Sisters in Solitude: Two Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Ethics for Women. A Comparative Analysis of the Chinese Dharmagupta and the Tibetan Mulasarvastivada Bhiksuni Pratimoksa Sutras

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SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1996 - Philosophy - 198 pages
This study is an investigation of the moral precepts and codes of everyday conduct by which ordained women regulated their lives. It takes as its basis the Bhik?u?? Pr?timok?a S?tras of the Dharmagupta school, preserved in Chinese translation, and the M?lasarv?stiv?da school, preserved in Tibetan translation.

For over two thousand years, Buddhist nuns have quietly embodied specific moral and spiritual values on their path to enlightenment. Contemplative communities offered women both an alternative lifestyle and an avenue for education. Numbering as many as one million at certain periods of history, they have exerted powerful, if often unacknowledged, influence on Asian societies.

Sisters in Solitude documents the earliest recorded system of ethics formulated especially for women and presents the first English translations of the original texts. An essential sourcebook for studies on women s religious history and feminist ethics, it details the monastic guidelines that link Buddhist nuns of the different traditions. The texts it contains unite women of many cultures.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Bhiksuni Prdtimoksa Sfitra of the
25
The Bhiksum Prdtimoksa Sfitra of the
75
A Comparison of the Chinese Dharmagupta
131
Linking Past and Future
145
53
153
75
175
81
181
Index
187
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About the author (1996)

Karma Lekshe Tsomo is Instructor of Buddhist Studies at Antioch University and a Degree Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. Her previous publications include Buddhism Through American Women s Eyes; Sakyadhita: Daughters of the Buddha; and Jorcho: Preparatory Practices.

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