Issue 14.2 | 2017 / Guest edited by Elizabeth A. Castelli

Changing Sex or Changing Gender in Pāli Buddhist Literature

There is a body of references in Pāli Buddhist texts that discuss a case that is brought to the Buddha by his followers that claim that both monks and nuns can experience a change of sex. This theme is not uncommon in Mahāyāna literature, as evidenced by the familiar debate between Śariputra and the Goddess about gender in the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa: the Goddess changes genders with Śariputra to prove that there is no such thing as male and female. In Pāli Buddhist literature, there has been little to no substantial examination of these passages. Starting with the references in the Vinayapițaka, this article discusses the setting for these stories and traces these explanations about sex change throughout the commentarial literature in different types of Buddhist literature. The commentarial tradition is surprisingly thorough about both the causes for changing sex and the implications for monks and nuns who experience a change of sex/gender. If we are examining authoritative religious texts for information about how early Buddhist thought about sex and gender, what implications are there for contemporary understandings of sex change, transgender, and sexuality as a whole in today’s cultures? Such inquiries should not conflate representations of men and women, monks and nuns with the possibility that such men and women actually existed. At the same time, these passages cannot be left behind, cannot be reduced to the remnants of a Buddhist past that have been comfortably buried beneath centuries of colonial scholarship, and yet cannot stand simplistically as evidence of “the way life once was” for itthipaṇḍakas, women, paṇḍakas, men and other not-heteronormative humans, animals, and living beings.

The Task at Hand

The tools by which these passages have been unearthed are those honed to a keen edge in the colonialist annals of linguistic scholarship. The dictionaries that embrace the meanings of the words, the grammars that open up the syntax which were first translated into colonial languages which in turn opened up the possibility of reading the grammars in Pāli, Sinhalese, Thai, and Sanskrit, and other editions in different scripts. The “critical edition” of a text—transcribed first from an accepted standard edition and then compared to other versions in other scripts, often housed in European libraries—which are then authenticated by a European body remains the standard by which scholars of Buddhism conduct their translations, and the means by which I discovered these passages. In that model, the voices of the translators’ existence, passions, race, gender, orientation, anguish, and joy are gently cloaked under the choice of terms and framing of one’s translations. My own positions—white, female, lesbian, and the beneficiary of a colonialist past through kin whose origins are traced to European and Scottish descent who valued the education that is rewarded by institutions of higher learning in the United States—lurk invisibly under the words on the pages of the final translation. The purpose of this essay is to ask what difference does it make that this tradition kept its teachings about the possibility of sex change and the teachings about women who may have acted like men, women who did not have normative women’s bodies, and men who pursued differently conceptualized desire tucked away in the pages of inscribed oḷa-leaf manuscripts, housed in the library cupboards of monasteries? With Dinshaw and others, we should ask: “Is there buried in some official representation, in gaps, repetitions, prefigurations, other weird narrative temporalities, some other sign to be read, some other voice to be heard?”[1]

Sex Change in the Pāli Canon

Two passages in the Vinayapiṭaka of the Pāli canon that is claimed by the Theravāda school of Buddhism document the possibility that a change of sex is possible in this life. In keeping with the logic of the monastic rules articulated in the Vinaya collection, the Buddha’s response focuses on which rules are broken and which are not broken, following a change of sex.

Now at that time the sexual features of a woman appeared on a certain monk. They told the Blessed One about this matter. [He said,] “Monks, I allow the same teacher, the same ordination, the same rainy seasons together with the nuns. I allow reinstatement among the nuns for those offenses that nuns share in common with monks. According to those offenses of monks that are not shared in common with nuns, there is no offense.

Now at that time, the sexual features of a man appeared on a certain nun. They told the Blessed One about this matter. [He said,] “Monks, I allow the same teacher, the same ordination, the same rainy seasons in relation to the monks. I allow reinstatement among the monks for those offenses that monks share in common with the nuns. According to those offences of nuns that not shared in common with monks, there is no offense” (Vin III.35).[2]

There is much to be unpacked in these two passages. The word I have translated as “features” is linga, a word that carries a range of interpretations and connotations. The word can refer to the actual sexual genitalia of males and females (for humans as well as non-humans), the linguistic markers of gender in language, or even to what we would today call the category of “gender” in and of itself—the cultural meanings assigned to the habits and behaviors of men and women on the basis of the biological organs of males and females. Other common translations of liṅgaṃ include “sign,” “characteristic,” “feature,” “sex,” or “organ.” When paired with “male” (purisa) or “female” (itthi), the compound should properly be construed as “the features/organs of a male/man” and “the features/organ of a female/woman.” And thus we have our starting point: the claim that the sexual features of males may appear in nuns and the sexual features of females may appear in monks. This fact is introduced in the Vinayapiṭaka as a straightforward observation made by his followers, brought to the Buddha for his consideration, and his response.

