[Buddha-l] FW: Sri Lanka monks form RSS-like group

Franz Metcalf franz at mind2mind.net
Thu Mar 28 10:55:09 MDT 2013

Chris, Joanna et al.,

>> "200  bhikkhunis"??? - Has the bhikkhuni ordination been re-established in
>> Sri Lanka?

> I was wondering about that too.

I believe the first 20th century bhikkhunis in the Sri Lanka tradition were ordained here in my home town of Los Angeles, in 1988, at Hsi Lai temple. Among them was Ayya Khema. This lineage did not, however, take hold in Sri Lanka. The lineage was only really re-established there when the bhikkhunis ordained in Sarnath in 1996 (with Korean bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs) and Bodhgaya in 1998 (with Sri Lankan bhikkhus and Taiwanese bhikṣuṇīs) returned and held an ordination with the support of (some of) the Sri Lankan bhikkhu-sangha in 1998. Since the latter two ordinations included Taiwanese bhikṣuṇīs, a lineage originated by Sri Lankan bhikkhunis, the lineage could now be said to be unbroken from the time of its establishment in the 3rd century BCE. Since 1998, perhaps as many as 1000 bhikkhunis have been fully ordained in Sri Lanka.

Thailand lags far behind, due to bhikkhu resistance, but the bhikkhuni lineage in Thailand was, I believe, never anything near as venerable or prominent as that in Sri Lanka.


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