Bhikkhu Bodhi on Bhikkhunis

I just found an article on Vinaya law that made me cry. In a good way!

Most of you know that the Theravadan Bhikkhuni order died out centuries ago. This was a terrible blow to Buddhism. As the Buddha himself said, his sasana needed to include monks, nuns, laymen, and lay women. We’ve been limping along with 3 legs for a thousand years!

The Bhikkhuni ordered was restored in 1996 when a brave group of Sri Lankan women were ordained with the help of some Mahayana nuns and Theravadan monks.

Then two years ago nuns were ordained in the Ajahn Chah tradition under the auspices of Ajahn Brahm. This made bigger shockwaves in the West because the ordination happened here and in a tradition that has more penetration here. The Thai sangha reacted abysmally. Throwing a giant temper tantrum, they kick Ajahn Brahm out of their monastic organization and tried to have him kicked out of his monastery. That was bad enough, but to their everlasting shame, the Western monks like Ajahn Chandako and Ajahn Thanissaro, monks that are otherwise excellent, went out of their way to criticize Ajahn Brahm. And they notably failed to support the newly minted nuns.

Now I’ve just found an article (here) by the great monk Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi in support of Western nuns. Bhikkhu Bodhi is best known for his translations of the suttas. He is a generally conservative monk (religiously at least), so his opinion holds greater weight. Thank you Ven. Bodhi. Sadhu. Sadhu. Sadhu.


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