These sentences are cited throughout the canon and commentaries as the root text for change of sex. The Vinayapiṭaka is one of three divisions of the Pāli canon, and as such, may be dated anywhere between the first century B.C.E. and the fourth century C.E. The Pāli canon is so-called because it is written in the language of Pāli, a dialect of Sanskrit, and this canon is known as the Buddhist canon of the Theravāda tradition. There are other collections of the canon that have been recorded in Sanskrit and in Chinese and, at many points—but not all, the Pāli canon accords with the canons of other Buddhist schools. These “canons” are collections of texts grouped into vinaya (discipline), sutta/sutra (story), and abhidhamma/abhidharma (further or higher dharma). Each of these is called a piṭaka, which is usually translated as basket, but we get a clearer sense of the term if we envision it as a thread, particularly as a thread of the teachings that became identified as the Buddhist canon. The Vinayapiṭaka is considered to be authoritative for Buddhists in terms of proper monastic Vinayapiṭaka insofar as it is part of the Tipiṭaka (three baskets) of the Pāli canon that was recited at the first gathering of monks and nuns after the Buddha’s passing into parinibbāna. The Tipiṭaka contains the earliest strata of the canonical writings, and passages found in the Vinayapiṭaka are often called “root” texts, to distinguish them from later commentaries. The Pāli commentarial tradition is a rich one, and we have collections of commentarial treatises that stretch from the late fifth century C.E. to the present.[3] These sentences, then, are the anchor for the substantial commentarial tradition that offers a plethora of different explanations and elaborations on the questions of how a monk can have the sexual features of a woman, or vice versa.

In the Vinayapiṭaka passage, the Buddha responds exclusively in terms of how this sex change affects the monk’s or nun’s teacher, seniority, and relationship to the new order of nuns and monks to which the transformed monk and nun, respectively, should now belong. The Buddha explains that the monk and the nun can have the same teacher, upajjhāya, the same ordination, and the same number of rainy seasons—that is, the same number of years spent as a monk or a nun, or the monastic’s seniority in the order. There are traditionally two kinds of teachers named in the Pāli canon, the upajjhāya, who may be considered to be the more senior of the two, and the ācariya. Similarly, there is no question about the validity of ordination the male monk who has female genitalia is now a nun and the female nun who now has male genitalia is now a monk. Nothing changes for the monk (now a nun) or the nun (now a monk) except their biological sex, their gender, and the fact that they now have to belong to the Order of nuns or the Order of monks. The fact of sexual transformation is regarded in this passage as a rather ordinary thing, to be dealt with solely in terms of one’s rank in the order of monks or nuns.

Are these passages really about a change of sex or a change of gender? The Pāli terms used to denote what I have translated as “sex change” do have a semantic range of meanings associated with liṅgaṃ, as discussed above. Should the words “itthiliṅgaṃ” and “purisaliṅgaṃ” really be translated as “female genitalia” and “male genitalia”? The answer is “yes,” liṅgaṃ should be understood with reference to the biological characteristics of sex, or the genitals—and not gender, more broadly construed. The reason for this emphasis on “change of sex” instead of “change of gender” is due to the fact that the Buddha explained, in some detail, that a monk who experienced a change of liṅgaṃhad to go live in the nunnery with other nuns—he couldn’t stay in the monastery. The same is true for the nun: she can’t stay with other nuns after experiencing a change of liṅgaṃ. One of the prerequisites for becoming ordained as a nun or a monk is a normatively sexed body. A diseased body, a deformed body, or a non-normative body such as that of an ubhatobyañjanaka (an intersex person) or a paṇḍaka (biologically male who are not considered to be normatively gendered) cannot be ordained.[4] The attire of monks and nuns in saffron robes demarcates an individual’s monastic status, and removes monks and nuns from the usual ways in which gender is performed by normatively gendered and sexed standards of behavior within any given historical period. To interpret these passages as statements about the fact that monks or nuns can experience a change of gender instead of sex fails to recognize that becoming ordained as a monk or a nun is to voluntarily give up the cultural determinants of gender by taking on the robes, avoiding contact with members of the opposite sex and gender, and so on. At the same time, monastic life of Pāli Buddhism is based on the separation of normatively sexed female and male bodies, and thus the Buddha instructs those who have experienced a change of sex to go live with other normatively sexed bodies of the proper biological sex. These passages, then, should be understood as referring to a change of biological sex, not gender.

