Remembering Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri on Her 70th Birthday – Story 3 : The dogs in India


by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

I went on pilgrimage to India in 2001 with a group from the Buddhist Society of Western Australia and met Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri formally for the first time.

During the pilgrimage, we sometimes had to pack lunch so that we could arrive at our destination on time. Normally, after lunch, the tour leader would offer the untouched food to the villagers.

On one occasion, Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri went down the bus during one of stopovers. I was teacher-watching at that time and was very interested to know Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri a little bit more. I enthusiastically offered to be her chaperone.

I followed her to the fierce looking dogs that were around. She was not afraid of them, but I was. Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri gently put down her unfinished food for the dogs and talked to them quietly before she left. She said, “the dogs are hungry too,” and went back to the bus.

I was very touched by Ayya Vayama Bhikhhuni Theri’s lovingkindness and compassion. I still feel the warmth in my heart when I remember her putting the food down and talking to them.


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