Author Topic: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order  (Read 6656 times)

WisdomBeing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
    • Add me to your facebook!
I thought i'd share this article with people who might be interested in the history of Buddhist nuns.  i was also intrigued by this sentiment Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha, India is the land of preaching and China is the land of Supreme fulfillment of Buddhism.

I also liked that this article highlights the influence of the Chinese in the spread of Buddhism which may not be known to many. This is exactly why it is important for Tibetan Buddhism in China to flourish and the entire tango between China, Dorje Shugden and the Dalai Lama. With Chinese influence, Dorje Shugden's practice will reach many and in doing so - benefit many.



Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
http://www.telegraphnepal.com/commentary/2013-06-06/nepal:-chinese-contribution-in-restoration-of-bhikshuni-order.html

First Bhikshuni in Buddhist history was Mahaprajapati Gautami, Buddha’s foster mother from Kapilvastu, Nepal. She was ordained as Bhikshuni along with other 500 nuns 25 century ago only after 5 years of establishment of Bhikshu Sangha. The first nunnery was built in Kapilvastu.

According to Buddhist scriptures, the Bhikshuni order was first created by Lord Buddha at the specific request of his foster mother Mahaprajapati Gautami, and in response of strong recommendation of Ven. Ananda, the principal disciple of the Buddha, the Bhikshuni order spread to many countries. But in course of turns of history, Bhikshuni order in Nepal and other South Asian countries vanished. In Nepal it was restored in 1990s through Chinese facilitations.

The first Chinese Bhiksuni was Chen Chien who was ordained as novice (Sramaneri) by her all male groups of monks, then there were no fully ordained Bhiksunis to give her higher ordination. It was only in 429 A.D. upon the entreaty or the Chinese Emperor that King Meghavarna of Srilanka dispatched eight senior nuns to China. These courageous women even mastered the Chinese language within a few years of their arrivals. They followed in 433 A.D. by a further group of eleven nuns who landed in Nanjing, making full ordination completely possible. Fa-chien was the first Chinese nun to receive it. Although the order died out in Sri Lanka following the Chola attacks on Anuradhapura in 1017, the Chinese order has persisted in an unbroken chain up to the present day and they helped others to resume Bhikshuni order in different South Asian Countries.

Nun Ven. Devi Gautami (Sangha Name of Mahaprajapati Gautami) was leader of Bhikshuni Sangha leading five hundred Sakya ladies converted into Buddhism. Later wife of Siddhartha Gautam, princess Yasodhara was also ordained as Bhikshuni. Her Sangha name was Bhadra Katyayani.

As Emperor Ashoka’s daughter Sanghamitra founded Bhikshuni order in Sri Lanka, his another daughter Charumati built Charumati Vihar in Kathmandu. She was ordained as Bhikshuni and spend second past of her life in Charumati Vihar. There are several other historical evidences which confirms the existence of Buddhist nunneries in Kathmandu valley in ancient period.

Tibetan language Buddhism is practiced by ethnic people of Nepal. Sherpas, Tamang, Gurung, Lepchas and other ethnic people are followers of Tibetan Buddhism. They have their own monasteries. Among a few popular nunneries, Nagi Gompa Nunnery in Shivapuri, Bigu Gompa in Dolakkha district, Khachre Ghakyi Ling Nunnery in Kopan, Nunneries in Pharping, Mustang are well known.

In 1930s a few Newar widows walked down from Kathmandu to Kushinagar where they were ordained as Anagarika by U Chandramani Dharmanachari, Dhammpali, Ratnapali and Sanghapali were the pioneers and Kindol Vihar became the centre of nuns’ activities.

