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.
She went for her first lower ordination in Sri Lanka in Feb.2001, and returned to Sri Lanka again to receive full ordination in 2003 to become the first Theravada bhikkhuni in Thailand. From then on she is known by her ordained name, Dhammananda.
The first year after ordination was difficult with a storm of criticism from Thai society. But the social media were mostly friendly to the news of ordained woman. She passed through this particular difficult time by holding on to the teaching of the Buddha, namely one who practices dhamma will be protected by dhamma.
She was conscious to fill in the gap that was not possible in her mother’s time.
She went all the way to make sure that she received full training as bhikkhuni to be able to train other samaneris and bhikkhunis after her. She arranged for a proper sima (boundary) in order for the future sangha to have a proper place to perform the sanghakamma, i.e. ordination, etc.
The first decade of her ordained life, she focused much on educating the mass by bringing out books, brochures, tape cassettes, CDs, etc. so that Thai society is well informed about the rightful heritage of bhikkhunis from the Buddha’s time.
She started giving temporary
lower ordination to Thai women as a way to spread the teaching of the Buddha.
These women once returned to lay life,they have turned out to be strong
supporters of the temple. Women started to join the temple activities and also
Ven. Dhammananda, has followed closely to the inspiration of the founder. She emphasizes Bodhisattva’s path in her writing, teaching and most important of all, in the way she leads her life.
A dynamic personality, active,
alert and witty, she could be direct, very direct at times, yet she radiates
with her beautiful genuine smile that disarms her audience. She often moves her
audience in tears in the way she relates the stories of old which she re-enacts
and makes it so vividly. She puts 100% energy in whatever she is at. A personality
you should not miss; a rare gem in the sangha. You will love her for this
unique quality of sincerity.Further information
about Ven. Dhammananda:
Wikipedia article on Ven. Dhammananda: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhammananda_Bhikkhuni