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.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Theravada Bhikkhuni Ordination in Maharashtra

On 15 January 2009, just over ten years after the ordinations that revived the Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha in its homeland of India, once again, Indian women were able to be ordained.  

The ordinations were arranged by Ven. Bhiksuni Dharma Master Cheuh Men, Head of the Buddha's Light International Theravada Outreach Department in Sri Lanka together with the Sri Lankan Bhikkhuni Sangha and All India Bhikkhuni Sangha.

The women ordained included: 

Ven. Prjapati Bhikkhuni, Ven. Atapi Bhikkhuni, Ven. Charusheela Bhikkhuni, Ven. Buddhasavika Bhikkhuni, Ven. Sanghmitra Bhikkhuni, Ven. Dhammamegh Bhikkhuni, Ven. Dhammarakshita Bhikkhuni, Ven. Dhammadipa Bhikkhuni, Ven. Sanghpala Bhikkhuni, Ven. Parmita Bhikkhuni, Ven. Vidyavati Bhikkhuni, Ven. Prajapati Bhikkhuni, Ven. Utpalvarna Bhikkhuni, and Ven. Dhammashela Bhikkhuni.  

Venerable Bhikkhuni Sumitra Theri from Dambulla, Sri Lanka served as the Bhikkhuni Preceptor (Pali: Pavattini/Upajjha, Skt: Pravartini/Upadhyayini) with venerable bhikkhunis Dhammarakshani and Sumanpali serving as Kammavacacarinis. 

For the Confirmation of the Bhikkhu Sangha, Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghanand Mahather was the Presiding Bhikkhu Elder, with venerable bhikkhu mahatheras Vinay Bodhi and Sumangale serving as the Kammavacacariyas.  

There is a further article written about the ordinations that appeared in Yasodhara Magazine here.

To support the revival of the Bhikkhuni Sangha in India, contact Ven.Bhiksuni Dharma Master Cheuh Men of the Buddha's Light International Theravada Outreach Department, Susan Pembroke of the Alliance for Bhikkhunis, or Ven. Bhikkhuni Katayani of the All India Bhikkhuni Sangha.

Bhikkhuni Katayani Theri, Secretary

           All India Bhikkhuni Sangha
    Maha Prajapati Goutami Buddha Vihar,
        Kushinagar, Nagarjune Colony,
                 Nagpur - India.


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