Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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cooran
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Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by cooran » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:49 pm

Hello all,

I found this surprise on the Buddhist Society of Western Australia website.

BSWA News : Bhikkhuni Ordination Talk Now Live
Apologies for the technical glitch earlier today, the audio recording announcing the full ordination of our Bhikkhunis is now active.
Please partake in the joyous occasion of the re-establishment of the original lineage of nuns (Bhikkhunis) -established by the Bhudda 2000+ years ago - right here in Western Australia by Ajahn Brahm.
http://www.bswa.org/modules/news/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

metta
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Sanghamitta » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:11 pm

Its always fresh and new no matter how many times one is privileged to watch it.


:anjali:
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Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by DNS » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:17 pm

Chris wrote: Please partake in the joyous occasion of the re-establishment of the original lineage of nuns (Bhikkhunis) -established by the Bhudda 2000+ years ago - right here in Western Australia by Ajahn Brahm.
http://www.bswa.org/modules/news/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
1996 - Several novice nuns receive full ordination in Sarnath, India
2000 - 2009 Several novice nuns receive full ordination in the U.S. and Sri Lanka

I assume this is the first set of full ordinations in Australia?

:woohoo:

:twothumbsup:

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by cooran » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:22 pm

I'm not sure about the composition of the group ordaining the Bhikkhunis in the previous attempts. Does anyone know?
Were they all Theravada sangha? What about this time? Too long for me to download the video.

metta
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---The trouble is that you think you have time---
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by DNS » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:28 pm

Chris wrote:I'm not sure about the composition of the group ordaining the Bhikkhunis in the previous attempts. Does anyone know?
In the previous full ordinations in the U.S. they used Theravada bhikkhus and Mahayana nuns for the double-ordination. I think the Mahyana nuns had the Dharmagupta lineage which goes back as far as the Theravada to the Vibhajjavada - Third Council time period.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by gavesako » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:48 pm

This is information gleaned from the internet:

"About 100 lay people were there who had
all been asked beforehand to keep it a very low key event but that the the dual
ordination itself was a "magical event" with Ayya Thathaloka as the
preceptor.
The nuns came over from Dhammasara to Bodhinyana around
5pm. the ceremony started at 7.15pm. There were about 100 lay supporters
…. The bhikkhuni sangha who graced the occasion came from the
U.S.(3), Indonesia (2), Vietnam (1) and
Melbourne(2). Ayya Tathaaloka was the preceptor. I also met
and spoke to the 2 Indonesian bhikkhunis, Ayya
Santini and Silawati. Ayya Santini who is the senior of the two is lovely too …
The dual ordination was truly magical. You could feel
the energy of support and encouragement from not just the bhikkuni and
bhikkhu sangha but also the laity. Members of the laity were so eager to
bow to the newly ordained bhikkhunis as soon as they were prounounced duly
ordained. There were hearty choruses of Sadhus! It was way past 10pm when
we started to leave.”
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BlackBird » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:03 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
Chris wrote:I'm not sure about the composition of the group ordaining the Bhikkhunis in the previous attempts. Does anyone know?
In the previous full ordinations in the U.S. they used Theravada bhikkhus and Mahayana nuns for the double-ordination. I think the Mahyana nuns had the Dharmagupta lineage which goes back as far as the Theravada to the Vibhajjavada - Third Council time period.
I recently read Ayya Khema's autobiography, it mentions she was ordained as a nun under Ven. Narada Maha Thera in 1979, but she only mentions that she recieved her full Bhikkhuni ordination in California "much later."

I don't know what date this would be, but certainly before 1990 I would assume.

Full-steam ahead for the reinstation of the Bhikkhuni Lineage :thumbsup:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by DNS » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:39 pm

BlackBird wrote: I recently read Ayya Khema's autobiography, it mentions she was ordained as a nun under Ven. Narada Maha Thera in 1979, but she only mentions that she recieved her full Bhikkhuni ordination in California "much later."

I don't know what date this would be, but certainly before 1990 I would assume.

Full-steam ahead for the reinstation of the Bhikkhuni Lineage :thumbsup:
Hi Jack,

Correct, she received her novice ordination in 1979. The full ordination came in 1998 at Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles. The reason it took so long is because at that time there was not enough support from the bhikkhus and lay people for the reinstatement.

So, not the first woman to receive the full ordination (after reinstatement), but almost!

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by DNS » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:19 pm

:oops:

Jack correctly pointed out to me that she passed away in 1997.

It must have been 1988 then! I transcribed the wrong date in her bio article at Dhamma Wiki. I do have her as passing in 1997, but ordination a year later would have been one tremendous feat! I'll have to re-check, but the correct date must be 1988.

