1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

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1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby Sacha G » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:01 pm

Hi
I read somewhere that there were currently around 1000 bhikkhunis in the world (in the Theravada tradition). I was wondering from where they ordained.
I only know of:
- the lineage from Bodhgaya's ordinations in 1998 (from Taiwan)
- the lineage of Ayya Khema, who ordained from Taiwan lineage
- the lineage from Ajahn Brahm
- the lineage from Ven. Gunaratana
Do some of you know more about it?
Thank you.
Sacha
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby David2 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:11 pm

Only 1000 Bhikkhunis in the whole world?
Wow, that's a very low number...
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:21 pm

Also:

Ayya Tathaaloka
Ayya Dhammananda Bhikkhuni
Bhante Walpola Piyananda

1,000 + fully ordained Theravada bhikkhunis is a small number compared to about 500,000 or so bhikkhus, but not too bad considering that about 25 years ago there were zero Theravada bhikkhunis.

Most of the ordinations have occurred in Sri Lanka, the U.S., Australia.
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby Sacha G » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:47 pm

Thanks David for the information and the links. :anjali:
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby gavesako » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:46 pm

You should specify what you mean by "Theravada bhikkhuni" better, because -- unless they were ordained directly by Theravada bhikkhus only -- they would have had a Mahayana bhikkhuni as preceptor and should really follow the Vinaya that she follows (probably Dharmaguptaka). Or if we take it to mean "those who practise according to Theravada teachings", then again there is a problem because although they may live in Theravada countries, they may actually be practising more according to the Mahayana teachings or some mixture of them (Ven. Dhammananda in Thailand is an example). But now we already have several generations of these bhikkhunis and if they have been practising pretty much in the Theravada style (like in Sri Lanka), then gradually they will become generally accepted as "Theravada bhikkhunis". This is the way it has been with the bhikkhu ordinations in the past as well, new groups have emerged and if they succeeded in gaining royal patronage and support, they became the new accepted and "pure" group.
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby pilgrim » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:43 am

I understand that in Sri Lanka, the bhikkhunis, after ordination under Dharmaguptaka nuns, went before a bhikkhu order not only for the 2nd ordination as required, but also undertook a "conversion" ceremony from Dharmagupta to Theravada. Apparently the procedure, although rarely used, is provided for in the Vinaya.
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby cooran » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:55 am

Hello pilgrim,

That is very interesting. I wonder if there is any article/report on this that can be linked to?

with metta
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby pilgrim » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:16 pm

cooran wrote:Hello pilgrim,

That is very interesting. I wonder if there is any article/report on this that can be linked to?

with metta
Chris

I read about this in an online article but wouldn't know how to find it now. :shrug:
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby gavesako » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:23 pm

That would have probably been a so-called "dalhikamma" which is used by bhikkhus who want to join another (usually stricter) sect in the Theravada tradition. But does not occur in the early Vinaya texts, only in some much later texts when this became an issue.
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby AyyaSobhana » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:02 am

Suzanne Mrozik reported that there are around 1,000 bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka today. "In the Company of Spiritual Friends: Sri Lanka’s Buddhist Nuns." PRESENT 4:2 http://bhikkhuni.net/present/index3.html. That article gives a good run-down on the situation in Sri Lanka.

In addition, the bhikkhuni sangha is growing in Thailand, just a handful of nuns, but established in several different places. They have been obtaining their full ordination in Sri Lanka. Likewise, handfuls in Australia, Canada, Europe, double handful in USA. The best way to keep track of the ordination of women in Theravada is via the Alliance for Bhikkhunis.

By the way, Bhante Gunaratana has given novice ordination to 7 women over the years, of whom 6 are still in robes ... a pretty great track record! He also was the head of the bhikkhu sangha at last year's ordination here at Aranya Bodhi Hermitage in California, led by Ayya Tathaaloka on the bhikkhuni's side. Our sangha expects to ordain three more women next month, in October.

Thanks for asking!
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby AyyaSobhana » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:19 am

I only know of:
- the lineage from Bodhgaya's ordinations in 1998 (from Taiwan)
- the lineage of Ayya Khema, who ordained from Taiwan lineage
- the lineage from Ajahn Brahm
- the lineage from Ven. Gunaratana
Do some of you know more about it?


