Gotami Vihara celebrated International Bhikkhuni Day on a quiet but meaningful way with about forty people attending on 23 Sept, 2012. The Day was to honour prominent bhikkhunis in their unique achievements and contribution in preserving and propagating the Dhamma and upholding the Fourfold Assembly. The Day was also to remember and recognise those who went through great odds and sacrifice for the right to become a bhikkhuni.
Two bhikkus from Sentul Temple came on behalf of Venerable Saranankara. We also invited a Mahayana Bhikkhuni, Venerable Badranirmala to celebrate the day with us. She is an Indonesian doing her studies in Masters in Psychology here.
It was a day of giving and receiving, of listening and sharing. We had fun too because we tied it up with the Mid Autumn Festival. There was excitement in the preparation for the day – buying moon cakes and piglet biscuits, hanging up the lanterns and buying fruits and flowers for the puja.
A few of us stayed over-night to prepare for the event. Early in the morning, Siser Ai Lin and I cooked mindfully the ABC soup (potato, carrot and tomato) for Venerable Saranankara. However, he was not well and could not be there with us.
We were so busy with the event that we forgot to inform those who were serving the lunch dana to put salt in the soup! We prepared some salad too and also forgot to take out the lettuce from the fridge for them too. So, it was salad without the leaves. I noticed that the salad looked different from the usual ones I have seen but I could not figure out what was missing! It looked flat and the soup tasted flat too. We also forgot to serve the pomelo and only noticed it sitting happily beside the Buddha image after everyone had left! There is still a lot to learn!
Programme for the day was as follows:
9 – 9.05am Welcoming speech by Sis Loh Lee Lee, an Exco member
9.05 – 9.30 Puja. A cd was played on ‘Praise to the Thirteen Arahant Theris,’ sung by the nuns of Venerable Dhammananda’s Songdhammakalyani Monastery, Thailand.
9.30 -9.45 Hymns composed and sung by Bro. M.V.Nathan from his 7th album
9.45 – 10am Hymns composed and sung by Sis Au Yang Yao Chih
10 – 10.15 Metta meditation led by Ven. Mahinda from a cd
10.15 – 10.45 A play performed by the children from Kinrara Metta Sunday School
10.45 – 11.30 Dhamma talk by Venerable Badranirmala on her work and experience as a Bhikkhuni in Indonesia
11.30 – 11.45 Sis Barbara Yen shared the story of Patacara Bhikkhuni and read the poem written by her from the Theri Gatha