(Pāli: garu-dhamma; Skt.: guru-dharma). The eight additional ‘weighty rules’ that the Buddha imposed as a condition of allowing women to be ordained as nuns.
This is a preview of what "validation by science and academia" will look like, and it ain't pretty:
The Decline of the Sasanahttp://bhikkhuni.net/library/kusuma-ina ... story.html
"The Cullavagga describes how the lifespan of the Buddha's dispensation would be reduced from one thousand to five hundred years, due to the ordination of women. It records a statement of the Buddha as follows: "Ananda, if only the women did not leave the household and become ordained in the Tathagata's sasana, this pure, chaste, holy life of the dispensation would have lasted longer. Ananda, however, now that the women have left the household and have been ordained, the lifespan of the sasana will be reduced from one thousand years to five hundred years."
Let us examine what the commentary of Cullavagga has to say. It actually contradicts this statement. The commentator, Buddhaghosa, leads us to a new world: "Like a great reservoir when bounded by a dam would retain water, in the same way these Garu Dhammas have been promulgated by the Buddha...So that through the going forth of women there will not be a decline to the dispensation. If not promulgated, the Saddharma would last only 500 years. Now, through garudhamma being promulgated the Saddharma will last another 500 years. Thus it will last a thousand years." The commentary is diametrically opposed to the text. While the Cullavagga reduces the lifespan from a thousand years to five hundred years, the commentary increases the lifespan from five hundred to a thousand years. Readers become perplexed, wondering whether they should believe the text or the commentary or neither. Today the Buddha's teachings have been in existence for well over twenty-five hundred years!
Buddhaghosa does not agree with the view held in the Cullavagga. There is a reason for this. Buddhaghosa wrote the commentary in the fourth century C.E., that is, ten centuries after the demise of the Buddha, and he saw a flourishing bhikkhun order existing then in Sri Lanka. That was well after the stipulated time of five hundred years or even a thousand years. Obviously he had to break away from the Cullavagga and report the current view.
So, we find not only the Vinaya texts, but also the commentaries reporting inaccuracies.
I often ask scholars and monks what is meant by the statement that the dispensation would last only five hundred years, not a thousand. The answer I get is that it is because the arahant disciples lasted only five hundred years. That leaves me in another quandary.
In his commentary, Buddhaghosa finally increases the life of the sasana to five thousand years. The first thousand years, he says, there will be arahants having "four analytical knowledges." The next thousand years there will be bare "insight arahants." The next thousand years there will be sakadagami and the next thousand years will be sotpatti. In all, for five thousand years the pativedha, the penetration of the Dhamma, will be seen.
One begins to wonder whether the original statement that the sasana would last only five hundred years due to the ordination of women is really that of the All-Knowing Buddha. If it were, why did Buddhaghosa contradict the words of the Buddha? In many other instances the Buddha specifically mentioned that the causes for the decline of the dispensation are, for example, not keeping the Vinaya precepts, not practicing meditation, not gaining jhanas, not striving for sainthood, not practicing the seven factors of enlightenment, and so on. Nowhere else, except in the Cullavagga, is there a reference to the decline of the dispensation being due to the institution of the bhikkhun order. In my opinion, it is highly improbable that the Buddha would have instituted the bhikkhun order had it meant the decline of the dispensation."
Regardless of whether Buddha did or did not say anything about a Bhikkhuni-sangha reducing the sasana, or the time involved, this is the kind of 'logic' waiting to validate the Dhamma.
Mike, I'm surprised you find this kind of future speculation more useful than non-speculative repetition of wholesome meditation experiences.