Dear friends supportive of bhikkhuni ordination,
of the healthy re-emergence of the full Fourfold Sangha of the Buddha,
and of our dear friend and Dhamma Sister Kemanthie/Samaneri Karunika,
It is my joy to announce that there is another ordination planned in April in Western Australia. This will be the third Theravada bhikkhuni ordination in modern times in that part of the world.
This year our sister and friend Samaneri Karunika (formerly known to many here as Dr Kemanthie Nandasena or as Anagarika Kemanthie), will be requesting full bhikkhuni ordination from the Bhikkhuni Sangha together with Samaneris Upekkha and Gotami.
In past years Samaneri Karunika entered into the homeless life of the white-robed renunciate here with us in Northern California in our first vassa at our Aranya Bodhi Forest Hermitage.
Anagarika Kemanthie with Carudhamma, Aloka and Marajina 2010 Vassa at Aranya Bodhi
Since then Samaneri Karunika (Kemanthie) has returned to Australia and has been training under the guidance of her bhikkhuni co-abbots Ayya Nirodha and Ayya Hasapanna, together with her fellow anagarika and then samaneri sisters Upekkha and Gotami. Then Samaneri Karunika also went forth as a samaneri -- a woman training in the ancient samana way of monastic life.
Anagarikas Kemanthie and Upekkha at Dhammasara
photo courtesy Dhammasara on Youtube
Anagarika Kemanthie with Dhammasara co-abbots Ven Nirodha and Ven Hasapanna (on left) and samaneris Upekkha and Gotami (on right)
photo courtesy Dhammasara "Sala Appeal"
Kemanthie goes forth as Samaneri Karunika
photo courtesy "Nee's World" blog
When i was in Australia two years ago, serving as preceptor for the samaneris and also in the second Theravada bhikkhuni ordination, i mentioned that i would like to pass on the torch to the newer emerging elder bhikkhuni theris who were also becoming qualified to serve as Preceptors.
l-r: Samaneri Karunika, Ayya Tathaaloka and Dhammasara co-abbot Ayya Nirodha at Dhammasara in 2012
I then recommended the venerable bhikkhuni teacher Ayya Santini Theri from Indonesia. She lives much closer, in Australasia (much less fossil fuel to travel!), she has stronger health than i and has been dedicatedly active with our Bhikkhuni Sangha in Australasia and South and Southeast Asia, and she is growing in renown as a speaker and teacher.
seated theris l-r: Ayya Santini, Ayya Tathaaloka, Ayya Sucinta, Ayya Silavati
at Dhammasara Monastery 2009
Ayya Santini is seated at my right hand (to the left) in the photo above. She has served with me together in offering bhikkhuni and samaneri training and education in Bodhgaya India, as well as in the first bhikkhuni ordinations in Australia in 2009.
I am glad to share that she has accepted the invitation of the Dhammasara community to serve as Preceptor, and feel delighted to see our Bhikkhuni Sangha growing, and new bhikkhuni teachers and leaders emerging. As well as our beloved friends and sisters on the Path having the full opportunity to live their true and deepest heart's aspiration.
With much loving kindness and gratitude,
Ayya Tathaaloka Theri
for Karunika ~
Empty this boat, O bhikkhu/ni,
Emptied, it will move swiftly.
Cutting off lust and hatred,
To Nibbana you will thereby go.
-- the Buddha, Dhammapada 36