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The first woman to be ordained as a Bhikkhuni was Mahapajapati Gotami. She was the step mother and maternal aunt of the Buddha. She decided to attain ordination after the death of king Suddhodhana. Initially, only men were allowed into the Sangha but later women also came to be admitted because of Ananda, one of the Buddha’s dearest disciples.
In Jainism the teachers who guide men and women across the river of existence are called Tirthankaras. Trithankara is a savior and spiritual teacher of the dharma. Tirthankaras are called “Teaching Gods”.
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