The Maha-prajapati Bhiksuni Sutra
Rightly named for Maha-prajapati, the first bhiksuni (Buddhist nun), this sutra depicts the story of how the Buddha s foster-mother, in her sixties at Kapilavatthu (the Buddha s birthplace), begged the Buddha earnestly and continually to admit her and five hundred other lay women of the Sakya tribe into the monastic order. Viewed from the Buddha-Only Vehicle perspective of The Lotus Sutra, The Maha-prajapati Bhiksuni Sutra reveals the Buddha s compassionate will and vow to help the female practitioners consummate their quest for the ultimate nirvana becoming a Buddha. In addition, He thus fulfilled His filial piety for His foster-mother. Though founded on The Eight Commands That Demand Respect for the Bhiksus (the eight rules prescribed by the Buddha as the precondition for admitting women into the monastic order), this sutra is not based on a secular patriarchic/male-chauvinist discriminatory view of the Sangha regarding women. What distinguishes this sutra from other sutras is that in it the Buddha explicated in great detail the women s delusive 84 sentiments and postures and explained the reasons to reach Arhaship by getting rid of the 84 feminine sentiments and postures.