"It All Begins Here In Our Hearts" ~ Bhikkhuni Ordination in Thailand

Dear venerables & friends,

Thai bhikkhuni venerable Loung Mae (Venerable Mother) Dhammananda is known for saying, 

"It all begins right here, in our hearts".

On this past Thanksgiving weekend (according to the American calendar) a very special heart's beginning happened for eight Thai women.  This beginning was their entry into the life of a bhikkhuni.

On Nov 29, after two years of preparatory training, venerable samaneriDhammadipaDhammakamala and six of their peers were ordained at Thippayasathandhamma Bhikkhuni Arama on Koh Yoh Island in Songkhla, southern Thailand. 

Venerable Dhammadipa had already become a teacher and founded the Thippayasathandhamma women's monastic community as a maechee, a white-robed eight-precept renunciate. 


Two years ago, she and several other women of her community undertook the samaneri pabbaja with Ven Bhikkhuni Dhammananda Theri.

Ven Dhammananda is known as the "first bhikkhuni" of modern times in Thailand, although her mother was also a bhikkhuni, and there may have been bhikkhunis in olden days long past.  The new samaneris then also applied and were accepted for two-year probationary training for full ordination with the Bhikkhuni Sangha, and began preparing a bote, a traditional Thai Uposatha Hall for ordination.

Two years passed and the hall was not yet completely built, but a sima had been agreed upon and established by the Sangha. Although there were yet no walls, there were pillars with a floor and roof--enough for ordination.

A local village parade came with much celebration, and many women requested to go forth as samaneris temporarily to greatly bless the occasion.

{samaneris on pindapata here on Thai news}

Bhikkhu teachers and a bhikkhuni preceptor from Sri Lanka, together with bhikkhuni teachers from Indonesia and Vietnam, were invited to officiate.  Thai bhikkhus from the local area and bhikkhunis from around the country came to join in, together with their bhikkhuni teacher Ven Dhammananda.

You might recognize photos of the bhikkhuni preceptor, Ven Sumitra (Sumettha) Theri from Sri Lanka {above}.  She was also our venerable Ayya Sobhana's preceptor in Sri Lanka.

 You might also recognize Ayya Santini Theri {right}, who supported the ordination of our Dhamma sisters at Dhammasara Monastery in Western Australia a few months ago.  And you might recognize Ven Viditadhamma/Lieu Phap {left} for her great support of the ordinations for bhikkhunis in Vaisali, India nearly two years ago, around the time of the last Sakyadhita International Buddhist Women's Conference.  All these great bhikkhuni elders gathered together to offer their support, together with the eminent elder bhikkhu teacher Ven Mahindavamsa Mahanayaka Thero from Sri Lanka {center}, who served as a leading bhikkhu elder for this noble and auspicious occasion. 

{video of the ordination and response to it on Thai news here}

Now, these eight auspicious new bhikkhunis have the great task ahead of them. Fully ordained, we wish they have all of the tools the Blessed One has left us in their hearts and hands to be put to the best and most noble use possible for humanity.

Our Dhammadharini bhikkhunis' community here offers our sadhu, sadhu, sadhu, anumodama - spreading around the earth, down into it's depths and upwards to the deva realms.  May they open the eye of Dhamma (whoever not already), clearly see the Path, and make an end to all delusion and unnecessary suffering. 

We wish that they share clear knowledge and practice of the Path with many people for the weal and welfare of our world, and all of our longterm benefit and happiness.  May the good they have gained not be lost.  May all fetters, obstacles and hindrances fall away. Our world so needs such humanity!

May they know their full inheritance as rightful bhikkhuni heirs of the Buddha.

With much lovingkindness
& radiant joy -

Ayya Tathaaloka Theri 
for all our Dhammadharini Sangha

All photos are courtesy of Ven Dhammadipa Bhikkhuni and Ven Dhammakamala Bhikkhuni, Thippayasathadhamma Bhikkhuni Arama