Dhammavati received a religious education in Myanmar. She has also been conferred with the title of “Aggamaha Grantha Bachaka Pandita”. She established Dharmakriti (nunnery) Vihar in Thanhiti, Kathmandu. Numbers of Anagarikas in Nepal increased after 1950. But there are no higher ordination practices of Bhikshunis in Nepal.
In 1988 three Nepali Theravadi Anagarikas went to Los Angeles to receive full ordination as Bhikshunis according to Chinese rites from Fo Kuang Shan sect. Dhammavati, Dhammdinna and Dhamma Vijaya were ordained as Bhikshunis there. Pannyavati, Indravati and Jayavati were ordained as Bhikshuni in Taiwan.

The Buddhist Association of China arranged the passing of commandments for two groups of novice nuns of Nepal, which enabled Nepal to restore the Bhikshuni order. In the first batch five nuns, Anoja, Yanavati, Sujata, Kusum and Viryavati were ordained as Bhikshunis in Dharma platform of Wu Zhuo nunnery at Guang Zhou in 1997. In the second batch another 5 nuns Indravati, Sumedhavati, Rammavati, Surammmavati and Suvavati were ordained as Bhikshuni in Nan Hus Monastry in China in April 2002.

A dozen nuns from Nepal were ordained as Bhikshuni in Bodhgaya international full ordination ceremony in 1998. Nepalese nuns Utara, Anoja, Sujata, Khemanandi, Chittavati, Kusum, Viryavati, Karunavati, Chandra Sila, Sunandi, Rupashila and churuyani received ordination in accordance with both original Therevadi tradition and Chinese Mahayana tradition. The master mind behind this twofold higher ordination ceremony is Ven. Master H. Sing Yun, the founder president of Buddha’s Light International Association and founder of the Foguangshan Buddhist order.

In 1998, Nepali nuns Sradavi, Mudita, Khameshi, Virya Parami, Keshawati, Vishuddyani, Ambika and Suchita were ordained as Bhikshuni in Foguangshan international full ordination ceremony held in 2000 in Taiwan.

Lumbini is birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam, Kapilvastu is the capital of the Sakya Principality, where Siddhartha Gautam was brought up. Buddha attained enlightenment, delivered his preaching and attained his Mahanirvana in India. However, credit goes to the Chinese for introducing Buddhism in China in the first century via Central Asia, translating Buddhist scriptures constructing of Buddhist monasteries, temples and pagodas. They also helped to evolve the school of Buddhism with Chinese characteristics and contributed to its expansion to East Asia. Similarly, the Chinese Diaspora contributed in globalization of Buddhism by spreading it to South-East Asia, Europe, America, Oceania and other parts of the world constructing Buddhist temples wherever they reached. Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha, India is the land of preaching and China is the land of Supreme fulfillment of Buddhism. This relationship, therefore, can be exemplified by a tree whose roots have in Nepal, its trunk in India and its branches extend far into China and the world. Overseas Chinese have played a great role in providing world religion status to Buddhism. Special credit goes to Chinese Buddhist inside and outside China who continued Bhikshuni order and helped a lot to revive it in Nepal and in other South Asian Countries.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2013, 09:01:24 AM »
This is another proof that although China is atheist, they still support Buddhism and allow the flourishing of Buddhist activities. So, again, it makes the CTA look like liars when they claim that China is discriminating against buddhism and suppressing religious freedom because it's another instance that proves that this is not true at all. It also shows that CTA does not really want the Dharma to grow, they just want to retake their country because if they really cared for the welfare of the Tibetans and of tibetan Buddhism they would have sincerely did what they could to be on China's good terms and then discuss on the various ways to help preserve Tibetan culture and Buddhism in Tibet. We all know which path that they took because all they ever wanted was power. This article is a very powerful vindication of CTA's accusations against China's so called religious oppression.

WisdomBeing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
    • Add me to your facebook!
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 04:24:05 PM »
Buddhism has a long history in China and it was only relatively recently with the cultural revolution that China rejected religion. However, as with everything, nothing is permanent and China appears to be more open to religion nowadays.

Historically, Dorje Shugden has a close relationship with China (see these articles: Dorje Shugden enthroned by Chinese Emperor http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/dorje-shugden-enthroned-by-chinese-emperor-the-dalai-lama/  and The Fifth Dalai lama and Shun Zhi, Emperor of China, http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/the-fifth-dalai-lama-and-shunzhi-emperor-of-china/ ).

Together with HH the Dalai Lama's ban on Dorje Shugden practice, it is no surprise that the Chinese authorities are strongly promoting Dorje Shugden. The fact that the Chinese even sent a Tibetan Dorje Shugden Lama overseas is testament to their commitment and trust in Dorje Shugden. http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/news/the-first-lama-that-china-sent-abroad/

The Tibetans should realise this and make friends with China already! http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/operation-make-friends/
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2013, 09:35:20 AM »
Buddhism has a long history in China and it was only relatively recently with the cultural revolution that China rejected religion. However, as with everything, nothing is permanent and China appears to be more open to religion nowadays.

Historically, Dorje Shugden has a close relationship with China (see these articles: Dorje Shugden enthroned by Chinese Emperor http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/dorje-shugden-enthroned-by-chinese-emperor-the-dalai-lama/  and The Fifth Dalai lama and Shun Zhi, Emperor of China, http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/the-fifth-dalai-lama-and-shunzhi-emperor-of-china/ ).

Together with HH the Dalai Lama's ban on Dorje Shugden practice, it is no surprise that the Chinese authorities are strongly promoting Dorje Shugden. The fact that the Chinese even sent a Tibetan Dorje Shugden Lama overseas is testament to their commitment and trust in Dorje Shugden. http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/news/the-first-lama-that-china-sent-abroad/

The Tibetans should realise this and make friends with China already! http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/operation-make-friends/

If the CTA embrases Dorje Shugden and make peace with China, they will be able to achieve their goal of being able to rule Tibet once more but unfortunately they just want a quick fix to their problems instead of working hard for them. The result of this is pretty obvious: more failures and problems for them in the long run and no results at all even after so many decades. If any of them is willing to work towards a common goal, then I am sure that there will be results. The first thing they should do is lift the Dorje Shugden ban to show solidarity because there are many talents in Dharamsala who are Dorje Shugden practitioners.

WisdomBeing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
    • Add me to your facebook!
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 03:42:37 PM »
If we agree with the hypothesis that the Dalai Lama imposed the Dorje Shugden ban with the purpose to:
1. bring worldwide awareness of Dorje Shugden
2. make Dorje Shugden practice grow in China
3. prepare Dorje Shugden to become the Protector of its time and replace Nechung as the Protector of Tibet

then points 1 and 2 have been achieved and it is a matter of time that the Dalai Lama will have to lift the ban on Dorje Shugden in order for his practice to fulfil its potential of point 3.

As the Dalai Lama is not getting any younger (nothing to do with Dorje Shugden shortening his life of course), then we should see some activity towards the lifting of the ban anytime soon. The Dalai Lama saying that he was going to stop publicly condemning Dorje Shugden ( http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=3076.0 ) is a step in the right direction.

Let's see what happens next.

Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 05:16:35 AM »
If we agree with the hypothesis that the Dalai Lama imposed the Dorje Shugden ban with the purpose to:
1. bring worldwide awareness of Dorje Shugden
2. make Dorje Shugden practice grow in China
3. prepare Dorje Shugden to become the Protector of its time and replace Nechung as the Protector of Tibet

then points 1 and 2 have been achieved and it is a matter of time that the Dalai Lama will have to lift the ban on Dorje Shugden in order for his practice to fulfil its potential of point 3.

As the Dalai Lama is not getting any younger (nothing to do with Dorje Shugden shortening his life of course), then we should see some activity towards the lifting of the ban anytime soon. The Dalai Lama saying that he was going to stop publicly condemning Dorje Shugden ( http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=3076.0 ) is a step in the right direction.

