On June 17th 2018 the congregation gathered at Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre in Kingsbury, witnessed their third ten-preceptor nun’s ordination, the second within one year. On this auspicious day, Sri Lankan born Australian national, Mrs. Ransili Premaratne, with the blessings of her family and friends, became Sister Khema. With Head of the Vihara and the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain, Most Venerable Aggamahapanditha Galayaye Piyadassi Nayaka Thero as her Preceptor and Venerable Dr. Handupalpola Mahinda Nayaka Thero as her Teacher, Sister Khema was admitted to the community of the Sangha as a Samaneri nun on this happy occasion.
Chief incumbent of the Kachchuwatta Purana Viharaya in Galle, Sri Lanka Ven. Uluwitike Bodhiseeha Thero conducted the Pali and Sinhala programme while Ven. Nepale Sumana Thero compered the event. Ven. Professor Deegalle Mahinda Thero of Bath Spa University spoke on the enormity of the task that lay before the new Samaneri, her noble duties and responsibilities towards both the Sangha and the laity. He suggested that a nunnery should be established under the name of ‘Piyadassi Sil Mani Aramaya’ in honour of the preceptor of the three nuns.
Ven. Nepale Sumana Thero spoke about his experiences when he ordained many years ago and offered much encouragement to Sister Khema. Sister Rathna spoke of the history of the nuns’ ordination dating back to the time of the Supreme Buddha and how it flourished for many years through much hardship.
Several visiting monks and nuns were present at the ceremony including Ven. Homagama Kondanna thero of Moratuwa Kavidhaja Meditation Centre, Sister Khemaka of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Hemel Hempstead, Sister Seelamani, Sister Rathna, Sister Mettapali and Sister Karuna. The family of Sister Khema thanked the Maha Sangha and every one who attended the ordination Pinkama. The ceremony ended with the offering of Sangika Dana for the monks and the nuns and lunch for all the devotees gathered.
As the day coincided with an Uposatha Sil day, many participants were observing eight or ten precepts themselves. The afternoon programme consisted of two Dhamma sermons delivered by resident monk Ven. Galayaye Dhammadassi Thero and the visiting Sisters, Sister Rathna and Sister Mettapali which were joyfully received by everyone.
Photographs by Tissa Madawela