Bhikkhuni Anula


Bhikkhuni Anula was born in 1959 in Udon Thani, the eastern part of Thailand adjacent to Laos. On her ninth day of birth, her family moved to Laos. And, her life was lived between these two cultures for years.

Her family took refuge in Buddhism with male family members becoming ordained. So, there was a natural path for her to one day ordain.

Since her youth Bhikkhuni Anula was always interested in helping others. She had the opportunity to study to grade 4 primary school formally. At the age of 17, she entered into the volunteer soldier services during the time of the communist infiltration into Thailand and Laos. She trained in military operations including riflery. Eventually, she felt that she was helping others as she was trained as a medic and made her way through the mountainous jungles to assist the young communists who were in need. She served for seven years, and she had the opportunity to study to grade 3 high school through nonformal education. During this time, she participated in many training workshops, including those organized by UNICEF. She was also assigned to serve as a nursery-school teacher.

Her life took a turn and she went to Bangkok. She married briefly. She became discouraged. She decided to leave and followed a popular movement to a monk in Kanchanaburi. She returned to nature. She became a Maechee. She travelled and studied Dhamma with many Bhikkhus far and wide. After three years of wandering, she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer; it had spread throughout her body.

So, she returned home to Udon Thani. Her doctor said that she had only one month to live. She took herbal medicines and meditated. She returned to Kanchanaburi and prepared to die. She entered a cave for one month and meditated. She tried not to sleep at all. She started to improve and her pain reduced. She improved and then contracted malaria. So, she travelled to stay at the temple of her relative in Nong Khai on the border of Laos. After a total of 18 years of being a Maechee and wandering to forest temples while struggling with cancer and malaria, she made her way to ordain as a Samaneri in Chiangmai.

Then she went to take care of a nuns’ temple in Sawan Dan Din, Sakorn Nakorn, Buddha-Dhamma Satri. She ordained again as a Samaneri in Rayong at the International Women’s Meditation Center, and later took Bhikkhuni ordination. She sojourned to India to trace Maha Paja Bodhi’s roots in Vesali and took ordination yet again.

Finally, Bhikkhuni Anula returned to Udon Thani to establish a Bhikkhuni Temple for women and girls in her village. At present Bhikkhuni Anula is struggling with cancer in its later stages.