ABC article on Bhikkhuni ordination in Thailand

I wish ABC would report how proud Australia should be that we do have female monk monasteries here in Western Australia and in New South Wales.


I will answer only what is related to Thailand.

We have Sangha Act, which stipulates legal rules and regulations covering several aspects of the community of monks, including issuance of monks IDs. (Please don’t get distracted and talk about why a government should not involve in religious affairs.) พระราชบัญญัติคณะสงฆ์ พ.ศ.2505 ซึ่งแก้ไขเพิ่มเติมโดยพระราชบัญญัติคณะสงฆ์ (ฉบับที่ 2) พ.ศ.2535 (Royal Proclamation Emblem) Sangha Act, B.E. 2505 as amended by Sangha Act (No. 2), B.E. 2535 Sections in numerical order

We don’t need the ‘male’ to okay their actions, but to be publicly recognised as ‘female monks’, they have to meet legal requirements. At the moment, there are no legal regulations for female monks. So, female monks are just laywomen, legally speaking. When we have a law for female monks, then they are legally and spiritually bhikkhunis. So, is the government male? No. But most senior government officials are male, especially at the National Office of Buddhism.

We now have an increasing number of female monks, and most are well accepted as part of the community.

The government doesn’t charge them with impersonating Buddhist monks, but let them be. Strictly and legally speaking, that is generous.

But of course, most of these female monks are really good monastics and have gained respect from the community where they reside, so attempts to arrest them for practicing the dhamma might not be met well with the people.


Aah, that makes sense. Thanks, Bhante.

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Wow, another dear friend ordaining :heart: :pray:
I couldn’t be happier for a more genuine and dedicated renunciant
A joy and blesssing to see friends enter the holy life and the bhikkhuni sangha grow
Makes sense the ABC would cover.
Bhikkhunis’ rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.


wow is this a record?! I post like twice a year and the second I mention ‘women’s rights’ I am met with some invalidating bs in 30 mins. lol. what are you adding to the conversation here? unnecessary bro


So anyone can just get together and call themselves monks or nuns? That’s never how it’s worked. You need someone who is already ordained to ordain you.

Human rights are a western concept. Why should places like Thailand or Sri Lanka acknowledge them? How do you avoid a situation where westerners are once again telling East Asians what to do?

Not sure why they need to call themselves anything .Is it the title or the practice that is important? What is the end goal: to be a monk or nun, or to reach unbinding Other than the legal advantages in thailand as mentioned, I am still not getting why women can not just form a community and practice. Men seem to robe and disrobe as the mood hit them or when things get rough. Not sure there is any advantage in being part of a group where membership is so lightly treated.

anyway. the point is.

You are both a huge inspiration to me, I still remember with great fondness how, at different times we lived and practiced together, plunged into the forest together and supported each other, I treasure those memories. It is a beautiful thing in my life to see you continue on this great path and realize a milestone set years ago, and I am always here to support you in any way I can. May you quickly realize the goal of the holy life! lots of love!


The practice of needing to be recognised by the sangha as being a member of the sangha goes back to the Master himself. The ritual of going forth marks the point where the man or woman has formally renounced the world in favour of practicing for awakening within the Buddha’s sangha. You can’t be a Buddhist renunciate without being formally recognised as such by the Sangha. Of course, people can form their own communities. They can also copy the vinaya, wear the robes and so on but they will never actually be Buddhist monastics. They would only be imitating them. Also tradition and ritual are important. The Buddha clearly thought so, being conservative as he was.

What is the end goal: to be a monk or nun, or to reach unbinding Other than the legal advantages in thailand as mentioned, I am still not getting why women can not just form a community and practice.

I imagine many women who wish to become nuns want to be recognised as being Buddhist nuns, which would mean recognition by the wider sangha (or at least part of it). I’m not going to speak on behalf of said women though. There plenty here who can give their thoughts.

Didn’t the Master, liberal as he was, say be a refuge unto yourself? “Monks, be islands unto yourselves, be your own refuge, having no other; let the Dhamma be an island and a refuge to you, having no other. Those who are islands unto themselves… should investigate to the very heart of things: 'What is the source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair? How do they arise?”

Yes, and he also established an order. An order where you can only be a Buddhist monastic if recognised as such by said order. Otherwise you are a layperson, in this case a layperson imitating a monk or nun. If you want a further discussion on the conservative persuasion of the Blessed One, I’m happy to discuss it on another thread or via PM if you prefer.

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An order he clearly didn’t care about after his departure, as he provided no successor, and even stated it wouldn’t last long after he was gone. Seems to me, he was more insistent that the monks become refuges unto themselves rather than rely on the sangha after he was gone.

