Sending you all the good waves of energy
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.
Through June, Ven.Dhammananda had a handful of classes to teach for International Monastic training (IMT). This year there were 11 samaneris from Vietnam, their presence was much appreciated by our sangha. We keep International Monastic Training active in June of every year, if interested you can apply early. Nuns from third world usually will be assisted with travelling fund.
In September we had another big function when Ven.Dhammananda decided to celebrate her 72 birthday by organizing ASEAN Buddhist Conference on Sept.22-23,2016. We had a kind co-operation from the lecturers of Buddhabhat Research Unit, Nakhonpathom Rajabhat University and the venue of the conference was at the Nakhonpathom Rajabhat University which is only 10 kms. From our temple. We expected there would be participants from the 10 ASEAN Countries, but as it turned out there were participants from 22 countries. Ven.Ajahn Brahm accepted the invitation and came to participate as keynote speaker. The topic he addressed was very inspiring, “WE are on the right side of history.” H.H.the Dalai Lama also sent a nun representative of the Tibetan community and also a message which was greatly appreciated.
It was a successful conference, Dr Amarjiva Lochan, the secretary, now is working on finding the next venue in 2018 possibly in Vaishali, India.
The 9-day temporary samaneri ordination was active for both dates, April 6 and Dec.5. the latest batch was 17th, we had 45 samaneris ordained and offered the merit to our King Rama IX who passed away on Oct.13. The world seems to stop revolving with this great loss of the nation and mankind. We promised to follow his footsteps, the only consolation we now have, to heal ourselves and the nation. Up to date, Ven.Dhammananda had given samaneri ordination to 584 candidates at Songdhammakalyani Temple, not counting 30 in Payao and some 100 in the south.
There were two upasampada, full ordination for bhikkhunis organized under the Network of Asian Theravada Bhikkhunis, one on Jan.30,2016,there were 11 candidates, 3 from Vietnam, 3 from Thailand and 5 from Bangladesh. All were sponsored by our temple. The ordination was performed in water sima at Sakyadhita Center, Sri Lanka. At this same event, 2 more Pavattinis were appointed by the bhikkhu sangha, one was Ven.Vijithananda (Sri Lanka) and another one was Ven.Dr lieu Phap of Vietnam. Ven.Dhammananda was pavattini from the Thai group and Ven.Dr Lieu Phap was pavattini for the Vietnamese group.
Again, Dec.23,2016 we had another upasamapada for 3 candidates from Thailand at the same place. There were 10 bhikkhunis and 10 bhikkhus to fulfill the two sanghas. The upajjhaya was Ven.Mahanayaka Sobhita, and the pavattini was Ven.Dhammananda herself.
Ven.Dhammananda started writing her biography last couple of years ago, then stopped. So now I am trying to fill in the gap and try to record what need to be recorded for the future generation.
The path is long, but we have started the journey. We would like to share with you all the good waves of energy created at the temple, may you be always happy and joyful in walking this path which the Buddha had long established.