Special Mother’s Day Talk
Join us for an evening discussion on the life of Mahaprajapati, the Buddha’s adoptive mother, Queen of the Sakyas, leader of the first generation of Buddhist women and the first Buddhist nun. We’ll learn little known stories of Mahaprajapati who took the Buddha to her breast and raised him to adulthood after the passing of her sister, his birth mother Maya, shortly after childbirth. While there is ambiguity overall in the Buddha’s biography, this detail remains consistent across all Buddhist traditions and literature. Through stories based on scriptural records, Wendy Garling will draw from her recently published book The Woman Who Raised the Buddha to present Mahaprajapati’s life story, which reveals her exceptional role as the leader of the first generation of Buddhist women. Drawing from story fragments and canonical records, Wendy Garling illuminates the complex figure of Mahaprajapati, who raised and shaped the Buddha and played an essential role in the founding of Buddhism. Click here for more information on the book.
Wendy Garling is a writer, independent scholar, and authorized dharma teacher with an MA in Sanskrit language and literature from the University of California, Berkeley. For many years Wendy has taught women’s spirituality focusing on Buddhist traditions, while also pursuing original research into women’s stories from ancient Sanskrit and Pali literature. A Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, Wendy has studied with teachers such as His Holiness the 16th Karmapa and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Her dream is to bring back the stories of Buddhism’s first women, reawaken their voices, and ensure that they are not just remembered, but valorized as integral to the roots of Buddhism.