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By Sangharakshita

The writer tells of 5 incidents from the Buddha's lifestyles and displays on their value: the Buddha's fight for Enlightenment, his first conversation of the Enlightenment to others, his reluctance to confess ladies into his Order, his come across with a monk with dysentery and his ultimate passing away into parinirvana.

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He asks her what she wants and why she is so upset, and she replies that she is upset because the Buddha will not permit women to Go Forth from home into the homeless life. Ananda is a very sympathetic soul. He feels sorry for Mahaprajapati and does his best to help. He goes immediately to see the Buddha, saying that Mahaprajapati has come all the way from Kapilavastu and is now standing outside the porch weeping and wailing. He also suggests, out of the kindness of his heart, that the Buddha should grant her request.

If it was really to be separate and independent, that order of nuns would have to be headed by a woman. That left only the third alternative, that of subordinating the order of nuns to the order of monks. This, according to the scholar, is the alternative that the Buddha adopted. This explanation is certainly of interest. There may even be some truth in it. But it does not really suffice to explain the specific form in which the eight important rules were presented. Something more than organizational convenience seems to have been involved.

He then thought of his old companions, and realized that they were staying at the Deer Park, at Isipatana, in Sarnarth. So he went to them and, as the story goes, although they had determined not to show him any respect, they were quite unable to stop themselves from doing so when he actually arrived. The Buddha then sat down and talked with them. They talked for an entire rainy season, the Buddha trying to get his old companions to see the truth that he had seen. This no easy task. He argued and expostulated; they discussed things vigorously.

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