จากหนังสือพิมพ์ DAILY NEWS, THURSDAY MAY 15, 2003



          It was a matter for great satisfaction to have read in the Daily News of 23/1/03 that the Buddhas Sasana Ministry in concert with the Government of the People's Republic of China has laid the foundation for a seminary for training Buddhist nuns.
          This has been a crying need for a longtime. Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka are called Dasa Sil Mathas. The word Dasa3Sil Matha, is an unscriptural word. It is not found in the cannonial texts, commentarial literature, or Sinhalese Buddhist literature up to the year 1903. The Bhikkhuni Sasana in Sri Lanka became defunct during the Colian conquest of Anuradhapura in 1017 AD. From that time onward up to the British conquest in 1815 the patriarchal male chauvinistic and monopolistic monk -masters at priestcraft taught that the Bhikkuni Sasana is defunct and cannot be revived. They came out with a specious reason based on sophistry to rationalise their gynaephobia.
           People were gullible enough to be duped in those ages of faith and illiteracy. They brought in a rule in the Dambadeniya Katikawata to bar the entry of all
"low-caste men" to the Sangha. This iniquitous rule is still maintained in the Siamese sect head-quartered at Malwatte-Asgiriya, Kandy. When men were thus, debarred what justice could women expect? They and the "low-caste" men waited till British rule with its democratic ideals, religious freedom and civil liberties became open to all.
          
"Low-caste" men went to Burma and got ordained there. They opened the Amarapura and Ramanna Sects that admitted men of all castes. Similarly women went to Burma in 1903 got Samaneri Ordination there under Das Sila of the novice monks and nuns. Thus was established the Junior Order of Buddhist Nuns in Sri Lanka. They were in the Dhamma-Vinaya Samaneri Bhikkunis. But the monks coined a name for them "Dasa Sil Matha" to discriminate against them and keep them apart from their legitimate position of "Samaneri Bhikkuni" in the Sasana. And so they came to be called "Dasa Sil Mathas". They were neither Bhikkunis nor lay-women. They are a kind of hermaphrodite in the Buddha-Sasana. What an absurd position.
            Now the point I want to make is this. The proposed Seminary for Dasa-sil Matha, Nuns is going to be called Das Sil Matha Sravaka Peetaya. I suggest that is should be called Buddha-Sravika Dharma Peetaya. (Seminary for Buddhist Nuns). In addiction to 2500 Dasa Sil Matha Nuns, there are now 400 fully ordained Bhikkunis in Sri Lanka. Batches of D.S.M. Nuns were given full Bhikkuni Ordination (Upasampada) at Sarnath India. Buddha-Gaya, and at Dambulla Raja Maha-Vihara. Batches of DSM Nuns continue to be trained for Upasampada at Dambulla at a Training Centre at Kelundawela-Dambulla. Ven. Inamaluve Sumangala has released three temples under him to DSM nuns for this purpose. Facilities at there are poor and inadequate. So what I wish to say is that the proposed Training Centre coming up at Peliyagoda, Kelaniya under Buddha Sasana Ministry patronage and aid from the Chinese Government should be named Buddha-Sravika Dharma Peetaya and not Dasa Sil Matha Sravaka Peetaya as reported in the DN news report referred to. DSM Sravaka Peetaya is a meaningless name. Only Bhikkhus and Bhikkunis can be called Buddha-Sravakas and Buddha Sravikas.
             It is a crying shame that Buddhist Nuns who number about 2500 have no Training College Seminary or Pirivena. Mahayana Buddhist contries such as China, Taiwan and Japan have Training Colleges (Seminaries) and Universities for Buddhist Nuns. If the premier Theravada country does not have a Seminary for Nuns it would be a sad reflection of the Status of women in Theravada Buddhism.
             In Sri Lanka there are more than one Pirivena in each town for the education of monks. They receive Government grants for payments of teachers. In addition each pupil monk is allocated Rs. 1240, probably for board and lodging. The pupil monks get free robes and free books from Government. The Nuns receive none of these benefits.
             So it is time that a seminary for the education and training of Buddhist Nuns be set up. The present Minister of Buddha Sasana Affairs is an enlightened and well infromend person on Buddha Dhamma and Sasana Affairs. His predecessors were ignorant people getting misguided by antifeminist patriarchs who ignored the needs and requirements of Buddhist Nuns.
             Today over 100 temples are deserted in the NCP EP and Uva. Monks disrobe after University graduation. Even those who remain do not like to live in the remote villages where people are poor. To fill this void it is timely that Nuns be given a proper training and education. Even now the 2500 DSM Nuns live a frugal life, without the motor cars, TVs, refrigerators etc. They own no temporalities, like paddy lands, coconut estates, tea land etc. It is time the Nuns be given proper education and training. Because in the past nuns came from the poorer sections of society and lacked proper education and training. They were marginalised and ignored. This position can be reversed and the Sasana can be fostered and protected by fostering and promoting the position of Buddhist Nuns.
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