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Theri Gatha

Worship did I
The fire, the moonm the sun and gods,
Performed many a bathing rite
In the rivers.

Observing many rites
I shaved one-half my head
Slept on the ground
And went without my dinner.

I adorned my body
With beautiful garments
Decked it with gems and ornaments
Bathed it with perfumes
Full of Lustful thoughts.

I developed faith in the Sansara
And entered it.
Perceiving the body as it is
I have destroyed lust.

All the line of existences
And the will and yearning to be
have I cut off.
Free from the bonds of lust,
Serene have I become.

                               - Theri Nanduttara

    Book: Thera - Theri Gatha
              (Inspired Utterances of Buddhist
               Monks and Nuns)
    Author: Edmund Jayasuriya
    Publisher: Buddhist Cultural Centre 

Monasteries for the bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka

Monasteries for the Bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka
Core of Buddhism - An introduction to Dhamma The order of bhikkunis in Sri Lanka was founded by Arahant sanghamitta theri a daughter of king Darmashoka of India about 2300 years ago. But it did not last long due to vaiaus reasons such as wars famines droughts .disputes among rulers’ and foreign invasions etc.

It is well known fact that the Buddhist society is not completed in absence of bhikkhunies. It should be consisted of four groups of bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, upasakas and upasikas

There had been high demand for a long period of time to re introduce the order of bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka since awakening of Buddhist in memory of 2500 years of history of Buddhism. A number of ladies wanted to be bhikkhunis by renunciation from lay life, but no attention had been drawn on taken any steps by any Buddhist organization. Ultimately they had decided to observe ten precepts being novice upasikas. It had been continued for a long period of time.

Taking into consideration the high requests of womenfolk Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi maha thero of Buddhist cultural center of Sri Lanka and Ven. Inamaluwe Sumangala maha thero of dambulla Rajamaha Viharaya have taken initiative steps facing many difficulties and obstacles to re-introduce the order of Bhikkhunis with assistance of Buddhist nuns of some eastern countries.

Ven. Wimalajathi maha thero has organized construction project of monastery for bhikkhunis. He has already completed it with all modern conveniences. On a calm and quiet land an a top of a hill. Situated in a rural area called Horana, a little away from main city disturbances. The building complex consists of shrine room, preaching hall dormitory, refectory, kitchen and places for meditation etc.

The centre in maintained in devotion and selfless efforts’ with limited resources and difficulty. So for donations or contributions were not collected. Even though the center in running smoothly and successfully.

The center has an aim to expand it’s services throughout the country specially under privileged rural areas by establishing many sub-centers. Several bhikkhuni monasteries are essential to guide female community in religious and social service activities in proper way. If some organization, well wishers and philanthropists undertake to develop at least one center and establish a branch monastery it will be a great service not only to Buddha Sasana but also to enter rural population.

An appeal to made herewith to well wishers to undertake and develop at least one centre or grant donations to raise funds to expedite the project the Buddhist cultural centre in willing to allocate suitable places. Those who interested may contact the director Buddhist cultural centre 125, Anderson road Nedimala. Dehiwala, Sri Lanka for details.


Re-Establishment of the Order of Bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka

It is well-known fact that the Buddha elevated the status of women, and brought them to realization of their importance to society. He regarded them as weak by nature, but He saw the natural good of women and assigned them their due place in society.

Although at first the Buddha refused to admit women in to the Order of Bhikkhunis later the Buddha was persuaded by entreaties of Ven. Ananda Thera and founded the Order of Bhikkhunis. The new Order was certainly a great blessing for womenfolk. In ancient times in the Order of Bhikkhunis women of every folk of society such as queens, princesses, daughters of noble families. widows and helpless women despite their caste or rank met in a common platforn and enjoyed perfect consolation and peace in life.

At the end of the Third Dhamma Sangayana (Council) which was held with Arahant Moggaliputta Tissa Maha Thera in the Chair and patronized by King Dharmashoka it was decided to send one of Buddhist missions to Sri Lanka.

Arahant Mahinda Thera (son of king Dharmashoka) with four other Bhikkhus arrived in Sri Lanka to preach the Dhamma.

King Dewanampiya Tissa, the then ruler of the country embraced Buddhism and with royal patronage Buddhism was firmly established in the country.

After listening to Dhamma from Ven. Mahinda Thera, the queen Anula and number of ladies of the royal family wanted to renunciate the lay life and enter the Order of Sangha.

A daughter of King Dharmashoka and as well as a sister of Arahant Mahinda Thera, Theri Sanghamitta who arrived here at the invitation of her brother who was convinced by many a interested lady, established the Bhikkuni Order in Sri Lanka with the assistance of King Devanampiya Tissa. This happened about 2400 years ago. 

A large number of distinguished men who came with Theri Sanghamitta  contributed largely to the metrial intellectual and spiritual development of Sri Lanka, Artistes and craftsmen introduced a novel Culture in architecture, sculpture, art and painting inscription and carvings etc.     

But with macrh of time unfortunately the Order of Bhikkhunis disappeared from the country due to various reasons such as famine, drought wars and foreign invasions.

As there was high demand from general public to re-introduce the Bhikkhuni Order we have taken initial steps with great difficulty to introduce religious life for women. We have constructed a building complex on a hillock in a rural area, not far away from Colombo and a training Centre was founded. Bhikkhuni Upasampada was introduced with the Co-operation of Bhikkunis of other Buddhist Countries. At present the Centre conducts daily religious services. Our aim is not only the spiritual development of Bhikkhunis but also to train them  guiding and counseling to improve the position of womenfolk to serve themselves and general public. All facilities are provided by us for participants free of charge.

By the same time I would like to extend to you my kind, invitation to visit Sri Lanka and witness the progress of the Centre.

If you wish to undertake your own programme or project for the benefit of Bhikkunis, I wish we would be able to assist you in them. We are in a position to gift you a small block of land to inaugurate the project.

It is advisable to handle money matters under your own control. We have doubt on some so-called organizations and individuals as to how they use  donations. Unscrupulous persons may misuse the money without responsibility. therefore everything should be under your control.

If you undertake the propagation of the Bhikkhuni Order in Sri Lanka it will be a great service to Buddha Sasana and Sri Lankan Society. Your service will be recorded in history of Sri Lanka as equal to the services rendered by Arahant Sanghamitta Theri.

May the Triple Gem bless you.

Yours in Dhamma.
Ven. K. Wimalajothi Thero.
Bhikkhuni Training Centre and
Buddhist Cultural Centre.