Remembering Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri on Her 70th Birthday – Story 26 : Pavarana ceremony at ED


by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri was determined and zealous in carrying out her responsibilities and duties as a bhikkhuni.

She was admitted to Palliative Care at Home in June 2021. Even though she was gravely ill, she would always participate in the Uposatha ceremony. The last Uposatha day we had together at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage was on 4th November 2021. She passed away on 20th November that year.

I remember the early morning of 13th October 2019, the Pavarana day – the official end of the rains retreat ceremony for monastics, I had to call an ambulance to take Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri to the emergency department of the hospital.

I tried with difficulty to contact Bodhinyana Monastery in the early hours of the morning from the hospital to inform Ajahn Brahm that I might not be able to go the monastery for the Pavarana ceremony with the bhikkhu sangha. Fortunately, Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri’s condition stabilized very quickly.

We knew life could be very unpredictable and changeable.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri and I carried out the bhikkhuni’s Pavarana ceremony in the critical care area of the emergency department of the hospital. She was discharged a few hours later that day. She was stable enough for me to leave her in the capable hands of the support workers and so I travelled to Bodhinyana Monastery late afternoon for the Pavarana ceremony with the bhikkhu sangha. I was very concerned about her condition, but she urged me to go, and she said she would be alright and gave me a radiant smile. I paid respect to her before I left.

I have great respect and was inspired by Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri’s unwavering resolve and faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.


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