Path of spiritual Progress

In Chapter 13 of our text, the path of spiritual progress in Abhidharma is a long journey. In Buddhism (and many other religions), there are always differences between the genders when taking a spiritual path.

These differences may be necessary at the initial stage in Abhidharma because:

This may however not so from the perspective of Buddhism for the following reasons:

1) Biological differences and emotional inclination
The differences between genders are not only in biological structure but also in emotional inclination. From this perspective, precepts have to be gender orientated to better fit each situation and circumstances.

2) Social circumstances and cultural expectations
Famous philosophers such Confucius have been accused of gender discrimination. This however must not be the whole truth considering the need to fit social circumstances and cultural expectation of that era. Even in contemporary times, it is not uncommon for other religions such as Muslim, Cathodic and Christian to observe gender orientated practices in rituals.

The intention of such practices may not be gender discrimination in intention. Rather it may be originated on the ground of mutual respects i.e. mutual respects of the philosophy with the local culture / social behaviour or between individuals. E.g. in some culture, it is unacceptable for unmarried male and female to be seen mixing together even in public events, thus the need to separate devotees of different gender.

It can also have originated on ground of mutual respects between gender. E.g. husband is expected to take care of the family and wife to educate and look after the children. The husband (in classical Confucianism) should never quarrel with, let alone abuse, women.

3) Overall balances
Although males appear to be dominant or advantageously treated in public, females may not be the fairer gender as they can have dominancy domestically or able to exercise influences on the behaviours / decisions made by the males from other perspectives – directly or indirectly. Thus, achieving an overall balance of power distribution. E.g. females may be the fairer gender in some society but the males are expected to carry heavy luggage and exercise ladies first. The males may get to be served with home cook food but are expected to do the dishes. Most of the board directors may be male but many of the decisions are influenced by their wives opinions.

As practitioners progress further in the spiritual path, the differences in gender mitigated significantly when the defilements (including rites and rituals pertaining to genders) diminished. The Mahavibhasa Sastra highlighted this situation when all candidates entering the “stream entry” stage (Srotaapatti-phala-pratipannaka) are now “equal beings”.

So do you agree that there are only gender differences rather than discrimination in Buddhism?

would buddha choose apple over microsoft?

We must be extremely cautious in projecting the pathetic foibles that obsess our deranged culture onto a supreme sage who possibly lived three thousand years ago.
Would Buddha choose Apple over Microsoft? Hillary over Donald? Would Buddha approve of beauty queens of color being crowned in Japan?
It just makes little sense.

Much as the Bible offers passages that (seem to) support Jesus' role as another Fidel Castro figure -such as Luke 1:49ss; Mark 19:16ss; John 2:14ss; Matthew 25:31ss; Leviticus 25:35ss etc-, so the holy book offers passages that (seem to) support prosperity theology, namely 2 Corinthians (8:9), John (14:13-14), Mark (10:30), Malachi (3:10), Deuteronomy (8:18) etc.
As of late, arguments have been made to grant Jesus would support the U.S Tea Party movement opposed to oppressive big government and taxes.

Jewish-American Buddhist teacher Ethan Nichtern claims that Gautama Buddha can alternatively be interpreted as a Communist or a Libertarian, a Che Guevara or an Ayn Rand1 character.

Our overall discussion demonstrates that both sides of the spectrum, liberal and conservative, are actually closer than we might suspect in their bibliolatry and religionism. Scholars on both sides usually construct portraits of Jesus that mirror themselves, in terms of theology, politics, and ethical values.' The fact that neither side has produced any verifiable knowledge about Jesus forms yet another argument to end biblical studies as we know it. (Avalos 2007:153).

The impious man is not he who denies the gods of the many, but he who attaches to gods the beliefs of the many about them (Epicurus, 341-270 BCE, Ad Menoeceum).