Bhikkhuni Wekada Bhadra

Sri Lanka

Wekada Bhadra Bhikkhuni was born and educated in Sri Lanka . She married and bore a son. Then she traveled to the USA with her diplomatic spouse. Far away from her motherland, her heartfelt thoughts journeyed back to Sri Lanka . She made an important decision and departed the USA . She returned with her son to Sri Lanka . She traveled to her home village of Panadura to speak to her mother. She requested that a small meditation kuti be built for her on the family land. And, there she spent her days and nights in contemplation, meditation, studying Dhamma, and writing. After studying with a woman meditation master, she decided to ordain as a Theravada Buddhist Samaneri. She went forth, ordained, and welcomed women in her village to come and share of their life experiences, to meditate together, chant, and talk about Dhamma. The community likewise responded with daily alms offerings. This brave woman then made another decision, deeper with insight and stronger with foresight. as a community leader.

She left for India in 1996 with a group of Samaneris and a senior monk, Bhikkhu Mapalagama Vipulasara Maha Thero. There they studied with the help of the Maha Bodhi Society of India for nine months: Pali, Suttas, Vinaya, English and Buddhist Culture. At the conclusion of their studies, Korean monastics arrived, and ordained them as Bhikkhunis. This produced nationwide debate back in Sri Lanka . She returned to Sri Lanka. Time passed.

Sri Lankan monks considered how to appropriately honor women in their culture. They gathered together, and decided to offer their support to women seeking Higher Ordination. So, the pilgrimage began again, and in 1998 Wekada Bhadra traveled back to India , this time with 22 Samaneris. In Bodhagaya, they were met by international monastics both male and female, and the Samaneris were ordained as Bhikkhunis. Then the group traveled to Saranath. Thus for the third time in her life, she was ordained as a Bhikkhuni, this time by the Sri Lankan senior monks. Her heroic efforts for Buddhism and Sri Lankan women earned her the Abbess position of the International Bhikkhuni Training Center in Talakiriyagama, Sri Lanka, and the position of Secretary of the Sri Lankan Board of Bhikkhunis.