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


Bhikkhuni Ordination in Bodh Gaya,2019

This is the first time that Theravada bhikkhuni ordination was organized and hosted by Maha Bodhi Society of India (MBSI) under the guidance of Ven.P.Seewalee Thero, General Secretary of MBSI.

There were 24 candidates, 13 from Vietnam, 8 from Thailand and 3 from China.

The Kammavacacaryas both monks and bhikkhunis were invited from Sri Lanka.
Ven.Dr.Kalupahana was Kammavacacarya and Ven.Sudhamma was Anusavanacarya.On the bhikkhuni side, Ven.Vijithananda was Kammavacacarini and Ven.Vinayadharini was Anusavanacarini.

Ven.Dhammananda was Pavattini for the 8 Thai candidates and one Vietnamese candidate, Ven.Lieu Phap was Pavattini for 9 candidates who are her students, and Ven.Vijithananda was Pavattini for the remaining 3 Vietnamese candidates and the 3 Chinese candidates.

Ven.P.Seewalee Thero was upajjhaya to all the 24 candidates.

The upasampada (full ordination) can be given to 3 candidates at one time, therefore to cover all the 24 candidates, only 12 can be done in one day. So the ordination spanned out to cover both 28th and 29th January.

All the candidates were given pabbaja (samaneri ordination) together in the early morning of 28th at the Vihara at the Sri Lankan temple.

The actual Upasamapada must be done in Theravada consecrated sima (boundery), for this the whole group moved to Wat Lao International where there is proper Theravada sima.

The ordination was conducted first among bhikkhuni sangha, there were not less than 14 bhikkhunis present, from USA, Thailand, Vietnam,Sri Lanka,Malaysia, Indonesia, China,etc.. The candidates, 3 at a time, went through purification by the bhikkhuni sangha as required by the vinaya ,and in the afternoon they received upasampada from the bhikkhu sangha with Ven.P.Seewalee Thero as upajjhaya.

On 28th 3 candidates from China ,and 9 candidates from Vietnam were fully ordained as bhikkhunis.

On 29th 8 candidates from Thailand and 4 candidates from Vietname were fully ordained as bhikkhunis.

We, the organizing committees would like to express our thanks and appreciation for Ven.P.Seewalee for his farsightedness to host this event and particular thanks to Ven.Dr Xaixana, abbot of Wat Lao International for allowing us to hold the historical ordination in his sima.

The video reporting the ordination is done by Ms Marlai from Cambodia. We are also thankful to her, special thanks with gratitude to all  bhikkhu and bhikkhuni sanghas present to grace the event and to be part of this memorable event.

Together, we are writing a new page of history.

1. បំបួសសាមណេរី២៤អង្គនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Samaneri Ordination in Bodh Gaya) on 01/28/2019 Part 1

2. បំបួសសាមណេរី២៤អង្គនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Samaneri Ordination in Bodh Gaya) on 01/28/2019 Part 2

3. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុនិសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhuni Sangha) on 1/28/19 Group 1

4. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុនិសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhuni Sangha) on 1/28/19 Group 2

5. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុនិសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhuni Sangha) on 1/28/19 Group 3

6. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុនិសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhuni Sangha) on 1/28/19 Group 4

7. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhu Sangha) on 1/28/19 Group 1

8. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhu Sangha) on 1/28/19 Group 2

9. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhu Sangha) on 1/28/19 Group 3

10. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhu Sangha) on 1/28/19 Group 4

11. ភិក្ខុបង្រៀនភិក្ខុនីបួសថ្មីៗនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Bhikkhus Teaching New Bhikkhunis) on 1/28/19 Day 1

12. ភិក្ខុសូត្រឲ្យពរភិក្ខុនីបួសថ្មីៗនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Bhikkhus Chanting Blessings to New Bhikkhunis) on Day 1

13. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុនីសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhuni Sangha) on 1/29/19 Group 5

14. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុនីសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhuni Sangha) on 1/29/19 Group 6

15. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុនីសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhuni Sangha) on 1/29/19 Group 7

16. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុនីសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhuni Sangha) on 1/29/19 Group 8

17. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុនីសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhuni Sangha) on 1/29/19 Groups 9&10

18. ភិក្ខុនីសូត្របញ្ជប់ឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុនីសង្ឃ (Concluding Upasampada by Bhikkhuni Sangha) Day 2

19. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhu Sangha) on 1/29/19 Group 5 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

20. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhu Sangha) on 1/29/19 Group 6

21. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhu Sangha) on 1/29/19 Group 7

22. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhu Sangha) on 1/29/19 Group 8

23. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhu Sangha) on 1/29/19 Group 9

24. ភិក្ខុនីឧបសម្បទាដោយភិក្ខុសង្ឃនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Upasampada by Bhikkhu Sangha) on 1/29/19 Group 10

25. ភិក្ខុបង្រៀនភិក្ខុនីបួសថ្មីៗនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Bhikkhus Teaching Newly Ordained Bhikkhunis) Day 2

26. ភិក្ខុសូត្រឲ្យពរភិក្ខុនីបួសថ្មីៗនៅពុទ្ធគយា (Bhikkhus Chanting Blessings to New Bhikkhunis) Day 2


Social Inequalities and the Promotion of Women in Buddhism in Thailand

Manuel Litalien
Nipissing University

Studies have shown that religion can support or hinder social development (Haynes 2007; Tomalin 2013). This article makes a case in favor of how, in Thailand, the demands for greater justice and gender equality have engaged groups of women to seek higher Buddhist ordination as a means to better promote human and social development. Equal religious philanthropic contribution between men and women is presented as a component to democratic participation in the struggling political Kingdom of Thailand.

Full Article on Journal of Buddhist Ethics



International Theravada Bhikkhuni Ordination

We are now preparing for the up-coming International Theravada Bhikkhuni ordination to be organized for the first time by Maha Bodhi Society
of India in Bodh Gaya,India. The date is January 29,2019. The Venue will be at the MBSI in Bodh Gaya itself.

Ven.Seewalee, the general secretary of MBSI intiated this programme, and we are very happy that he has provided such opportunity for women to come forth and enjoy their right fully according to the Buddha’s allowance and intention.

For more information we have loaded the registration form, etc. on our web to make it possible for people to view and to have access.



Recently articles written by Laura M. Kuah, a photographer and videographer who visited Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama

Visiting Thai Bikkhunis at Songdhammakalyani All Female Thai Buddhist Monastery

On a recent trip to Thailand, I had the opportunity to visit Songdhammakalyani Monastery, the first all-female monastery in Nakhon Pathom, just 53 km west of Bangkok. It is the first temple in Thailand built by women, for women.

The Abbess of this unique spiritual space is Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni , the first Thai woman to be ordained as a female monk in the conservative Theravada Buddhist tradition. Because no male monk in Thailand would ordain her, Ven. Dhammananda went abroad to Sri Lanka to be ordained in the Theravada tradition, which is practiced throughout Southeast Asia.

Wat Songdhammakalyani is translated as “the temple of women who uphold the Dharma”. Ven. Dhammananda’s mother, Venerable Voramai Kabilsingh, the first Thai Bhikkhuni (female monk) who was ordained in the Mahayana tradition in Taiwan, founded the monastery in 1960 when she purchased the land from the Queen of King Rama VI. Today, the monastery serves as a temple, education center and is also transforming into an “eco-temple” with a recycling center and organic vegetable garden on the premises.

Full Article on Templeseeker


An Interfaith Conversation with Thailand’s First Theravada Female Monk: Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni

A few weeks before my trip to Thailand, I discovered Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni on YouTube, and learned about her radical story on the fight to reestablish the ordination of women (as it was done in Buddha’s time) in Thailand. Through her compelling TED Talk and the Huffington Post documentary created by the Zainab Salbi Project, I felt an intense connection to Ven. Dhammananda’s feminist approach on modern Buddhist philosophy and knew that I couldn’t leave Thailand without visiting this unique space and also meeting her in person.

Full Article on Medium




New Temporary Buddhist Ordination for Women and Social Change in Thai Society

By Kakanang Yavaprabhas

"On the day I became ordained and saw their tears of joy I felt that it was the peak of my life. I have succeeded in many things – careers, money, and so on. But it was only on that day that they happily cried." – June, who was temporarily ordained as a samaneri at Songdhammakalyani Monastery.

In Thailand, where around 95 percent of the population self-identify as Buddhist, temporary Buddhist ordination is a long-standing tradition for men, but not for women as they cannot be conventionally ordained. Only in 2009 did temporary ordination for women become available to the public and they can now assume the scriptural form of samaneri (female novices). Songdhammakalyani Monastery, where the abbess is Bhikkhuni Dhammananda – the first contemporary Thai “Theravada” bhikkhuni (female monks, fully ordained nuns) – is the first monastery to offer this new temporary ordination in Thai society. The monastery, located in Nakhon Pathom, had continued to provide ordination twice a year since 2009, and this April (2018) will be the twentieth time that ordination has been offered. It is also not the only monastery in Thailand that offers this ordination to the public. At least two other bhikkhuni monasteries, Nirodharam in Chiang Mai and Thippayasathandhamma Bhikkhuni Arama in Songkhla, also do so on a recurring basis.

Full Article on Kyotoreview



Temporary Ordination for Female Novices


Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama has offered temporary ordination for the past 10 years. The ordination is offered twice a year on April 6 and December 5, the candidates receive training for 3 days, and the actual ordination last for 9 days. Many of the candidates are working women so they often chose this time of the year where there are some extra holidays to allow them to take leave from work.

            This is 20th batch and there were 31 of them. Average age was 43, and many of them with M.A. and B.A. in fact one of them with Ph.D. Ven.Dhammnanda being the first and now still the only Pavattini (bhikkhuni teacher) she has given novice orditation to more than 700 women. Giving such opportunity even temporarily is still meaningful to Buddhist women.
The training emphasized on passing on information about ordination, to confirm that ordination for women is possible and is allowed by the Buddha. Each candidate will be able
to give proper answer to public once when they return to laylife.
They received also mental training to be able to recognize their own  mental defilement so that they will learn how to handle them once they are back in their work place.
Each one of them had a chance to go out for alms, this has always been a positive experience. As in the past women have always been offering alms to the bhikkhus or male monks. This is the first time that they experience themselves on the receiving end. Some of them returned with tears for such wonderful experience.
There are foreigners who would like to seek ordination also. In case the candidate has not been Buddhist before, the person need to take refuge  (to become Buddhist) at least 4 months before asking for ordination.
This coming ordination in December, there will be one or two cases of foreigners who will be joining the ordination after having taken refuge properly.

            If you are interested, you can find registration form in this website.

She runs the very first Thai Buddhist Temple for female monks and promotes equality between men and women.



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 Thai 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


The 4th International Monastic Training (IMT)

Beobgwa Sunim*

Last semester I learned the Theravāda Bhikkhunī Pātimokka in Palī, which made me curious as to whether Theravādin society has kept these rules strictly or not. I also wanted to experience daily life in a Theravādin monastery as a bhikkhunī. By chance, a Yogī gave me information on International Monastic Training (IMT) at Wat Songdhammakalyanī. This was my opportunity to fulfill my curiosity, so I registered despite my tight schedule.

For the first three days we focused on mindful death. I followed this death-meditation course without any mental formations holding me back. This allowed me to reflect on my physical and spiritual surroundings and made me vulnerable around the strangers in this temple. I was not the only one who felt vulnerable; this was beneficial because it allowed us to understand each other. The remaining days were reflective of true Theravāda monastic life. We followed a routine consisting of Theravādin chanting, going on alms round, lectures on the Theravāda bhikkhunī sangha, cleaning the monastery, etc. While learning about the Thai bhikkhunīs, I was quite surprised to find out that there were 170 Thai Theravādin bhikkhunīs! Abroad, I heard Thai bhikkhunīs who took the saffron robes were jailed and could not go on alms round. Instead, what I witnessed here is that the bhikkhunī sangha goes on alms rounds and conducts various sangha kamma despite the lack of recognition from the Thai sangha.

I have attended various events during my time here. We had a sikkhamānā declaration ceremony during the course. I was so touched by this! No matter the sikkhamānā candidate’s age or background, they declared their intention to live as a sikkhamānā for two vassās while keeping the essential six rules. Eight women declared their intention to go forth as a sikkhamānā that day, showing the power of the bhikkhunī sangha. On Uposatha day the bhikkhunīs recited the Pātimokkha led by Venerable Dhammanandā. This purified the Thai bhikkhunī sangha. On Pinnapāta, devotees gave warm offerings with just as much respect to the bhikkhunīs as the bhikkhus. We recited a special prayer for each devotee to share our merit and wish them happiness. The Thai bhikkhunī sangha maintains a strong relationship with their devotees.

There are many special aspects of this course, but reciting the bodhisattva’s vow, reciting the medicine Buddha’s mantra, and doing Ch’i Kong are among my favorites. Some may think this sangha is mixing Theravāda tradition with traditions of Mahāyāna, Vajrayāna, and even Taoism but this is not for the individual bhikkhunī’s wants and need. Instead, it is for the people who need our help. This is wholly representative of Socially Engaged Buddhism.

Upon reflection on the last day of the course, I have realized I have experienced all kinds of Buddhism but the Thai bhikkhunīs are keeping the Theravāda vinaya well in their daily life. This course offered me a glimpse of how to live in Thailand as a Theravāda bhikkhunī. This was made possible by Venerable Dhammanandā’s efforts over the past decade to establish a Thai bhikkhunī sangha. I would like to offer special thanks to her for being the pioneer of this movement. I would also like to thank Sikkhamānā Dhammaparipunnā for her translations that helped me understand each teaching.
*Master’s student, The International Theravāda Buddhist Missionary University, Yangon, Myanmar


Why we need IMT

Daphne Weber*


With the lack of recognition of bhikkhunī in Thailand, this training program offers knowledge, clarification, and support for those wishing to go forth. The misinterpretation of gender in the Vinaya has led to the delusion that women cannot be ordained. Worse? Many women believe this. Fortunately, Venerable Dhammanandā Bhikkhunī has offered a course in International Monastic Training open to all to combat this delusion. During the course, female monastics and laywomen learn the true history and the history of the bhikkhunī as well as the merit of female roles within Buddhism.

Before I continue, I must admit that I was one of the women with a twisted delusion of the bhikkhunī movement some years ago. My first understanding of bhikkhunī was that they had no support, were deemed illegal, and were rebelling against societal norms. This lit a fire inside of me to engage with and advocate for these women. After I spent further years researching and studying, I knew I was wrong. My time at Wat Songdhammakalyānī made me realize the idea of bhikkhunī as illegal or rebels was an oversimplification of these women’s agendas and further, not at all representative of the bhikkhunī movement. Over the last two weeks, I have turned my shame into knowledge. I have spent time taking notes over the Buddha’s original intention for Buddhism as a whole, how history has misinterpreted this, and how we can move forward. As a metaphor, I sowed the seeds of my ignorance and nourished them with learning, listening, and practice to reap the knowledge of what it truly means to be a bhikkhunī. I believe this knowledge empowering and powerful. I can use it in an attempt to destroy the false narrative surrounding bhikkhunī and help them attain their goal of enlightenment. Though I encourage everyone to research and study for themselves, I have also provided a brief summary and interpretation of the materials from the IMT course.
IMT can broadly be divided into three sections: past intention, historical misinterpretation, and present cessation to promote clarity. Each of these sections shows how the understanding of the bhikkhunī movement came to be skewed and how we can move forward to correct that thinking.