In the Parivāra passage at the end of the Vinayapiṭaka, we encounter a different phrase used that becomes widespread throughout later commentaries. Instead of saying explicitly that “there is a monk to whom the sexual features of a woman appeared” (and vice versa), we read simply “the appearance of sexual features” as one of four ways by which a monk or a nun may violate the disciplinary rules—and the reverse, that one may be reinstated after having broken the rules. These two phrases, “there is a monk/nun to whom the sexual features of a woman/man appeared” (bhikkhuno itthiliṅgaṃ pātubhūtaṃ hoti) and then simply “the appearance of sexual features” (liṅgapātubhāvena) become the usual way of referring to sex change in this body of literature. The observation that the genitalia of the opposite sex can appear in—or perhaps on—a monk or a nun is presumed throughout this body of literature, but the attention given to the resolution and the cause of changing sex become more detailed as we move away from the root text in the Vinayapiṭaka and into the commentaries, which stretch from the fifth century into the seventeenth century.

Sex Change in the Pāli Buddhist Commentaries

In attempting to construct a positive genealogy of gay identity, queer critics and historians have often found themselves at a loss about what to do with the sad old queens and long-suffering dykes who haunt the historical record. They have disavowed the difficulties of the queer past, arguing that our true history has not been written. If critics do admit the difficulties of the queer past, it is most often in order to redeem them. By including queer figures from the past in a positive genealogy of gay identity, we make good on their suffering, transforming their shame into pride after the fact. I understand this impulse not only as a widespread but as a structural feature of the field, a way of counteracting the shame of having a dark past.[5]

Heather Love eloquently encapsulates trends in queer history in the past decade; those of us writing today have a compelling drive to redeem those lost in the silence of past centuries. In so doing, we make good on not only their suffering, but our own. She understands, she writes, the impulse to redeem those queens and dykes of history “as a way of counteracting the shame of having a dark past.” At this point, the author and the subject become blurred: we redeem our own past at the same time as we invite those monks and nuns who may have woken up in the morning with the genitalia of the opposite sex into a lineage which the redactors of the canon and commentaries likely never envisioned.[6] I will freely admit that my lesbian self sees connections with these monks and nuns who experienced a change of sex; one-sided connection, to be sure, but a connection nonetheless. When I first ran across these passages, I was driven to dig more deeply into the history to see what else might be available. A handful of scholars have written on these sex-changing nuns and monks, but none have unearthed any of the commentaries on these passages.[7]

The first substantive commentary on the lines from the Vinayapiṭaka is remembered by the Theravāda tradition to have been penned by Buddhaghosa, a South Indian Buddhist scholar known for his knowledge of Vedic texts and styles of debate. He was said to have been sent to Sri Lanka to study the Sinhala commentaries, because those texts were disintegrating in India. Buddhaghosa came to be known as the preeminent commentator and translator of these Sinhala commentaries, which are no longer extant. In the past fifty years or so, questions have been raised about Buddhaghosa’s authorship of the Samantapāsādikā, the commentaries on the Vinayapiṭaka. Whether Buddhaghosa was the actual commentator of the Samantapāsādikā need not occupy us any further, although we do need to be aware of the questions surrounding his authorship of the commentary.[8] On the passage cited above, the commentator who compiled the Samantapasadika wrote, in part:

