A proposed Bhikkhuni Monastery in India

This is the unedited communication which was sent to me by an Indian physician, who is a Vipassana meditator in the tradition of Goenka.

I whole heartedly believe their will be a lot of well wishers and contributors to fulfill this noble cause undertaken in the land of our Great Teacher, the Supreme Buddha.:sunflower:.
Sukhi Hotu!


"The Most Venerable Ayya Thathaloka,
Vandami Ayya ji!
Namo Buddhaya!

Erika,

India"s First Thervada Bhikkhuni Monastery (Bhikkhuni Sangharame)

In India there is no place where Thervada Bhikkhunis can be trained or find ideal conditions to practice Buddha’s Dhamma and live as a Sangha. Hence we wish to create a Bhikkhuni Sangharame where we plan to train future aspirants who wish to live a life of renunciation. Our Bhikkhuni Sangharame will have a 100 people group meditation hall 50’x50’ surrounded by 20 meditation cells 5’x3.5’x7’. Meditation hall will have a large Buddha sculpture. Our meditation hall will also host Pali Tipitak in devnagri script and translations in Marathi and Kannada languages. We are hoping to recreate architectural design like Buddhist caves such a Ajanta and Ellora.

We plan to build 4-12 Bamboo huts that can be used for meditation living space and study for Bhikkunis.

We will have a common kitchen and dining hall that can serve upto 50 people. In addition we will have residential space with common bathrooms for upto 25 samneris 9’x9’ rooms. In this residential space we will have a few rooms set aside for sick Bhikkunis from all over India who will be cared for in our Sangharame.

We plan to initiate this project in Keriambalga village near Gulbarga in Karnataka where we have acquired 3 acre land in 2020. We wish to acquire additional 8 acre land to have sufficient open spaces in Bhikkhuni Sangharame.

Detailed Timeline and Budget

August 2021 Digging borewell for water supply. Cost $3000

Building 4 bamboo kutis Cost $15,000

August 2021 Making architechtural site maps and working with an architechtural firm to finalize designs for meditation hall and Residential building and kitchen and dinning hall. Consultation $20,000

Building fence around property. Cost $10,000

Planting trees and landscaping including a lotus pond near the meditation hall. Cost $20,000

Building kitchen and dinning hall $30,000

Building residence for 25 saamneris individual rooms and shared bathrooms. $30,000

Building 100 people group Meditation Hall 50’x50’ with 20 individual meditation cells. $300,000

We plan to use Bhikkuni Sangharame for teaching Dhamma to surrounding village folks and also folks from all over India. We will organize saamneri camps with young girls during vassavas.

We will be happy to answer any more questions that you may have regarding our project.

With Metta and Warm Regards,

Saamneri Uppalvanna

On Behalf of Venerable Bhikkhuni Sumana"


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Best wishes for all Indian bhikkhuni groups. :pray:

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Namo Buddhaya
So beautiful to see all this bhikkhuni monastery effort and developments. All the best for your great efforts, and thanks for sharing this. :pray:

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Teruwan Saranayi,
Thanks a lot for the praise.
But I am only a messenger interested in taking the word across the :earth_americas:.
It is the only thing I can do as a mendicant.
All praise must go to all others taking part actively.
Sukhi Hotu!

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Sadhu! Sadhu! If you can, please keep us informed, I am sure everyone here will be delighted to learn and support if they can.

Allow me to give a little background for our international audience.

In India, while there are many forms of Buddhism, the Theravada tradition is dominant among the so-called Ambedkarite Buddhists, that is, the former Dalits who converted to Buddhism following the example of Dr Ambedkar, the founder of the Indian nation. They are mostly centered in Maharashtra, and are one of the poorest communities in India.

Since converting to Buddhism, the communities have seen a massive imporvement in most social metrics, such as education and health. Indeed, we have an active Ambedkarite community here in Sydney, mostly young families working in IT.

Some years ago, when staying at Bodhgaya, I encountered a group of over twenty nuns, both bhikkhunis and samaneris, who were there to attend the chanting ceremony. I learned that, even though many of them had been ordained for some time, in some cases decades, they had little support or opportunity to study the Dhamma. Ayya Tathaaloka and I decided to get them together and teach a course on Vinaya. We were supported by some local monks who helped translate. We spent two weeks teaching them about the uposatha ceremony, at the end of which they all held uposatha together in the local Myanmar temple.

We learned that some of those women had never read a Dhamma book except for the Dhammapada and the work of Dr Ambedkar. No-one had taken the chance to give them and education. This course was, for many, the first time anyone had paid attention to them.

Yet they were linchpins in their communities. They acted as a focus for bringing people together, conveying Dhamma values, and providing support and relief for others around them. With only a little help and support, a lot can be achieved.

After this course, there was some further efforts to help them; Ayya T held a vassa retreat to educate the nuns. But our plans to open a Bhikkhuni monastery did not come to frruition. So it’s about time! :pray:

I’m wishing all the very best to the Indian bhikkhunis and samaneris, they are amazing people, and I hope they find the peace of Nibbana!

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Teruwan Saranayi respected Bhante,
After reading your great comment, I am really more towards helping this noble cause in whatever the way within my limits.
Already I have sent the message across to some known individuals in a few countries in Europe, US, and NZ.
Hope together we can achieve this sooner.
Sukhi Hotu!
Sadhu! Bhante Sadhu! Sadhu!
:pray::pray::pray:

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Venerable Bhante Sujato,

Vandami!!!

Namo Buddhay!!!

My GuruMa Aacharini Venerable Bhikkhuni Sumana came from a family that was Ambedkrite Biddhist. Her Grandparents participated in the mass Tisaran and conversion ceremony under the guidance of Baba Saheb Ambedkar on 14th October 1956 at Nagpur, Maharashtra.

She participated in Vipassana courses while still a teenager and Goenka Guruji told her she will live a life of abandonment. Her pabajja ceremony was attended by 1 lakh people on 2006. She did not find appropriate teachers to guide her, hence enrolled in Pune University for Masters in Pali. She also learnt Abhidamma from Venerable Bhante Kusala from Mayammar when he was visiting Pune University. Currently she is working on her M. Phil from Aurangabad University. Her thesis title is Kamesumichacara.

Since Venerable Bhikkhuni Sumana did not find a place or easy opportunities to study and practice Dhamma she wishes to create Bhikkhuni Sangharame for future aspirants.

We really appreciate your comments and support for our project.

Saamneri Uppalvanna

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