Past Intention
At the time of the Buddha’s enlightenment, Mara came to remind him it was time to pass away. However, the Buddha refused to do so until the fourfold Buddhist community had been established: Bhikkhu, Bhikkhunī, Laymen, and Laywomen. This was the original intention of Buddhism; to give men and women the opportunity to fully go forth in their practice and end suffering. Being a monastic provides a more suitable environment for putting into practice the four noble truths.
This fact is often overlooked when the story of Mahā Pajāpatī, the Buddha’s stepmother and aunt, is told. Mahā Pajāpatī went to the Buddha three times asking for ordination. Though he rejected her without reason each of these times, she did not give up. Instead, she and about 500 other women walked barefoot through the wilderness in their robes to meet the Buddha. They dared not ask for ordination once more, but Venerable Ananda took pity on them with the bloodied feet and torn robes. Venerable Ᾱnanda approached the Buddha and together they affirmed the fact that women can be enlightened and therefore ordained. The dedication of these women expressed not only their determination but the high quality of their renunciation. Maha Pajāpatī was also willing to take additional rules in order to receive her ordination. Beyond that, the women were qualified under the Vatthu Sampatti, Parisad Sampatti, Sīmā Sampatti, and Kammavācā Sampatti.
After the Buddha’s passing, many bhikkhus were unsupportive of Venerable Ananda’s decision to let the bhikkhunī see the body first. The resistance towards bhikkhunī can be seen from this moment forward as some bhikkhu did not find the bhikkhunī worthy enough. This gave way to the misinterpretation of historical events.

Historical Misinterpretation
Since the Budddha refused to ordain Mahā Pajāpatī three times, many chose to believe that he did not want women in Buddhism. This is not true; the social context of the time would have made renunciation very hard for a queen with such a luxurious life. Her torn robes and bloodied feet, however, proved she was willing to endure the renunciant lifestyle. Further, the additional rules prescribed by the Buddha were not an attempt to dissuade women from the practice but to protect them from things such as rape and theft.

FURTHER OUTLINE: Following with the lineage, 1928 Sangha Act, 1979 Ordination of Luang Ya (Ven. Voramai Kabilsingh Bhikkhuni, Ven.Dhammananadā’s mother), 1988 Failure to restart, 1998 ordination in Sri Lanka, and 2003 ordination of Luang Mae (Ven.Dhammanandā Therī, Assoc.Prof.Dr.Chatsumarn Kabilsingh). Resistance to each of these events because of dual ordination requires both a bhikkhu sangha and a bhikkhunī sangha. However, the necessity of a bhikkhunī sangha during ordination of bhikkhunī can be interpreted as a rehearsal so the purification ritual was not shameful for the women. Further, the first women to be ordained did not require a bhikkhunī sangha. Since the Buddha originally called for both bhikkhu and bhikkhunī before the existence of either, we should interpret this in the spirit of his desire for a fourfold Buddhist community.

CESSEATION: Though women have not been recognized by the Thai sangha as bhikkhunī, they have not stopped their pursuance of ordination. Because of the misinterpretation of the vinaya, bhikkhu and government officials have stood by the requirement of a dual sangha. One of the most important teachings from IMT was that we MUST know our lineage. With this information, we can defend the teaching of the Buddha and the bhikkhunī ordination. Some might regard the class on public speaking for bhikkhunī as menial but I see it as one of the most important aspects of this training. Training women to speak in front of others and articulate their defense of bhikkhunī ordination is crucial.
*Master's Student in Anthropology, Washington State University, USA


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 :



3rd Asian Buddhism Connection 2018





-"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 December 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 what 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. December 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