Santacārī’s Bhikkhunī Ordination Sunday September 4th 2016
Ayya Santacārī was fortunate to be able to have her Bhikkhunī ordination Upasampada last Sunday. She is now “ordained on one side” until she and the other two newly ordained Bhikkhunīs visit the monks at Bodhinyana monastery where they will have their ordination “confirmed”.
It was a very special and moving ceremony in the Big Cave at Santi Forest Monastery in NSW Australia. Theravada Bhikkhunī Upasampada is very rare and to have this ceremony in the sacred environment of such a beautiful cave was so unique and awe inspiring. Everyone felt touched deep in their hearts by such a breath taking experience. So many had tears in their eyes and even running down their faces or into the tissues.Santacārī was one of three candidates for ordination, and she was so happy to share this blessed occasion with Ayya Vajirā and Ayya Dhammavatī.
For this special day, seven Theravadā Bhikkhunīs gathered together to enact this special “Sangha Kamma” or community action. Two very senior Australian Mahayana Bhikkhunīs honoured us with their presence. Senior Theravada Bhikkhunī Viditadhamma [Ven Lieu Phap] from Vietnam graced us with her grounded presence and kindly undertook the role of Preceptor or Pavattinī.
At the beginning of the ceremony three samaneri candidates waited in a small antechamber of the cave while the Bhikkhunīs began the chanting of the Sangha Kamma.
Then they were called to approach the Sangha. With their offering trays in hand the candidates pause at the entrance and ask for permission to enter and ask forgiveness for any faults.
The Pavattinī then instructs each candidate about her robes and bowl. This is your robe, this is your bowl.
The candidates return to the Sangha and request the Upasampada ordination.
They are questioned again in the midst of the Sangha.
The motion to confer the ordination is put to the Sangha three times by the Bhikkhunī representatives.
They bow to the Pavattinī and then to the Sangha.