A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Times have changed, real values have not

When Lord Buddha walked the earth, the most common profession for women was wife and mother. Also during this period a woman’s place was determined by caste, the position of women in society in general and the rights of men. Women were considered chattel or the property of their husbands. They were here to provide services at his pleasure, and in some ways were treated worse than the slaves who were emancipated in the USA.  Lord Buddha laid down the basic principle in the Sigalovada Sutta The Lay Persons Code of Conduct. This Sutta along with many others can be downloaded at http://buddhasutra.com/ or http://www.buddhanet.net/ among other locations. The basic pattern or guidelines laid down here almost twenty-six hundred years ago are just as relevant today as when they were first written. These guidelines were to promote harmony between husband and wife, and ensure proper care and rearing of the children. The biological, psychological and material needs are covered and normalized within these guidelines. A wife is an equal in a Buddhist marriage, not her husband’s servant or toy. True love is accepting your spouse as they, understand you will both change over time, and putting the relationship above your individual wants and desires. You might say the needs of the two outweigh the wants of the one, a slight variation on a famous line from Star Trek. Religious faith if shared gives a common basis for both to refer to, but is not as important as mutual respect.

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