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International Ordinations at Vaishali

The Theravada Bhikkhuni Ordination was conducted at the Vietnamese Mahaprajapati Nunnery in Vaishali, Bihar, India on July 29th, 2012.

Nine candidates from India, Thailand, and Vietnam were fully ordained with Ven. Bhikkhuni Saddhasumana from Sri Lanka as preceptor and fourteen bhikkhunis from various countries to witness the ceremony.

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Recent Ordinations in Thailand

I am very grateful to Ayyā Dhammanandā for providing these posters by Kanjana Suthikul showing some of the recent ordinations that have occurred in Thailand. Let us all rejoice in seeing these women going-forth (descriptions are below the posters).


Samaneri Ordination

Dec.5, 2011: Samaṇerī asking forgiveness from her 84-year old mother, who had traveled some 800 kms to see her daughter ordained. She also had the chance to offer a bowl to her newly ordained daughter. At Songdhammakalyani Monastery, Nakhon Pathom.

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Sanghamitta Bhikkhuni arriving in Sri Lanka

A large section of the walls in Wat Pho in Bangkok illustrate the Sri Lankan Theravāda Chronicle, the Mahāvaṁsa. The story is a long one, from the Buddha’s lifetime to around 1,000 years later in the original section of the story, written in the 5th century CE.

One of the major events during that period was the introduction of Buddhism by the Arahant Mahinda; and the introduction of the Bhikkhunī Sangha and the bringing of the national palladium, the Bodhi Tree, to Lanka by his sister, the Arahant Bhikkhunī Sanghamittā.

The latter events are found illustrated on the walls of Wat Pho. As is typical for the style of the paintings, stories are presented side by side, within the same space. The first photo below shows the whole scene:

Mahavamsa-001

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Bhikkhuni Hall in Wat Thepthidaram, Bangkok

When I was in Bangkok recently I visited Wat Thepthidaram which was built by King Rama III for his daughter Princess Wilat.

It has a rather unique Bhikkhuni Hall, which has a podium with 52 Bhikkhuni statues on it in front of the main Buddha Statue.

Forty-nine of the statues are seated, while three are standing. They were built in bronze and the sitting ones are roughly 11 inches wide and 21 inches tall.

The whole Temple seems to have been dedicated to celebrating the feminine, and even some of the Buddha statues have feminine features.

Here are some of the photographs I took in the Hall. More photos from here and the rest of the Temple can be found on my Photo Dharma website.

For those who would like to visit the Temple here is a map showing its location in the center of Bangkok:

 

Bhikkhuni Hall
Bhikkhuni Hall

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Photographs from the Recent Bhikkhuni Ordination at Dhammasara in Perth

Here are some photographs of the recent Bhikkhuni ordinations at the Dhammasara Nunnery in Perth, and its confirmation by the monks at Bodhinyana. They are provided courtesy of Ayya Tathaaloka, who acted as pavattini at the ordination.

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Bhikkhuni Sundarinanda – Verses and Mural Painting

[To teach Sundarī, who was infatuated with her beauty,
the Buddha created the image of a beautiful woman
and had her grow old and decay, and said:]

“Āturaṁ asuciṁ pūtiṁ, passa Nande samussayaṁ,
“Deceased and impure and putrid, Nandā please look at the body,

Asubhāya cittaṁ bhāvehi, ekaggaṁ susamāhitaṁ. [82]
Develop your mind on the repulsive, one-pointed, well-composed.

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Bhikkhuni Dhammadinna – Verse and Mural Painting

Dhammadinnā was the wife of Visākha of Rājagaha.
After hearing the Buddha teach, he became an anāgāmī,
amd when she found out, she decided to ordain as a bhikkhuni.
She soon attained arahantship and uttered this verse.

Chandajātā avasāyī manasā ca phuṭā siyā
In whom desire is born which suffuses the mind to reach the end

Kāmesu appaṭibaddhacittā, ‘uddhaṁsotā’ ti vuccatī ti
Her mind not bound by sense pleasures, she is called ‘one going up-stream’.


The murals are from Wat Pho in Bangkok.

Visakha listening to Dhamma

Visakha listening to Dhamma

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