Just today I have received a report on a woman who was a Catholic, educated in a Catholic convent. Her name is Michelle Roberts. She became very disgusted because of the attitude of the bishops and her teachers.
The bishop told her that the woman is the door to hell! She became so disgusted, she renounced Catholicism and got converted to Buddhism, and went to Thailand. There she found that in Thailand, Buddhism believes women have no souls. Utterly frustrated, she dropped the very idea of religion.
Gautam Buddha insisted for twenty years continuously that no woman can be initiated into his discipleship. The woman has first to be born as a man, and then only she can be a disciple. Then there is a possibility, if she is in the body of a man, to become enlightened.
Strange…all these people have been teaching that you are not the body, and when it comes to the subject of women, suddenly the woman becomes the body! First she has to change the body into a man’s.
Unfortunately, at that time there was no plastic surgery available, otherwise every woman who wanted to be initiated would not have had to wait for another birth; she can have plastic surgery and become a man right now.
What was Buddha’s fear? The fear shows clearly that he did not trust his own disciples, the hundreds of so-called enlightened disciples – he did not trust them. And it is natural, because whether they say it or not, celibacy is unnatural, and all the religions who have been teaching celibacy are afraid of women.
The question is not the woman; the question is that if the woman is initiated, then she will be mixing with men, and what will happen to celibacy?
But nobody has looked into the matter – all these so-called great religious leaders – that woman is not needed to destroy your celibacy. Men are enough: man to man, man to animal – homosexuality, sodomy are as ancient as the Old Testament. Nobody has been celibate.
Yes, Buddha could have been, for the simple reason that for twenty-nine years he had been in the company of the most beautiful women of his kingdom. He was finished. Enough is enough. But poor people who have not known any relationship of love are being initiated into celibacy: this was his fear.
The same fear predominates in Jainism. Mahavira declared the same thing: that no woman is capable of entering into the ultimate state of enlightenment unless she has the body of a man.
Again I have to remind you: these people seem to be absolutely self-contradictory, continuously teaching that you are not the body, you are not the mind – and when the question of women comes up, suddenly they forget their whole philosophy. The woman has first to get into a man’s body. What is so great about the man’s body? But male chauvinists…all founders of religion are male chauvinists.
In Jainism a beautiful incident happened.