BBC Names Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, Thailand’s First Female Monk, among 100 Influential Women of 2019 (Readmore)
Songdhammakalyani Monastery (SDK) is situated on Petkasem Hwy., the major highway leading from Bangkok to the south. One can literally continue on this Highway to the border connecting Thailand to Malaysia and through Malaysia to Singapore.
The temple is on the left, if you come from Bangkok, it is 53 kms. west of Bangkok. By bus, the bus driver will allow you to get off just in front of the temple. The landmark is a huge golden laughing Buddha in front of the temple.
Historically, Ven.Voramai Kabilsingh, the founder of the temple purchased the land from the Queen of King Rama VI in 1960. The lot is 6 rai (minimum allowable to build a temple) During King Rama VI’s reign he had Sanamchan Summer Palace built in the city of Nakhon Pathom, just 3 kms. further from the temple. The land in and around the area where the temple is now situated was previously ownen by the royal members. The lane next to the temple is still called “Trok Wang” which means “the palace lane.”Continue reading “Songdhammakalyani monastery”
In the year 1982 when Ven.Dhammananda was still Dr.Chatsumarn Kabilsingh teaching at Thammasat University, she translated the Medicine Buddha Sutra into Thai for the first time.Continue reading “The Medicine Buddha”
Ven.Voramai Kabilsingh as she was known by her layname, was born in 1908 in Rajburi province. She was the first abbot who led a very colorful and interesting life. In 1972 she travelled by bicycle from Bangkok to Singapore. She was the only Girl Scout to travel by bicycle. It took her 29 days, a record that still stands today.Continue reading “Ven. Ta Tao Fa Tzu”
In the opening ceremony of Gotami vihara in Malaysia in 2012, this was the first time that the host invited the first Theravada bhikkhuni in Asia, Ven. Santini (Indonesia), Ven. Dr. Lieu Phap (Vietnam), Ven. Dhammananda (Thailand). For Malaysia, those who attended the meeting were anagarika and Sri Lankan bhikkhuni. This brought about the logo of the Network using cannonball flower (Sri Lanka) with 5 petals representing a symbol of Bhikkhunis from 5 countries.
Asian bhikkhuni sangha agreed on gathering and establishing the Network of Theravada Bhikkhunis in Asia. There were 5 cofounding countries. The works of the 5 founders are flexible in sharing information and working together e.g., organizing ASEAN Buddhist Conference 2016 at Nakhon Pathom Rajabhat University in September 2016 by the Network, there were 21 countries attending the conference including all member countries of the network; Internatinal Bhikkhuni Ordination in Sri Lanka on January 2015, there were 11 candidated from Vietnam, Thailand and Bangladesh also organized by the network.
Annual International Monastic Training at Songdhammakalyani monastery is organized on behalf of the network as well.
Associate Professor Dr. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, her daughter is well prepared to take the responsibility. She spent 30 years in academic life doing research, teaching and attending conferences at international level. Also, she interviewed her guests on TV for 7 years hence being somewhat known to Thai society. This lay background prepared her to do what she chose to do in the latter part of her life.Continue reading “Ven. Dhammananda”
In 1992 Ven.Grandma (Ven.Voramai Kabilsingh) turned 84 years old, Ven.Dhammananda at that time was not yet ordained; she initiated the first Buddhasavika training. There were 108 women joining the training. She told Ven.Grandma that she would like to offer the wholesome to Ven.Grandma on her 84th birthday. Ven.Grandma envisioned big trees growing in the temple with yellow blossoms as a sign that the work of Dr.Chatsumarn to serve Buddhism would be prosperous.Continue reading “Buddhasavika Training”