Yasodhara newsletter on international buddhist woman's activities 
Vol.20 (no.75) April-June, B.E. 2546 (2003)

: M.K.Sudharma Theri *



        Ven.M.K.Sudharma has long been associated with Yasodhara. In the early days, I usedto send the newsletter in bulks to her to be locally distributed in the US. Later on the US localpostal cost increased and there was no point to burden her with her kind service anymore.She was with us at the Sakyadhita conference in 1991 held in Thailand, and also 1993 in Sri Lanka. She is among the few western women who received the higher ordination in the early period.Now based in a small village in Sri Lanka. She was 75 years old on Feb, 28. She sent this small note which I would like to share with you. ..........editor 
        
It was the happiest day that I can remember, I felt so free and light. I live in a fairly poor village, I could not expect anyone to buy it for me whenI will need it. So I went to the local undertaker (6 miles distant) and told the managerthat I wanted to purchase the cheapest coffin. He asked, "Where is the body?" I said, "I am not dead yet, but I want to keep it handy in my kuti (hut)." 
         We went upstairs to look at them, the price he asked was at first $25 then he reduced it to $20 (2000 Rs.) I said,
"I'll take it but can you deliver it?" 
         He smiled, and agreed to have their van follow the three wheeler we were inback to the
"ranch" as I call it. By this time we were all laughing. The driver andhelpers brought it into my hut. It resides at the foot of my bed, a good reminder ofhow fragile our lives really are. My will requests a closed coffin to be cremated inour local cemetery within 24 hours, after the doctor can sign a death certificate. As I left,the manager said, "We don't have a license for international sales like this," I said,"It's OK, I live here now and plan to die here." 
         So that is my story. The coffin makes a good stand for my radio.
 

            * Ven.M.K.Sudharma, Suddhavasa Bird Sanctuary, 3rd Mile Post, 
               Velachiya Rd. Illuppukulama, Ellayapattuwa, 50014 Via Aunradhapura, Sri Lanka.

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