India, the site of the Buddha's great awakening, has a rich an ancient history of enlightened women, both monastics (Skt: bhiksuni, Pali: bhikkhuni) and lay women (upasika) savika disciples of the Buddha -- essential aspects of the Buddha's Four-fold Assembly of disciples -- the bearers of his inheritance. This blog shares with you some of the wealth of their long and contemporary history, together with sites, writings and happenings of interest.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

International Bhiksuni Parisad in Maharashtra

In December of 2007, three foreign bhikkhunis of Theravada tradition visited the Ambhedkarite Buddhists of Maharashtra participating in the International Bhikkhuni Parisad at Buddha Leni Caves Monastery in Aurangabad.  Approximately 4000 persons attended.  Participating bhikkhunis included Ven. Tathaaloka Bhikkhuni from the United States, Ven. Gunasari Bhikkhuni from Burma (Myanmar) and Ven. Satima Bhikkhuni from Sri Lanka, together with numerous Indian bhikkhunis.

foreign bhikkhunis arrive at Buddha Leni Caves Monastery in Aurangabad for Seminar

Seminar Attendees

Before arriving for the gathering, the bhikkhunis also participated in offering Bhikkhuni Training in Bodhgaya at the site of the Buddha's enlightenment in conjunction with the International Gathering for Recitation of the Pali-text Tipitaka beneath the sacred Bodhi Tree.  Following, they visited ancient bhikkhuni cave monasteries at Karle and Bhaje, as well as Kanheri Caves on the Arabian seacoast north of Mumbai.

The Indian Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha had come to revival ten years earlier from the year 1998, when more than 10 Indian women fully ordained as bhikkhunis at the international ordinations in Bodhgaya.  To learn more about the Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha in India, please see: