Venerable Dhammananda
is worthy like a mountain
Venerable Dhammananda
shelters like a green glade
Venerable Dhammananda
is as cheeky as a brook,
tinkling down the hillside,
feeding all creatures with humor
Venerable Dhammananda
is like a clear vista,
showing the way across the world.


Elizabeth Bacon, U.S.A.
dated Dec.12,2017



March Monthly Lecture
The Role of Bhikkhunis in Thailand
Venerable Bhikkhuni Dhammananda

The Venerable Dhammananda will give a presentation with slides on the role of bhikkhunis (female monks) which will cover the emergence of bhikkhunis in Thailand and their status today.

Her monastery Songdhammakalyani is now building a residence and eco-­‐centre to teach people how to deal with trash. Attendees of the lecture are encouraged to bring recyclables to support this venture.

About the Lecturer:
Ven. Dhammananda was born Chatsumarn Kabilsingh in 1944. After secondary school, Chatsumarn studied in India and Canada and earned her PhD in Buddhism. She was then a professor at Thammasat University at the Department of Philosophy and Religion for 27 years during which time she became a well-­known Buddhist scholar and writer especially on contemporary issues in Asian Buddhism. She married and had three sons. As her mother had been ordained in 1971 and established Songdhammakalyani Monastery for women to learn and practice the Dhamma, Chatsumarn was thus familiar with the role of females in Thai Buddhism. In 2003 she was ordained as Dhammananda Bhikkhuni in the Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka. She is now the abbess of Songdhammakalyani Monastry in Nakorn Pathom. Ven. Dhammananda remains an advocate of “socially engaged Buddhism,” recently initiating the ordination of girls as novice monks.

Recycled Materials needed
Ven. Dhammananda has initiated a recycling awareness program and will build a recycling centre at her temple that will also serve as living quarters for bhikkhunis. You can contribute to this project by bringing cleaned glass and plastic containers, cardboard, used paper, cans and newspaper to the lecture or drop it off with Dimpy (contact below). Please note we will also have an envelope for cash donations to the temple at the registration desk.

Lecture Details:

Date: Thursday, March 29th, 2018 • 10:00 am
Venue: Auditorium, National Museum, Bangkok
Cost: Member THB 100 • Guest THB 200
Sign-­up: Dimpy Kongsiri <>



The 4th International Monastic Training

0n June 1 – 15, 2018

At Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama

Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama and Buddhasavika Foundation organize an International Monastic Training every year.

In 2015, the training lasted through the vassa. There were 5 nuns from Vietnam and 4 from India with one laywoman participating in this Monastic training programme.

In 2016, the training was scheduled for 4 weeks in June. This was to allow the participants to return to keep the vassa in their home town. There were 17 participants: 1 bhikkhuni from Thailand, 11 samaneri from Vietnam, 1 from South Korea, 1 from Italy, 1 from Germany with 2 attendants. This year Venerable Dhammananda taught in English and Dr. Kanjana Suthikul translated into English throughout the training.

In 2017, the training was offered from June 1st- 27th, and there were 28 participants from 12 countries: 7 from Indonesia, 3 from Malaysia, 2 from Canada, one each from Australia, France, India, Myanmar, Russia, Sri Lanka, USA, Vietnam, and 8 from Thailand. Of those, three were laywomen. It was a good number of international monastics, and thus, more exchanging of ideas and support of each other. An increase of the number of countries in the next IMT can be expected.

This year the training is shortened and scheduled from June 1st – 15th. Who can apply? If you are Buddhist and interested in the training in a monastic setting, then you might be interested to join.

The participants attend classes on: the history of Buddhism with emphasis on women and buddhism, bhikkhuni sangha lineage, important points on the Vinaya, how the vinaya is put into practice, Patimokkha reciting, spiritual training, and socially engaged Buddhism.

With the monastic setting, one is expected to attend morning and evening chanting, and meditation. On full moon and dark moon, those who are bhikkhunis will recite Patimokkha together. Recitation of Patimokkha happens only if bhikkhunis stay together as a sangha. This is a golden opportunity for newly ordained bhikkhunis to be trained with other senior bhikkhunis.

Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama is the first temple in Thailand providing a friendly space for international bhikkhunis to be trained

together. Twice a week a group of 5 bhikkhunis will go for alms, candidates to the program can follow them. This is one of the highlight for the monastic training. We have been able to preserve this Buddhist tradition in a pristine manner.

There will be sponsorship available for Indian bhikkhunis and women from other part of India. Also the Foundation will provide travelling assistance to bhikkhunis from other Asian countries who need assistance. The funding is limited, if you are interested kindly read the details of the program, then you can fill in the registration form on the next page. If you cannot speak English, plan to come in as a group with at least one of you as an interpreter.


IMT Registration Form


An Interview with Chatsumarn Kabilsingh
By Rebecca Warner & Holly Gayley

Dr.Chatsumarn Kabilsingh is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. She is the editor of Yasodhara: Newsletter on International Buddhist Women’s Activities.
A Buddhist scholar and an activist in social justice and women’s issues in Asia, she is the author of Thai Women in Buddhism. This careful study uncovered the historical roots of women’s participation in Buddhism and Buddhist monasticism—and their subsequent exclusion and oppression in the Theravada lineage. She has been in the forefront of a growing movement to re-establish the ordination of women in the Theravada countries of Southeast Asia.
            Among her many activities, she is the founder and director of the Home of Peace and Love near Bangkok, a shelter for victims of prostitution and rape that is supported by the Peace Council. The photograph shows her holding the first baby to be born there.
            Prof.Kabilsingh is a trustee for the Internaitonal Committee of the Peace Council. This telephone interview was recorded in 1998 by two American students of Buddhism, Holly Gayley and Rebecca Warner. It was previously published in Yasodhara vol.15, no.1.




 Asian Buddhism Connection (ABC)
The Sangha Agung Indonesia
in collaboration with
Network of Asian Theravada Bhikkhunis
Buddhasavika Foundation
Announces the
3rd   ABC Conference (ABC-3)
Buddhism, Women and Education
Jinarakkhitta Prasad,
Jakarta, Indonesia
September 15-17, 2018


Today’s world is in dire need of peace much more than before. Among many religions and belief systems, Buddhism stands significantly prominent in pioneering peacefulness and mutual care. Being an Indic gift to the human civilisation, Buddhism in Asia has been a head source of the message. As you have seen in 2016, our ABC stood for not only a Conclave of ASEAN Buddhism in the form of international conference, the overwhelming support from academicians, scholars and practitioners, led our General Assembly commit to create  a larger platform. Hence, we have now our ABC becoming BIGGER and much more relevant in its new name: Asian Buddhism Connection. The new ABC stands for connecting with each other through academic scholarship, moral and monastic support and creating space for the women both as layperson as well as Bhikkhuni! Buddhism in Asia is at a cross-roads which require a wider interaction among peoples. While in the west, Buddhism is the fastest growing Way of Life, it has a very different scenario not only in decreasing number but also a common intra-analysis. The ABC Secretariat established at Wat Songdhammakalyani at Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, would address and analyse the issues with academic fervour as well as social commitment Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhunī would be our guide and philosopher. She has been an established authority on women issues and Buddhism, while teaching at Philosophy and Religious Studies Department, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University, Bangkok.


Asian Buddhism Connection website :






-"METTAVALOKANAYA" Buddhist Magazine  .... READ MORE

- The final dates for our Second Vajrayāna Summit which is to be held from 28th to 30th March, 2018. ....








March 5,2018

Ven.Mother complained that I have been negligent in my report work.

Indeed, I have now made a determination to come up with report at least on monthly basis. There must be at least one report at the end of the month if not more.

Ven.Mother (Dhammananda bhikkhuni) was in Bodh Gaya, India Jan.30-31

To attend a conference hosted by Maha Bodhi Society of India. Ven.Mother presented on eco-temple, it was picked up by Ambedkar TV and they aired it in India TV. That was great.

The conference led Ven.Mother to commit herself yet to another conference again at Maha Bodhi Society in Bodh Gaya.

Ven.Seewalee, secretary General of HQ.HBSI is also interested to host an international Theravada Conference in Bodh Gaya next year. We are very happy at this news, it is definitely taking Theravada bhikkhuni ordination yet to another international level. It has not been officially announced yet and we are waiting for the official announcement which will come out from MBSI, India. I will let you know as soon as we hear from them.

Meanwhile we are now preparing for ABC 2018 Asian Buddhist Connection coming in Sept.15-17 in Jakarta, Indonesia. If you are interested please go to for more information. This is the 3rd ABC, and it will focus on Buddhism,Women and Education. WE expect at least there will be participants from not less than 15 countries. In the 2nd ABC held in Thailand we entertained participants from 21 countries. Please come and join us. Our local host is Sangha Agung Indonesia and the venue will be at Jinarakkhita Prasad, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Our International Monastic Training usually organized through the month of June, this year we have condensed it to June 1-15. This is to answer to the request of some of our participants who could not manage for the whole month. This international training is for free. For contact person you can write directly to Ven.Dhammananda at or local phone no.66 (0)34258270.

The annual temporary Samaneri ordination has been fixed twice a year, starting on April 6 and Dec.5. Each ordination will last for 9 days. Look for registration form in our website.

Foreigners who are passing through can benefit by attending the meditation guided by Ven.Mother every weekends at 8 AM. Please call to confirm her presence.

I will come back to my report at the end of this month. Bye for now



Samaneri Ordination in Hong Kong



Ven.Bhikkhuni Dhammananda and her team received invitation from  Ven.Bhikkhuni Uttaranandi , a Theravada bhikkhuni in Hong Kong to give ordination to Samaneri in Hong Kong.
This was scheduled for Dec.23,2017. Before that on Dec.21 and 22 Ven.Uttaranandi also arranged for Ven.Dhammananda to give public talks at the Teachers’ Club and at the Mall in downtown HK. This went well though the audience was limited due to public function on the same date.
The temporary Samaneri ordination was given to 5 women on Dec.23,2017. There were 4 Chinese women and one woman from Philippines. Also 8 women received 8 precepts and were trained together with the samaneris. Ven.Dhammananda conducted classes everyday from 9-11 and 14-16 hrs. Morning and Evening chantings were led by Ven.Uttaranandi and the team of bhikkhunis from Thailand. In the evening  Ven.Asoka, a Chinese Theravada monk coming from China also came to help teach meditation. So it was full 7-days training for the candidates.
The venue was at Miukok temple in Feng Kat Herng village in Yuen Long City,NT.
This was a third temporary Theravada  ordination given to samaneris in Hong Kong  The first two happened in 2010 and 2014. This third time is however most complete with regular teaching every day.
It is not easy to organize this kind of event. But as long as there is some interest, the propagation of the teaching of the Buddha will continue.




The International Seminar on
“Strengthening Buddhist Root: Theravada Buddhist Nuns in Nepal”
Venue: Aksheswar Mahavihara, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal

It was a wonderful experience to attend this seminar in Nepal. The programme was organized under a capable hand of Prof.Dr.Shankar Thapa, head of History Department, Tribhuvan University. Mr Rajesh Sakya, the president of Aksheswar Mahavihara was very far sighted in accepting to host this historic event.
Under the capable hands of both the persons mentioned. At the opening ceremony they were able to invite H.E.the embassador of Sri Lanka, and a representative of India from the Indian Embassy in Nepal.
For the first time I witnessed the presence of many Nepali nuns in pink robes, there must be 30 of them at least. Afterward I discovered that 3 of them in maroon robe came from South India. A large crowd of Nepalis were there to honor the occasion.
The chief guests were Ven.Dhammavati, the most senior nun in Nepal, due to her age, she sent a representative. Ven.Bhikkhuni Dhammananda the most senior Theravada bhikkhuni from Thailand spoke as a chief guest.
Prof.Dr Shankar Thapa the organizer, explained to the audience how they started to organize this seminar, and what was the purpose. Some locals were enquiring as they did not invite the monks. It was explained that this was the first time, so the organizers want to provide the space for the Nepali nuns to speak with comfort. According to the culture, the nuns, out of respect will not speak in front of the monks. .....Read More





