The revival of bhikshuni ordination in Vajrayana Buddhism
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The revival of bhikshuni ordination in Vajrayana Buddhism

The 17th ’s 2022 shed light on the historical significance of the full of women (bhikshunis) in the (MSV), a of law followed by schools.

The Karmapa’s advocacy for bhikshuni ordination, supported by historical evidence of ordained bhiksunis in , challenges the notion propagated by some leaders, including the , that such ordinations never occurred in Tibet.

’s research further illuminates the disappearance of bhikshunis in Tibet following the Gelug school’s ascendancy, prompting a reevaluation of the possibility of reinstating bhikshuni ordination.

’s 2020 , funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, provided an academic basis for ’s historic decision to reinstate the Vajrayana bhikshuni lineage, culminating in a monumental ordination ceremony in 2022.

Bhutan’s role as a constitutional Buddhist monarchy facilitated this historic event, with the ’s decision supported by the and queen.

The institutional MSV Bhikshuni , established in Bhutan, has empowered women to ordain according to canonical law, marking a significant milestone in .

Despite unforeseen circumstances delaying the 2nd Bhikshuni Ordination in Bhutan, the resurgence of bhikshuni ordination is evident in initiatives such as the growing number of geshemas and khenmos.

Additionally, the lineage’s in Sravasti, , symbolized a homecoming for female monastic practice after centuries of absence.

The contemporary bhikshuni sangha, supported by gelongma, togdenma, geshemas, and khenmo, stands on stable foundations, poised to bring about positive change in the modern era.

The revival of bhikshuni ordination in Vajrayana represents a significant step towards gender equality and the empowerment of women within Buddhist communities worldwide.


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