Let's see what happens next.


the time for number 3 has already come, and perhaps HHDL is just waiting for more cues from Dorje Shugden Lamas and from Trijang Rinpoche before starting that one. The whole world has already known about Dorje Shugden because the Dalai Lama says that he is a spirit etc, and Tibetan Buddhists around take that as the truth and spread that lie and rumor all over the place to their friends and family, so objective #1 is complete, and now because the Dalai Lama says Dorje Shugden shortens his life, China actively encourages the monasteries to practice Dorje Shugden so that is objective #2 met. It only makes sense that the 3rd one would be done as well and probably, within the span of a few years.

WisdomBeing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
    • Add me to your facebook!
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 11:37:45 AM »

the time for number 3 has already come, and perhaps HHDL is just waiting for more cues from Dorje Shugden Lamas and from Trijang Rinpoche before starting that one. The whole world has already known about Dorje Shugden because the Dalai Lama says that he is a spirit etc, and Tibetan Buddhists around take that as the truth and spread that lie and rumor all over the place to their friends and family, so objective #1 is complete, and now because the Dalai Lama says Dorje Shugden shortens his life, China actively encourages the monasteries to practice Dorje Shugden so that is objective #2 met. It only makes sense that the 3rd one would be done as well and probably, within the span of a few years.

i don't think that the Dalai Lama is waiting for anyone's cue. The Dalai Lama IS in charge. He orchestrated this whole tableau and he will know when is the perfect timing to 'untangle this web'. I am sure the other Dorje Shugden lamas, who are clairvoyant, would also know what is going on. They may well have astral gatherings and recite Dorje Shugden pujas together! Well, time shall untie this knot, not i. I just hope it's sooner than later.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 05:19:59 AM »

the time for number 3 has already come, and perhaps HHDL is just waiting for more cues from Dorje Shugden Lamas and from Trijang Rinpoche before starting that one. The whole world has already known about Dorje Shugden because the Dalai Lama says that he is a spirit etc, and Tibetan Buddhists around take that as the truth and spread that lie and rumor all over the place to their friends and family, so objective #1 is complete, and now because the Dalai Lama says Dorje Shugden shortens his life, China actively encourages the monasteries to practice Dorje Shugden so that is objective #2 met. It only makes sense that the 3rd one would be done as well and probably, within the span of a few years.

i don't think that the Dalai Lama is waiting for anyone's cue. The Dalai Lama IS in charge. He orchestrated this whole tableau and he will know when is the perfect timing to 'untangle this web'. I am sure the other Dorje Shugden lamas, who are clairvoyant, would also know what is going on. They may well have astral gatherings and recite Dorje Shugden pujas together! Well, time shall untie this knot, not i. I just hope it's sooner than later.

There has to be indications for the perfect timing for him to do something, so I am thinking that perhaps he is waiting for more people to question him on Dorje Shugden before he lifts the ban because it shows that  people clearly want Dorje Shugden and that Dorje Shugden is beneficial. When more and more people head that direction, I am sure something will change and something will make the Dalai Lama lift the ban. The perfect timing depends on the condition and now it has fallen on our hands to determine and create the perfect conditions for the ban to be lifted. that is why it is very important for us to play our role in lifting the ban by educating people.

vajrastorm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 07:31:11 AM »
In this article, the interesting things to note are China's interest in Buddhism, which began as early as the first century, as well as China's influence in spreading Buddhism as seen from the first century onward. It was through Chinese influence that Buddhism spread to East Asia, and through the Chinese Diaspora, to the rest of the world.

China now shows renewed interest in Buddhism. Because of the ban on Shugden practice, by HH Dalai Lama, the Chinese Government has moved the other way to promote Dorje Shugden practice and through Him, Tibetan Buddhism. In fact, the Chinese Government officially sent a Tibetan Shugden Lama and great Master, abroad to Switzerland, to spread the Dharma. Lama Jampa Ngodrup Rinpoche, sent to Switzerland in December 2012, highlights the growing influence and spread of Tibetan Buddhism and Shugden practice in China. It highlights the fact that Tibetan Buddhism and Shugden practice have received the strong support of the Chinese Government. 


