Bhutan Nuns Foundation, with the assistance of Sangchen Dorji Sendrup nunnery in Punakha, was able today to set a new milestone for the female monastic body in Bhutan.
Just a few months after the 1st International Buddhist Nuns’ Conference in Paro, His Holiness the Je Kenpho ordained 141 Bhutanese nuns from seven different nunneries. The ceremony took place at the host nunnery, beautifully decorated for the occasion.
The nunnery was founded by Yab Ugyen Dorji, the father of the Their Majesties the Queen Mothers.
According to a release this event could not have taken place without BNF’s highest patron’s strong support, Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck.
This ceremony is an important step in monastic life. The nuns taking the Sramenerike vows (Getsulma Dompa) agree to abide by the 10 precepts of Buddhist monastic life. Their special robes are blessed, and they receive instructions about how to behave.
Both the participants and the public were visibly moved.
Many tears flowed as His Holiness spoke the special dedication to groups of three nuns each. His closing speech, in which he explained the significance of the ordination, held everyone’s undivided attention. It is the first time that Sramenerike vows are being taken on this scale. To quote Her Majesty, ‘This is a historical day’. After this auspicious beginnings, it is likely that this ordination ceremony will not be the last that BNF organizes.