What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

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SarathW
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What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:59 am

I just wonder what is the cause for person to be born as a male, female or any other gender differentiation ?
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Dhammanando
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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:47 am

SarathW wrote:I just wonder what is the cause for person to be born as a male, female or any other gender differentiation ?
According to the Abhidhamma the sex-determining faculties of both sexes are produced by wholesome kamma. But where the wholesomeness is strong a male faculty will be produced, and where it is weak, a female one.

  • Imesu pana dvīsu purisaliṅgaṃ uttamaṃ, itthiliṅgaṃ hīnaṃ. Tasmā purisaliṅgaṃ balavaakusalena antaradhāyati, itthiliṅgaṃ dubbalakusalena patiṭṭhāti. Itthiliṅgaṃ pana antaradhāyantaṃ dubbalaakusalena antaradhāyati, purisaliṅgaṃ balavakusalena patiṭṭhāti. Evaṃ ubhayampi akusalena antaradhāyati, kusalena patiṭṭhātīti veditabbaṃ.

    “Of these two [sex-determining faculties] the male is superior, the female is inferior. Therefore the male faculty is made to disappear by strong unwholesomeness, while the female faculty is brought about by weak wholesomeness. However, in disappearing the female faculty does so by weak unwholesomeness. The male faculty is brought about by strong wholesomeness. Thus it should be known that both disappear through unwholesomeness and are brought about by wholesomeness.”
    (DhsA. 322; Expositor II. 420)
To summarise:

Strong kusala kamma generates the male controlling faculty (purisindriya).
Weak kusala kamma generates the female controlling faculty (itthindriya).
Strong akusala kamma causes the male controlling faculty to disappear.
Weak akusala kamma causes the female controlling faculty to disappear.

SarathW
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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by SarathW » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:41 am

I do not think male is superior to female.
Being a human is the most important of all.
If both can attain the ultimate goal Nibbana, as Buddhist we can't say male is superior to the female.
Perhaps there could be some disadvantages and advantages being a male or female.
I think according to Buddhist teaching, people are born as rich or poor also due to past Kamma.
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Dhammanando
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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:58 am

SarathW wrote:I do not think male is superior to female.
Being a human is the most important of all.
If both can attain the ultimate goal Nibbana, as Buddhist we can't say male is superior to the female.
What is being asserted is the superiority of the indriya, not the person.

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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by SarathW » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:35 am

Could you give me bit more info or just a link to read bit more about it?
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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:31 am

SarathW wrote:Could you give me bit more info or just a link to read bit more about it?
Buddhaghosa's account of the gender faculties is on pages 419-21 of volume II of The Expositor, Pe Maung Tin's translation of the Atthasālinī. This text is available here:

http://libgen.org/get.php?md5=0b1aa7d21 ... 12c21223b6

Feathers
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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by Feathers » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:29 am

Dhammanando wrote:
SarathW wrote:I do not think male is superior to female.
Being a human is the most important of all.
If both can attain the ultimate goal Nibbana, as Buddhist we can't say male is superior to the female.
What is being asserted is the superiority of the indriya, not the person.
Thanks for adding that.

That makes some sense - given the disadvantages to being female (from risks in childbirth to status in many parts of the world to hurdles to ordaining . . . etc. etc.)
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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:17 am

SarathW wrote:I do not think male is superior to female.
Being a human is the most important of all.
If both can attain the ultimate goal Nibbana, as Buddhist we can't say male is superior to the female.
Perhaps there could be some disadvantages and advantages being a male or female.
I think according to Buddhist teaching, people are born as rich or poor also due to past Kamma.
:thinking:
The kamma that causes re-linking consciousness is just one of many that a being has done during his/her immediately preceding existence, but it is the key one that determines the type of existence. Thereafter, other previous kammas come into effect, so one born into the human realm with triple wholesome root consciousness into a wealthy family, with excellent intelligence, good health and so forth, may still suffer disadvantages such as accidents, diseases, etc., due to previous unwholesome kamma. Most, if not all beings, have a broad mix of wholesome and unwholesome kamma. It is rare indeed to find anyone who is always doing meritorious deeds by body, speech, and mind.

Being born as a male human being is of little benefit for most. One only has to watch the news to see which sex does most of the violent crime and murder.
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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by wildpreciouslife » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:04 pm

Thank you to the dear bhikkhus for your kind replies. All my respect to you.
However I have to say I am disappointed that the only responses given have been drawn from the Abhidhamma and Buddhaghosa, which may be much later texts. What was or would be the Buddha's opinion this? This seems to be heading towards 'kamma accounting' which the Buddha did not recommend, and also He said women could go forth and become enlightened much as any man. Of course kamma affects rebirth, but it is far FAR too complex for us to pinpoint. A waste of time. I am a woman, but I am wealthy, independent, highly educated and white. I can even ordain if I want. I am so fortunately reborn I didnt even think about gender inequality, ironically until I went to Asia and started to study Buddhism.
How can you say my rebirth is due to 'weaker wholesome kamma' than a man born into poverty and illiteracy who has no chance to study dhamma. It just doesn't add up. Nonsense teachings and sexism will be the death of Buddhism.
The OP may find very interesting bhante Sujato ' s talks on YouTube. The workshop is called kamma and rebirth, first workshop, first talk, he discusses kamma and rebirth related to gender. Also 'last mind moment'.
The Buddha has brought the message of liberation to our world. Please don't cut women down, please don't let dhamma die.
Metta.