In the fourteenth story, ‘sexual features of a woman appear’ (itthiliṅgaṃ pātubhūtan) means if, in the middle of the night while fast asleep, the sexual characteristics of a man (purisasaṇṭhānaṃ), such as a beard and moustache disappear entirely, and the sexual characteristics of a woman arise (itthisaṇṭhānaṃ), then ‘the same teacher, the same ordination,’ means ‘I allow the very ordination previously taken, and the very teacher previously chosen. Another teacher or ordination need not be taken.’ ‘The same rainy seasons’ means ‘I allow the same number of rainy seasons, the same number of rainy seasons counted since a monk’s ordination.’ It does not mean that one has to start counting all over again from this point forward. ‘Together with nuns’ means ‘I allow the provision of meeting with or being in the company of nuns.’ Thus it is said, ‘Now without the form [of a monk] (rūpaṃ) while living among monks, then go to a nunnery to live with nuns.’ ‘Those offenses shared by monks and nuns’ means ‘those offenses related to ordination or related to talks [that are] shared in common by monks and nuns.’ ‘Offenses may be rehabilitated among the nuns’ means ‘I allow rehabilitation among the nuns having followed the disciplines done by nuns.’ ‘There is no violation for those offenses’ means ‘there is no violation for those offenses such as emission of semen not shared by nuns and monks.’ According to this word-analysis, there is no offense for those offenses caused by the arising of usual sexual features (liṅga).

The close analysis with reference to the text follows according to traditional teachings. Out of these two characteristics, the male sexual features are the superior and the female sexual features are the inferior. The male sexual features disappear due to powerful bad actions.[9] Female sexual features are established due to weak good actions.[10] The disappearance of female sexual features is due to the disappearance of weak bad actions. Male sexual features are established due to powerful good actions.

If there are two monks who live together, having talked about dhamma and recited suttas, who lay down to sleep in the same house and fall asleep, and thus if female sexual features appear in one [of these monks], there is an offense relating to sharing a bed [with a person of the opposite sex]. And so that one, having woken up and seen the change and being miserable and dejected, even in the middle of the night, the other monk should console him by saying: “Very well, don’t worry. Corrupted states are part of the cycle of life [i.e., samsara]. The path to heaven is unobstructed, dhamma is accessible, a nun just as a monk is given the door to complete enlightenment.’ Having assured him like this, he should say ‘It would be good to go to the nunnery to stay with others. There will be some companions who are nuns there.’ If there are nuns like this there, or if there are not, the monk should say, ‘I need assistance; now I should enter the nunnery for the first time.’ With that monk or with another friend, that one should go be with nuns who are friends but the two should not go alone. Together with four or five monks, with a torch and staff in hand to guard against offense while going to arrange things with the nuns, saying ‘We go to such and such a place.’ If there is a monastery at a distance, beyond the village, or across the river there is no violation of the prohibition against going to villages alone, going to the other side of a river alone, staying away for a night alone, or staying behind a group alone.[11]

Now, it is probable that this passage was translated from the earlier Sinhala commentaries, somewhere at the start of the fifth century of the Common Era. Here, we see that the redactor of the Samantapāsādikā offers us a larger framework for the initial rather bare bones case that the monks brought before the Buddha in the Vinayapiṭaka. The commentary provide a rather commonplace setting: two monks (or nuns, as it may be) fell asleep after talking about dhamma and comparing sutta passages. One wakes up with female liṅga (or genitalia or gender or features), and the initial reaction, the commentary tell us, is not to recoil in horror or surprise but to console his or her friend with the observation that this sort of thing occurs in saṃsāra, and not to worry overmuch—nuns and monks can still be enlightened (a noteworthy claim in the commentaries in and of itself). The rest of the passage explains, in rather legalistic terms, just what one is supposed to do for one’s monk friend, who now has female liṅga—i.e., take her to a nunnery to find her some companions, and so on.

The legalistic tone of the balance of the passage follows the bulk of the Samantapāsādikā, which explains both the spirit and the letter of the rules that need to be followed in this case. Interestingly enough, the commentator also explains which rules can be bent a bit in order to care for one’s friend. From the time that a monk wakes up in the morning with female liṅga, the first rule that is broken is the rule against sharing a bed with someone of the opposite sex. The monk whose liṅga has changed should admit that s/he needs help, and off they should go—with another handful of nuns to keep them safe on the passage. The rules against two traveling alone should be obeyed: “Together with four or five monks, with a torch and staff in hand to guard against offense while going to arrange things with the nuns, saying ‘We go to such and such a place.’ If there is a monastery at a distance, beyond the village, or across the river there is no violation of the prohibition against going to villages alone, going to the other side of a river alone, staying away for a night alone, or staying behind a group alone.” All of these rules are well-established rules that were designed to prevent gossip (monks and nuns going off to enjoy a picnic in a desolate area, for example) and also to ensure their safety against robbers and thieves on the road. And the commentary explains in some detail that if there is a monastery (with a nunnery) at a distance, beyond the village, or across the river, then if they go in a group, there isn’t any violation of the rules against going to villages alone, going to the other side of the river, and so on.

