Main Page arrow Songdhammakalyani Monastry
Songdhammakalyani Monastry
Thailand : Female Monks Print E-mail
 
Basic Information Print E-mail

Songdhammakalyani Temple 

     This land was purchased from H.M.Indrasakdisaci, Queen of King Rama IV in 1960. Ven.Bhikkhuni Ta Tao Fa Tzu (Varamai Kabilsingh) was the founder and built the Uposathagara (Main chapel) as well as Dhammapisamai school respectively.
      Watra Songdhammakalyani is a temple that is completed with Uposatha Hall and Sima boundary as prescribed by the vinaya, therefore it is ready for ordination. The first lower ordination (samaneri) was given by Bhikkhuni Upajjhaya R.Saddha Sumana from Sri Lanka in 2002, and again in 2005 both ordination ceremony were witnessed by Thai bhikkhu sangha. But because the Thai Government has not yet recognized the bhikkhuni status, the temple has not been registered as a temple yet.
      However, there is Buddhasavika Foundation that the temple is associated with for its activities.
      Usually the temples in Thailand are called “Wad”, but here we have “Watra” which is a Sanskrit word meaning “practice” it is the same as Pali “Wat” (w for v)but in Thailand we prefer to use the Thai spelling “Wad”, all the three words mean the same only they are in different languages.
      In 2001 after the ordination of Ven.Dhammananda, she added yet 3 more rai to the existing 6 rai of land which was previously given by Ven.Voramai Kabilsingh.

      This land was purchased from H.M.Indrasakdisaci, Queen of King Rama IV in 1960.
Ven.Bhikkhuni Ta Tao Fa Tzu (Varamai Kabilsingh) was the founder and built the Uposathagara (Main chapel) as well as Dhammapisamai school respectively.
      Watra Songdhammakalyani is a temple that is completed with Uposatha Hall and Sima boundary as prescribed by the vinaya, therefore it is ready for ordination. The first lower ordination (samaneri) was given by Bhikkhuni Upajjhaya R.Saddha Sumana from Sri Lanka in 2002, and again in 2005 both ordination ceremony were witnessed by Thai bhikkhu sangha. But because the Thai Government has not yet recognized the bhikkhuni status, the temple has not been registered as a temple yet.
      However, there is Buddhasavika Foundation that the temple is associated with for its activities.
      Usually the temples in Thailand are called “Wad”, but here we have “Watra” which is a Sanskrit word meaning “practice” it is the same as Pali “Wat” (w for v)but in Thailand we prefer to use the Thai spelling “Wad”, all the three words mean the same only they are in different languages.
      In 2001 after the ordination of Ven.Dhammananda, she added yet 3 more rai to the existing 6 rai of land which was previously given by Ven.Voramai Kabilsingh.

This land was purchased from H.M.Indrasakdisaci, Queen of King Rama IV in 1960.
Ven.Bhikkhuni Ta Tao Fa Tzu (Varamai Kabilsingh) was the founder and built the Uposathagara (Main chapel) as well as Dhammapisamai school respectively.
      Watra Songdhammakalyani is a temple that is completed with Uposatha Hall and Sima boundary as prescribed by the vinaya, therefore it is ready for ordination. The first lower ordination (samaneri) was given by Bhikkhuni Upajjhaya R.Saddha Sumana from Sri Lanka in 2002, and again in 2005 both ordination ceremony were witnessed by Thai bhikkhu sangha. But because the Thai Government has not yet recognized the bhikkhuni status, the temple has not been registered as a temple yet.
      However, there is Buddhasavika Foundation that the temple is associated with for its activities.
      Usually the temples in Thailand are called “Wad”, but here we have “Watra” which is a Sanskrit word meaning “practice” it is the same as Pali “Wat” (w for v)but in Thailand we prefer to use the Thai spelling “Wad”, all the three words mean the same only they are in different languages.
      In 2001 after the ordination of Ven.Dhammananda, she added yet 3 more rai to the existing 6 rai of land which was previously given by Ven.Voramai Kabilsingh.

The Founder

       Voramai Kabilsingh was born in 1908 started her education in Catholic school and was the first woman to graduate with physical education. In 1932 she went to Singapore on a bicycle with a group of boy scouts. She spent many years as a journalist and editor of a local weekly magazine. She got married in  1946 to Korkiat Shatsena, a member of parliament and representative of people in a southern province.
She had  only one child who later on became Dr.Chatsumarn Kabilsingh and presently Ven.Bhikkhuni Dhammananda.
      Ven.Voramai Kabilsingh started her monastic life by receiving the 8 precepts from Pra Prommuni, vice abbot of Wat Bavornnives, the royal residence since Rama IV. Later she went to Taiwan and received  full ordination to become a bhikkhuni in 1971, She continued propagating Buddhism through Vipassana Banthernsarn, a monthly Buddhist magazine for 32 years. Also she was regularly involved in social welfare providing food and clothing for the poor and needy. She sponsored ordination of more than a hundred monks through out the country. More than a hundred Buddha images were casted and offered to various far away village temples.
      Ven.Voramai Kabilsingh often was known as Ven.Grandma passed away peacefully at a full ripe age of 96 years on June 24,2003.

