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Korean Buddhist Bhikkuni Association of Jogye Order of the Korean Buddhism elected the 11th president on 12th October 2015 and strated new movement. Twelve hundred nuns gathered at Beobyongsa nunnery of Korean Buddhist Bhikkuni Association(KBBA).

A bhikkhunī (Pali) or bhikṣuṇī (Sanskrit) is a fully ordained female monastic in Buddhism. Male monastics are called bhikkhus. Both bhikkhunis and bhikkhus live by the Vinaya. A set of rules. Until recently, the lineages of female monastics only remained in Mahayana Buddhism and thus are prevalent in countries such as Korea, Vietnam, China, and Taiwan but a few women have taken the full monastic vows in the Theravada and Vajrayana schools over the last decade.

​​Korean nuns practice very hard and live together in a nunnery where she belongs to. According to tradition, the Bhikkuni order was set up five years after the bhikkhu order of monks at the request of a group of women whose spokesperson was Mahapajapati Gotami, the aunt who raised Gautama Buddha after his mother died.

Yaśodharā (Pali Yasodharā) was the wife of Siddhārtha Gautama, later known as Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. She later became a bhikkhuni (a Buddhist nun) and is considered an arahatā.

Korean Buddhist nuns are mainly staying in nunneries across the country. Some nunneries are located at mountain area and town. There are many nunnery hermitages at mountain area where main monastery is located.

​​The Eight Garudhammas (or "heavy rules") are additional precepts required of bhikkhunis (fully ordained Buddhist nuns) above and beyond the monastic rule (vinaya) that applied to monks. The authenticity of these rules is highly contested; they were supposedly added to the (bhikkhunis) Vinaya "to allow more acceptance" of a monastic Order for women, during the Buddha's time. They are controversial because they attempt to push women into an inferior role and because many Buddhists, especially Theravadin women, have found evidence that the eight Garudhammas are not really the teachings of Gautama Buddha.

The English translation of the Eight Garudhammas is reproduced below:

1) A nun who has been ordained even for a hundred years must greet respectfully, rise up from her seat, salute with joined palms, do proper homage to a monk ordained but that day.

Murcott writes about Mahapajapati's purported later request: "I would ask one thing of the Blessed One, Ananda. It would be good if the Blessed One would allow making salutations, standing up in the presence of another, paying reverence and the proper performance of duties, to take place equally between both bhikkhus and bhikkhunis according to seniority." Those who believe in the garudhamma] also recount the story of this rule being altered after six monks lifted up their robes to show their thighs to the nuns. They believe that the Buddha learned about this, and made an exception to that rule so that nuns need not pay respect to such monks. According to the altered rule, a bhikkhuni does not have to bow to every monk, only to a monk who is worthy of respect.

2) A nun must not spend the rains in a residence where there are no monks.

3) Every half month a nun should desire two things from the Order of Monks: the asking as to the date of the Observance [ uposatha ] day, and the coming for the exhortation [ bhikkhunovada ].

4) After the rains (3-months rainy season retreat) a nun must 'invite' [ pavarana ] before both orders in respect of three matters, namely what was seen, what was heard, what was suspected.However, even proponents of the garudhammas concede that amendments were made to these rules. The revised version allows bhikkhunis to perform Paravana by themselves.

5) A nun, offending against an important rule, must undergo manatta discipline for half a month before both orders. Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation varies: "5) A bhikkhuni who has broken any of the vows of respect must undergo penance for half a month under both Sanghas."

6) When, as a probationer, she has trained in the six rules [cha dhamma] for two years, she should seek higher ordination from both orders.

The sixth gurudharma mentions śikṣamāṇās, who train for two years in preparation to become bhikkhunis. It says that after a probationer has trained with a bhikkhuni for two years, that bhikkhuni preceptor has the responsibility to fully ordain her. However, when the Buddha ordained Mahapajapati, probationer ordination did not exist. He ordained her directly as a bhikkhuni. This is one of the many textual errors in the garudhammas: the Buddha supposedly created one rule that requires probationer training which did not exist in the Buddha's time.

7) A monk must not be abused or reviled in any way by a nun.

8) From today, admonition of monks by nuns is forbidden. [Book of the Discipline, V.354-55]

Some scholars believe that the eight rules were added later since:

1) there is a discrepancy between the Pali bhikkhuni Vinaya and the garudhammas
2) violation of the Payantika Dharmas is treated as a minor offense (requiring only confession as expiation) but a severe offense in the garudhammas.

​​Writer: Dr. Lee Chi-Ran


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