Sr. Bhikkhuni Dhammananda – Thailand

(alias former Dr. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh).

Linked with Sakyadhita, The International Association of Buddhist Women,
and with The Chaing Mei Declaration.

Dr Chatsumarn Kabilsingh is a scholar and activist in social justice and women’s issues in Asia. She is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Thammasat University in Bangkok, and author of the book Thai Women in Buddhism. She is also past President of Sakyadhita (Daughters of Buddha) International, a Buddhist women’s organization. Monte Leach interviewed her for Share International. (full text).

She is now a Buddhist nun.

See photos:
on pluralism.org;
on bpf.org (click on links).

She says: “I am very much a feminist for Buddhism, and I draw my strength as a feminist from Buddha’s teaching” … and: “The Buddha set up the bhikkhuni order more than 2500 years ago to give women equal access to spiritual practices, He warned that the strength and wellbeing of the movement relied on four pillars: bhikkhu (male monks), bhikkhuni (female monks), upasaka (male laypeople) and upasika (female laypeople)” … and: “it was difficult to give up wealth and career”, (but she felt the time was right). (full text).

Sr- Bhikkhuni Dhammananda - Thailand.jpg

Sr. Bhikkhuni Dhammananda alias former Dr. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh – Thailand

A lone female monk has riled the religious hierarchy by waging a fight for ordination of women, reports Connie Levett from Nakhon Prathom, Thailand. (full text).

… only a handful of temples have focused attention on women, and there is only one bhikkuni, the Venerable Bhikkhuni Dhammananda of Wat Kalyani who was ordained on Feb. 28. She had to be ordained in Colombo, Sri Lanka, because Thai law prohibits the ordination of women. The bhikkhuni sangha (female monks’ community) disappeared from the Theravada traditions around the 11th or 13th century C.E. Thus when Buddhists in Sri Lanka restored the bhikkhuni sangha in 1996, the first ordinations had to be conducted with the help of Korean and Taiwanese bhikkhunis, who belong to the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Since then, more than 200 women, including some from other countries, have been ordained in Sri Lanka. (full text).

Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, a slight woman with a soft voice and a shaved head, is a female ordained monk in Thailand challenging the male patriarchy of her country. Male monks call her a heretic for getting ordained, which is technically outlawed in Thailand. When she helps other women become ordained, they get angrier. “We have to prove to society that it is possible that women can lead ordained lives,” she says in an interview. The International Committee for the Peace Council, a non-profit group in Madison, is championing her mission. The council, which believes peace is possible through inter-religious collaboration, offers its moral support and has sent $27,500 since 1996 to assist her. (full text).

Read: Ordained At Last.

Read: The Need to look at the popular interpretations of the Tripitaka (Theravada context).

Read: The Status of Women in Buddhism.

Her book: Thai Women in Buddhism.

links:

NUNS in Buddhism & Christianity, etc., explained on wikipedia, with a huge amount of links;

Legal Information for Nuns;

Buddha Realms – The Delusion of Permanence;

SAKYADHITA NEWSLETTER;

Women’s History, Articles & Resources on the International Herald Tribune.

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