Audio & Video Programs On Our Ancient Bhikkhunis

BBC's Woman's Hour Series "Looking at Key Women in the Buddhist Scriptures"

Women of the Buddhist scriptures: Mahapajapati Gotami 15 Oct 2009
Who was she?

In our series looking at key women of the Buddhist scriptures, we look at the character of Mahapajapati Gotami. She was the Buddha's foster mother as well as his maternal aunt. Legend has it that at her birth an astrologer foretold that she would be the leader of a large following, and she was named Pajapati meaning "leader of a great assembly." It was further prophesised of her, as it had been of her older sister Maya, that she would be the mother of a great secular or religious ruler. When the Buddha's mother died, she took Siddhartha, the Buddha-to-be, and raised him as her own first child. Angela Robson talks to Judith Simmer-Brown, author of The Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism andProfessor of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Colorado.

Women of the Buddhist Scriptures: Khema
5 Oct 2009
The story of Khema

In the next of our series on women of the Buddhist scriptures, the story of Khema. Khema was discovered as a foundling in one of the principality cities of north eastern India, near the foot of a mango tree. She was such a beautiful baby that the rumour went out that she was a goddess and not human. Judith Simmer-Brown, author of 'The Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism'andProfessor of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Colorado tell her story.

Women of the Buddhist scriptures: Sanghamitta
22 September 2009
The story of Sanghamitta

Another in our series looking at key women of the Buddhist Scriptures: Sanghamitta lived 300 years after the Buddha and was the daughter of the Emperor King, Ashoka. At a certain point in his life he started to regret all the harm he had caused and became a Buddhist lay preacher. At the age of eighteen Sanghamitta was ordained as a Buddhist nun. Angela Robson talks to Judith Simmer-Brown, Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Colorado, about Sanghamitta's story.

Mahaprajapati Gotami
In this 24-minute video presentation to the 13th Sakyadhita Conference, Kate Blickhahn reads “Mahaprajapati Gotami: Aunt & StepMother of Siddhartha,” a chapter from her 2011 book, BUDDHA’S DAUGHTERS: Spiritual Journeys of Early Women of the Dharma.
Ayya Tathaaloka on the Eight Garudhammas
Watch this video
Ayya Tathaaloka speaks about research on the oft-repeated story of the Eight Bhikkhuni Garudhammas which emerged at the First Global Congress on Buddhist Women in Hamburg, Germany in 2007 together with her own research and evolving perspective. This video is the first in a series of four.  The viewer may also be interested in Ven. Tathaaloka's draft article on the subject here.

Queen Maya's Advice to Gotami
Cambodian (Khmer) style of Dhamma story-telling song called smot,  a uniquely expressive form of Buddhist chant. From Stirring and Stilling: A Liturgy of Cambodian Dharma Songs
Recitation of the Names and Memorable Qualities of the Thirteen Foremost Bhikkhuni Disciples of the Buddha
Pali-text ecitation by Mel Zeiki with harmonium; English by Ayya Anandabodhi and Ayya Santacitta.  This text is based on the Anguttara Nikaya's Book of the Ones. Pali-text can be read here at p.46, and English at p.47.

The Contemporary Revival of the Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha

  | This is a trailer for Bhikkhuni: Revival of the Women’s Order - a documentary film in the making that explores the issue of female ordination in Buddhism, and sheds some light on the current injustices which are occurring within the tradition.

Photo slideshow of a full monastic ordination ceremony of three Bhikkhunis. This ordination constitutes the cutting edge of Buddhism as is challenges the patriarchal attitudes and history present in many Buddhist lineages. There have always been places for women in the monastic community, but rarely are women given the same monastic ordination as men. This is a topic of great discussion in the greater Buddhist community and is met with a variety of opinions and ideas. This ceremony, which took place on October 17, 2011 at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre CA, had the support of venerable monastics from all the major branches of Buddhism, as well as the support of Bhikkhu Bodhi.

A New Beginning - a short video documentary on the development of the Saranloka Bhikkhuni Community in Northern California, their transition from the siladhara nuns life to that of fully ordained bhikkhunis.

Rebirth: A Story of Theravada Bhikkhunis - a documentary by Sara Patton.  A documentary made in the very early days of Dhammadharini Vihara, the first Theravada bhikkhuni vihara in the western United States.