Dorje Shugden has been predicted (see "oracles, Demons of Tibet", and the article "Universal Protector of Future Buddhism" ) to  be the Dharmapala of the future., the Protector of Buddhism in the Future. Thus as Tibetan Buddhism and Dorje Shugden practice spread in China, with official endorsement, this prediction is fast becoming a reality.   Dorje Shugden will be the Universal Protector of the Future, not only in China, but everywhere else in the world. 

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2013, 03:01:12 AM »
I just remembered another ironic thing: China, an atheist government manages to send a Lama abroad to teach, while in the case of CTA, the Lamas themselves need to raise funds for their own teaching trips overseas without any sponsorship from CTA! And CTA is supposed to be a Buddhist government.! I find this sad and utterly ridiculous in many ways and on many levels. How is it that an atheist communist government has the heart and time to send their lamas to teach abroad but not a Buddhist government? Should it not be the reverse instead? Shouldnt CTA step up and realize that they are a failure and change their ways?

Rinchen

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 407
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2013, 10:27:41 PM »
It seems as though that the CTA has failed terribly for spreading the Dharma. China has already done so much in the past. And now, they are doing even more for to spread Dorje Shugden.

CTA may put the ban on Dorje Shugden, but I do not see them supporting the non Shugden practitioners or Sangha. They have never made it a point to help them in terms of spreading Dharma knowledge to the rest of the world. Would it mean that to the CTA the growth of Tibetan Buddhism is not that important to them?

From the way I see it, that is what the CTA is telling the rest of the world. They have never worked hard to promote Buddhism making it a mainstream topic. In most Asian countries people would relate better to Mahayana Buddhism instead of Vajrayana Buddhism. Just take Singapore for an example, when there are dharma classes held by Sangha from other countries, they are usually monks or nuns from Taiwan. Very seldom it would be be Tibet, or India, or Nepal, or even a monk or nun with a Tibetan origin.

This tells me that the funds that the monks have to go overseas to teach are very little, and it is difficult for them to find funds as well. As a government, shouldn't CTA support them when they would like to bring Tibetan Buddhism to a higher level?

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
Re: Nepal: Chinese Contribution in Restoration of Bhikshuni Order
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2013, 11:14:03 PM »
It seems as though that the CTA has failed terribly for spreading the Dharma. China has already done so much in the past. And now, they are doing even more for to spread Dorje Shugden.

CTA may put the ban on Dorje Shugden, but I do not see them supporting the non Shugden practitioners or Sangha. They have never made it a point to help them in terms of spreading Dharma knowledge to the rest of the world. Would it mean that to the CTA the growth of Tibetan Buddhism is not that important to them?

From the way I see it, that is what the CTA is telling the rest of the world. They have never worked hard to promote Buddhism making it a mainstream topic. In most Asian countries people would relate better to Mahayana Buddhism instead of Vajrayana Buddhism. Just take Singapore for an example, when there are dharma classes held by Sangha from other countries, they are usually monks or nuns from Taiwan. Very seldom it would be be Tibet, or India, or Nepal, or even a monk or nun with a Tibetan origin.

This tells me that the funds that the monks have to go overseas to teach are very little, and it is difficult for them to find funds as well. As a government, shouldn't CTA support them when they would like to bring Tibetan Buddhism to a higher level?

It has been over 50 years, yet many Buddhist scholars in the west still deem that Buddhism in the west is still in its infancy stage due to the lack of exposure. It has been 50 years, yet there are still so many Buddhists alone who misunderstand on what Tantra  is. It has been 50 years, and yet Tibetan monasteries are still pretty much considered an enigma, alongside with the prayers and deities in them. What has the CTA done to alleviate this problem other than trying to make it worse at every turn?