Conclusions

The Buddhist framework for the substance of the recommendations found in this commentary, I suggest, is the category of kalyāṇa mitta, “good friends.” In other commentaries, whose analysis lies beyond the scope of this article, the commentators go into more detail about just what kind of nuns one should look for when one goes looking for a new community. Hsiao-Lan Hu discusses the Buddhist and feminist ethical implications of “good friends”: “The Buddha taught that association with ‘good friends,’ otherwise called ‘noble friends,’ ‘spiritual friends,’ ‘virtuous companions,’ or ‘companions in the holy life,’ was crucial in walking the Buddhist path and reaching the ultimate goal of nibbāna.”[12] Hu goes into greater depth on this point, urging us to realize that solitude was never taught as the ideal life of a monk or a nun. Members of the sangha should treat each other with metta, loving-kindness: “A member is taught to evince loving-kindness toward one’s companions in the Sangha through their bodily, verbal, and mental actions. She or he is to maintain that benevolence even in private, which means she or he is to keep the interconditionality with others constantly in mind and to conduct oneself accordingly in deeds, speeches, and thoughts.”[13] The commentators of the Pāli Buddhist tradition remembered, recorded, commented upon, and explained that if you are in that situation, then you should turn to your friends—and your friends should help you.

We have a commentarial thread about what happens if your sex or gender changes overnight that has been lost, save to a handful of monks and nuns living today and a dozen scholars or so. This case study can be traced back to the words of the Buddha and it treats sex change as simply one among a number of possible occurrences that may befall a monk or a nun; not a particularly unusual situation but not run of the mill, either. We need to take up Dinshaw’s question, “Is there buried in some official representation, in gaps, repetitions, prefigurations, other weird narrative temporalities, some other sign to be read, some other voice to be heard?” The answer here should be in the affirmative: Yes, there is “. . . buried in some official representation . . . some other voice to be heard.” That voice is a voice of the one who experiences the change of liṅga:

And so that one, having woken up and seen the change and being miserable and dejected, even in the middle of the night, the other monk should console him by saying: “Very well, don’t worry. Corrupted states are part of the cycle of life [i.e., samsara]. The path to heaven is unobstructed, dhamma is accessible, a nun just as a monk is given the door to complete enlightenment.’

These experiences of misery and dejection reach out across the centuries, cultures, and religions as a vibrant response to Heather Love’s call:

By including queer figures from the past in a positive genealogy of gay identity, we make good on their suffering, transforming their shame into pride after the fact. I understand this impulse not only as a widespread but as a structural feature of the field, a way of counteracting the shame of having a dark past.

We need not name a trans* identity for these monks and nuns, for that would undermine the very commonsense and legalistic approach of these commentaries: there is no enduring self, there is no enduring or stable identity. Neither were these monks and nuns who experienced a change of liṅgaṃ classified as members of a third gender according to the commentaries—and the category of a third gender was in full swing during these periods of South Asian history. These monks and nuns were understood to be ashamed of the past actions that produced such a state, but the theological descriptions of these kinds of people did not belabor that shame. They were embraced by their good friends, reassured, and welcomed into monastic houses of the opposite gender, and presumably went on with their lives, in pursuit of awakening. Recognizing even the hypothetical existence of such individuals at the turn of the first millennium in South India and Sri Lanka is perhaps more redemptive for us, mired as we are in interpretive traditions that burden us with the enduring notions of sin and shame. However, I am not so certain that we need to redeem these monks who wake up in the morning with female liṅga or these nuns who wake up in the morning with male liṅgaṃ. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that we need to find our own redemption alongside these monks and nuns.

