What made a woman joining the Buddhist sangha? Ideally, the main and the only reason was searching for liberation, for nirvana. But practically, it was far from that. An interesting and striking illustration of this entering is left in “Therigatha” (“Verses of elder nuns”). This poetry draws our attention by its ingenuous feelings.
Rather a bright demonstration is verses written by a nun Mutta (free translation):
I am free!
I became so independent!
I am free from three things:
From mortar and pestle as well as bent old husband!
Torn up by the roots the craving,
That will lead to becoming,
I am free from old age and death.
Mortar, pestle and shameless husband are mentioned in other verses in “Therigatha”. Note that these feelings contradict the rules of honouring a man as God.
P.S. Do you know that seventeen women in October, 2003 got the highest ecclesiastical rank as Buddhist nuns at the Shakyamuni Buddhist Centre in