Electronic Journal from Sakyadhita USA


"History (or Her-story) of Women in Buddhism"

YouTube talk

by Ayya Tathaaloka

Published on Jan 23, 2014


In February of 2013 in Petaluma, Northern California, Ven. Tathaaloka Theri was asked to share her knowledge of the History or Her-story of Women in Buddhism. Ayya Tathaaloka is one of a few monastic scholars who have studied this subject deeply, but in the texts and epigraphy. Her knowledge of the subject is fascinating and inspiring, different from what we may commonly read, shedding light on both the environment for women in which Buddhism was founded, as well as the gendered social and cultural trends which developed in Buddhism over time, leading to the variety of Buddhist cultures we have inherited.


Resources mentioned in this talk:


- The Thirteen Foremost Bhikkhunī Disciples of the Buddha chant and text can be found here:

- the Therigatha ("Verses of the Women Elders"):

- the Canonical Bhikkhunī Samyutta ("The Connected Discourses on Bhikkhunis"):

- HH the Karmapa on full ordination for Tibetan women


Ayya Tathaaloka's foundation:

Dhammadharini "Women Upholding the Dhamma"

Awakening Forest Hermitage


Further teachings from Ayya Tathaaloka on Women in Buddhism


Sakyadhita USA Encouraging Inclusion Across American Buddhisms

SUSA is the USA National Branch of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women

Sakyadhita USA

P. O. Box 1649, Ridgecrest, CA 93556