In the land of Sri Lanka, with the arrival of Maha Arahath Theri Sangamitta along with the sapling of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, the Bhikkuni Higher Ordination was established in Sri Lanka, with the ordination of Princess Anula and hundreds of ladies from the royalty during the reign of King Devanampiyathissa in BC 241.
In the early society, women were not granted equal rights and were deprived even of their due religious freedom. By granting Ordination to women and declaring their ability to gain Nirvana the liberation from sansara, in the history of mankind, Buddha opened the doors for liberation and freedom to women.
Since then, women in robes the Bhikkuni Order contributed immensely to the development of Buddha Sasana and propagation of Dhamma leading to the spiritual development of Sri Lankans. Having recognized the position of women clergy garnished with their natural flair of loving kindness and compassion through rich inheritance of culture, they were respected and venerated.
However, Sri Lanka being subject to many foreign invasions over so many centuries, the Bhikkuni Sasana declined along with the Buddha Sasana and such circumstances deteriorated the Bhikkuni Order to present Buddhist Nuns/Sil Matha’s status.
At present, irrespective of having a well-established Order of Sangha- male clergy, based on sector/ Nikayas, the welfare and due security in priesthood of Bhikkuni or Buddhist Nun is neither provided nor due recognition by the said Nikaya’s or sectors are granted.
In the light of above women who renunciate from their lay life to enter priesthood, do not possess security and welfare they require, especially when such Buddhist Nuns reach their feeble old age. According to state statistics 2952 Buddhist Nuns exist in 590 Meheni Aramaya in the country. In the Kurunegala district alone, 399 Buddhist Nuns dwell in 135 such Aramaya which accounts to more than 13% of density in Kurunegala District.
Daham Madura a leading Sil Matha Aramaya established on 31st October 1989 is dedicated to promote spiritual guidance to Buddhist Nuns and play a major role in providing safe – secured environment to Buddhist Nuns. Daham Madura is presently managed by a Board of Trustees while Dematagoda Swarna Loku Maniyanwahanse being the chief incumbent.
The Daham Madura Trust was established in 2001 under the code of Sri Lanka Trust Ordinance and same is a well-managed Charitable Trust. The Trustees moved a resolution to address the current crisis of security and welfare to aged and sick Buddhist Nuns/Sil Matha’s in the Kurunegala District and accordingly voted to establish a sanatorium facility under the umbrella of the Daham Madura Trust to provide healthcare, security and spiritual guidance at old age Buddhist Nuns.
In line with above, the land situated at Doratiyawa/ Kurunegala midst tranquil environment with an extent of 50 perch, which is donated A.W Gunewardena and Mallika Gunewardena will be allocated to commence the said project.
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