Bhikkhuni Tu Nhan


Bhikkhuni Tu Nhan was born in 1943, and has been ordained for 45 years. She is the Abbess of Phuoc Vien Temple in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Her constant inner wish has remained the wholesome acts of giving and offering.

Bhikkhuni Tu Nhan understands that birth, ageing, sickness and death are normal stages of life, and that she is no exception. In 2002, she contracted cancer. She had frequent fevers that common medicine could not cure, and an examination revealed non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the 3rd stage. She did not fear death; and was concerned about charitable plans yet to be carried out, that her students were not mature enough to complete without her. So, she changed her thinking. The disease was normal. If she had one day to live, she would live it to her best and live to help those in need. Then she realized that she felt really well and refreshed whenever she participated in charitable work. When away from this type of work, she felt sick. So, she decided to take proper medical treatments of chemotherapy and radiation; forget the illness; and pay attention to the suffering of others.

She enjoys to share rice from the temple to the poor and hungry, disabled, homeless and elderly, and those with leprosy; so she did so. She enjoys disaster relief work; so, she did so. “Patience and perseverance can make for victory,” she says. And, she noted that love from the members of her Sangha towards her motivated her greatly. Although not their biological mother, her love for them was really the same as that of a mother for her daughters. Therefore, she always thanks her existence to her Sangha’s love and gratitude.

After crossing the delicate line of death, and still being healthy, she increased her charitable work and from north to east, 63 provinces Bhikkhuni Tu Nhan travelled in charitable relief work, even into Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and India.

Although 75 years old now, Bhikkhuni Tu Nhan stills dream to construct an accommodation area for the Bhikkhunis to reside, a convenient place to work and learn at different academic levels from B.A. to M.A. to Ph.D. in Buddhism, as well as, to translate and transfer knowledge to future generations. She has shared this dream with her students and the Bhikkhuni Committee. The desire to spread love to others constantly motivates her. Currently, she is the Vice-Chair of the Vietnamese Bhikkhuni Committee, Head of the Committee on Finances, and Vice-Chair of the Charitable Work Fund.