Second International Bhikkhuni Day September 29, 2012 This Year Honoring: Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta Theri Sanghamitta means “Friend of the Sangha” What. is a Bhikkhuni/Bhikshuni? A bhikkhuni (Pali) or bhikshuni (Sanskrit) is a fully-ordained female Buddhist monastic. A bhikkhu/bhikshu is a fully-ordained male monastic. Both bhikkhus & bhikkhunis are ordained by receiving the precepts of the Vinaya (monastic discipline). Sites associated with the life of The Buddha “Buddhism”, Kevin Trainor, Ed. Beginnings of the Bhikkhuni Order Many Enlightened Bhikkhunis The Thirteen Great Arahant Bhikkhuni Disciples, mural in Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand The Fourfold Sangha The Buddha said: “I will not pass away…until I have bhikkhu disciples...bhikkhuni disciples...layman disciples… laywoman disciples who are accomplished, disciplined, skilled, learned, expert in the Dhamma.” From the Mahaparinibbana Sutta. Mural of Fourfold Assembly at Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand The Early Spread of Buddhism in India And then to Sri Lanka Sanghamitta’s Contribution www.buddha101.com Emperor Asoka, Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta’s Father •By the time of Emperor Asoka (304232 BC), Buddhism was well established in India. Pillar in Lumbini, Nepal, birthplace of the Buddha Marking Ashoka’s visit to Lumbini Wikipedia • Asoka made Ahimsa (nonviolence) a policy. • He was a devotee of: – Love – Truth – Tolerance – Vegetarianism One of the many pillars erected by Emperor Asoka After her father’s conversion, Sanghamitta was raised according to Buddhist teachings. Asoka Sent out Missionaries to Spread Buddhism www.buddha101.com A ‘Liberated’ Woman! She is recorded to have said to her father, “My brother’s word has importance to me, King, together with the request of the great Queen and the thousand women. Further, I suppose, this is not just my brother’s word and many are waiting for the going-forth, which I also desire to give, Great King, and so now I must go.” Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta sails to Sri Lanka with a cutting from the Bodhi tree. Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta, with the Bodhi-Tree sapling, lands in Sri Lanka, greeted by King Tissa. Sanghamitta & the Bodhi Tree are Escorted to Anuradhapura Anuradhapura The Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka is said to be the oldest living tree in the world. Sanghamitta’s Stupa As it was found After being restored Bhikkhuni Sangha Spreads to China In 429 CE, Sri Lankan Bhikkhuni Devasara traveled to China with a group of bhikkhunis to establish a bhikkhuni sangha there. Sri Lankan Bhikkhunis Establish Unbroken Bhikkhuni Lineage China’s bhikkhuni lineage has continued to the present day in an unbroken upasampada (ordination) lineage. This lineage eventually spread to Taiwan, Korea, and Vietnam. Disappearance of the Bhikkhuni Sangha in India and Sri Lanka Between the 11th and 14th centuries CE both the Bhikkhu and Bhikkhuni Sanghas died out in India and Sri Lanka due to invasions, war, and famine. Sanghamitta Shrine, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka Ayutthaya Historic Park, the ancient Thai Capital •The Bhikkhu Sangha revived multiple times. •The Bhikkhuni Sangha was not revived. •In 1928, the Thai Bhikkhu Sangha decreed that the bhikkhuni lineage had died out and could not be revived. One Major Thing Prevented the Spread of the Bhiksuni Order to Tibet Bhikkhunis Worldwide! Today there are now bhikkhunis & bhiksunis in the U.S., India, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Mahayana Bhikshunis Helped Revive the Bhikkhuni/Bhiksuni Sanghas in the Theravada & Tibetan Traditions Unmoonsa Bhikkhuni Monastery & Sangha University, South Korea Mahayana ordination almost identical to Thai ordination ceremony “In all the Mahayana schools whether in Tibet, China, Korea, or Vietnam, they follow mostly a Dharmagupta Vinaya. Dharmagupta is one of the Theravada sects. ” Ajahn Brahm 1998 International Full Ordination Ceremony in Bodhgaya, India Bhikshunis-to-be pay respects to their preceptors, Bhiksunis Thubten Chodron & Karma Lekshe Tsomo Theravada Bhikkhuni reestablished in Sri Lanka. • 1996 – The Korean Bhikkhu Sangha and Sri Lankan monks sponsored another bhikkhuni ordination for 10 Sri Lankan dasasilmatas in Sarnath, India. First Modern Bhikkhuni Ordination in Sri Lanka • 2003 - First bhikkhuni higher ordinations in modern times on Sri Lankan soil. (American Bhikkhuni Ayya Sudhamma, Thailand’s Ven. Dhammananda, and Burmese born Ayya Gunasari & Ayya Saccavadi were ordained at this time.) In 2006, in a secret ceremony in the ancient ruins at Ayutthaya in Thailand, three more Thai women ordained as bhikkhunis − Bhikkhunis Rattanavali, Dhammamitta, and Silananda. Hamburg Congress, 2007 Bhikkhunis and bhikshunis ordained earlier help to mentor and ordain new bhikkhunis. August 2010 Bhikkhuni Ordination of four bhikkhunis at Aranya Bodhi Hermitage, Northern California October 2010 Bhikkhuni Ordinations at Dharma Vijaya in Los Angeles Three More North American Bhikkhunis Spirit Rock Meditation Hall – Oct. 17, 2011 L-R: Ayya Nimmala, Sate Saraniya Hermitage, Ontario, Canada; Ayya Santacitta and Ayya Anandabodhi, Aloka Vihara, San Francisco, California A Sima of Flowers Alliance for Bhikkhunis Alliance for Bhikkhunis (AFB) was founded in 2007 to support the creation of a Bhikkhuni Sangha in the U.S. and its revival overseas. Bhikkhunis near Joshua Tree National Park, Mohave Desert, Southern California, USA What Do We Do? • AFB educates lay practitioners about the essential role bhikkhunis play in preserving the Dhamma. • AFB offers financial assistance to monastics four their four requisites: food, clothing, shelter and medicine/health care AfB Raises Funds for Financial Assistance for Monastics Contributed to the construction of living quarters . Contributed to a “new used” kitchen trailer for Aranya Bodhi Monastery in Northern California. Health Insurance and Medicine •Paid for bhikkhunis’ medical and dental care. •Paid insurance premiums for some bhikkhunis with no health insurance. Assist in Travel to Conferences, Retreats, and Travel for Vassa Bhikshunis chanting at Sakyadhita conference in Bangkok, Thailand 2011. Inform and Connect •Present Magazine (Online) •Website bhikkhuni.net •Facebook International Bhikkhuni Day I’ve been waiting for bhikkhuni ordination for such a long time… From Santi Forest Monastery Website Alliance for Bhikkhunis Protecting bhikkhunis, we protect ourselves and future generations. May all beings be happy!