Resources about the History and Emerging Character of the Bhikkhuni Sangha
Please read and share widely!

General Resources

Present Magazine – highlights the voices and activities of Theravada Buddhist women, including a commemorative issue celebrating the 2600th anniversary of the Bhikkhuni sangha.

Alliance for Bhikkhunis article library – includes articles by Ayya Anandabodhi, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ven Analayo and others.

General Articles

“The Four Assemblies and Theravada Buddhism,” 2015
Written by Bhikkhu Analayo in 2015, a complete overview of the strengthening of the Buddha’s vision of the four assemblies in modern times.

“Towards Healing the Fracturing in the Male-Female Relationship in the Sangha,” 2008
Written by two Siladhara, Sisters Santacitta and Candasara, in England in 2008, before issuing of the 5 points.


On the Restoration of the Bhikkhuni Order

Buddhistdoor View: “Crisis and Opportunity for Theravada Buddhism,” 2015
A discussion about the root causes of crisis in the Theravada tradition- fascinating paper as to why ordination of women is needed!

“The Time Has Come,” 2010
Overview of the obstacles in the path to ordination for woman, written by three women who experienced them.

A collection of articles, dated up to 2001, from the beginning of the restoration of the Bhikkhuni order. These articles are for the most part no longer available from their original source.  They give a window into the historical evolution that began in 1988 and really took hold in 1998.  Keep scrolling down to see all the articles, some are quite long.

Here is a sampling of what is offered in this collection:

“A New Dawn for Women’s Rights”
After a Millennium, World Buddhists Affirm Equality for Women. In Unprecedented Internal Ordination Ceremony Under the Tree of Enlightenment. February 15-23, 1998 –  Bodhgaya, India
Source: Hsi Lai Temple’s Web Site, California

“A path less travelled” by Atiya Achakulwisut
Written on the occasion of Ven. Dhammananda’s (Chatsumarn Kabilsingh) ordination as a novice monk. Based on excerpts from Women in Buddhism: Questions and Answers, by Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University, 1998
Source: Bangkok Post, 17 April 2001

“Women in Buddhism: Planting the Seed of Peace” by Aree Chaisatien
Article about Bhikkhuni Lee, America-born, ordained in Colorado in 1992, abbot of International Women’s Meditation Center in Rayong, Thailand which was attacked and burned in April, 2016
Source: Nation Multimedia, Buddhist News Network, October 5, 2001

“Revival of the Bhikkhuni Order in Sri Lanka” by D. Amarasiri Weeraratne
From :”The Island” Newspaper, Colombo, Sri Lanka  (4th April, 1998)
Source: BuddhaNet

“The First Theravada Ordination in Indonesia in 1000 Years”  by Michael Bliss, 2015
The title says it all!

“Honoring Those Worthy of Honor” by Ayya Tathaloka Theri, 2017
Detailed summary of the unfolding of the bhikkhuni lineage in the Theravada tradition in the late 20th century.


Stories of Modern Bhikkhunis

“A Sima of Flowers”; Ayyas Anandabodhi and Santacitta  speak of their journey from siladharas to bhikkhunis.

The story of one of the few Maha Theris alive in the world today: Ven. Saddha Sumana

An interview with one of the first women ordained in Sri Lanka: Bhikkhui Kusama

Three part story of the reinstatement of the bhikkhuni sangha in Bangladash with Bhikkhuni Gautami in the lead role:
PART 1:  Interview with Samaneri Gautami

PART 2:  Journeys of women going forth into Bhikkhuni Order

PART 3:  The Bhikkhuni Order is established

Vietnamese Bhikkhuni Dhammananda: “Transforming War and Violence to Peace and Respect”
Fascinating story of this Bhikkhuni’s journey to ordination and the work she is doing.

“The Sisterhood”
Report in a Cambodian newspaper about this group of Theravada nuns from Taiwan who are working to revive the bhikkhuni lineage in Cambodia