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How can women get male anima? Women bear many sorrowful feelings all of their lives. So how can they escape those lives and be men?

  • @Glorfindel Don't think "anima" is the correct replacement for OP's "soul". The OP clearly stressed "be men". – Mishu 米殊 May 12 '17 at 14:24
  • @Bhumishu米殊 that's what was in the original text. Feel free to improve it. – Glorfindel May 12 '17 at 14:28
  • @Glorfindel I thought that's ur edit ;)- – Mishu 米殊 May 12 '17 at 14:41

10 Answers 10

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Upasaka (lay follower) Lal shared a nice approach on his website: Sexual Orientation – Effects of Kamma and Gathi (Sankhara), Olivia Glad.

Whether one seeks direct liberation or best possible conditions also afterwards, there is only making merits which is conductive.

A short quote from the article:

One is born male or female due to whether one cultivates “purisa sankhara” or “iththi sankhara” by thinking, speaking, and doing things accordingly. One does not do either punna abhisankhara or apunna abhisankhara here.

A nice approach that might have some personal hints that are maybe not so tasty for moderns, but over all a very releasing work on this most hard opinioned topic.

And a Verse of the Blessed One given in regard of Growth of female lay disciples (SN 37.4):

She grows in conviction & virtue,
discernment, generosity, & learning:
A virtuous female lay disciple
such as this
takes hold of the essence
right here within herself.

Important for oneself, one thinking "I am a woman", "I am a man", "Neither woman nor man I am", conceit and suffering is not abandoned.

So here a list of some inspirations, "Women and Buddhism", and may Olivia and other be careful not to fall into strong conceit and greed, hatred and delusion in regard of gender and situations which had causes.

Note: This answer is a gift of Dhamma and not meant for commercial purposes or to use the content for other wordily gains.

  • Good highlight on falling prey to sakkayaditti. – Ravindranath Akila May 1 '17 at 22:58
  • So why these many sociteis bush away the women.If-India – Olivia Glad May 12 '17 at 6:33
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Women bear many sorrowful feelings all of their lives. So how can they escape those lives and be men?

In my experience, men bear sorrowful feelings too.

Maybe they don't show their sorrow often. I think their sorrowful feelings are often related to their relationships with women and other men.

So men too may want to escape those lives.

When I read the suttas, I see little difference between men and women: merely some difference in their roles in lay society (within marriage). I think the same message (of Buddhism) might be of use to men and women. Liberation may come from studying, understanding, practicing the Dharma.


Part of Buddhist doctrine is that having and accepting views-of-self, any views-of-self, results in sorrow. I think that "views-of-self" includes views like "I exist", "I am a woman", "I am a man", "I am of such-and-such an age, or family".

It also teaches that sorrows arise from cravings (I think that 'craving to be a man' might be a kind of craving).

I think that the Buddhist path is open to all (though I realize that recently the existence or lineage of Theravada nuns has been controversial in some countries).


You mention "the woman soul" frequently, but I'm not sure there is such a thing. The sabba sutta for example describes the six senses; I doubt that a sense (the 'eye' for example) is male or female.

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How does a woman stay as a woman? A woman does not escape her femininity as long as she clings to her feminine nature.

“A woman attends inwardly to her feminine faculties, her feminine gestures, her feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voice, feminine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she attends outwardly to masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voices, masculine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she wants to be bonded to what is outside her, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in her femininity, a woman goes into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman does not transcend her femininity.
AN 7.51

How does a woman escape her femininity?

A woman does not attend inwardly to her feminine faculties… feminine charms. She is not excited by that, not delighted by that… does not attend outwardly to masculine faculties… masculine charms. She is not excited by that, not delighted by that… does not want to be bonded to what is outside her, does not want whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Not delighting, not caught up in her femininity, a woman does not go into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman transcends her femininity.
AN 7.51

  • Hey!Don't you heard "Ithi Jathaka before? – Olivia Glad May 1 '17 at 11:22
  • @OliviaGlad Sorry I don't know what you mean. Are you referring to a particular Jataka story? – dmsp May 1 '17 at 11:33
  • Maybe that helps: Itthi vagga – Samana Johann May 1 '17 at 13:55
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    Note @OliviaGlad , most Jatakas are teachings on Vinaya and meant to encourage monks of being careful not to tend on the most dangerous object of mind: the other gender. One can understand it also viciversa for the other gender. And woman normaly know good how to use their gender. So just stay always on the good side and DMSPs post are good to get more disattached to "I am a woman, and because of this, this and that..." papanca and suffering follows such thoughts. – Samana Johann May 1 '17 at 14:03
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    Ithi Jathaka is not a teaching of the Buddha. It is a story written hundreds of years later by clergy, possibly under King Asoka, who wanted to convert India to Buddhism. This falsifying of Buddhism ultimately lead to Buddhism becoming extinct in India & nearly extinct in Ceylon. Jataka made Buddhism indistinguishable from Hinduism, which lead to Hinduism absorbing Buddhism into it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Dhammadhatu May 1 '17 at 20:52
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There is no gender in Nirvana.