I am not sure that "lineage" is the accurate term, since ordination lineage is not a vinaya concept. Ordination is done by a qualified sangha, not by the preceptor. If you want to track the lineage of preceptors, it would follow the bhikkhuni side. [Bhikkhuni preceptor is called "pavattini."] In the dual ordination ceremony, there is the bhikkhuni preceptor, and the kammacariyas who make the motion on the bhikkhu and bhikkhuni side. The senior bhikkhu does not even have a speaking part. Of course several dynamic bhikkhus have shown the leadership and organized the resources to make it possible for women to ordain.

Among the important, seminal ordinations you might also count the 1996 ordination in Sarnath, organized by Korean sangha. The senior women ordained in 1996 was Bhikkhuni Kusuma.
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby Sacha G » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:55 am

Thank you Ayya Sobhana for these remarks.
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby saccaparami » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:42 pm

Up to now not any of the respected Theravada sangha establishments in the world approves of the re-introduction of the Theravada bhikkhuni lineage. As such we probably cannot really assert that there are 1000 Theravada bhikkhunis. Any wishful thinking won't change this fact, even though the strategy applied in this forum seems to be "A lie told often enough becomes the truth".
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby Zom » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:54 am

Indeed, as far as I know, there is no legal quorum to make a legal bhikkhuni ordination. Since that is the case, all "bhikkhunis" are considered simply as "mae chee" in Thailand (8-10 precept nuns).
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby daverupa » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:02 pm

saccaparami wrote:Up to now not any of the respected Theravada sangha establishments in the world approves of the re-introduction of the Theravada bhikkhuni lineage. As such we probably cannot really assert that there are 1000 Theravada bhikkhunis. Any wishful thinking won't change this fact, even though the strategy applied in this forum seems to be "A lie told often enough becomes the truth".


What a sad, sad little post.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby saccaparami » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:59 pm

What a sad, sad little post.


There is nothing to feel sad about. It is just the plain facts.
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby daverupa » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:33 pm

saccaparami wrote:
What a sad, sad little post.


There is nothing to feel sad about. It is just the plain facts.


You allege that no respected Theravada sangha establishments approve of bhikkhuni ordination because you know that the phrase "no Theravada sangha establishments approve of bhikkhuni ordination" is false. Therefore, those 'establishments' which do approve of them must necessarily be unrespected in some objective way. Far from being a plain fact, this is an alienating and wholly subjective judgment that has no objective support. You would need to show how bhikkhuni ordination runs afoul of Vinaya, and this cannot be done (though not for lack of trying).
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby saccaparami » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:07 pm

You allege that no respected Theravada sangha establishments approve of bhikkhuni ordination because you know that the phrase "no Theravada sangha establishments approve of bhikkhuni ordination" is false. Therefore, those 'establishments' which do approve of them must necessarily be unrespected in some objective way. Far from being a plain fact, this is an alienating and wholly subjective judgment that has no objective support. You would need to show how bhikkhuni ordination runs afoul of Vinaya, and this cannot be done (though not for lack of trying).



Your writing sounds like good old fashioned spin to me. Where did you learn that?
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby pilgrim » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:22 am

saccaparami wrote:
You allege that no respected Theravada sangha establishments approve of bhikkhuni ordination because you know that the phrase "no Theravada sangha establishments approve of bhikkhuni ordination" is false. Therefore, those 'establishments' which do approve of them must necessarily be unrespected in some objective way. Far from being a plain fact, this is an alienating and wholly subjective judgment that has no objective support. You would need to show how bhikkhuni ordination runs afoul of Vinaya, and this cannot be done (though not for lack of trying).



Your writing sounds like good old fashioned spin to me. Where did you learn that?

Actually Dave makes a good point. I haven't seen a good argument from you yet. Care to make a valid point against bhikkhuni ordinations?
edited..
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby danieLion » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:53 am

saccaparami wrote:Up to now not any of the respected Theravada sangha establishments in the world approves of the re-introduction of the Theravada bhikkhuni lineage. As such we probably cannot really assert that there are 1000 Theravada bhikkhunis. Any wishful thinking won't change this fact, even though the strategy applied in this forum seems to be "A lie told often enough becomes the truth".


1. What constitutes "respected"? You're going to have a hard time defending the validity of a distinction between "respected" & "non-respected". I'd sincerely like to see you try though.
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