Second Generation  

      Ven. Bhikkhuni Dhammananda, the present abbot was born as Chatsumarn Shatsena. She received her education from India and Canada. She spent 32 years teaching as an associate professor at the Department of Philosophy and Religions at the well known Thammasat University in Thailand. She was divorced with three grown sons and three grandchildren.
      She took the turn of life in 2000 when she went to receive Bodhisattva’s precept from Fo Guang Shan in Taiwan. The following year, 2001 she went to receive her lower ordination from Sri Lanka. Her female preceptor was Ven.Bhikkhuni R.Saddha Sumana from Tusitarama, Eheliyagoda. Her male preceptor was Ven.T.Dhammaloka of Tapodantamaya, Mt.Lavinia, Colombo.
      In 2003 she was ordained as bhikkhuni at the same place, and to further strengthen her lineage she took yet another upasampada in 2005 with her former bhikkhuni Upajjhaya and The Most Venerable Maha Nayaka Sri I.Sumangalo was her bhikkhu Upajjhaya at Dambulla. Her ordination lineage is Syamopali from Dambulla chapter.
      Since her ordination she has engaged herself in depth to build a strong foundation for a better understanding of bhikkhuni ordination and for a better understanding of leading a life as a Buddhist. Within the past 5 years she has brought out more than ten books for education of the public.
      At the same time her temple is an open space for both men and women, Buddhists and non-Buddhists to come and nourish each other spiritually and physically.
      Her temple offers 3-day training courses for public. Students from the US often book to come and  enjoy the live-in experience within a monastic setting at the same time receive education of they interest.
      The temple also house a Home of Peace and Love providing space and opportunity for underprivileged women and girls to live in a peaceful atmostphere. Girls are sponsored for higher education and training from monastic setting.

What can you do to participate?
      You can provide financial assistance, labour, skills, and simply share both your joy and sorrow. 
      You can subscribe the quarterly newsletters available both in English and Thai; to keep you up to date with the latest from the temple.
      Training courses are given periodically, check if you can join any one of them.

 

 
Historical Background Print E-mail

      The temple was built in 1960 by Ven.Bhikkhuni Voramai Kabilsingh who received her higher ordination from Sung San Temple in Taipei, Taiwan. The activities of the temple dealt with publications, bringing out Buddhist books to educate the mass and social welfare.

      The Venerable was bedridden and became inactive for the past 10 years. Prof.Dr.Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, her daughter, continued her work by leading the Sunday offering and meditation, but other activities were limited.

      In 2000 Dr.Chatsumarn Kabilsingh committed her life to bodhisattva’s path, taking bodhisattva’s precepts from Taiwan as an initiation.

       In 2001 Dr Chatsumarn Kabilsingh gave up her lay life, and received lower ordination from the Sri Lankan Sangha, hence became the first Theravada Samaneri in Thailand. She is now known as Ven.Samaneri Dhammananda but officially still Ven.Chatsumarn Kabilsingh.

       Since her ordination, the temple suddenly became alive and active again. Three more rai of land were offered by her sons to make an adjoining dhamma garden to enhance the temple and provide the temple with more natural space with newly planted trees and a lotus pond.

 
Location
      Songdhammakalyani Monastry, means the temple of women who uphold dhamma, is situated on Petkasem Hwy, km.52-53 west of Bangkok, just before the proper Nakhonpathom province. Petkasem is a major highway leading west before turning down south, and could continue on to Kuala Lumpur.

Landmark
      
 In front of the temple there is a golden laughing Buddha, built some 20 years ago, according to the Ven.Grandmother (Voramai Kabilsingh) “the smiling face of the future Buddha should lessen the unwholesome thought in the mind of the people who see him.”

Administration
     
The temple is under the Buddhasavika Foundation, a legal body consisiting of committee members who take care of both the activities of the temple and other functions related to it.

Publications
     
The Ven.Dhammananda writes regularly both academic papers and articles for magazines. She has more than 40 books and translations to her name. Some of the better known books in English ar

 
  • A Comparative Study of the Bhikkhuni

  • Patimokkha Buddhism and Nature Conservation

  • Thai Women and Buddhism

  • Women and Buddhism

  • The Bhikkhuni Patimokkha of the six existing schools


      There are also many interviews in English before and after her ordination. Recent issue of Eastern Horizon also carries her interview.
      Yasodhara is a quarterly newsletter in English reporting activities of Buddhist women around the world, be involved. Subscription is $12 a year.
 

Songdhammakalyani Monastry 195 Petkasem Highway Muang District, Nakhonpathom Thailand 73000
Tel.& Fax. 66 3428 4315 E- mail : dhammananda9d@gmail.com
Copyright (c) 2002-2006 Thai Bhikkhunis All rights reserved.


Visitors Since December 14, 2006