Photos by Zor and Prem
It is lovely to see the bhikkhuni sangha flourish. From our efforts of ten years ago to now many changes have happened. The main thing that I think would be useful for the bhikkhuni sangha to established in its own right, would be for it to be able to act independently. I send my best wishes to everyone involved in this momentous movement.
I would to share with you, the verses of Arahat Bhikkhuni Patacara from the Verses of the Elder Nuns:
PLOUGHING THE FILED WITH THEIR PLOUGHS,
SOWING SEEDS UPON THE GROUND,
MAINTAINING THEIR WIVES AND CHILDREN,
YOUNG MEN ACQUIRE WEALTH.
THEN, WHY, WHEN I AM PURE IN VIRTURE,
PRACTICING THE MASTER’S TEACHING,
HAVE I NOT ATTEND NIBBANA—–
FOR I AM NOT LAZY,NOR PUFFED UP?
HAVING WASHED MY FEET,
I REFLECTED UPON THE WATERS.
WHEN I SAW THE FOOT WATER FLOW
FROM THE HIGH GROUND DOWN THE SLOPE
MY MIND BECAME CONCENTRATED
LIKE AN EXCELLENT THOROUGHBRED STEED.
HAVING TAKEN A LAMP, I ENTERED MY CELL.
I INSPECTED THE BED AND SAT DOWN ON THE COUCH.
THEN,HAVING TAKEN A NEEDLE,
I PULLED DOWN THE WICK.
THE LIBERATION OF THE MIND
WAS LIKE THE QUENCHING OF THE LAMP. ( THIG 112-116)
It wasn’t until recent times, until after I had spent over twenty years as a ten precept nun, that bhikkhuni ordination in Australia became feasible.
Women have had enough faith and fortitude to survive on the fringes of the Sangha for generations. They did not need ce to do just that.
What they did need though was for the monks, as the ones who hold the ligal authority, to realise the opportunity they have in the contemporary world, to transform the situation and again open up full membership of the Sangha to the other half of the Buddha’s disciples.
I am humbly grateful to Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Sujato and the Sangha at Bodhinyana Monastery for acting with wisdom and compassion to courageously use their authority for the benefit of countless beings.
I bow with respect and gratitude to Ayya Tathaaloka and the other Bhikkhunis who too part in the ordination ceremony out of faith and kindness, and at some disadvantage to themselves.
I feel appreciation and gratitude for the support and encouragement of our lay friends. We couldn’t have done it without your help either.
May you all share in my happiness.
The journey began with a simple and sincere aspiration – an aspiration to commit my life totally to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, a wish to follow closely in the footsteps of the Buddha for the attainment of Nibbana.
After the ordination, I wasn’t feeling on top of the world or jumping up and down and screaming with joy. Nothing like that. But I felt very humbled by the experience and very inspired and grateful. As I chanted in the ordination ceremony (ullumpatu ayya, anukampan upadaya) I felt I was being raised up by the sangha out of compassion. The ordination took the journey to a deeper level of commitment, faith and confidence in the path of practice.
I was inspired by the courage and the devotion of the bhikkhu and bhikkhuni sangha towards the truth, in honouring the Buddha’s wish to have the four fold assembly in his dispensation – bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, laymen and lay women, as the Buddha himself established 2500 years ago. I ‘ll cherish this beautiful gift of ordination given with care and support from the monastic brothers and sisters in the sangha.
I also felt tremendously humbled by the experience. The ordination was the result of years of hard work, struggle and pain and frustration of lots of practitioners, monastic as well as lay practitioners, and the support of sangha and lay practitioners of BSWA. The conditions for ordination were ripe at tis time because of your faith and confidence in Dhamma and Vinaya and your kindness and generosity. I am very honoured and grateful to be part of this beautiful and inspiring process.
I will cherish this beautiful gift of ordination – a gift of faith, confidence and courage and devotion to Dhamma and Vinaya, a gift of compassion, kindness and generosity from the BHikkhu and Bhikkhuni sangha as well as all the supporters on the path of practice. May i share merits with all of you, and may this help us all in the attainment of Nibbana
We are going to publish a number of posts to mark the 10th Bhikkhuni Ordination Anniversary for Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni Theri on 22nd October 2019. We invite you to join in our joy and happiness.
More to come………