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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:21 pm

wildpreciouslife wrote:However I have to say I am disappointed that the only responses given have been drawn from the Abhidhamma and Buddhaghosa, which may be much later texts.
As far as I know it is only in these texts that the OP's question is addressed.

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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:39 pm

wildpreciouslife wrote:He said women could go forth and become enlightened much as any man.
No. This is popularly asserted nowadays, on the basis of the Gotamī Sutta, but it is not in fact what the sutta reports the Buddha as saying.
  • Then the Venerable Ānanda said to the Blessed One: “Bhante, if a woman were to go forth from the household life into homelessness in the Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathāgata, would it be possible for her to realize the fruit of stream-entry, the fruit of once-returning, the fruit of non-returning, and the fruit of arahantship?”

    “It would be, Ānanda.”
So, enlightenment is said to be a possibility for women if they go forth, but contrary to today’s fashionable egalitarian paraphrase, the sutta is non-committal as to whether their potential for enlightenment is equal to men’s, less than men’s or greater than men’s. Nothing at all is said about this, and so whatever opinion anyone may entertain on the matter is nothing more than an opinion.
wildpreciouslife wrote:Of course kamma affects rebirth, but it is far FAR too complex for us to pinpoint.
I think it depends what you mean. If you mean that we cannot say anything about what kinds of kammas lead to what kinds of rebirth, then the statement is false, for the Suttas are full of teachings about this. On the other hand, if you mean that we are not in a position to say that so-&-so was born in such-&-such circumstances due to the ripening of such-&-such kamma, then the statement would be true of those who lack cutūpapātañāṇa, but false of those who possess this power.
wildpreciouslife wrote:How can you say my rebirth is due to 'weaker wholesome kamma' than a man born into poverty and illiteracy who has no chance to study dhamma.
That isn’t what I said. The propitious circumstances of your birth would no doubt be attributed to the ripening of kusala kamma. My post, however, wasn’t concerned with persons at all, but only with the abhidhammic account of two kinds of kamma-originated rūpa: the male-faculty and female-faculty.

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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by wildpreciouslife » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:02 am

Dear Bhante,
Thank you for your informative and gracious response. You are clearly a very learned scholar, and your knowledge is much greater than mine. I have no desire to have any sort of battle of knowledge.
My appeal doesn't come from mental knowledge, but from the heart.
I get the distinct feeling around here that there is still an agenda to present women as not equal to men, in some way. Of course you will find plenty of evidence for that in the suttas, if that's what you wish to see.
I don't have much more to say on this. But I am grateful for having my woman's voice heard. Thank you :anjali:

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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by SarathW » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:06 am

wildpreciouslife wrote:Dear Bhante,
Thank you for your informative and gracious response. You are clearly a very learned scholar, and your knowledge is much greater than mine. I have no desire to have any sort of battle of knowledge.
My appeal doesn't come from mental knowledge, but from the heart.
I get the distinct feeling around here that there is still an agenda to present women as not equal to men, in some way. Of course you will find plenty of evidence for that in the suttas, if that's what you wish to see.
I don't have much more to say on this. But I am grateful for having my woman's voice heard. Thank you :anjali:
Hi W
It will be for your great benefit if you can come out of the thinking that your are a woman.
Why women want to be equal to men?
Can't they stand , in their own right?
There are enough Sutta to support the valuable contribution and the wisdom of women.
One of my favourite Sutta's are Culavedalla and Mahavedalla Suttas.

Your concern about women is the same concern as I have, that some think black people are somewhat inferior.
Just look at yourself.
Are you totally free from discrimination?
I know, I am not!

The thought that some thing or someone is higher, lower or equal is the result of not understanding Anatta.
This is a hindrance for realising Nibbana.

:thinking:
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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by DNS » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:13 pm

wildpreciouslife wrote:Nonsense teachings and sexism will be the death of Buddhism.
I agree.
wildpreciouslife wrote: The Buddha has brought the message of liberation to our world. Please don't cut women down, please don't let dhamma die.
Metta.
:thumbsup:

The Buddha was asked in so many words, "is there even one woman nun who is fully enlightened?" The Buddha responded, "There are not only one hundred . . . or five hundred, but far more bhikkhunis, my disciples, who by realizing for themselves with direct knowledge here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom . . ." Sutta 73 Majjhima Nikaya and also in other suttas too.

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Re: What is the Kamma relate to gender differentiation?

Post by rohana » Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:56 pm

Isn't it the case that in general, women tend to keep better sīla than men? When it comes to murder, stealing, and alcoholism ( and especially in most Asian countries when it comes to drinking ) the culprit is more likely to be male than female. It seems that in most places, the cultural environment makes it easier for women to keep good sīla. Also, I think both Pa-Auk Sayadāw and Dīpa Mā have indicated that women tend to have an easier time with meditation than men. So whatever kamma produces the female-form, it makes for a good ground for dhamma practice it seems, even more so than being granted a male-form.

"Karma and Female Rebirth" by Bhikkhu Anālayo is useful reading here.
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43

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