July 22, 2011

Good news for two nuns

Regular readers of this blog will know that in recent weeks there have been two different episodes of injustice toward Buddhist nuns that have garnered public condemnation. We're happy to report that both matters look to be on the mend.

DNAinfo recently reported that charges have been dropped against the Buddhist nun who was arrested after handing out prayer beads on Canal Street in New York City (authorities believed that she was selling the beads illegally, when she was giving them out freely while looking for donations for her burned down temple).

We're also pleased to pass along the news that The Times of India is reporting that the raped Nepali nun, who was threatened of being kicked out of her nunnery, is likely to be re-admitted to the nunnery. It appears that international outcry played a role in reversing the decision.


Matthew Frazer, an American Buddhist and the founder of the Yeshe Tsogyal Foundation that espouses the cause of Buddhists targeted by violence or abuse, has begun campaigning against the censure through Facebook and other social networking sites.

"There is a great deal of shock and disbelief at the very idea of such an action by both Buddhists and non-Buddhists in the United States and abroad," Frazer wrote. "Our goal is to block the expulsion of the nun from her nunnery in Pharping (and the Buddhist Order in general). Such an action reflects badly not only on Nepal, but on Buddhists in general to the rest of the world... If such an action is taken, it will set a very perilous precedent that can be used to take similar actions against future victims."

Image: DNAinfo.com

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Amma Thanasanti's picture

The report on the Nepali Nun that she is not likely to be ousted from her monastic community as a result of coming to harms by a group of men way- is good news for her. With clear understanding of vinaya- monastic rules and codes of conduct- and scholarship around text specific translations, the Buddhist traditions that take rape to be a defeat offense may have an opportunity to re examine old established patterns and interpretations. However, for our Nepali Nun, she still has considerable challenges to face. I would ask that you please continue to keep her in your heart and prayers.