Buddha's Victory by Sangharakshita

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By Sangharakshita

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

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In Mahaprajapati, there was a strong element of what William Blake called the ‘Female Will’. In fact, from a certain point of view, she was almost an embodiment of that Female Will. The Buddha saw that before Mahaprajapati could truly Go Forth the Female Will had to annihilated – and the eight important rules were intended to do just that. At this point I should perhaps say a few words about what Blake meant by the Female Will. According to Blake, in the ‘unfallen Individual’, reason and emotion, ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’, are united.

The aspect of ‘taking delight’ means that we not only see a person as a person, but also like what we see, enjoy and take delight in what we see, just as we do with a beautiful painting or poem – except that here the painting or poem is alive: the painting can speak to you, and the beautiful poem can answer back! This makes it very exciting and stimulating indeed. Here we see, we like, we love and appreciate a person entirely for their own sake, and not for the sake of anything useful that we can get out of them.

We have seen that Mahaprajapati tried to present the Buddha with a fait accompli. And we have seen that she tried to get her own way in a rather childish fashion. In Mahaprajapati, there was a strong element of what William Blake called the ‘Female Will’. In fact, from a certain point of view, she was almost an embodiment of that Female Will. The Buddha saw that before Mahaprajapati could truly Go Forth the Female Will had to annihilated – and the eight important rules were intended to do just that.

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