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Selflessness Buddhism denies that there is anything corresponding to the common idea of a soul or self Instead the Buddha taught that the soul is a false notion imputed to a collection of constantly changing parts These are referred to as the five aggregates skandha form feelings discriminations consciousness and compositional factors Form refers to ones physical form and feelings are our emotional responses to the things we experience Discriminations are classifications of these experiences into pleasant unpleasant and neutral Consciousness refers to the functioning of the mind and compositional factors are other aspects connected with the false sense of self such as ones karmas Buddha Monks form is selflessness Monks if form were the self then form would not be involved with sickness and one could say of the body Let my form be thus let my form not be thus Monks because form is selfless it is involved with sickness and one cannot say of form Let my form be thus let my form not be thus Feeling is selflessdiscrimination is selflessthe aggregates are selflesscompositional factors are selflessconsciousness is selfless Monks if consciousness were the self then consciousness would not be involved with sickness and one could say of consciousness Let my consciousness be thus let my consciousness not be thus Ordination of Women When Buddha began his teaching career his first disciples were monks but eventually some women became Buddhists and began to desire ordination as nuns The woman who put the request to Buddha was Mahaprajapati Gautami who had raised him after his mother died Buddha first refused her request but after she obtained the support of Ananda Buddhas personal assistant he eventually agreed but added that the decision to admit nuns into the order would shorten the period of true dharma by 500 years It seems clear from the passage however that this is not due to any inherent inferiority on the
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