had two mothers.
At one time the Buddha was staying in the Land of the Bhaggas on Crocodile Hill, in the deer park at Bhesakaḷā’s Wood.

The housewife Nakula’s mother went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat respectfully to one side. Then the Buddha said to her:

“Nakula’s mother, when females have eight qualities -- as their bodies break up after death -- they are reborn in company with the Devas of the Lovable Group. What are the eight qualities?

“Take the case of a female whose mother and father give her to a husband wanting what’s best for her, out of kindness and compassion. She would get up before him and go to bed after him, and be obliging, behaving nicely, and speaking politely.
I raised my sister's son for our husband.
“She honors, respects, esteems, and venerates those whom her husband respects, such as mother and father, as well as wandering ascetics and Brahmins. And when they arrive she provides them with a seat and water [with which to wash their feet].

“She’s skilled and tireless in her husband’s household duties, such as knitting and sewing. She understands how to go about things in order to complete and organize the work.

“She knows what work her husband’s domestic servants, employees, and workers have completed and what they’ve left incomplete. She knows who is sick, who is fit or unwell. She distributes to each a fair portion of various foods.
Buddha's biological mother shown as a sal tree dryad
“She ensures that any income her husband earns is guarded and protected, whether money, grain, silver, or gold. She does not overspend, steal, waste, or lose it. 
“She’s a lay follower who has gone for guidance to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Saṅgha [the noble Sangha, who having been guided by the Buddha and Dharma have become enlightened].
“She’s ethical. She does not kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct [explained as having intercourse with the ten forbidden persons], lie, or use alcoholic drinks that cause negligence.

“She’s generous. She lives at home freed of the stain of stinginess, freely generous, open-handed, loving to let go, committed to charity, loving to give and to share.

When they have these eight qualities females -- when their bodies break up, after death -- are reborn in company with the Devas of the Lovable Group.
She would never look down on her husband,
who is always keen to work hard and
always looking after her,
bringing her whatever she wants.
A good woman never scolds her husband
with jealous words.
Being astute, she reveres
those respected by her husband.
She gets up early, works tirelessly,
and manages the domestic help.
She is lovable to her husband
and preserves family wealth.
A lady who fulfills these duties
according to her husband’s wish,
is reborn among the devas
called ‘Lovable’.”

Q: Wait, Buddhism has heaven?
A: No, Buddhism has heavens (sagga) of the akasha-deva-loka or celestial-shining ones-world, the many deva worlds and planes of existence reborn into by merit and good karma and by meditation and the stilling of the mind on a single object to the point of absorption (jhana, zen, dhyana, or chan).

Q: Buddh-ism is sexism?
A: Yes, well, it's not sexism but it has sexist elements added to it. It arose in very sexist societies -- or societies which used to be very openminded and inclusive and got torn up by invasions and conquering and became sexist, patriarchal, and regressive. But the Buddha and Buddha's teaching were not that way. And particularly in the West, our Buddhism will not be that way. It's back to basics and letting go of the cultural we can add our own openminded overlay with our sensibilities. To think there is no sexism because there shouldn't be will disappoint when the texts or some teachers are regressive or chauvinistic or displaying the biases and prejudices of a given society where Buddhism took hold.

Q: Are there women in Buddhism?
A: Yes, and they love it. But with the treatment of females after the loss of the Buddhist Nuns' Order, not everyone loves it. We need equality. We need to bring back the magic, modernity, and really progressive things the Buddha taught.

Q: The Buddha had two mothers?
A: Yes, his biological mother (Maha Maya Devi) passed away a week after he was born and his mother's sister and King Suddhodana's other wife (Maha Prajapati Gotami Devi) raised him as her own from that day on. Maya had agreed to be reborn here, it is said, to give birth to the Bodhisattva ("Buddha-to-be"), so once that task was done, it was back to the Tusita world. The Buddha out of love for his mother taught her the Dharma in the Tavatimsa world so that she could benefit from what he had discovered in his last birth.

No comments: