Notification of the Wat Nong Pah Pong Sangha decision to revoke the status of a branch monastery

The Buddhist Channel, Nov 5, 2009

The following is the official statement issued by Wat Nong Pah Pong with regards to the excommunication of Ajahn Brahmavamso from its Sangha (Editor's note: The statement was slightly edited for grammatical errors)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Regarding Phra Visuddhisamvarathera (Ajahn Brahmavamso), abbot of Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery, Perth, Australia, performing a Bhikkhuni ordination on October 22nd, 2009 at Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery with himself as Chanting Acariya and Bhikkhuni Ayya Tathaloka as preceptor.

Ajahn Brahmavamso had thoroughly planned and prepared, and intentionally concealed, not allowing the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong and its branches in Thailand and abroad to know, fearing the objection of the Sangha, (and proceeding) even though the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong and its branches in Thailand and abroad had made a decision against ordaining Bhikkhunis, which was restated many times – the Sangha does not accept the act of ordaining Bhikkhunis on this occasion and holds it as void.

The individuals concerned cannot be considered Theravada Bhikkhunis, as this status contradicts the law of the Mahatherasamakhom, the Sangha administration of the Theravada order in Thailand. Ajahn Brahmavamso had been continually informed of this law, however in violation he went ahead without consulting the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong and its branches in Thailand and abroad.

His actions may cause wrong understanding amongst Buddhists throughout the world, and division of views regarding this issue. For the sake of preventing further problems from arising, and for the unity of the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong and its branches in Thailand and abroad, a meeting was held on November 1st, 2009 at 18:00 hours with Phra Rachapavanavikrom as the presiding monk, together with 160 monks including senior Theras from Thailand and abroad, members of the Sangha committee, and abbots of branch monasteries of Wat Nong Pah Pong both in Thailand and abroad, to have Ajahn Brahmavamso acknowledge his fault in ordaining Bhikkhunis unilaterally.

He would not admit the wrongness of his actions, which contravene the standard kept by the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong to uphold the principles of Dhamma-Vinaya practiced by the Theravada Sangha of Thailand. As a consequence the following unanimous decision was passed:

Bodhinyana Monastery, Perth, Australia, with its abbot Phra Visuddhisamvarathera (Brahmavamso Bhikkhu), is revoked of its status of being a branch monastery of Wat Nong Pah Pong. Wat Nong Pah Pong and its branch monasteries both in Thailand and abroad are not in any way related to or responsible for any of the actions of Bodhinyana Monastery, Perth, Australia, lead by Phra Visuddhisamvarathera (Brahmavamso Bhikkhu), (such as) the ordination of Bhikkhunis that has taken place, and any other activity that may occur in the future.

We therefore make this information available for general distribution, for the notification of whomever may be concerned.

Respectfully yours,

  • Phra Rachapavanavikrom, (Liem Thitadhammo, abbot of Wat Nong Pah Pong),
  • Phrakruh Pattanakitvisal (Kam Nissoko),
  • Phrakru Bodhisarakhunavat (Boonchoo Thitaguno),
  • Phrakru Ophasavudhigarn (Sophon Obhaso),
  • Phrakru Pavanaudomakhun (Sopha Uttamo),
  • Phrakru Suthammaprachot (Kamphong Thitapuñño),
  • Phra Adhigarn Jundee Kantasaro,
  • Phra Ajahn Paithun Khantiko,
  • Phrakru Udomvanahnurak (Sommay Piyadhammo),
  • Phrakru Palat Anan (Anan Akincano),
  • Phrakru Nimitviriyanugun (Subin Uttamo),
  • Phrakru Pavanahnugit (Lai Dipadhammo),
  • Phra Ajahn Philip Ñanadhammo,
  • Phrakru Bovornsilavat (Prasert Rakkhitadhammo),
  • Phrakru Bodhivanahnurak (Vannachit Jitamaro),
  • Phrakru Vijarasuphavat (Bandit Tejapañño),
  • Phrakru Santithammaviset (Preechar Jutindharo),
  • Phra Adhigarn Vichit Adhipuñño,
  • Phra Adhigarn Henning Kevali.
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