In this 24-minute video presentation, Kate Blickhahn reads “Mahaprajapati Gotami: Aunt & StepMother of Siddhartha,” a chapter from her 2011 book, BUDDHA’S DAUGHTERS: Spiritual Journeys of Early Women of the Dharma. As Kate reads this chapter from her book, Mahapajapati’s story is illustrated by artwork that represents events in her life.~~Kate will read her fictionalized version of the astonishing achievement of Mahaprahapati, Buddha’s stepmother and aunt, the woman who raised him after the death of his mother, Mahamaya. Cultural tradition in early India dictated that women’s spiritual achievements came to them in their service to their husbands and children and in their support of male monastics, not in pursuit of their own spiritual liberation. Mahaprahapati believed otherwise, and she endeavored to convince her son that women, like men, should be allowed to pursue a renunciant’s life. This is the story of her struggles and of her remarkable success in establishing the first order of Buddhist nuns. Kate Blickhahn is the author of Buddha’s Daughters: Spiritual Journeys of Early Women of the Dharma and a Sakyadhita member. Charlotte Collins is a documentary filmmaker, webmaster for Sakyadhita International, and president of Sakyadhita USA.
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