Sending you all the good waves of energy
Sri Akkhara

2016 is passing by, and we are now eager to welcome 2017. Let me report to you whatt we have done in 2016 which is now slipping by very soon. Ven.Dhammananda was very active in the first part of the year.

Ven.Grand Ma’s (Ven.Bhikshuni Voramai Kabilsingh) 108th birthday fell on April 6,2016. There was the usual temporary ordination of Samaneris. We brought out two books which were collection of Ven.Grand Ma’s own writings taken from her monthly magazines. It is a way to preserve her teachings and pass on to the future generation.

Also Ven.Dhammananda ordered the casting of 200 Buddha images, this is the miniature of the Buddha statue which Ven.Grand Ma casted exactly 50 years ago at Wat Rajapradit in Ayudhya. To give you a brief story, when Grand Ma found it, the head of the statue was just put on the body after the Burmese raid of the capital in 1767 A.D. The head did not fit the body neither the size nor the style. So she had the head removed, casted a new  body to fit the head and casted the head to fit the body. As a result we now have to 2 main Buddha statues in the Uposatha hall of the temple. We offered 108 small replica of the Buddha statues to the temple. All the newly ordained samaneris were there to witness the offering.....Read More


A Journey to be a Theravada Bhikkhuni
Dhammananda Bhikkhuni
November 12, 2016

When my mother shaved her head, I was 11 years old. In Thailand in 1956, if a woman shaved her head, it was to become a mae chee (white robed nun). There was no ordination, just receiving the eight precepts. My mother, Ven. Voramai Kabilingh, never thought of becoming a mae chee—she told her preceptor, Pra Prommuni of Wat Bavornnives, that she would be wearing light yellow—and so it was. She turned her house into a small nunnery where more and more young women joined her... Read More



The Network of Asian Theravada Bhikkhunis.

Sri Akkhara

Ven.Dhammananda requested that I work on this article as it is very important for the movement of bhikkhunis in Asia. Unless recorded, event will pass by unnoticed, and to write about it later, we definitely will miss out certain important details.

In this part of the world when we searched through scanty available reading materials, we have glimpses of women here and there searching to lead a monastic life as prescribed in Buddhist history.

In Sri Lanka, being a historical center for bhikkhunis from 3rd Century B.C. is also a center for Theravada bhikkhunis in the present era. The revival of Bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka started in 1998 with the assistance of Fo Guang Shan to start the international ordination for bhikkhunis successfully in 1998. The lineage of bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka started from this ordination.

In Thailand, the very first case of bhikkhuni emergence came in 1928, with the well known two sisters, Sara and Chongdi. But the story was soon made silent.






Temporary Samaneri ordination at Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama

Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama has  organized temporary ordination since 2008. The bhikkhuni sangha here, offer temporary ordination twice a year, Apirl 6 and Dec.5. Thus the latest  one took place on April 6, it is 16th ordination given.

Each time there would be 30,40,50 women joined. Dec.5,2015 was a special one, there were 108 candidates. The occasion was to celebrate  the completion of Yasodhara Vihara.

Thus, Ven.Dhammananda has given Samaneri ordination to not less than 500 women. She was also invited to give the same ordination in Payao, northern part of Thailand and also Songkhla in the south.....Read More


Registration form (EN)

Registration form (TH)








Weekly Meditation


Every Saturday, Sunday at 8.00-9.00 A.M. meet Ven. Dhammananda for an hour of meditation.

For more info. call 034 258 270