In an official statement from Wat Pah Pong the well-known Australian Ajahn Brahm has stepped over the line by ordaining nuns. You can read all about it on Bhante Sujato’s blog
which includes a copy of the letter attempting to explain the expulsion.
Oh the times they are a changin.
And here’s a brand new update from Bhante Sujato
This story’s got some legs I think.
This link was placed in comments but I add it here for your immediate reference:
A response from the Buddhist Society of Western Australia
By Ajhan Brahmali and the Bodhinyana Sangha
and a letter of support from Bhikkhu Bodhi:
Now Bhikkhu Bodhi’s revised response November 8, 2009
Some Blog and Other Reactions:
From the nun Phalanyani who keeps the marvelous blog silly nun: under shock
From Angry Asian Buddhist Arun writes This is Not a Schism
From The Buddhist Channel
From Buddha Forum
From the Buddhist Society of Western Australia forum
From Wisdom Publications blog Go Beyond Words History in the Making
Rev. Danny Fisher makes his opinion known The Wat Pa Phong Sangha Disavows Bodhinyana Monastery Over Ajahn Brahmavamso’s Ordination of Nuns
Shravasti Dhammika makes his point on the blog dhamma musings with this post Excommunicating Brahmavamso
Bhikkhuni Ordination from the Theravadin blog.
support bhikkhunis-a website set up to collect letters and information of support for Bhikkhunis
Facebook group set up to support Women and the Forest Sangha
Buddhist Channel has taken to Nobel Silence henceforth on this issue (!?)-an explanation of this decision The Buddhist Channel: Why the imposed “silence” on the Wat Pah Pong / Bhikkuni Ordination issue
Open Letter To All From Ajahn Brahm On His Exclusion by Wat Pah Pong-from The Buddhist Channel
An interview with Ajahn Brahm just prior to the expulsion Interview from the Bangkok Post via Buddhist Fellowship
For a little more background from Bante Sujato on the Five Points that have been adopted by the English Sangha. Not favorable.
My Current Opinion (not that it matters much)
I left a comment on Arun’s blog Angry Asian Buddhist (listed above) but I want to add to it and put it here as well.
He is still Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera not Mr. Peter Betts as he was born. So “excommunication” which requires a full Vinaya vote is not what has occurred. The robes have not been repossessed. A political (politics meaning the wielding of power) disagreement among a certain group of monks (who do not represent all of Theravada or even Thai Buddhism) does not throw the entire school or all of Thai Buddhism into disarray. Let’s keep some perspective on this and not sensationalize.
It would be nice if those taking the action against Ajahn Brahm would be more reasonable, in my opinion, but a lot of things would be nice if they came to pass. That’s just not reality. So this thing has occurred and people will adjust and take it from here.
Perhaps, once the upset from the situation wears off some fruitful dialogue will occur. To get people to talk of a situation is the first step to it’s resolution.