That is how a man can escape being a man, or a woman being a woman.

I for one, I plan to keep being a woman, and the difficulties are not difficulties, but a fundamental training in selflessness and loving kindness. That way, if I am reborn where Dharma is not taught, then at least I can keep practicing until I meet the teachings again.

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Remember the Heart Suttra. In emptiness, there is ...no eye, no nose, no ear, no mouth, ...

Thus in emptiness there is no soul. The concept of man and woman are created by human beings.

  • I like your point that 'concept of man and woman are created by human beings' – I_am_feminist May 7 '17 at 16:05
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First of all, "get male soul" I assumed you mean to be reborn as man, Buddhism doesn't teach the notion of existing a soul. Reading the question it seemed the OP does have the conviction and Dharma insight of the disadvantage of being female, congratulations on such awakening. While the Buddha accepted the Bhikkhunis and praised the women the Mothers of lives, to attend Buddha-hood all Buddhas' last lives born as men. There is one rare case of the Dragon Daughter (龍女), aged 8-y-o, attended Buddha-hood once she offerred her Pearl of Three-Thousand-Worlds, the description was she "then appeared at the South, changed to a male-body (男身) and became the Buddha". It was recorded in the Lotus Sutra. Feminism or sex-equal advocators, I am not interested in the debate. Please don't then label the Buddha in guilt of any so and so discrimination, its tiring to attend all the noises that catered only craving and self-love.

How to be reborn as man? Starts to work to get lighter/ light-hearted in the notion called love, love of relationship, attachment to a partner, sex... etc. It is the exceed of these attachments get one born as woman. Next, the practices related to Avalokitesvara and Medicine Buddha have the notion about being reborn as man if one invoke them correctly, following the practices.

Having said above, Buddha is transcended on gender, so its not about male, female which is better or both should be equal. Surangama Sutra has thorough description on the creation of the world, and different genders came to be. Else in some notes type instead of sermon type of Sutras like the Agama Sutra or its equivalent, it said male and female came to being because of desire, then sex, therefore male and female resulted to satisfy this activity; then death, therefore life created through sex. The beings came from the Realm of Brilliance (光音天) were genderless, later they due to indulging in the Taste of Earth (地味/地肥) some were caught up and forever left on earth, that's the origin of human beings. It will leave for the archaeologist to uncover the ruins, those monolithic structures who and how did they build.


Additional:

How did male and female come to be according to Agama Sutras (or Nikayas in Pali):

**Dīrgha Āgama 《長阿含經》 || Dīgha Nikāya** 

...「其後眾生便共取粳米食之,其身麤醜,有男女形, 互相瞻視,遂生欲想,共在屏處為不淨行。 餘眾生見言:『咄此為非! 云何眾生共生有如此事?』彼行不淨男子者,見他呵責, 即自悔過言:『我所為非。』即身投地。 其彼女人見其男子以身投地,悔過不起,女人即便送食。 餘眾生見,問女人言:『汝持此食,欲以與誰?』 答曰:『彼悔過眾生墮不善行者,我送食與之。』 因此言故,世間便有不善夫主之名; 以送飯與夫,因名之為妻。... 《長阿含經_卷22世記經》

In Dīrgha Āgama it recorded that after some beings from the Realm of Brilliance conducted sexual activities and were discovered by the other beings, one fallen down onto the ground lamented, "I did wrong!"; the other then took the food to serve the one laid on the ground refused to raise up in self-punishment. The one lamented is called "wrong-doing husband" (不善夫主), the one serving food called wife (妻).

In this short portrait I discerned that the two beings were equal, yet when one took the other as her object of care, she is the wife/female; whilst the other in reference to the whole of the other beings, realized his action was wrong, he is the husband/male. It's true in social structure, women are generally caring about her own family's welfare. The more limited one is able to care about - selfishness, the more one suffered. Just like depressed people are usually so concerned about their own selves. If one attached to any object as his/her affection and care, that object will be the very weapon to harm him/her. As women tend to look up to men (husbands) as their object of care, thus women are less free.

Therefore from serving food to her object of care/desire as portrayed in the Sutra, she then would wish to keep the man, then to have a place belonged to them, then assets, and then children... Therefore the bearing of children are the tasks of the women, and all the physical inconveniences. In the higher realm such as the Devas, those beings giving birth they don't come from the birth-channels. The new being (baby) could spring from the leg, shoulder, or from the head etc., from either male or female Deva. (It's recorded in Sutra but I yet have to find it).

If one could dive deeper into how female come to be, an incomplete summary: 1) attached to the female features - to attract man (thinking that's beautiful, because these are attractive to man); 2) attached to/ depended on man/husband (because her focus is on husband, thus family, thus bearing children. without these, woman felt insecure); 3) emotional attachment 情執重生為女人. woman tended to live according to feelings, and enjoyed feelings (love of romance), and loved relationships. These are hindrances for one to develop a complete/independent character. Attachment is source of suffering.

