Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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Female Ascetics
(5,140 words)

The three oldest religions of India, Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, have each developed an important institutionalized ascetic tradition with distinctive habits and practices radically cut off from those of the householder, but they have not given the same place to women within it. Buddhist nuns (Pal. bhikkunī) flourished in India a…

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Clémentin-Ojha, Catherine, “Female Ascetics”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 19 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2018

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