Birth of the Buddha
Legend has it that Prince Siddhartha, who would later become the Buddha, emerged from the right side of his mother, near her hip. No disgusting birth canal or revolting vagina for him! He was too good for that.
Monks are not allowed to come into physical contact with women. This prevents monks who have not already achieved enlightenment from being distracted by lust.
I doubt that my sweaty, dust-covered, backpacker body would provoke much in the way of carnal desire but whenever I see a monk I fight the urge to run up and rub myself against him, just to see what would happen. I’d probably be dragged away by the authorities, screaming “Are you defiled now? ARE YA?” but I’ve promised Bernd I won’t make a scene on this trip.
Both monks and nuns must control their desires according to the “rules”, but only nuns have the additional burden of not “arousing the desires of men”.
There are men-only areas in many of the temples we’ve visited. What would happen if I were to stray into those areas? Would I be arrested or just admonished? Sadly I haven’t been able to find out (no scene making).
In Tibetan Buddhism which takes the whole “rebirth” notion literally, reincarnation allows a person to move up the ladder of existence in subsequent lives. Women are considered to be a lower form of incarnation than men. A woman about to attain enlightenment will be reborn in the male form.
No thanks. I’ll happily remain unenlightened, irreligious and unaccepting of all of this nonsense.