Bhikkuni in Sri Lanka Ordination procedure

Dear fellow Bhikkhunis, Ayya in this forum, as well as Vinaya masters of all monastics,

I had just found out via a friend, a samaneri intention to ordain in Sri Lanka that the Sri Lanka ordination procedure does not involve a 2 year sikkhamāna period before the Bhikkhuni ordination, but the ceremony would do all the stages including samaneri, sikkhamāna to Bhikkhuni straight.

My friend asked isn’t this sikkhamāna in the Vinaya? The reply from one of the lecturer nuns there is that it’s the culture of Sri Lanka. Sikkhamāna is only 6 precepts, like downgrading if samaneri goes from 10 precepts to 6 precepts, like going back to lay. There was a paper (in Singhala) that she wrote so any objections, just consult the paper.

My question is, is this known amongst the international Bhikkhuni Sangha? Is it accepted as valid procedure? Is there any issues of legitimacy for not doing the Sikkhamāna thing? There’s no issue for personal training for the candidate, as she has been training to become a nun for many years already.


I am not a vinaya expert, so I don’t want to go into specifics but…

What your friend has described sounds 100% normal for SL and nothing to be concerned about, there are likely thousands of women who have done more or less the same thing. We don’t regive samaneri precepts before higher ordination here, but this obviously happens in SL.

I didn’t do sikkhamana, I did three years’ samaneri. Some of the Dharmaguptaka places offer sikkhamana. Not all.


I can confirm what Ayya Suvira wrote. Not having a sikkhamana ordination is absolutely normal in Sri Lanka and many other places around the world.
Usually a samaneri period is required. The monastery in SL I stayed with asked for at least 3 years.