Support not one, but two forces for goodness in the world!
On Thu, 11 December, 2014 - 22:35
Great news! Shraddhavajri and Vidyadharini from India are coming to Adhisthana in February to attend the women’s five month study course. This is especially significant, not just because they are coming from India, but because they are coming specifically to deepen their understanding of the Dharma and their experience of the international Sangha in order to devote their lives more effectively spread the Dhamma. They have chosen not to get married, which is a very radical step for a woman in India to take, and they already work on the Women’s Ordination Team in India developing spiritual friendship with women. They are both passionate about spreading the message of the Buddha and Dr Ambedkar, the message which radically transforms both the life of the individual and society and helps the most disadvantaged in Indian society. Read about their lives and dreams for the future below.
The India Dhamma Trust wants to support the expansion of the women’s ordination team, and will fund as much as they need to attend their course, which we estimate will be around £4000. This will have to be raised by friends in India and the West. Would you consider helping with their funding? By doing so, you will enable not just two bright young Dharmacharinis to attend a course, but you will help unleash two forces for good in the world. Make a donation, small or large, to http://indiadhammatrust.org/donate/
‘The Dhamma gave purpose to my life and made me a happy person. Now the purpose in my life is to help society.’ Sraddhavajri
’I want Dr Ambedkar’s dream to come true: that the whole of India follow Buddhism. I want to develop myself to stream entry. Buddhism is my life like breathing.’ Vidyadharini
Read more about their journeys and I’m sure you will agree they are both quite incredible women and worth supporting.
Sraddhavajri I am Dhammacharini Shraddhavajri and I am delighted to tell you about myself. I am from Modinagar, in Utter Pradesh, North India. I grew up in a Buddhist family of eight with three sisters and two brothers. In Utter Pradesh the situation for women is not so good, but my family gave me a good atmosphere in which to grow up.
From my childhood I loved Buddhism. When Triratna first time came to Utter Pradesh I met some Order Members who gave me the gift of friendship. I was attracted to the metta I experienced in the Sangha. Before Dhamma practice I was an angry girl, but I worked on that with the help of the Dhamma. The practice of Dhamma gave me strength to fight my own ignorance. I became a Dhammamitra in 2000 with the support of my family.
I did lots of Dhamma work in Modinagar as well as learning karate. Karate gave me confidence for self defence. After graduation I lived for two years in Aurangabad doing my post graduation as well as developing a friendship with Gayansuri . After that I decided to live in a community. I spent three years in the Pune community doing Dhamma classes and developing kalayanmitrata. I completed my masters and passed the national eligibility test for lectureship. Now I am lecturer in degree college, but although my job is good the place itself is very dangerous. Every day is a struggle, though I am happy to give help and friendship to my students.
I decided to ask for Ordination because I wanted to go deeper in my study and practice of Dhamma. Order members gave me so much metta and I decided to become like them. I was Ordained in 2009. I have deep kalyanamitrata in my life. I have a deeper Dhamma practice. Now the Dhamma is my life: without the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha I have no life.
Where I work in Mainpuri, Utter Pradesh there is no Sangha. It is a very backward area. Once a month I travel 6 - 8 hours to visit Kanpur where I take a women’s Dhammamitra class and attend my chapter. Twice or three times a month I travel 8 - 10 hours to Modinagar for Order meetings, Dhammamitra class and chapter meetings, or help the National Network of Buddhist Youth. Once a month I travel 4-5 hours to Agra to run a women’s class. Sometimes I go to different places in Utter Pradesh to give public talks. I spend all my time off in Dhamma activity.
Slowly, slowly the Dhamma is really helping women to develop their confidence. Faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, and in Dr. Ambedkar, means faith in their own capacities.
I need some more deep practice of Dhamma and experience of Adhisthana. With this 6 month training I will get community experience where I can share and discuss Dhamma practice with other women who come from different places. It will be a good atmosphere to deepen my understanding of Bhante’s presentation of Dharma. I can develop friendships with other women who are developing themselves and contributing to the Sangha. It will be a great opportunity for me to be part of Adhisthana to live in an atmosphere in the presence of Bhante.
I hope that the course will help to me in the future. I have a dream to develop a women’s community and a big retreat centre in Utter Pradesh. I know it is challenging and hard, but I want to help the situation for women. Dr Ambedkar asked us to pay back to society. I hope the course and the atmosphere at Adhisthana will develop my dhamma practice so I can face the difficulty and challenge in my life.
You can ask me why Utter Pradesh? In Utter Pradesh there is lots of work to do. The Dhamma gave purpose to my life and made me a happy person. Now the purpose in my life is to help society.
Vidyadharini I am Dharmacharini Vidyadharini. I grew up in India, Nagpur, Maharashtra state. In my family there are three brothers, one sister in law, one nephew, one niece, my father and two maternal aunts. My mother died 16 years ago. I graduated in a B.Com.degree from Nagpur University. Currently I work for the Women’s Ordination Support Team helping women train for Ordination.
I was deeply impressed by Dr. Ambedkar’s thought and his practical way of living, so I wanted to practice his thoughts and his practice of Buddhism. I was ordained in 2011.
My life has been changed tremendously by faith in the Buddha. I am more aware and sensitive about myself as well as towards others.
I would like to study Buddhism further, as well as the aims and principles of the Sangha, especially the The Triratna Buddhist Community which is an international community. I also want to attend a GFR retreat to develop myself as a human being.
Our Sangha is established on the basis of the Bodhisatva Ideal which inspired me to practice and to help others. I feel a lot of responsibility for my own practice.
I am learning a lot from my contact with senior Order Members, directly and indirectly. I am learning how to effectively perform my duties and my responsibility as an Order Member. I want to become a trained Dhamma Practitioner.
I am working on the Ordination Team as a translator from English into Marathi. I support G.F.R. retreats whenever they need me. I take mitra classes, workshops and weekends, I visit mitra chapters and I develop friendships with mitras. Through developing kalynamitrata, understanding of the Dhamma and reflection on the Dhamma, I benefit myself as well as others.
I am eager to visit to Bhante Urgyen Sangharakshita at Adhishthana as well as senior Dhammachari and Dhammacharinis who are Preceptors and great practitioners.
Adhisthana will give me an opportunity to live in a community practising the Dhamma. I will be able to connect with the International Sangha, which I know the value of through my contact with Vajrasuri, Karunamaya and Subhuti.
People in India are not aware about the foreign sangha so I want to share my experiences with them when I return. I want to share the importance of Triratna being an International organisation and show how both Sanghas are interdependent. I also want to share the study I will do with the Order in India. I want to help the Sangha practice effective going for refuge, make kalyanamitrata strong within the Sangha and live in harmony with the Order.
Whatever I study, I want to apply it in my life. I want to deepen my reflection, experience and understanding of the Dhamma. I want to actually know the meaning of the words of the Dhamma, which means developing deep understanding beyond words.
I want Dr Ambedkar’s dream to come true: that the whole of India follow Buddhism. I want to develop myself to stream entry. Buddhism is my life like breathing.