Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni is Thailand’s first fully ordained Theravada Buddhist nun and abbess. She is the spiritual leader of Songdhammakalyani Temple located about an hour southwest of Bangkok. Ven. Dhammananda offers a unique perspective as both an ordained Theravada Bhikkhuni and a feminist, and has been internationally recognized for her work on women in Buddhism and environmental conservation. Prior to her ordination, she was an Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies at Thammasat University for 27 years. She is a tireless crusader for women’s ordination and has traveled the world speaking to audiences about the need to restore the “fourth pillar” of Buddhism.
We always hear about the life of the Buddha, but very few of us know that his
wife Yasodhara was the first and only person in the entire Buddhist canon to
say “no” to the Buddha, and the Buddha accepted.
This evening presentation will include a reshaping of Yasodhara’s story as
well as the personal story of Ven. Dhammananda Bhikkhuni’s own journey to
become ordained, and her mother’s struggles to become the first ordained
nun in Thailand.