Is there a particular reason(s) for a Buddha to be only of male gender?

I'm interested in any explanation in scriptures as well as your interpretations and opinions.

  • 1
    What is your source?
    – R. Barzell
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 22:01
  • @R.Barzell My source is rather a practically implicated one: a lifetime of being a Buddhist in Sri Lanka (Theravada Buddhism). Hence, I'm looking for solid reasons (if any) behind it.
    – mlomailom
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 12:17
  • @ChrisW Yes, that answers my question. Thx.
    – mlomailom
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 12:21

3 Answers 3


The question is a bit unclear, so here's an answer to what I think your question is.

I believe anyone -- regardless of gender -- can reap the same fruits of the path. It's all about diligence in practice; gender has nothing to do with it.

Now I recall some misogynistic passages and early injunctions against nuns, but I ignore all that. I don't think Buddhist scriptures or personalities (including The Buddha) are unerring. I think that despite having some profound things to say, Buddhism still was a product of its time and place and often failed to transcend those prejudices.

Fortunately, since Buddhist practice pays off in short order, there's no need for faith, so I don't have to rely on The Buddha being this or that, or claims that a transmission was preserved or any other claim that strains credibility. I simply see what works and use it.

With that said, Buddhism has some strong females. The one that comes to mind is Quan Yin (Guanyin), the archetype of compassion. My local Buddhist Temple gave more prominence to her than to the Buddha, even to the point of stressing her ideal (Bodhisattva) as the goal of practice. Furthermore, in all the Buddhist temples I attended, the Quan Yin statues were much more prominent than the Buddha ones; in fact, there's a nearby Buddhist Temple with a 50 foot tall statue that dominates the grounds. Who's on that statue? Quan Yin.

  • ChrisW (above) answered it with this post
    – mlomailom
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 12:24

ChrisW answered. Answer is in this post titled Can the Buddha ever be a woman?

PS. No need to up/down vote. This is just to close this question by accepting it.

  • I think we'd better close this question as a duplicate of that question.
    – THelper
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 8:24

There are reasons that explain why it is convenient for a Buddha to be male.

Namely that, for bad and for good, humans tend to form patriarchal societies. The good is unfortunately forgotten so often in modern times, that it seems strange, at first sight, that it is more likely that a Buddha is male. Men tend to be more charismatic, strong and respected. And women know by experience that they have to double their efforts to be as charismatic, strong and respected. And it's not just cultural because there is an unnavoidable biological component to human existence. We evolved from mostly patriarchal societies of apes. So there is a tendency to behave in the ways we inherited from our biological ancestors.

But if the future Buddha arises in a matriarchal human society, it's more likely that it will be a female Buddha. In the end it's just skillful means to teach. I don't think beings with this level of direct knowledge pay much attention to gender anyway. So I strongly doubt there is something inherently male about a Buddha.

  • Anyone cares to point any lie that I said, instead of reacting with aversion? Feminism has complained about the negative aspects of what I wrote for decades. Are there no positive aspects at all in the way humans tend to organise themselves, as it's the product of millions of years of natural selection?
    – EyeArrow
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 23:34
  • 2
    Remember natural selection can make someone HIV positive or wipe out New Orleans. Is there something noble about nature and what it produces?
    – Lowbrow
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 5:53
  • 1
    Maybe isn't much pointing of lies or aversion, but pointing the lack of solid grounds: it is too much, to hand-wave some seriously controversial opinions without a serious body of evidence behind it, and dodge disapproval.
    – user382
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 7:35
  • Ok. Then there's nothing positive about males? Is that what you are saying? That we are like HIV? That women are better than men at everything? I would like to see the evidence of that, by the way. Because I hope you at least know that men and women are physically and psychologically different due to biology. Are men inferior to women in all aspects?
    – EyeArrow
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 10:29
  • @EyeArrow Thanks for your reply. I'Ve heard all my life (in Theravada Buddhism) that it's only a being born as a human male (in the life in which he attains Buddhahood) that can be a Buddha. As a matter of argument, your answer is appreciated. Any more arguments/evidence (or even solid conjecture) to either negate of back it up? Something from scriptures?
    – mlomailom
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 12:15

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