Dr. Neekee Chaturvedi delivered talk on ‘Buddhist Nun and Her Struggles: Challenging the Monolithic Perspective’
Prof. K.T.S. Sarao chaired a program of World Heritage Week
On the occasion of World Heritage Week celebration 2021, Buddhist Heritage Research Institute of Heritage Society of Bihar in collaboration with Lord Buddha and Cultural Heritage Studies Chair, Dr. B.R Ambedkar University of Social Sciences (BRAUSS) of Madhya Pradesh conducted a special lecture titled ‘Buddhist Nun and Her Struggles: Challenging the Monolithic Perspective’.
The webinar was organised under the Patronship of Prof. Asha Shukla, Vice Chancellor of BRAUSS. Prof. Shukla presented the opening speech and welcomed the distinguished Speaker Dr. Neekee Chaturvedi, Associate Professor, Department of History & Indian Culture, University of Rajasthan and Chairperson Prof. K.T.S. Sarao, Department of Buddhist Studies, Delhi University, Delhi. She highlighted the importance of looking at matters from a gender equality perspective and encouraged the audience to visualise struggles & challenges that women faced during that time in comparison with today's present scenario. Prof. Shukla emphasised the power of criticism with the need to counter it with authentic viewpoints. She further elaborated the question of why did the society make women's role so difficult and how did they overcome all such huddles.
Prof. Neeru Mishra, Chair Professor, Lord Buddha and Cultural Heritage Studies Chair, BRAUSS gave the introductory address. She briefed the participants about the Speaker's numerous academic achievements and praised the Chairperson's work and his dedication towards Buddhist studies.
Speaker of the day Dr. Neekee Chaturvedi started her talk with a presentation on Ubayatho sangha or the Order of Nuns. In elaborate details she described about Bikkus and Bikkunis in a spiritual context. She discussed their struggles for doing spiritual practices, the challenge of becoming spiritual adept in the Buddhist order and spoke about Buddhist Nun's spiritual capability along with an emphasis on the agency of women. Dr. Chaturvedi in her presentation put forward points about a special set of rules for Nuns and maintained that Buddha himself had no prejudice against Bikkunis. Even though in the Buddhist ranking order Nuns were in many ways subordinate to Buddhist monks, they never fought for their position but rather acted as negotiators who applied many tactics during their life. The position and contribution of Mahaprajapati Gotami was touched upon by Dr. Chaturvedi along with it expressed how the Nuns in no way gave up infront of gender discrimination and subordination. The fact that the Nuns made inroads into the Sangha was itself an empowering act.
With the end of the Speaker's presentation Chairperson of the event Prof. K.T.S. Sarao, briefed about Buddhist literature stressing on Pali Tripitak. He underlined the uniqueness of the union of Buddhist Bikkunis, their ultimate power to do and achieve a lot in their lifetime, constantly confronted by a patriarchal misogynist society. Prof. Sarao detailed the audience about Buddha's view about the Nuns and how at times society played the role of a deciding factor in the women's lives. Finally he talked about the position of Nuns in various categories of Buddhism and stated women were more sacrificing than men in the ancient times.
✅Kindly submit your feedback form at the end of the session ( or before 23 November, 2021) to receive your participation certificate.
Dr. Anantashutosh Dwivedi, Director General of Heritage Society, Patna extended his vote of thanks. He thanked the invited speaker, chairperson, convenor, patron and all the participants for making the event a success. He appreciated the Speaker for talking about the theme which is of utmost importance related to Buddhist studies. Dr. Dwivedi acknowledged how such new information will be useful for students and scholars researching in this field. He requested all the participants to fill the feedback form for e-certificate for participants.
Video Link of the Program:
Oindrila Ghosal, Heritage Society- West Bengal circle acted as the moderator for the lecture. Dr Ajay Verma, Registrar, BRAUSS, Mhow was the Administrative Coordinator. This special lecture was broadcasted live on the Facebook and YouTube platform of Heritage Society and the Facebook platform of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University of Social Sciences.