Starting from these encouraging efforts of the five-hundred Arahants who participated in the first Dhammasaṅgīti the words of the Buddha have survived intact in their origin even today, two-thousand and six-hundred years after the demise of the Buddha. We still are able us to seek refuge in his teaching.
Directly at the termination of this first Dhammasaṅgīti the earth applauded by congratulating to that accomplishment: “In this way at the time of the council the group of five-hundred well composed members of the Saṅga under the guidance of Mahākassapa divided all the sayings of the Buddha: that belongs to Dhamma, this belongs to Vinaya* ……Evametaṃ sabbampi buddhavacanaṃ pañcasatikasaṅgītikāle saṅgāyantena mahākassapappamukhena vasīgaṇena* ayaṃ dhammo ayaṃ vinayo, ……. - …….Thus the council verified, comprised and determined upon three baskets during the period of seven months. At the conclusion of the council as to show happiness and approval: “This Thera Mahākassapa has strengthened the teaching of the one endowed in ten powers to exist for five-thousand years” this great earth repeatedly quaked, trembled, shook and quivered up to the waters edge.”……-……tīsu piṭakesu sandissamāna* saṅgahappabhedaṃ vavatthapetvāva sattahi māsehi saṅgītaṃ. Saṅgītipariyosāne cassa idaṃ mahākassapattherena dasabalassa sāsanaṃ* pañcavassasahassaparimāṇakālaṃ* pavattanasamatthaṃ* katanti sañjātappamodā sādhukāraṃ viya dadamānā ayaṃ mahāpathavī udakapariyantaṃ katvā anekappakāraṃ kampi saṅkampi sampakampi sampavedhi. (Dhammasaṅgaṇī-aṭṭhakathā, Aṭṭhasālinī)
Fortunately inspite of his original prophesy with this successful performace of the First Council the period of five-hundred years got extended to five-thousand years.
Also Bhante Nāgasena resolved King Milinda`s double-edged question (see 2.1.1) by separating the two apparently contradicting sides:
Bhante Nāgasena explained further that the Buddha has explained to Ānanda that the saddhammo would now last for five hundred years only instead of one thousand years, by declaring the time of the destruction of the sāsana after the female Bhukkhunis have been permitted to the order:” “Api ca, mahārāja, ……. ‘pañceva dāni, ānanda, vassasatāni saddhammo ṭhassatī’ti yaṃ bhagavā āha, taṃ khayaṃ paridīpayanto sesakaṃ paricchindi, vassasahassaṃ, ānanda, saddhammo tiṭṭheyya, sace bhikkhuniyo na pabbājeyyuṃ. Pañceva dāni, ānanda, vassasatāni saddhammo ṭhassatīti.”
It was the Buddha`s profound foresight that resulted in this statement. He was stating the envisaged fact, that five hundred years** later the saddhamma was to nearly disappear from India, that the discipline may suffer and the ideal of brahmacariya may get corrupted by lack of effort in monks to resist the deep rooted anusaya of lust. (see 3.5.7). A Buddha will never exclude or discriminate anyone: “Bhabbo, ānanda, mātugāmo tathāgatappavedite dhammavinaye agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajitvā sotāpattiphalampi sakadāgāmiphalampi anāgāmiphalampi arahattaphalampi sacchikātun”ti. (Vinayapiṭake, Cūḷavaggapāḷi, Bhikkhunikkhandhakaṃ) - “Women, oh Ānanda, are able to realize the fruits of Sotāpañña, Sakadāgāmi, Anāgāmi and Arahatta once having left housholders life and having gone forth in the Dhamma and Vinaya as proclaimed by the Tathāgata.”
Regardless of the historical and cultural background of that time Buddha`s attitude towards women was unique: “Anyone who uses such a vehicle,*** be it woman or man, by means of it will get drawn close towards nibbāna.” - “Yassa etādisaṃ yānaṃ, itthiyā purisassa vā; sa ve etena yānena, nibbānasseva santike”ti. (Devatāsaṃyuttaṃ, Accharāsuttaṃ)