  • What are you saying?According to your answer male and female genders are equal.So why females bear many sorrowful feelings than male?We can't say the two genders are equal.The males are always in a front of female. – Olivia Glad May 12 '17 at 6:26
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    @OliviaGlad I'm relieved that you got "...genders are equal", you got it right. If you are more into the deeper teaching, Form (male/female) is resulted from our own differentiation (Diamond Sutra - Mahayana). Now if you read more the paragraph about this Realm of Brilliance how they were then "fallen" to become our human ancestors, you will know more about how female came to be. I put the rather long answer in my Additional. – Mishu 米殊 May 12 '17 at 9:28
  • So are there no way to escape the woman soul? – Olivia Glad May 13 '17 at 7:46
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The Pali suttas (SN 37.3), which were relevant to the Buddha's society, describe certain difficulties peculiar to women, namely:

  1. A young woman must leave her family & live with her husband's family.

  2. Menstruation.

  3. Pregnancy.

  4. The physical pain & danger of child birth.

  5. Serving a man.

However, apart from this, I do not recall reading anything in the Pali suttas that mention any causes or reasons for why a woman is physically born as a woman.

Everything I recall reading in the Pali scriptures treats men & women equally in respect to both the results of kamma/actions (refer to the Mātugāma Saṃyutta) and the potential for enlightenment (refer to the Therigatha).

In the Pali suttas, the different results of different kammas lead to the humane (compassionate), animal (immoral), ghost (addictive), heaven (blissful) & hell (suffering) states of mind rather than lead to birth as a man or woman.

As mentioned, accounts of women attaining freedom from suffering can be read in the Therigatha.

  • So are there no way to escape the woman soul? – Olivia Glad May 12 '17 at 6:28
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    Throughout this samsara we have been born as both male and female. Gender difference happens in sensual planes. Not in brahma planes. If you think that you are a woman or a man forever you under the the extreme view of Eternalism. Your kamma and the things you cultivate in your mind determines your next rebirth. It's hard to know cause the the laws of kamma and beings are infinite. Only the Buddha knows it fully. – Akila Hettiarachchi May 15 '17 at 3:23
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Why desiring to be a man? Just don't underestimate your womanhood like that. Just empower yourself and give a value to yourself. Society will say so many things.but who will give a damn? Just don't care what others say about women. Being a woman i thought in the same way now you are thinking.but it's some time ago and now I know the value and the importance of being a woman. Don't attribute such a value and an importance to men. No matter what your gender is if you are doing it right it will be the best. Those good notions of being a man have created by this patriarchal society.And we women should subotage those stupid values that make the women unimportant and miserable creatures.

  • Oya monavada me kiyanne?Oyage ammala thaththala oyata bala kaloth kasada bandinna kiyala, oyata ekata kamathi venna venava neda?Eth pirimi kenekta eke ganak nehe.Thava deyak,dan vadipurama mahana dam puranna lesi pirimi kenekta misak ganu kenekta nemei neda?Dan aduma tharame bhikshuni shasanayavath me loke nehe. – Olivia Glad May 9 '17 at 13:38
  • @OliviaGlad tell first whether you are woman or a man? – I_am_feminist May 9 '17 at 15:38
  • Mama nam mata bala kalata kisima deyak karanne nehe. I am an empowered woman. I am trying to empower those who are disempowered by this patriarchal society. – I_am_feminist May 9 '17 at 15:40
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There is no male/female "soul" in the way that you speak of...

My teacher did say though that the attachment to sensation skandha is more for women and attachment to conception skandha is more for men. (Men destroy themselves by overthinking, women by feeling.)

In Buddhism, feelings (sensation, vedana) are just one component of the human collection. There is also form, conception, volition, and consciousness... all of which compose the 5 skandhas.

Men (can) experience more suffering than women. It depends on the person's cultivation/craving level.

We have to keep practicing meditation and learn to distance ourselves from our own thoughts and emotions, which are not our True Self.

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In Buddhism there is no concept of Soul. So, we can leave out the discussion of the gender of the soul.

If your question refer to the fact that you wanting to be re-incarnated as a man to attain Nibbana, here are some facts:

How can you be born as a woman? If you have the intention of experiencing the world in sensitive detail, you have to be born as a woman. Only a woman is capable of doing that, as women have much more heightened senses (modern biology agrees with this notion) which allow them to perceive the world in intimate detail.

One can argue that this level of perseverance of detail is a hurdle to Nibbana. In fact, thinking that female senses would hinder their spirituality is one of the reasons most other ancient religions in India to consider women as lesser human beings. Buddhism rejects this concept. Simply because, with the proper mindset, the extra sensitivity/details perceived could be used as a positive catalyst in the process of realizing the true form of the world. (E.g.: All the females who attained Arhath state so far).

The bottom line is you are a woman because you chose to experience the world in detail. Don't be ashamed of it. Its not a crime. You see, feel, hear, taste, smell more than a man would ever be able to. Just don't chase those feelings. Don't let them enslave your mind. Rather, see them as they are with the help of Dhamma. If you think less of who you are it is the biggest hurdle to realizing Nibbana.

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