Women in Tibetan Buddhism
Women’s day is a day for celebration; and one to reflect on their role and place in Tibetan society. Tibetan religious culture has a unique place for women. At the highest level, in Tantric Buddhism, the feminine aspect stands for wisdom, which joined with the male element of compassion, assures the full realization that causes enlightenment.
Female deities abound in the Buddhist pantheon. One of the most prominent are the White and Green Taras, bodhisattvas of compassion who enable long life, exhaust wishes and protect beings from harm.
In Tibetan society, a woman’s strongest association is with motherhood, and the love that is drawn from it is used as an example to cultivate the compassion necessary to progress on the path to enlightenment. Practitioners meditate on the love of a mother for her child, and extend that love to all sentient beings, loved ones and enemies alike. Even in nomadic society, where the main source of livelihood is animal husbandry, women are kept away from any activities that involve slaughter or the taking of life.
Women are the ones who are recognized for and have the role to curb excesses and give love. They are the ones responsible for making a better world.