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Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso - Page 4 - Dhamma Wheel

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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retrofuturist
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:01 pm

Greetings,

I don't really have much to say on this particular issue, because I don't necessarily understand many of the subtleties of the argument.

However, it does sadden me that there exists in Theravada Buddhism barriers, erected based on something inherently empty like gender, on whether one is able to fully commit to the monastic life of which the Buddha praised so highly.

It is good that at least females can become 10-precept nuns, but it would be better if they could be recognised (and thus, supported) as full adherents of the patimokkha.

If Thailand is not welcoming of bhikkhunis, hopefully other traditional Theravada nations where these bhikkunis could be well supported, might be more accommodating... chances are that Thailand might lose some insightful and enlightened females in the process. In such a situation, it is hard to see how it will not be Thailand's loss... deeply spiritual women will leave, and it will be a spiritual version of brain drain.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BlackBird » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:23 pm

"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." -

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BudSas » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:56 am


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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BudSas » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:30 am


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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Vardali » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:12 am

Interesting development and a clear indication that ego and cultural/traditional bias does not stop at senior Theravadins' doors either.

While I do find Ajahn Brahm's teachings a bit flippant and diosyncratic at times, I am in full support of bhikkhuni ordination, so I have to appreciate his dedication on that matter. If it has been approached in the most skillful way, I cannot say - and at least Ajahn Brahm has been pretty open about his line of action. If the "Five Points" issue from the English sangha - as outlined by Ajahn Sujato - have been corretly represented, I would conclude that this issue has been handled less than openly elsewhere.

It's a shame that Bhikkhuni ordination doesn't seem to find more support in the Thai Forest tradition. Will it create a schism? I would think so - leading to similar discussions about which is the "right" path to follow, as have happened in the past (just think of the vajrayana/hinayana mudslinging). So, in itself it is nothing new. It will show in the long run which interpretations and support will prevail. But at the end of the day, to me, it's nuances on the path, and we all will follow it to the best of our abilities and conditions.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby gavesako » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:17 am

Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby cooran » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:51 am

Dear Ven. Gavesako,

Thank you for this article.

This crisis is not about some supporting and some opposing the Ordination of Bhikkhunis. It is about what is seen as insensitive and unskillful action - as Ajahn Chandako says here:

"And yet I feel this particular ordination was a serious mistake. Why?

First of all, the secrecy with which the ordination was planned and carried out has significantly damaged trust levels with the rest of the Sangha. The normal way we operate as an international monastic community is based on openness and discussion. However, some of the nuns and monks who participated in the ordination told me that they were requested to keep the event secret. They said it was intentionally kept quiet in order to reduce the possibility of other people voicing objections. There was no public announcement until a couple of days beforehand, and the rest of the Sangha only found out indirectly at that time. Ajahn Brahm did not inform his preceptor (the acting head of the Sangha in Thailand) or the head of the Ajahn Chah lineage, Luang Por Liem. Many people feel that they were intentionally deceived.

Secondly is the timing. In just a few months, most of the senior monks and nuns from our tradition would have come together for the first time since the last WAM four years ago. Bhikkhuni ordination was one of the main topics to be discussed. In holding the ordination beforehand, Ajahn Brahm and the Sangha in Perth effectively cut off any discussion on the issue and decided it for themselves. What one monastery decides does not simply affect that monastery, but affects all the other branch monasteries around the world as well. Ajahn Brahm’s decision has already had major harmful effects on the rest of us. To proceed unilaterally on such a sensitive issue as bhikkhuni ordination without consulting other senior monks or nuns came across as blatantly disrespectful and insensitive.

The main issue here is not actually bhikkhuni ordination. The fact is, the vast majority of the senior western monks worldwide are sympathetic to the idea of bhikkhuni ordination, and progress in that direction was also being made in the mainstream of the Asian Theravada Buddhist countries. If Ajahn Brahm had waited to discuss the issue with his peers at the WAM, there was a realistic hope that bhikkhuni ordination would soon be accepted. Then the entire Sangha could have moved forward in unison with a spirit of harmony. I strongly suspect that this ordination at Bodhinyana will set this process of mainstream acceptance back many years."


metta
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby cooran » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:01 am




The following is the official statement issued by Wat Nong Pah Pong with regards to the excommunication of Ajahn Brahmavamso from its Sangha


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Regarding Phra Visuddhisamvarathera (Ajahn Brahmavamso), abbot of Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery, Perth, Australia, performing a Bhikkhuni ordination on October 22nd, 2009 at Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery with himself as Chanting Acariya and Bhikkhuni Ayya Tathaloka as preceptor.
Ajahn Brahmavamso had thoroughly planned and prepared, and intentionally concealed, not allowing the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong and its branches in Thailand and abroad to know, fearing the objection of the Sangha, (and proceeding) even though the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong and its branches in Thailand and abroad had made a decision against ordaining Bhikkhunis, which was restated many times – the Sangha does not accept the act of ordaining Bhikkhunis on this occasion and holds it as void.
The individuals concerned cannot be considered Theravada Bhikkhunis, as this status contradicts the law of the Mahatherasamakhom, the Sangha administration of the Theravada order in Thailand. Ajahn Brahmavamso had been continually informed of this law, however in violation he went ahead without consulting the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong and its branches in Thailand and abroad.
His actions may cause wrong understanding amongst Buddhists throughout the world, and division of views regarding this issue. For the sake of preventing further problems from arising, and for the unity of the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong and its branches in Thailand and abroad, a meeting was held on November 1st, 2009 at 18:00 hours with Phra Rachapavanavikrom as the presiding monk, together with 160 monks including senior Theras from Thailand and abroad, members of the Sangha committee, and abbots of branch monasteries of Wat Nong Pah Pong both in Thailand and abroad, to have Ajahn Brahmavamso acknowledge his fault in ordaining Bhikkhunis unilaterally.
He would not admit the wrongness of his actions, which contravene the standard kept by the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong to uphold the principles of Dhamma-Vinaya practiced by the Theravada Sangha of Thailand. As a consequence the following unanimous decision was passed:
Bodhinyana Monastery, Perth, Australia, with its abbot Phra Visuddhisamvarathera (Brahmavamso Bhikkhu), is revoked of its status of being a branch monastery of Wat Nong Pah Pong. Wat Nong Pah Pong and its branch monasteries both in Thailand and abroad are not in any way related to or responsible for any of the actions of Bodhinyana Monastery, Perth, Australia, lead by Phra Visuddhisamvarathera (Brahmavamso Bhikkhu), (such as) the ordination of Bhikkhunis that has taken place, and any other activity that may occur in the future.
We therefore make this information available for general distribution, for the notification of whomever may be concerned.
Respectfully yours,
Phra Rachapavanavikrom, (Liem Thitadhammo, abbot of Wat Nong Pah Pong),
Phrakruh Pattanakitvisal (Kam Nissoko),
Phrakru Bodhisarakhunavat (Boonchoo Thitaguno),
Phrakru Ophasavudhigarn (Sophon Obhaso),
Phrakru Pavanaudomakhun (Sopha Uttamo),
Phrakru Suthammaprachot (Kamphong Thitapuñño),
Phra Adhigarn Jundee Kantasaro,
Phra Ajahn Paithun Khantiko,
Phrakru Udomvanahnurak (Sommay Piyadhammo),
Phrakru Palat Anan (Anan Akincano),
Phrakru Nimitviriyanugun (Subin Uttamo),
Phrakru Pavanahnugit (Lai Dipadhammo),
Phra Ajahn Philip Ñanadhammo,
Phrakru Bovornsilavat (Prasert Rakkhitadhammo),
Phrakru Bodhivanahnurak (Vannachit Jitamaro),
Phrakru Vijarasuphavat (Bandit Tejapañño),
Phrakru Santithammaviset (Preechar Jutindharo),
Phra Adhigarn Vichit Adhipuñño,
Phra Adhigarn Henning Kevali.
http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 60,0,0,1,0
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Bankei » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:15 am

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Bankei

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Vardali » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:25 am


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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BudSas » Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:41 pm


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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby gavesako » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:26 pm

Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Vardali » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:35 pm

Thank you, Bhante, your comments are good enough for me.

:anjali:

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby pilgrim » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:52 pm

Ajahn Chandako, in his letter, says:
""If the ordination had been independent of Bodhinyana Monastery, Ajahn Brahm would not have been able to take credit for it. Many people I have spoken to think that what was most important to Ajahns Brahm and Sujato was that they go down in history as the ones who revived the bhikkhuni order in the Theravada tradition."
I know the Ajahn is a forest monk, but surely he must know that the bhikkhuni order was revived in the eighties and that there are now hundreds of bhikkhunis all over the world including the west. Or is he is talking about western monks only. Ordinations by Asian monks don't count?

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby notself » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:38 pm

pilgrim, you make a good point

Here is a link to a directory of Bhikkhuni Centers in Canada and the US.
http://www.bhikkhuni.net/Directory.html

Here is a link to International Bhikkhuni Centers.
http://www.bhikkhuni.net/International%20Dir.html

I can't speak about the International Bhikkhunis, but the American Bhikkhunis were all ordained by Asians in India and Sri Lanka.

I for one do not consider Thailand to be the sole arbiter of Theravada Buddhism. If Thailand doesn't want to follow the wishes of the Buddha that is their affair, but I think that the leadership of Theravada will shift to those groups and nations who do recognize Bhikkhunis. I fear that Thailand will become a backwater of Buddhist thought and practice.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:06 pm

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby gavesako » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:21 pm

The reason why they mention it as being "the first bhikkhuni ordination" is because of the involvement of Western monks ordained in the Thai forest tradition, who have a certain pride in keeping the Vinaya more strictly than others (mainly not handling money directly). One of the arguments against the bhikkhuni ordination so far has been that "even if they wear the robes, they don't keep the rules anyway, they use money and travel alone, etc." This group of bhikkhunis, following Ayya Tathaaloka who was their preceptor, will keep certain aspects of the Vinaya more strictly than the existing bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka for example.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby notself » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:01 pm

Venerable,
Just out of curiosity, how would you rate the compliance to the Vinaya by the lineage of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana (if you know)? He is the abbot of the Bhavana Society of West Virginia, USA.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby cooran » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:38 pm

Hello notself,

Does Bhante Henepola Gunaratana claim to be head of a "lineage"?

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby notself » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:54 pm

Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103


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