The Gathering

A story of the first Buddhist women

by Vanessa R. Sasson, Marianopolis College

Complete Collection
​South & East Asia Collection​

Forthcoming spring 2023

Sasson’s new book is a retelling of the story of the women’s request for ordination. Inspired in particular by the Therigatha and building on years of research and experience in the field, Sasson follows Vimala, Patachara, Bhadda Kundalakesa, and many others as they walk through the forest to request full access to the tradition.

The Buddha’s response to this request is famously complicated and multi-faceted; he eventually accepts women into the Order, but attaches specific and controversial conditions (garudhammas). Sasson invites us to think about who these first Buddhist women might have been, what they hoped to achieve, and what these conditions might have meant to them thereafter. By shaping her research into a story, Sasson invites readers to imagine a world that continues to inspire and complicate Buddhist narrative to this day.

This book will be included in the Complete and South & East Asia Collections. Subscribers will be able to access the eBook from the Read Online tab.

Premium subscribers also have access to the interactive edition.


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  • isbn
    9781800503410 (eBook)
  • publisher
    Equinox Publishing Ltd.
  • publisher place
    Sheffield (U.K.)