Heart Gleaming Golden ~ Fourfold Sangha & Bhikkhuni Day
Now as the sun sets and full moon rises, i reflect back on this day. It was heart-warming.
sunset at Dhammadharini Vihara, Ayya Tathaaloka
For those of you who were not able to join us -
- this full moon is the (we think) 2597th lunar anniversary of several special things that come together.
painting of Mahapajapati Gotami from Sati Saraniya Hermitage website
Its the lunar anniversary/commemorative day of the ordination of first bhikkhuni, founding mother Maha Pajapati Gotami, and her women companions. According to the Theravada tradition, Mahapajapati Theri was ordained by the Buddha himself.
Gotamī, those principles of which you know: ‘These principles lead to dispassion, not passion; to being unfettered, not fettered; to getting rid of, not heaping up; to few wishes, not many wishes; to contentment, not discontentment; to seclusion, not socializing; to arousal of energy, not laziness; to being easy to support, not hard to support.’ You may definitely hold: ‘This is Dhamma, This is Vinaya,
This is the Teaching of the Buddha.’ Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.53; Pali Vinaya 2.258-9
He also gave his blessing and permission to the bhikkhus to ordain the rest of the bhikkhunis - several hundred women, who formed our original our Sangha.
Mahapajapati Gotami with Buddha and bhikkhunis
Wat Thepthida-aram, Bhikkhuni Vihara, Bangkok
With the coming into being of the Bhikkhuni Sangha, the Buddha's Four-fold Assembly or Four-fold Sangha also came into being - so this September full moon is also the lunar anniversary of our Four-fold Sangha of the Buddha's disciples and heirs.
Four-fold Assembly of the Buddha: Wat Po, Hall of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand
This year, this day was also especially wonderful for us, as our Dhamma sister, heart-sister in the path, Anagarika Michelle, shaved off her hair (with the help of many dear friends who came), donned white robes, and requested the Anagarika precepts.
She looks just as she says she felt: "right". Like some beauty and virtue that was in her all along has now been just that much more uncovered and revealed. Or like the conch shell, as in the verse she recited, that is polished, and shines.
A heart of very much mudita. Will share photos from the day with you later, when they come in.
Many thanks to all of you who make the the living of this life possible in our world, and the freeing of the heart and uncovering of our natural virtue and light possible.
May we all abide in such well-being, ease, and natural virtue and beauty of the clear and free human heart.
This would be a very good thing for our human world, and for ourselves.
With reverence to the Dhamma,
and its coming alive in this human bodies and minds with awareness,