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Does any Mahayana or Tibetan school teach that women can reach full Buddhahood without changing to a male 1st?

For example, not like Dragon Girl, who changed into a man first, and not like Kuan Yin who originally was a male when becoming enlightened as a human, but rather that someone could became a full Buddha IN a female body and stay in that form, maintain the female form as a Buddha. I know gender isn’t “real” and that once a Buddha a being can take any form it wants to, but nonetheless many Mahayana and Tibetan schools still teach women and girls techniques to cultivate a male rebirth. I am wondering if maybe some school in the Mahayana can offer something more distinctionless than such a practice, and can do better than the Theravada teaching that point-blank insists that a woman cannot become a Sammasambuddha. I would rather follow a school that taught that male rebirth or a particular gender form is not necessary, so I was hoping some schools in the Mahayana might offer a different opinion on that subject.
Please understand I am talking about how specific lineages or schools teach about Buddhahood so please don’t go on about how women can become enlightened teachers, etc. or there are female goddesses, etc. I understand that there are lots of enlightened female teachers, goddesses, devis, what have you, but a lot of those schools still teach women to try and attain male rebirth before finally becoming a Buddha, and it is this teaching specifically that I find illogical.
So in essence I am wondering specifically about whether there are any lineages/schools that teach that someone can attain Samyaksambuddhahood, full Buddhahood, from a female human birth without changing bodies or being reborn as male first.
Please don’t answer unless you can:
A. Actually answer the question asked
B. Provide evidence
Both the Christian answers and the vague “women have a lot to learn” are pointless digressions. Men have a lot to learn too, so what- how does it help to point out the obvious fact that people have a lot to learn before they can become Buddhas? And it;s great that you think women can become Buddhas, but without evidence you are just stating your opinion, which does not help identify a specific school or lineage as asked.
Space Monkey, Christianity has just as much institutional sexism as Buddhism does, really more if you consider the horrible medieval tortures devised specially for suspected women heretics in the middle ages, so you can keep your preaching to yourself. At least Buddhists never TORTURED non-believers and suspected non-believers or murdered women for being “witches”. Buddhism teaches that there are no distinctions, the same thing as you are saying in your Bible verse.


  1. LOL and so many think Buddihism is SO much better than other “religions”???
    They teach men are superior, too?? Too funny.
    Thanks but I will stick to what Jesus says: There is NO male or female, jew nor greek- in those who are in Christ Jesus” in other words- before God, we are totally equal- no matter what our race, or gender. No difference.

  2. Dear enquirer
    I’m sorry I can’t work out your name – but I wanted to respond from my experience in a European Soto Zen school.
    We don’t talk much about Buddhahood, or about enlightenment – but there are no theoretical barriers, just the acceptance that men and women are equal in our practice.
    Of course we are gendered individuals in a gendered society.
    I remember a comic skit at the temple festival some years ago. A man took centre stage asking “Why don’t women lead? Perhaps they don’t want to!” Meawhile women were hopping onto the stage, and he was pushing them off! Much laughter…
    Yet now half our dojos in the UK are led by women, and we have a woman in our immediate lineage.
    So – no barriers.
    Best wishes – Kate Inrei


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