Yesterday, August 9, 2013, twenty-eight men and women received the complete precepts in the Mahayana tradition and became fully ordained Bhikshus (monks) and Bhikshunis (nuns). It was a fine ceremony and a fine day in the Dharma Realm. This was the thirteenth such ceremony since our founder, the late Chan Master Hsuan Hua began ordaining men and women in this country.
Three Masters and Seven Certifiers have to assemble to examine and verify the qualifications of the candidates. Yesterday's assembly of distinguished Sangha members from both the Mahayana and the Theravada tradition included the following venerable monks: (front row from the left) Bhante Seelawimala, of Sri Lanka, Ajahn Pasanno, from the Thai Forest tradition, Rev. Heng Sure, of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Bhante Shantarakshita, from Sri Lanka, and Rev. Heng Shan, of the CTTB. (Back row from the left) Ajahn Nyaniko, Thai Forest tradition, Ajahn Karunadhammo, Thai Forest tradition, Bhikshu Heng Lyu, Abbot of the CTTB, Bhikshu Heng Lai, CTTB, and Ajahn Jotipalo, Thai Forest tradition.
Inviting senior monks from both Mahayana and Theravada traditions, an historical precedent in the West, was a hallmark of Master Hsuan Hua's ordination procedures.