do men have only two levels of ordination while women have to
go through three levels of ordination?
There are 5 different types of ordination, 2 for men and 3 for
women. Samaneri (female novice) is a lower ordination (bappajja)
with 10 precepts. One who is entitled to this ordination must
be old enough to be able to drive away crows off the paddy field.
Later on it was fixed at a minimal age of seven. Older men sometimes
also receive only lower ordination.
can apply for higher ordination (upasampada) must meet the minimum
age requirement of 20 and have a normal physical condition.
A married woman may be ordained at the age of 12 with permission
from her spouse.
a training period was instituted later. There was a particular
case of a married woman who asked for ordination without knowing
that she had conceived. Her pregnancy came to light only after
ordination. Hence a rule was laid down and women have to go
through Sikkhamana training for two years.
time a sikkhamana observes 6 anudharmas which are the first
six precepts in the 10 precepts for novices. However, a sikkhamana
is considered having a training level higher than novice even
though the latter received only six precepts. This implies that
a sikkhamana is in fact a person in a preparatory stage to receive
higher ordination, and during the two years training, should
she transgress any one of the precepts she has to start all
over again. It is required that she must meet the requirement
of two continuous years of training without transgression.