She was ordained at Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles and the head monk was a Mahayana monk, but allowed those receiving the ordination to choose Theravada or Mahayana and she chose Theravada. The ordinations in 1996 were the first with Theravada bhikkhus present.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Paññāsikhara » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:22 am

For issues like this, I actually sometimes think that it is a little bit misleading to refer to the preceptors, whether bhiksus or bhiksunis, as "Mahayana" monks or nuns. After all, their preceptor status is due to their bhiksu/ni upasampada, and nothing to do with their bodhisattva precepts. It may be more appropriate to refer to them primarily as "Dharmagupta" bhiksu/nis, with a note of the Mahayana bodhisattva precepts, both through the Chinese traditions, as really quite secondary.

Interesting to note that the above Venerables are thus technically my Dharma sisters, hehe. :) (We have the same upadhyaya.)
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BudSas » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:53 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:For issues like this, I actually sometimes think that it is a little bit misleading to refer to the preceptors, whether bhiksus or bhiksunis, as "Mahayana" monks or nuns. After all, their preceptor status is due to their bhiksu/ni upasampada, and nothing to do with their bodhisattva precepts. It may be more appropriate to refer to them primarily as "Dharmagupta" bhiksu/nis, with a note of the Mahayana bodhisattva precepts, both through the Chinese traditions, as really quite secondary.
Ajahn Brahmavamso ( http://www.bangkokpost.com/leisure/leis ... i-question ):

"... One of the biggest myths is that bhikkhunis in the Mahayana tradition are somehow separated from the Theravada. But the truth of the matter is, there is no such thing as a Mahayana Vinaya. In all the Mahayana schools, they follow mostly a Dharmagupta Vinaya. Dharmagupta is one of the Theravada sects. They follow Theravada Vinaya. So the bhikkhunis we see even now in Taiwan and China is a lineage that is unbroken since the time of the Buddha. ..."

BDS

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by gavesako » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:22 am

In this new text Ajahn Sujato provides some in-depth research into Vinaya (in particular Bhikkhuni issues) and how Vinaya is interpreted:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19458289/Bhik ... ya-Studies" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Bhikkhuni Vinaya Studies
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by cooran » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:39 am

Hello all,

It remains to be seen whether this action by Ajahn Brahms causes division in the worldwide Theravada Ordained Sangha, and whether it actually has positive or negative affects in the years to come.

Maybe a slower process (which was being worked through) with more consulation and eventual consensus would have been a better alternative?

metta
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BlackBird » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:44 am

I wonder what the reasons are for not reinstating the Bhikkhuni order in Thailand and Burma?

:anjali:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:55 am

Hi Blackbird,
Blackbird wrote:I wonder what the reasons are for not reinstating the Bhikkhuni order in Thailand and Burma?
This quote from an old E-Sangha post by Ven. Dhammanando (quoted by Robert on DSG) explains some of the arguments:
Dhammanando wrote: ""Dhammânandâ has omitted some details - vital details, for they have a bearing
on why the Dharmaguptaka bhikkhunî lineage is considered dubious by vinayadharas
in the Theravada tradition (and also, I believe by those in the Mulasarvastivada
tradition of Tibet).

The original transmission (or rather, alleged transmission) of the bhikkhunî
ordination to China in fact took place in 357 CE. This alleged transmission was
carried out by bhikkhus alone and was therefore INVALID by Theravadin criteria.
It led, however, to a century-long tradition of Chinese bhikkhunî ordinations
being given by bhikkhus alone. Moving forward to 433 CE, of the 300 women
ordained in this year some had not done the two years' training as a sikkhamâna,
while others had already been living as bhikkhunîs beforehand, having received
ordination from the bhikkhu sangha alone. Therefore, by Theravadin criteria
their ordinations failed on the grounds of "defect in the material to be
ordained" (vatthu-vipatti). Those women who had never been sikkhamânas were
ineligible to be ordained until they had fulfilled this preliminary training.
Those women who had already been one-sidedly ordained were living in communion
by theft and were therefore banned for life from receiving a genuine bhikkhunî
ordination. Therefore Dharmaguptaka nuns are not bhikkhunîs by Theravadin
criteria. Moreover, this judgment is not unique to the Theravada, for even
within the Dharmaguptaka tradition the validity of Dharmaguptaka bhikkhunî
ordinations has been challenged, notably by the Taiwanese Vinaya master Ven.
Dao-hai. Dao-hai has argued that at several points in Chinese history the
bhikkhunî paramparâ was irreparably broken (see his Discussion of
Bhikshuni Ordination and its Lineage in China, Based on Scriptures of
Chinese Vinaya and Historical facts, p. 18-19, Dharamsala 1998).

To carry out formal transactions of the sangha in such an irregular manner is
not a "loophole"; it is a violation of Vinaya and a defect that invalidates the
ordination.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
Metta
Mike

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