""Now I am frail, Ananda, old, aged, far gone in years. This is my eightieth year, and my life is spent. Even as an old cart, Ananda, is held together with much difficulty, so the body of the Tathagata is kept going only with supports. It is, Ananda, only when the Tathagata, disregarding external objects, with the cessation of certain feelings, attains to and abides in the signless concentration of mind, that his body is more comfortable.

"Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.

"And how, Ananda, is a bhikkhu an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge?

“When he dwells contemplating the body in the body, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world; when he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, the mind in the mind, and mental objects in mental objects, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world, then, truly, he is an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; having the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge.” — DN 16"

Can’t think of anything I’d like less. I wish you would keep your political leanings out of every single discussion.

The quote you have provided doesn’t support your argument. From the texts it’s clear the Buddha wanted the sangha to last a long time for the benefit of many, for it is through the sangha that the Dhamma is preserved and transmitted. Through ordained men and women living it in full, and passing on what they have learned to their pupils in turn. Regarding Dhamma not lasting long, I’m rather sceptical of that passage and if you really believed it you wouldn’t bother practicing Buddhism at all.

Can’t think of anything I’d like less. I wish you would keep your political leanings out of every single discussion.

I was talking about the Buddha, not me. If you don’t want to discuss it though that’s fine.

The fact that the Buddha made no mention of the Sangha and was specifically speaking to the monks worry about the continuing of the Sangha, doesn’t support your contention. If you would like to quote something from the Buddha’s last day that speaks to the survival of the Sangha, and not just the dhamma, let’s hear it. Otherwise it isn’t what the Sutta says. (I going to do us both a favor and block and mute you after I post this. I think that is best for everyone and will certainly prevent me from going off topic to refute you.).

Hi everyone,

Please bear in mind the OP when posting and do start a new thread if you wish to investigate a tangential issue (and also use the search function as some off-topic questions raised here have been covered at length many times before).

Likewise, I just need to remind everyone to be mindful about the below when discussing bhikkhunis, as even unintended comments can be viewed as invalidating or sexist. Let’s be careful with our words and mindful of the real people we are talking about.


The full story from foreign correspondent is here Reclaiming the Robe: The Rebel Thai Woman Fighting for Spiritual Equality | Foreign Correspondent - YouTube

@Cara great to see you in here. Ven Khantika and I were wondering how you were doing as we were sewing her sanghati for her ordination. Sending metta


Hi. I confidently guess the above is the core of the matter. The bhikkhunis must earn respect, which is consistent with the teachings of the Buddha, such as found in MN 95, where a bhikkhu must earn respect from laypeople. In other words, culturally insensitive Western style activism have been met with hostile actions, such as burning down Western funded Western run ‘bhikkhuni’ monasteries. I am confident properly trained & behaved bhikkhunis will inevitably continue to gain respect & acceptance in Thailand. :slightly_smiling_face: This said, I recall viewing the video below. The behaviour of the primary bhikkhuni in this video to me is so classically Thai that obviously the training is gained from the bhikkhus. Take care to avoid seeming ungrateful. :slightly_smiling_face: As Buddhism & monasticism inevitably continue to decline in Thailand due to globalist corporate consumerist imperialism, I imagine more existing monasteries will become vacant for more bhikkhunis to use, similar to Buddhist groups acquiring defunct Christian properties in the West. Overall, it seems Buddhism will continue to decline in Thailand due to the very same globalist forces that include the ABC. I struggle to see the relevance of an entity like the ABC pushing this issue for the pure sake of promoting religion. I suppose the motto for the would-be bhikkhunis is 'make enlightenment hay while the sun shines’. :sunny:

  1. Better than sole sovereignty over the earth, better than going to heaven, better even than lordship over all the worlds is the supramundane Fruition of Stream Entrance


:100: for mentioning women’s rights! Another :100: for noting the plainly obvious, that women’s rights are human rights. And another :100: for calling out the nonsense, NYC style.

Dear male people: please understand how wearing, pointless, and predictable it is that every conversation literally everywhere anywhere that dares to acknowledge the moral normalcy of supporting women has to be undermined by negativity and condescension. Please think: you don’t have to weight in gravely with your qualifications and equivocations. Nor do you have to endlessly judge the choices and lives of women. Every time you do so, it makes the world a little bit worse. If you can’t bring yourself to be supportive, silence is always a great option. :pray:


So joyful to hear that! Doing well and good to see you too Venerable! :blush: :pray: metta to you both!