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Footnotes
  1. Carolyn Dinshaw, Getting Medieval: Sexualities and Communities, Pre- and Postmodern (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999), 18. [Return to text]
  2. “tena kho pana samayena aññatarassa bhikkhuno itthiliṅgaṃ pātubhūtaṃ hoti” and “tena kho pana samayena aññatarissā bhikkhuniyā purisaliṅgaṃ pātubhūtaṃ hoti,” Vinaya-piṭakaṃ, edited by H. Oldenberg (London: Pali Text Society by Luzac & Co., 1964 [1882]), vol. 3, 34-35. With the good company and consultation of Professor Rebecca Manring (Indiana University at Bloomington), the translations of the Pāli are our own. [Return to text]
  3. There are several recent and insightful studies of Buddhist monastic education, the nature of Pāli and Buddhist commentaries, and Buddhaghosa, a fifth century commentator. See Justin Thomas McDaniel, Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words: Histories of Buddhist Monastic Education in Laos and Thailand (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008); Richard F. Nance, Speaking for Buddhas: Scriptural Commentary in Indian Buddhism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012); Maria Heim, The Forerunner of All Things: Buddhaghosa on Mind, Intention, and Agency (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014). [Return to text]
  4. Carol S. Anderson, “Gender in Pāli Buddhist Traditions,” Gender in Indian Philosophy, ed. Veena Howard (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, forthcoming); Carol S. Anderson, “Regulating Women’s Bodies in Indian Buddhist Canonical Literature,” in Re-figuring the Body: Embodiment in South Asian Religions, Conference on the Study of Religions of India Series, edited by Karen Pechilis and Barbara Holdredge, (Albany: SUNY Press, 2016). [Return to text]
  5. Heather Love, Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007), 32. [Return to text]
  6. This hermeneutical question rests at the heart of nearly all queer/gay/lesbian/non-heteronormative histories. In the field of religion, it was raised first by John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1980); Bernadette Brooten, Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). One of the more engaging reflections on this is Suparna Bhaskaran, Made In India: Decolonizations, Queer Sexualities, Trans/national Projects (London: Palgrave Press, 2004). [Return to text]
  7. The first articles to be written on this topic appeared in José I. Cabezón’s edited volume entitled Buddhism, Sexuality, and Gender (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1992). These include Leonard Zwilling’s “Homosexuality as Seen in Indian Buddhist Texts,” 203-214. Zwilling published other articles in consultation with Michael Sweet, including Michael J. Sweet, and Leonard Zwilling, “The First Medicalization: The Taxonomy and Etiology of Queerness in Classical Indian Medicine,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 3, 4 (1993): 590-607. See also Janet Gyatso, “One Plus One Makes Three: Buddhist Gender, Monasticism, and the Law of the Non-Excluded Middle,” History of Religions 43, 2 (2003):89-115; Janet Gyatso, “Sex,” in Critical Terms for the Study of Buddhism, edited by D. S. Lopez (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005); Janet Gyatso, Being Human in a Buddhist World: An Intellectual History of Medicine in Early Modern Tibet (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015); Petra Kieffer-Pültz, “Pārājika 1 and Saṅghādisesa 1: Hitherto Untranslated Passages from the Vinayapiṭaka of the Theravadins,” Traditional South Asian Medicine 6 (2001): 62-84; Lucinda Joy Peach, “Social Responsibility, Sex Change, and Salvation: Gender Justice in the Lotus Sūtra,” Philosophy East and West, 52, 2 (2002): 50-74; Serinity Young, “Female Mutability and Male Anxiety in an Early Buddhist Legend,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 16, 1 (2007): 14-39; and B. Scherer, “Gender Transformed and Meta-gendered Enlightenment: Reading Buddhist Narratives as Paradigms of Inclusiveness,” Revista de Estudos de Religião 3 (2006): 65-76. The many writings by Ruth Vanita, and Saleem Kidwai, provides a broader context for Indian religions. [Return to text]
  8. The best overview of this scholarship on Buddhaghosa and discussion of the task of commentary on the Pāli canon can be found in Heim, The Forerunner of All Things, 7-12 and passim. [Return to text]
  9. purisaliṅgaṃ balava akusalena antaradhāyati, in Samantapāsādikā: Buddhaghosa’s Commentary on the Vinayapitaka, edited by J. Takakusu et al. (London: Pali Text Society, 1924), 273. [Return to text]
  10. itthiliṅgaṃ dubbalakusalena patiṭṭhāti (Samantapāsādikā, 273). [Return to text]
  11. Samantapāsādikā, 273-277. [Return to text]
  12. Hsiao-Lan Hu, This-Worldly Nibbāna: A Buddhist-Feminist Social Ethic for Peacemaking in the Global Community (Albany: SUNY Press, 2011), 42-43. [Return to text]
  13. Hu, This-Worldly Nibbāna, 148. [Return to text]